Essay talk:Ethnicity and Nationalism

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I've always understood ethnicity as a cultural link between a group of people made up of ... culture, I guess. So ethnic pride is more of a subcategory of cultural pride to me.

[rant]But then there are all these application forms on which 'Asian' is apparently an ethnicity... never understood why Americans need to lump all "Far-East Asians that have black hair and yellowish skin" into 'Asian', but annoyingly it's made its way onto prominent college application forms among other things.[/rant]

This essay made some interesting points about ethnicity perception and a link to nationalism (which I've never considered). I would think the multiculti/melting pot countries like the US, Canada, the UK, etc. are doing a fantastic job of disconnecting nationalism from ethnicity, though, so the link may yet disappear (hopefully nationalism can disappear too someday, but eh, probably not).

Anyways, well done! Nullahnung (talk) 23:42, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks!--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 00:41, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure how relevant it is to your essay, but i think it is interesting that the children of immigrants in England consider themselves British rather English, while the natives consider themselves English rather than British. I do not know if children of immigrants in Scotland consider themselves British or Scottish, or how that might change with a potentially independent Scotland. On side note, I recall the look of horror on my dad's face when fold by a black lady she is a 'cockney, born in the sound of bow bells' AMassiveGay (talk) 01:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I think this is probably because "English" is an ethnicity, while "British" is a nationality. Not being from England, the immigrants would rather identify themselves with the country, rather than with the English themselves, since being English is necessarily in opposition to being Scottish or Welsh, while no such distinction exists for "British". Since the children have no ancestors (as far as they know) from any of these 3 ethnicities, they would prefer to identify with the nation-state. Of course, this is just speculation.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 13:30, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi there! Just read your essay. And while I'm at generally sympathetic to your point (and don't mistake me for a far-right nationalist on this one), there's another way to view a thorny issue such ethnicity. While it is true that it's more on a believed or perceived common lineage/ancestry, to say that it's an imaginary construct may be missing the point. More often than not (or at least as most people would see iit), "blood" is not necessarily tied to genetics or strict genealogy. The way I see it, it tends to be cultural and loaded with various socio-cultural and historical roots that give it some continuity. True, modern-day Greeks or even the Greeks of the later Byzantine Empire may not be the same as the Greeks of Aristotle or Alexander's time. But similarly to the Chinese in relation to the early Imperial dynasties or the Italians to Ancient Rome, that doesn't necessarily mean that there are no ties binding them, that those claims are pulled out of thin air or that they have no impact on the present. In other words, even if their origins are shrouded in myth, there's as a rule of thumb enough solid grounding to be very much real.

Perhaps my thoughts on nationalism are more along the lines of Anthony D. Smith (Ethnosymbolism) and Kwame Anthony Appiah (Cosmopolitan Patriotism) than Benedict "Imagined Communities" Anderson. But as one may put it, there's a lot of baggage behind a simple phrase like "Spanish blood" or "Filipino blood" (which is paradoxical given how Filipinos are by and large a mestizo society in contrast to some other parts of East Asia as a result of centuries of global trade). But, well, food for thought I guess. (talk) 06:25, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for your input. Could you elaborate on what these "ties" are?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 19:05, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Regarding those ties, I can't really give a thorough coverage of them, even considering the varied forms thereof. However, I'll try to give the gist of it. though a good deal of it would fall under cultural nationalism or ethnosymoblism. Aside from language, there are also traditions (of the oral, written and familial kind), cultural norms, shared experiences, religion and the like, which may have historic roots one way or another even if they're not politically united. Take for example the pre-unification Italian states: each region, kingdom and city-state spoke varied dialects and had (and even now still have) various customs associated with them. Yet even as early as Dante or Machiavelli's time, there was a perception that they saw themselves as "Italian" rather than mere Christendom. A clearer example perhaps would be the Swiss: comprised of various Alpine cantons and linguistic groups from neighboring parts of Europe (not to mention a Protestant branch emerging among some of said cantons during the Reformation), it may seem unlikely for a Swiss nationalism or national identity to emerge. And yet the history, customs, shared bonds etc. among the cantons' denizens at that part of the world provided a relatively solid ground for the Confederatio Helvetica to take a life of its own even as the cantons retain their distinct identities. (talk) 02:38, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether these ties would be desirable. In some cases, they could unite people who speak different languages, like you said. But for people who are already united by language (such as the Greeks), it seems to me that this ethnosymbolism would be somewhat superfluous, and would lead to a deeper attachment to nationalism and a stronger distrust of foreigners. Being tied more strongly to a group of people would, I think, require being somewhat "severed" or more separated from everyone else.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 01:53, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
As you brought up, it varies on case to case, depending on the contexts and/or cultures involved; it's not necessarily applicable for every polity. Though perhaps that's the rub. One paradox about nationalism, or hell, the concepts of family, tribe, societies, nations, etc. is that they're at once universal and particular; they exist objectively speaking yet the contexts of one group don't always necessarily apply to another (whether or not it also reflects a persistent paradox of the human condition is another debate though). Perhaps a better way to put it would be that traditions, customs and cultural/national heritage in all their subjectivity generally matter to people. Being tied more strongly to a people does not in itself exclude conversation, tolerance or collaboration no more than being more devout or being a civil nationalist of the American style makes you less likely to be accepting of foreigners or non-believers (ultranationalists and fundamentalists notwithstanding, of course). Though with an issue as sensitive and broad as nationalism, it's easy for some people to go "full on Godwin" for their approach on it in the similar way that some equate religion to crusading/jihadi zealots, atheists to "godless communists" or capitalists to "fat cat" stereotypes. And just to make sure there's no misunderstanding, I'm not implicating you on that even if we can agree to disagree. (talk) 04:18, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I used a poor choice of words. Of course, "Being tied more strongly to a people does not in itself exclude conversation, tolerance or collaboration". I was certainly not implying that nationalism of any kind automatically makes one a chauvinist. What I was trying to say is that stronger ties to one ethnic group mean weaker ties to other ones, and I am not sure that this is, in general, a good thing.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 20:06, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Point taken. Though even that depends on context as well as how one frames ethnic groups. For instance, the Germans still see themselves as particular regional peoples as well as Germans (Bavarians, Saxons, former East Germans, etc), and that's not mentioning neighboring Deutsch-speaking countries like Austria and Switzerland or the Scandinavian countries to the north. Yet by and large, they (usually) get along pretty well or at least tolerate each others' existence peacefully. I'm also more inclined to think that varying on context, one can belong to different ethnicities yet still share either the same one or an overarching identity. "Human" might be too generic that it's meaningless, though "German," "European" or such can work better. (talk) 06:28, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
On the other hand you have Austrians generally not having a high regard for Germans in their country. German businessmen being looked down upon as less intelligent or of inferior capability to Austrian businessmen, German students being annoyingly prolific in the Austrian universities, etc. I think there are a lot of negatives that come with nationalist sentiments. Nullahnung (talk) 15:19, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Cultural nationalism[edit]

What is your assessment of cultural nationalism? Using culture in some form as a determinant of national identity does not seem to suffer from some of the shortcomings of the others you discuss; for example, it is not as fluid and arbitrary as what you call "nationality," but neither does it have the iron rigidity of the common-descent criterion used in ethnic nationalism — instead of relying on the truth of some mythology of national origins, the rallying point would become the mythology itself, as a cultural artifact rather than a true story. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:40, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think I can give a satisfactory answer, since I don't have any access right now to the books in the Wikipedia article's bibliography. Still, I think I can say that language is the main factor in determining ethnicity, and (in my opinion) the most realistic one. I don't imagine there would be much difference (other than the language) between (say) a computer programmer from Paris and one from Athens. What relation would the two have with the mythologies (as you put it) of their respective countries, and why should this somehow make them separate?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 19:05, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
@ListenerX: The rallying point being the mythology requires that people even care about the mythology. If they don't then that's not a comprehensive enough criterion. On the other hand, everybody uses a language and therefore language is a comprehensive enough criterion to use for at least part of any identity reasoning.
@Krej: I think a difficult case is the wide variety of TCKs (Third Culture Kids) that globalization has brought with it. You have the multi-lingual ones who are just a weird case of "I can't figure out what exactly I am! I guess I'm just a TCK."
Then there's the ones who sort of live between two cultures, but really are not multi-lingual at all. You know, all those ABCs (American-born Chinese) who have never bothered to learn to speak Chinese, but nevertheless have family ties with Chinese culture. They are an interesting case. I would find it likely for them to identify as Chinese, ethnically, but really, they are American, because absence of Chinese language skills.
What do you think? Nullahnung (talk) 20:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant to say that language is the main factor in the genesis of the ethnic group itself, not in the case of an individual's opinion regarding his/her ethnicity, such as the children of Chinese immigrants you mentioned (though language is certainly an important factor for them too). In the case of ethnogenesis, it makes sense that people who can actually understand each other will tend to band together against the foreigners who speak an unintelligible language, and I think all the mythology and cultural factors are secondary and come later. (Though certainly there are cases where the mythology and culture are pervasive enough that they manage to split apart groups that have the same language or unite groups that have different ones).--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 21:13, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't imagine there would be much difference (other than the language) between (say) a computer programmer from Paris and one from Athens. Uh, right; similarly, there is not much difference between the engineers who work for the Institute for Creation Research and the ones who head up al-Qaeda. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:19, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Religion is not ethnicity-specific. Supposing both programmers were atheists?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 19:41, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
In that case, one would be a Catholic atheist and the other a Greek Orthodox atheist. One can chatter all one wants about the irrelevance of culture, but people still manage to experience culture-shock when they move to a new country, regardless of whether or not they speak the local language. Even within the U.S., people who leave my home state of Minnesota sometimes experience a bit of culture shock when they move to places that do not share our traditional customs of reserve and self-restraint. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 10:17, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Yet you don't see Minnesota trying to separate from the U.S.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 17:33, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
What's that got to do with the price of fish? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:40, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
What I meant by that remark was: how do you determine how much cultural difference is sufficient to warrant nationalism? And why should it warrant nationalism?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 16:45, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
That question is irrelevant to the merits of culture vs. language and ethnicity as determinants of national identity, since it also applies to linguistic and ethnic forms of nationalism.
But the question has the same answer in all three cases: If cultural/linguistic/ethnic differences are "sufficient to warrant nationalism," it will be irrelevant whether some political scientists think nationalism is "warranted" or not.
For example, if during the period of the Troubles someone had broached the idea that there was not enough of a difference between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland to "warrant nationalism" (though both groups speak the same language), it would not have stopped the IRA from killing people and/or blowing things up.
By contrast, although Minnesota has more of an independent cultural identity than many other states (thanks in part to the work of Garrison Keillor and other regional writers), it is not being seriously suggested that our cultural distinctives set us so far apart from the rest of the U.S. as to constitute a separate national identity. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 10:01, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Wait, I don't think I understand what we're talking about. Could you clarify what you mean by "discussing the merits" of various types of nationalism?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 00:14, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I started the section talking about culture as a determinant of national identity, and how it does not share some of the shortcomings of ethnicity and citizenship that you outlined in your essay. You seemed to be arguing that language could cause the necessary divisions, while culture could not. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:51, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by shortcomings, but I if I ever implied that culture can't cause ethnic splits, that was certainly not my intention. I mentioned the Chinese and Serbs/Croats near the beginning of the essay. When I said that "language is the main factor in determining ethnicity, and (in my opinion) the most realistic one" I meant that it's usually the most significant one.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 11:10, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

The Cricket Test[edit]

It's really quite easy - it all depends on which sports team you cheer for. Well, as long as you're Norman Tebbit. Placeholder (talk) 09:45, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

The Meaninglessness of Necessity: A Commentary on the Essay's Conclusion[edit]

Hi! I thought it might be a good idea to give my two cents on the essay's conclusion: namely, on whether nationalism's necessary or if it's better to jettison it as the supposedly religious, irrational fiend that it is.

To start of, it's interesting how you've brought up Michael Ignatieff's writings on extreme nationalism. What he wrote in Blood and Belonging is indeed poignant, but it's also relevant perhaps to point to how his worldview over time developed to accomodate patriotism; in fact one of his more recent books was even called True Patriot Love], which doesn't so much rebuke his previous arguments so much as is an evolution of them, though it's at least in part a pragmatic move. To wit, nationalism need not be violent (and barring extremist examples, isn't) or exclusive. As he put it himself, “With love of country, you have to keep it simple. You love what you love, and that’s good enough for you.”

As for the conclusion itself, that is something of a tall order. If, as others have mentioned that the question of "warranting" nationalism is meaningless in light of cultural/linguistic/ethnic factors and the contexts they take place in (which may make the "necessity" argument moot especially when what is considered "good" is its own messed bag of subjectivity), would it also make it pointless to jettison it, as with religion? A world without, say, jihads or crusades would not necessarily be one where killing in the name of one's beliefs (secular or otherwise) is unknown. Even if one were to erase the world's borders tomorrow and remove the notion of different polities, it's not going to end bloodshed between individuals or societies.

Also, would efforts to promote a rational universalism be seen as a sign of privilege, a kind of imperialism under enlightened pretensions, or a threat to a culture's way of life? I suppose the risk is that on the one hand, people do find meaning in certain values or traditions that can come across as irrational (they may not need them objectively speaking, yet they still either want or need them anyway) and that people are in some way or another not fully rational. Another is that the rationalism such arguments are based on can devolve into a different kind of tribalism, with "us" being "humanity" and "them" being "everyone not subscribing to us." The paradox being that an effort to purge nationalism can become over time its own brand of nationalism. Any effort to mitigate the extremes of both sides would have to put into account the particular, the local, and the national.

Of course, we can all agree to disagree. But it may be wise to point out that, paraphrasing Pico Iyer, while nationalism breeds monsters, internationalism breeds them too. Or perhaps this: "Leo Tolstoy , in the same spirit, inveighed against the “stupidity” of patriotism. “to destroy war, destroy patriotism,” . . . a couple of decades before the tsar was swept away by a revolution in the name of the international working class.” (Kwame Anthony Appiah) (talk) 03:17, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Without nationalism we might or might not devolve into some form of tribalism (or again nationalism), who knows. It may be a part of us that just comes naturally. Myself, I've been living perfectly fine with little to no nationalism, but that is because I haven't been in one place all my life, instead being on different continents for some time, which is not an option for everyone.
I don't see how internationalism has a tendency towards things like Leninism/Stalinism, being an internationalist myself. It is not a necessary or likely component, in my opinion. Nullahnung (talk) 09:18, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I suppose it depends on how one defines nationalism in the first place, especially given the muddy tendencies to mix this up with "patriotism." Personally, my views on patriotism are more like Ignatieff's or Orwell's; another way to put it would be that being a citizen of the world does not exclude being a patriot for one's homeland. As for the issue on internationalism, I'm not saying that it leads to Leninism/Stalinism no more than nationalism leads to Nazism. Rather, internationalism's problem spots if you will can be akin to on the one hand a bland universalism such as Peter Singer's principles taken to its logical, utilitarian conclusion. Or to quote Pico Iyer again, it's "the culpability not of the assassin, but of the bystander who takes a snapshot of the murder. Or, when the revolution catches fire, hops on the next plane out." Or Edmund Burke's critique of Kant: a lover of his kind, a hater of his kindred.
Another issue is that other extreme manifestation of internationalism, one fueled by an ideology that's perceived as global and with a desire to force everyone else comply. Take Islamic fundamentalists who, as Kwame Anthony Appiah noted, eerily share at least some commonalities with secular globally-minded idealists except for certain details. It needn't be religious or socialist either; one need look at hardline libertarians dreaming of remolding the world in Ayn Rand's image, anarchist groups longing to do the same (except with black flags and anyone for the establishment "out of the picture") or the more fervent supporters of techno-utopianism who think that humanity would be better united in an eletronic hive mind. Come to think of it, it also calls to mind Orwell's critique of both internationalism and nationalism.
Anyway, I'm not saying that internationalism is bad at all. In fact, you could say that both nationalism and internationalism in a sense need each other in a sort of feedback loop. What I am suggesting in part here is that one needs to find nuance and understanding of the particular lest it devolves into a reverse sort of bigotry, going back to the "elitist/privileged/imperialist" connotations. (talk) 09:45, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Among intellectuals with a mind for the bigger picture it has always been popular to criticize so-called 'isms', which is not to say your everyday harmless Kantism or Cubism, but the isms that want something. An example was the Chinese academic scene after the fall of old pre-1900 China, needing to fill a vacuum of ideology that was left in China and debating fervently about the options of isms that were available at the time, or whether we need them (all that debating went to naught when Mao just came in and conducted the revolution under his own ideology which was very much nationalist).
Therefore I should think that we should be careful of great ideas or great attitudes. As you say, nationalism or internationalism may be quite harmless if we don't push for some great direction with it.
I also still think that nationalism includes a tendency towards exclusion/inclusion that is dangerous, and that internationalism does not. You may say there are dangers in the internationalist notions of including everyone, but I say that I see it everyday at international communities and I don't sense any danger. Nullahnung (talk) 10:04, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
(Same person here)As I said, we can agree to disagree. Though I'm inclined to agree to a point, I'm also of the opinion that people in general are not universalist in the sense of including everyone...only in the end to include no-one (Or as an old saying goes, being everywhere and nowhere at once). Also, it may depend on how international internationalism actually is. There is such a thing as "imaginary cosmopolitanism." Just because we believe ourselves global or international doesn't necessarily mean we actually are or want to be. Still, point taken. (talk) 11:07, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

The importance of nationalism in the early 20th century[edit]

It's important to remember that what nationalism replaced was a sense of identity based on your hometown/region, and those you, in almost a feudal way, owed fealty to as superiors. In the early 20th century, nationalism manifested in Europe, as one of the major forces behind WWI(after biggies like complex treaties and colonialism), people started identifying as Germans, Italians, British, French, Austrian as the progress of 19th century technology helped move people faster and freer.

In a lot of ways, we became a bigger world with larger communities, and those fell into conflict with each-other, and I wouldn't want to regress to before nationalism. Ikanreed (talk) 18:45, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm not saying we should "regress to before nationalism". I'm just saying these "larger communities" should merge into even larger ones. That's my point; identities should become broader and not smaller and tied to a small area.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 18:48, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
But was the 20th century progression natural, socially enforced, or happenstance?
If it was natural, is it an inevitable consequence of the internet that the larger community you seek will develop?
If it was socially enforced, how on earth do you imagine pushing the larger idea on the whole world?
If it was happenstance, why are we talking about it?
Ikanreed (talk) 21:05, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
What does "natural" mean and how does it differ from "socially enforced" (of which I also have to ask what that means)? Also unclear is how "natural" differs from "happenstance".
Also, globalization has many components of which the internet is but one, and it is unclear whether it is the largest driver, I certainly would not be sure of that.
Eventually people may regard each other as just people, as globalization proceeds, or it may never happen, who knows. Nullahnung (talk) 21:29, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

The big issue with nationalism...[edit]

For most people, their nationality is an attribute just like the skin colour. You're born with it, and for the most part, you can't change it (some people can, but there's a limit on the number, often made explicit). Imagine a world where there's a quota on the number of blacks who can hold jobs in the whites sector. Where blacks running away from some trouble in the whites sector are imprisoned indefinitely for coming across into the whites sector. That would be a very racist word. Our world is very nationalist, in the same way that this hypothetical example is racist - those examples happen, on the basis of nationality rather than race. Before the effective passports, record keeping, and databases, one could only commit such extreme acts of discrimination based on the physical features such as skin colour, and that is why we associate racism with this sort of prejudice. But as technology evolved, the extreme prejudice no longer required the skin colour as an identifier; the racism as the tool of prejudice gave way to the nationalism as the tool of prejudice in much the same way how the bronze axe gave way to the iron axe. Dmytry (talk) 17:09, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

You are being very sloppy with this comparison. You can't just equate nationalism with racism simply by saying that most people are born with their nationality and can't change it and that people are discriminated against because of their nationality. Fact remains that you gain your nationality simply on the grounds of where your parents gave birth to you, and a lot of countries allow you to change your passport to theirs upon fulfilling certain conditions. Take classism for example. Same things apply. You are often born with your social standing and are unable to change it because it is difficult and you are discriminated against by this identifier. You still wouldn't equate classism with racism because you can in fact change your social standing by being successful.
Furthermore you say "racism as the tool of prejudice gave way to the nationalism as the tool of prejudice in much the same way how the bronze axe gave way to the iron axe", as if racism was somehow an obsolete and outdated thing compared to nationalism (or maybe I should just chalk that up to a bad use of analogy). This is blatantly not true, as racism is very rampant in today's world and on a different level to nationalism. Nullahnung (talk) 07:09, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, nobody stopped using bronze overnight either. The skin colour is just a cruder tool - what do you do about half tones? How black is black? Also, "Fact remains that you gain your nationality simply on the grounds of where your parents gave birth to you" is generally untrue, it's generally passed on the basis of nationality of parents, and "a lot of countries allow you to change your passport to theirs upon fulfilling certain conditions" is not an inherent property of nationalism, nor is it, by large, relevant - the fact that you can fulfil the condition of running away doesn't negate slavery, and the fact that a rich Saudi man can become an Australian citizen doesn't negate the problem refugees from a war zone face. edit: spelling Dmytry (talk) 10:11, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
People will continue to be discriminated against depending on things like skin colour (which I understand is one of the main criteria used in racism) no matter how crude you or I think it is. If racism is bronze and nationalism is iron, then what is classism? Aluminium? It's just a bad analogy with the metals, so let's just drop it instead of trying to make it fit.
In my experience you are issued a passport for the country after you are born in it, it doesn't matter what passport your parents are holding, only where they happen to give birth to you, but I could be wrong about some countries. Nullahnung (talk) 10:37, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Eh, you know what, I just realised that many people don't even have passports because passports are needed for transcending the boundaries of nations (travel around and become a global citizen, basically you get it if you're privileged). Thus many people who don't have passports (because they are not wealthy enough to travel) are stuck, to an extent, in their own countries (just like they are stuck with their skin colour) and that perpetuates nationalism and thus discrimination based on nationalism and in that way nationalism has similarities with racism. I will admit that you have a point. I'm still not happy about your use of analogy to make racism seem obsolete, though. Nullahnung (talk) 10:49, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not equating nationalism to racism. I'm saying that nationalism is a tool currently serving the same purpose which racism used to serve in some countries which got notably less racist. Certain primates, including our closest non-human relatives, really like to be assholes to the out-group, that's the main behaviour which results in the creation of discriminatory isms. That a small number of out-groups are vetted into the in-group changes little about the innate destructiveness of this behaviour (because it's a small amount of difference). Also, most countries are Jus sanguinis, few are Jus soli. Dmytry (talk) 11:05, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
"I'm saying that nationalism is a tool currently serving the same purpose which racism used to serve in some countries which got notably less racist." Ok, if you put it that way, then it sounds much more like a supportable statement to me. Nullahnung (talk) 11:32, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

By the way, I live with my girlfriend as foreigners in an eastern EU country (we work there, have mandatory social insurance, pay a ton in taxes for it, etc). You wouldn't believe the shit we had to put up with. Just this Monday, coming to a doctor visit with our very little daughter (born here, citizenships by citizenships of parents), we get told, paperwork is not in order (somehow) so they can't do anything. Something about registering address of the residence or what ever. Need a vaccination, following schedule. Thing is, I submitted all paperwork correctly and had it accepted early this month, no notifications of anything being wrong, and had taken her to a doctor's visit already. Okay, weird, did the place of residence thing for her, was fed up with the government healthcare, gone to a private clinic, for reasons that never got quite clear to me, they can't do the vaccination either (apparently they get vaccine through the government somehow). Eventually got told I need to get her a residence permit, which takes 4 months usually. Now, you can go on how I can get it and have the problems resolved and everything, but so can someone who steps into a racist business that won't serve blacks go and look for a non racist one, this is a very very shitty excuse. Ohh we can change citizenship? **** please. Even if we could do that, which we actually can't, we'd be discriminated against in the original home countries. And this is with my girlfriend and my daughter having citizenship of a certain very very major ally of this place (and me having citizenship of the opposite, heh). It would, of course, be considerably worse for a nation that is not your major ally. What we face is nothing compared to the worse examples. We're fed up, we're moving out and downsizing or completely closing the business. This is not something you can afford to put up when you have kids. (My girlfriend also faced good ol fashioned antisemitism here, without even being Jewish or "of Jewish blood", but that's another story). Let me assure you that when you're a minority being discriminated against, you don't care if it's the eye colour or an arbitrary value in the database that makes you a minority, except the former doesn't have legal standing anymore, whereas the latter is perfectly legal and increasing in intensity. edit: it's probably easier to get a plastic surgery than to change the DB value, not to mention that changing it only makes you be legally discriminated against in the original countries (as in, not permitted to take jobs unless your employer proves he can't find a citizen, for example, subject to employment quotas, etc) Dmytry (talk) 21:55, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm sorry to read that. People take a lot of unnecessary shit because of nationalistic policies for sure and there sure are a lot of meaningless categorisations that are used to separate people into minorities and majorities. At least for nationalism I hope that globalisation as a trend will continue to open up borders and nationality will become more and more obsolete. Nullahnung (talk) 22:19, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that's happening, though. What I expect over the next, say, 35 years: first world to first world migration becomes marginally easier (already easy), but the migration upwards economic inequality becomes even more forbidden. Borders will be literally more fenced, and people allowed through the border will be more severely discriminated against (if discrimination will be severe enough, maybe a larger number of people would be allowed through). It's kind of ridiculous - you can't refuse to hire a gay person because they're gay, yet you are often legally required to demonstrate that no citizen wants the job before you can hire a foreigner. Dmytry (talk) 09:27, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Only time will tell. Nullahnung (talk) 10:20, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I do hope you're right and I'm wrong but the general trends with regards to that specific issue don't seem promising to me. Dmytry (talk) 20:55, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't really surprise me. Maybe its just because I'm Jewish. My relatives left the Austrian Galicia and Lithuania for a reason you know, and they were glad they left too. The Eastern European states were divided up by ethnicity after the fall of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Anyone who ended up on the wrong side of the border quickly got on the right side of the border, and often they were forced to do so at the point of a bayonet. My position on Nationalism can best be described by what I wrote on a potential Iraqi partition about a week ago on the Saloon Bar Page: Here's the problem with partitioning Iraq. If you are going to partition Iraq you might as well partition Syria and take out pieces of Iraq and Turkey to form a new Kurdish state. The Kurdish state and Sunni Arab states created from a partition of Iraq would be landlocked which may be fine in central Europe but is generally a bad thing when applied to developing countries especially ones in which the building of a desalinization plant is a forgone conclusion. And yes partition does in fact cause ethnic cleansing. Look at an ethnic map of the Balkans or even the rest of Eastern Europe from two hundred years ago and compare it to a recent ethnic map of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The ethnic homogeneity of the Eastern and Southern European nation states is indeed product of ethnic cleansing coercive or aggressive. Nevertheless the reason why partition was used was to avoid bloody civil wars (like the one we are seeing in both Iraq and Syria) and it was even tactically supported by some European communists. Indeed the Soviets (judging by their actions in regards to Eastern Europe, and by their insistence on giving minorities autonomy within the Soviet Union itself) figured that it would be easier to talk about the internal issue of economic inequality and hence justify communist rule in an ethnically homogeneous country where hatred of the "other" (ethnic groups) isn't an internal issue. Anyway my view of this conflict is that it will go on until there is a partition of Syria, if not both Iraq and Syria, not because of what is happening in Iraq but because of what is happening in Syria (The two groups in that civil war both have way too much to lose for it to end in a clear cut victory for either side). That or we could simply replace Assad and the current Iraqi government with more strong-arm dictators and/or monarchs. The only European country that was founded as Republic as opposed to a feudal monarchy that I can think of where ethnicity and religion weren't and aren't divisive issues (literally) is Switzerland which has an extremely decentralized government perhaps even more so than the United States. Even the various decolonized African republics tend to be religiously homogeneous and the ones that aren't tend to face internal issues because they aren't. Hence while you (and civilized people of all ethnic groups and religions generally) may not like partitions and the inevitable ethnic cleansing that follows, as long as they aren't followed up by an outright genocide the international community tolerates them as a necessary tool for maintaining internal stability. (I feel like it's cheating to quote myself but this basically sums up my views on ethnic or religious based Nationalism). In any case the Eastern European states are all ethnic based Nation states, therefore the nationalism present in those states will focus on ethnicity. Ethnic based nationalism is obviously based on ethnicity so naturally people who are not of the same ethnic will not be seen as part of the same nationality and therefore they will be seen as outsiders (this attitude is not exclusive to eastern Europe, Japan is an excellent example of an ethnic based nationality). Finally, as you may have guessed by now I am a bit resigned to this entire idea as I prefer to focus on economic oppression, however anyone interested in social justice however is almost guaranteed to find the concept of ethnic based nationalism absolutely infuriating. Alsto003 (talk) 04:55, 4 October 2014 (UTC) Alex

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It seems to me that it is related to economic oppression in many ways. It permits inequality to rise past the point where people would move (moving is no small feat btw). As for the ethnic nationalism as a tool for maintaining stability, I don't think regional ethnic purity actually worked, though. The Soviet Union broke down, after all. Yes, it did re-settle a lot of Polish people out from Lithuania, but I don't think it was a good idea, strategically speaking, and I think almost all of it happened under Stalin. And in Iraq, well, however you slice it the pieces would still end up doing jihad on one another, or even divide further. Ethnic divisions can be made as finely as to make 7 billion ethnicities on this planet, or as broadly as to make 1, it's very arbitrary. Dmytry (talk) 20:55, 4 October 2014 (UTC)


:D --ZooGuard (talk) 13:51, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

What, is it a tabloid or something?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 21:58, 22 February 2015 (UTC)