make liberty a convenient handle for mock patriotism

gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi there,

"The civilization of the bulk of the people of Europe, is very partial; nay, it may be made a question, whether they have acquired any virtues in exchange for innocence, equivalent to the misery produced by the vices that have been plastered over unsightly ignorance, and the freedom which has been bartered for splendid slavery. The desire of dazzling by riches, the most certain pre-eminence that man can obtain, the pleasure of commanding flattering sycophants, and many other complicated low calculations of doting self-love, have all contributed to overwhelm the mass of mankind, and make liberty a convenient handle for mock patriotism."

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/3420/pg3420-images.html (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman #2 in our series by Mary Wollstonecraft) (Chapter I)

What does the underlined part mean?

Thanks

Gil
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It means that people who are feigning some patriotic belief can use talk about "liberty" conveniently in their dishonest rhetoric.
     
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