Essay talk:Why Nationalism Is Nonsense

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You're missing the most important point[edit]

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 that poses the question: What do we replace the nation state with? And how do we get rid of the belief in nation-states? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 07:23, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Great. Clyde Winters The Tribal Chieftan Of the Black Celts from the Battle of Teutoburg Forest (talk) 07:37, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
I take it that you agree with all or most of my points? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 08:30, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
All but the idea of nation states. I mean countries without monarchs where the fed gov played a large role existed before the French rev i.e. the U.S.A Clyde Winters The Tribal Chieftan Of the Black Celts from the Battle of Teutoburg Forest (talk) 08:38, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
The US did not become a nation-state in any modern sense until well after the French revolution. Even during the Civil War the vast majority of US citizens identified more with their state than the Union as a whole. (hence the phrasing "these united states", which was common until 1861 and fell out of favor from 1865 onwards). This might be a reason why the usurpers who wrote the constitution (I use it as a technical term, as they had no formal authority to write a constitution what with the reform of the inherently flawed articles of confederation being their supposed job) chose an "elected monarch" (the president) as the highest figure. And the degree of reverence to the office (though not necessarily the person) of the president might suggest he still functions as in essence a replacement monarch... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 08:45, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
You're right actually, I remember during the War of 1812 a major reason the U.S. was unsuccessful was because it was full of militia (especially early on) who joined up to defend their own states. They had low morale. Clyde Winters The Tribal Chieftan Of the Black Celts from the Battle of Teutoburg Forest (talk) 09:08, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

I think there are different types of nationalism, and some types are worse than others. I think the most harmful kinds are defined in terms of ethnicity, religion, or some combination of the two. Less harmful are those defined in terms of language - "we don't care what your ancestry, skin colour or religion is, so long as you speak X". Least harmful are purely civic nationalisms - defined in terms of an allegiance to a particular civic polity and its secular values, without focus on ethnicity, religion or language. A good example of a civic nationalism is Scottish nationalism - the SNP's idea of an independent Scotland is muticultural, multifaith, and multilingual (obviously primarily English, but valuing the traditional languages of Scots and Gaelic, and having a progressive attitude towards the languages of immigrant minorities). I'd also point to nations like US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as being examples of civic nationalism. They all officially embrace multiculturalism, multiracialism, religious freedom/diversity. In say the US, in most places the language policy is reasonably laissez faire and progressive (barring pockets of English-onlyism). Canada, despite much stricter laws about language, is officially bilingual, so Canada as a whole cannot be accused of linguistic nationalism (different story at the provincial level). There isn't such a thing as an American ethnicity, or a Canadian ethnicity, or an Australian ethnicity, or so on. To compare this with Zionism, it is a form of ethnic/religious nationalism (the Law of Return is defined as a hybrid of ethnic and religious components - Jewish atheists are allowed, but Jewish converts to other religions especially Christianity are not; converts to Judaism are accepted, but with active controversy over whether to accept all converts or only those approved by the Orthodox religious authorities - which was the norm until recently). So Zionism is at the most harmful end of the nationalism spectrum. Blacke (talk) 22:36, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Ah... there we go again. A long rant with only one goal: To delegitimize and demonize Israel. And of course it applies a double standard designed to let Israel look bad. You do know that the only country in the world with an openly racist citizenship law is not Israel, but Liberia (there was a debate on my talk page regarding that some time ago), don't you? And you do also know that Israel has a number of citizens who define themselves as Arabs, Druze, Beduin, Circassian or a number of non-Jewish things. Some of them even serve in the IDF. As opposed of course to Hamas, that not only enslaves women and kills gays and people who dare to drink, but not content with Hamastan being free of any living Jews destroyed the synagogues the Jews had left behind to make even the trace of Jewish live disappear. But Israel is the evil one. Got it. And I am sorry to the author of this essay for the flamewar that is about to start on this talk page, but if smart people are silent, the idiots rule the world. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 22:50, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
What "double standard" am I applying? I criticise Zionism as a form of ethnoreligious nationalism, considering ethnic, religious, ethnoreligious nationalism to be among the most harmful forms of nationalism. To have a double standard, I'd have to support other examples of those three forms of nationalism. But I don't. I'm opposed to the religious nationalism of Saudi Arabia and Iran just as much as I am opposed to the ethnoreligious nationalism of Israel. I'm opposed to Liberia's citizenship law - Israeli law is not discriminatory in the way which Liberia's law is, but that does not mean that Israel's law is non-discriminatory. Discrimination can take the form of downright prohibition (such as Liberia), or the form of preference (Israel - both Jews and Arabs can be citizens, but citizenship is far easier to achieve for the former than for the later.) And I don't support Hamas - their Islamism is a form of religious nationalism, so I oppose it just as much as I oppose Zionism. Blacke (talk) 23:03, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

"Waged war for the freedom of the inhabitants"[edit]

In a war where two countries are fighting (for nationalistic reasons) for control of a disputed and ethnically mixed area, it seems to me that, in general, no matter which side wins, the freedoms or privileges of at least one of the ethnic groups living in that area will be curtailed by the victorious group. (Unless, of course, the war is being waged for non-nationalist reasons to topple a dictatorship and install democracy rather than "to protect our ethnic brothers".) But what exactly do you mean by "freedoms"?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 21:55, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Your point being? We know that in almost all cases nationalism is a face for ill and not for good. Which does not necessarily mean we should arbitrarily deny one nation their right to a state while granting it to another, though. That would be a similar kind of wrong as would be denying black people second amendment rights while granting them to whites... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 22:21, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
My point being that I don't really understand what you mean by "waging war for freedom". Who is fighting for freedom? As it stands, it sounds like these "freedom fighters" could be either both sides, or the British. Also, it is unclear what exactly you mean by "freedom".--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 22:38, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Who says that and where? And in which context? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 22:57, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

"Nationalism can stop people from questioning their country's actions "[edit]

1: Weasel words 2: Look at any liberal social democracy's latent nationalist groups. You can guarantee they are advocating a change of policy and occasionally decrying the recent actions of their nation as being too nice to the furriners. What actually happens is Nationalism encourages people to question their country's actions as being too nice. (talk) 19:03, 18 February 2016 (UTC)