The Sophistry of the Anti-Nationalist | Modern Liberals Issue with Nationalism

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Politics, US Politics

The attempts to redefine and demonize nationalism is largely an incoherent reaction to the identitarian and “new right” fervor of race realists and self-describing “ethno-nationalists,” the majority of which are European-descent. This makes it very difficult for me to get to the modern liberal, or progressive, but when we read admissions like Arnold Toynbee’s on the direction of International Affairs since the second World War, I cannot help but speak against such deliberation and argumentation, that sounds weak to me.

As I’ve argued, even the nineteenth-century Theosophists were not anti-nationalist in the sense, when the contemporary offers fallacious arguments on why national sovereignty, or the nation-state concept is the root of evil, war, and human division; ergo, borders don’t exist. While criticizing the selfishness that nationhood engenders, the Theosophists in the next breath, encouraged and influenced nationalisms.

Even a few Jesuits, whom Blavatsky considered enemies, aren’t as foolish to not take advantage of the times against the “liberal order,” arguing for a movement that is aiding Catholic anti-liberalism and neo-traditionalism in Europe, or being adapted:

“In order to understand the context, it is useful to mention the ground-breaking article published in July 2017 by the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica and co-authored by the editor, Antonio Spadaro SJ, which talked about the very peculiar theological-political “ecumenical” alliance between evangelical Protestant fundamentalism and Catholic integralism in the USA.” (Faggioli, Massimo. Catholic anti-liberalism and Italy’s new populist government, June 11 2018.)

Yet, we are told that Democrats do not believe in a ‘no borders policy.’ Apparently, some people in the wings loud do; and this thinking honestly comes off as shallow, and uninformed to the history of politics and political thinking. When you ask the person, one quickly realizes the sophistry of their arguments. America is a nation-state — “a country,” with borders and a government; and an economic and cultural nationalism is and was inseparable from liberalism. In order to make it separable would take fallacious arguments and reconstruction of the label, or simply abandonment of liberal republicanism. JFK, Wilson, and the Roosevelts were nationalists. It is the very term nationalism contemporary liberals emotionally abhor, but not the spirit of nationalism. They still use the spirit and thinking of nationalism, especially when it is their idea of a benign, egalitarian form of nationalism.

This is why some actually get afraid if you suggest these resemblances between two seemingly opposing ideologies, American Liberal Republicanism and Italian Fascism, when it comes to the concept of nationalism, as a civic philosophy; rather than their contrasting views on the State. American nationalism comes off as incredibly cliche, plain as a bagel and a hotdog, unconscious (not conscious as expressed in the Italian philosophy of Gentile’s Actualism); lastly, insecure when outside of the contexts of war drumming and the rallying cries against Muslim terrorist organizations and other governments. The U.S. and European countries are in their nationalism unsure, and afraid of itself, ever since the manifestation of that Adolf Hitler and his S.S.. It is Adolf Hitler, who has become what is associated with nationalism and that mystical sense of destiny and romantic fervor of the politician. Any politician displaying any impassioned characteristics and love for country and “homeland” is immediately compared to Hitler — the Right does it to the Left and the Left does it to the Right. Yet, that is not what nationalism is all about.

“So long as nationalism is associated with one particular ethnic or religious group, it will serve to exclude and disadvantage others. The only way to keep the destructive potential of nationalism in check is to fight for a society in which collective identity transcends ethnic and religious boundaries — one in which citizens from all religious or ethnic backgrounds are treated with the same respect as citizens from the majority group.

To effect this transformation is one of the great political challenges of our age. It requires principled resistance to right-wing nationalism, but it can succeed only if those who are most open to diversity abandon their hostility to other forms of nationalism.

One common reaction to the dangerous excesses of nationalism has been to forgo the need for any form of collective identity, exhorting people to transcend tribal allegiances completely. But for better or probably worse, it’s easier to be moved by the suffering of people with whom we have some form of kinship. That is why nationalism remains one of the most powerful vehicles for expanding our circle of sympathy.” (Mounk, Yascha. How Liberals Can Reclaim Nationalism. March 3 2018.)

I have tried to explain this, but it has fallen on death’s ears. The idea that the nation-state is evil is a bad idea, and a fallacy that came only out of the 20th century reaction to the second World War. It ignores the basics of politics and history. It must then take, not me, but me demonstrating more countless credible persons, history, and arguments to explain from the left, or atleast those who are not wasting time and effort redefining terms, because of some smuts with tiki torches and weird hair-cuts screaming “you will not replace us!”:

“Throughout the 20th century, progressives mobilized for social justice most successfully when they spoke in the name of national solidarity rather than focusing exclusively on class-based interests or on abstract notions of justice. Left-wingers often cite the adage that patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel — and with good reason. But it is important to also remember that a deep sense of national commitment underpins the egalitarian institutions we hold dear.

The historian Michael Kazin put it mildly when he wrote that patriotism “is not a popular sentiment on the contemporary left.” The influential British left-wing commentator George Monbiot has equated patriotism with racism: To give in to patriotism, he writes, is to deny the plain truth “that someone living in Kinshasa is of no less worth than someone living in Kensington.”

Yet in giving up on appeals to national solidarity, the left has forgotten the basic political argument that served it so well in the past: that out of the ties that bind together our national communities emerges a deep commitment to the well-being, welfare, and social esteem of our fellow citizens. This recognizes a basic moral intuition: We have deep and encompassing obligations to those we consider our own, based on a shared sense of membership in a community of fate — or more simply, based on our shared national identity.” (Gidron, Noam. The left shouldn’t fear nationalism. It should embrace it. Feb. 8, 2018.)

Vergilius Rex argues, that ‘liberal democracy accepts as its principle, the ‘tolerance of treason’. Liberal democracy accepts as its principle, the enemies of its own nation; or even worst, liberal democracy accepts as its antithesis, liberalism itself.’ He is arguing from a position moreso of the ethnic collective, but characterizes the anti-nationalists. What he says, even of ethnicity, I find valuable, as in my historical perspective of peoples, there is no underlying hatred and jealousy for the European, and its descendants. The American did and does, though faintly, have a culture, and spending time with many immigrants and international students, have shown me also other angles, on how other people perceive Americans and American culture and the habits of the people, in ways U.S. Americans do not notice.

As was argued in Republicanism and Mazzini in the Age of Nationalism, cosmopolitanism did not mean, or equal anti-nationalist, or having no regard for nation, race, religion and the family. This dislike of the label of nationalism is leading the left to demand more social democracy against inequality, while the American right is in an identity crisis, pivoting more and more toward traditional European conservatism and anti-democratic understandings, while still using the language republicanism and law school provides. I say they are in an identity crisis, precisely because of that, and the articles they publish, such as “What is Conservatism?” It clearly leads in the direction of anti-liberalism, something which has become a way of being for this generation conservatives — socially and politically.

Do you ever wonder why today’s students in the Academies are led to conclude, that the nation-state is obsolete, and the cause of our geopolitical conflicts and issues?  As Thomas Paine (“Rights of Man”) is used and I paraphrase, as having the ‘world as one’s country’ to support views of liberal internationalist proponents, still Paine argued for the importance of the nation as the cause of liberty when he said:

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances hath, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested. The laying a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Party Censure, is the AUTHOR.” (Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 14 February 1776.)

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