Derek Parfit

Take a Swede who is proud of his country’s peaceful record. He might have a similar divided attitude. He may not be disturbed by the thought that Sweden once fought aggressive wars; but if she had recently fought such wars he would be greatly disturbed. Someone might say, “This man’s attitude is indefensible. The wars of Gustavus, or of Karl XII, are as much part of Swedish history.” This truth cannot, I think, support this criticism. Modern Sweden is indeed continuous with the aggressive Sweden of the Vasa kings. But the connections are weak enough to justify this man’s attitude.

Derek Parfit, ‘On “The Importance of Self-Identity”‘, The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 68, no. 20 (October, 1971), p. 685