Morality is the source of goodness whereby citizens take up arms against invaders and and right wrongs. Moral people protect their country from evil doers at home and sometimes in foreign lands. Morality is what causes people to do what is right on behalf of others by putting themselves in danger.
Patriotism is the force that causes the unwitting to take up the causes of psychopaths, rob other countries of their riches and enslave whole countries. The Germans who gave their lives for Germany during WWII were possibly history’s greatest patriots. The forces which defeated Hitler called themselves patriots but they were really just moral people doing what the moral thing under critical circumstances.
American citizens have mostly fought as patriots furthering the aspirations of evil leaders who had no morals at all. Napoleon’s troops were patriots. Caesar’s soldiers were patriots. Even though the troops who landed on Normandy call themselves patriots. they were actually just moral people doing what was right to turn back evil. Confederate soldiers fighting for the south were patriots.
Today all over social media, folks are calling themselves patriots. What that means is they will support and fight for any evil cause their leader asks them to. They virtue signal calling themselves patriots but they are really volunteering to support their country in the exercise of evil.
Patriotism is not what is needed. It is a destructive force. Morality is a better choice. Saying “The end justifies the means.” really means, “we are going to use evil to get what we want.” Saying “The means determines the end.” is a way of conveying the message, “We are going to do what is right regardless of the consequences.” “We are going to do the moral thing and that will guarantee the best possible outcome.”
Sometimes doing what is moral, is the reason for taking up arms. If arms are taken up for any other reason it is out of patriotism. So, what is moral? That is a great philosophical question and can be the source of endless debate. It it turns out to be a tough question, fine it can be hashed out. Normally what is the moral thing to do is completely obvious.