AT: Can Democracy Survive without Nationalism?

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/09/can_democracy_survive_without_nationalism.html

“In modern English, nationalism has become a dirty word. It is lumped together with racism, xenophobia, chauvinism, and intolerance. To accuse someone of harboring nationalistic views is a formula for exclusion.”

I share this piece for its thoughtful counterpoint to one of the letters the Pilot published today. The letter criticizes President Trump for expressing “nationalistic views.” The AT piece is written by Ewa Thompson, Research Professor of Slavic Studies at Rice University.

I agree with Dr. Thompson that nationalism doesn’t deserve to be treated pejoratively because a nation is comparable to a family, albeit much larger and more complex than a clan.

There’s no good reason for anyone to be embarrassed for being a nationalist, properly understood, just as there is no good reason for anyone to be embarrassed for being pro-family, especially one’s own.

Although I agree in some ways with the sense and sensibilities of the original letter, if I could I would encourage the writer to describe himself as an American nationalist.

12 thoughts on “AT: Can Democracy Survive without Nationalism?

  1. Any word can become real nice if we are free to give it our own special meanings. In this case “nationalism” “if properly understood” (according to your special definition) is just real peachy. Because, the special meaning you give it is that it means something akin to love of family. Unfortunately, that is NOT what it denotes or connotes. In reality, “nationalism” has become an ugly thing because it has been the cause or the excuse for monstrous crimes. Furthermore, it has come to have strong connotations of “white nationalism.”

    So, nice try to spin away Trump’s ugly and divisive rhetoric (almost a full time job) but this attempt falls flat.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “In reality, ‘nationalism’ has become an ugly thing because it has been the cause or the excuse for monstrous crimes.

      Why, because you say so?

      I find the professor’s thoughts far more compelling. Perhaps you can make a good argument that shows how she is wrong.

      Like

  2. Nationalism as “pro-family” ?

    Do you laugh while you come up this?

    Love of one’s Country should not mean demonizing all “others”. America Ueber Allen should not be a rallying cry (heard loud and clear by the White Supremacist) for what we are as a nation.

    BTW – who decides “who” family is?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “Love of one’s Country should not mean demonizing all ‘others’.”

      I don’t think it does and I wouldn’t want it to. In my experience, however, conflating xenophobia with patriotism is a common blood libel these days.

      RE: “who decides ‘who’ family is?”

      Technically, families are genetically related individuals. So, genes decide that question.

      I imagine that nations can be defined genetically, too, though not as simply as assuming that all people of a certain skin color belong to the same nation. My own family, for example, has a mixed racial and ethnic ancestry, but I suspect there is some genetic pattern by which it can be shown we are all Americans.

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      1. “some genetic pattern by which it can be shown we are all Americans.”

        You obviously have absolutely no idea how genetics work, but at least by making that clear you’ve saved me the trouble of reading any more of your nonsense on this issue any further.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “You obviously have absolutely no idea how genetics work”

        Instead of calling me ignorant, why not enlighten us with your knowlege? That way I’d look even worse, and you even better, if that’s what you want.

        Let me help. I assert that nations are probably identifiable by their genes. I base this on the unremarkable observation that genetic phenotypes (DNA code patterns) correlate with known populations known to exist at certain times and at certain places in history.

        I’m happy to admit when I am wrong, so if you know better, please tell us.

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        1. ” I assert that nations are probably identifiable by their genes. ” That takes the migration of peoples to different parts of the world out of the national equation. As an example, the only true “american” genes would be found in those that are native to this continent. And even they started elsewhere, as we ALL have.

          I am an American, born in this country as the third generation (on my father’s side…still trying to get to countries of origin on my mother’s) to love here. The roots of the family go back to Russia and Eastern Europe. However, I am still considered an American. If DNA records of those living in this,the “Great Melting Pot” that this country is, were checked, you would likely find little to no AMERICAN DNA. -IMHO

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        2. RE: “That takes the migration of peoples to different parts of the world out of the national equation.”

          How so? Consider the case of my wife. She is genetically Scottish, but has Native American blood. Since both are datable, her ancestry can be traced to a specific region of coastal North Carolina in the early 1700s, even without the documented family history.

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          1. The key part of your comment is Native American blood. The Scottish members in her background mingled with the Native Americans already here. Yes, it is datable, but her background doesn’t START in NC. You could stop there, but it would be disingenuous to do so.

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          2. You’re overlooking that the specific combination of Scottish and Native American genetics had to have occurred at a certain time and place. It could not have happened at a different time and place, 1820s Japan, for example.

            Don’t confuse the concept of a unique American gene with the concept of genetic phenotypes, or unique patterns of DNA code.

            Like

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