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Essay:Why Nationalism Is Nonsense

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Essay.svg This essay is an original work by Kosterortiizbrock.
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Nationalism is mostly "Your head makes it real" - politics. Prior to the early 19th century, there were no nation states and the very concept arose in the French revolution at the earliest (when it was used as "the nation" in opposition to "the monarch") modern nationalism in the ethnic or even racial sense it is understood today is a result of early romanticism and the fight against Napoleon (he was worth fighting against, but not for those reasons). In 1870 a person from Straßburg had difficulty understanding a person from Posen (because they would most likely speak French or Polish, respectively) and a person from Vienna had more in common with a person in Munich than one in Munich with one in Hamburg. Still the German "nation state" came into being in 1871 claiming to somehow "always have existed". This is of course complete and utter bunk. Nation states are without exceptions recent inventions and their very existence had to be achieved by force. This is one of the reasons why they are doing so much harm, especially in countries where it is an imported concept. Be it the ultra-nationalist military dictatorships of Latin America or the countries in Africa torn apart by ethnic strife as the ruling elite thinks along ethnic lines. And Asian nationalism is not much better for that matter as we can see with East-Timor or the situation of the "Koreans" in Japan. In short, not only is nationalism bunk and make-believe politics that only has any importance because people believe the myth, it is also a rather recent concept, that replaces the old feudal loyalty to the ruler as a person or institution with the more esoteric concept of loyalty to a nation (how ever make believe it may be). But if human nature means the yokels need something or somebody to be loyal to, be it Christendom, the Umma, the (god)king or the nation state[...].
- Avengerofthe BoN on Nations and Nationalism.

Nationalism is common across many countries and many people within those countries- it can even and has surpassed various ethnic, racial and class distinctions. I realize this is a controversial topic but I will attempt to explain why Nationalism is a nonsensical concept.

Supporting one's Country Simply Because they were Born There[edit]

It is unlikely one would feel the same way about the U.S.A if they were born in Russia or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or even the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is also unlikely for citizens of the previously named countries to feel love or great support for other countries and if so it is likely based on their own reasons based on research (a faulty conclusion or not) not because they were simply born there.

Sense of Superiority[edit]

A sense of superiority arises from Nationalism, this can result in violence, hatred, bullying, verbal abuse or other hateful/xenophobic acts. It is often misguided if not always. For example Russians can see themselves as the greatest country for some feats, while ignoring how many things they use/enjoy in their lives have came from England or Scotland or New York or Baltimore. Americans may decide they (as Americans, not the particular American who did) invented the internet and are therefore superior intellectuals to the British who participated in creating the web or Charles Babbage.

Impairs Rationality[edit]

Nationalism can stop people from questioning their country's actions and encourage blind jingoism. A severe consequence of this is electing faulty leaders and supporting laws/policies attempting to force and or introduce this nationalism and or jingoism open others. Critical thinking can result in shunning or one may refuse to think critically of his country in fear of shattering one's concepts of nationalism.

Taking Pride in Other's Accomplishments[edit]

Nationalists frequently take pride in things as their nations discoveries/inventions/etc instead of the person who is responsible for them and this can encourage/support their current ideals further. For example an American may say they beat the French in the Quasi War when in the mean time they were not even born and their ancestors probably had nothing significant to do with the situation whatsoever- and if they did it wouldn't be a reason to associate it with an accomplishment having to do with them, hundreds of years later and participating in absolutely no aspect of the crisis whatsoever. A British subject may say they beat Argentina while the reality could be they were in fact passed out on their couch with the tv still on after a drunken fight with a close relative while the actual combatants waged war for the freedom of the inhabitants and risked their lives.

Conclusion[edit]

Nationalism is a junk concept and should be largely abandoned.