November 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm #20132siabaaMember
I’ve been meditating upon this topic for a while now. Prayer, rationalization, and side discussions have left me at an impasse. I thought; why not field the question to people who have similar knowledge, worldviews, and beliefs to what I hold?
Given the modern world we inhabit and where those who love liberty would like to see it go; what role, if any, does Nationalism play?
A little background and what I’m currently thinking:
I am an eight year Army combat veteran out for little more than a year due to disability from Texas and currently married to a 12 year Active Duty Army combat veteran. My wife and I hold similar views although I would say she is a lot more apathetic to politics and history than I. She only cares about our small immediate family group: Her, me, and the baby. As for myself, one could imagine that growing up in Texas and in a Creole family there was always a sense of pride in family and friends, heritage, community, state, and country in that order. Patriotism and Nationalism were intertwined and mixed up throughout the whole being.
War, Nation-building, growing older, internment facilities, Ron Paul’s campaigns, study, disability, and awakening to Austrio/Libertarian/Anarcho-captalist ideas later: one finds themselves separating concepts and ideas from each other and examining them to determine any value they hold.
What I have particular difficulty with is Nationalism. The concept has been used to rally men together and do ‘great things’ and yet it has also been used to delude masses in order to perpetrate great evil upon their fellow men. In particular I think of say, Jackie Robinson versus military-political history from the French Revolution on.
Major League baseball’s commissioner Happy Chandler thought that “If they [blacks] can fight and die on Okinawa, Guadalcanal [and] in the South Pacific, they can play ball in America.” Where it not for this man or another holding his views they whole thing would not have been started. And his views were born out of Nationalism… at least, his publicly revealed view.
Whereas we are all, thanks to the professors, aware of how Nationalism has been used to inspire masses to murder their neighbor from across an invisible line.
Given my own background, I find it difficult to just throw it in the woods.
~DanNovember 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm #20133murphy560Member
Dan (great name by the way), in my humble opinion, I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with nationalism per se. Quite the opposite, I think a feeling of belonging to a community and love of one’s family, culture, geography, way of life, etc. is a natural and important part of any thriving human life. Where the problem arises, in my view, is when one confuses blind obedience to the state with “doing what’s best for my country” or confuses the will of the few in control of the state mechanism with “the will of the people.” When this sense of community drives people to join together to do great things, build everyone’s standard of living, break down barriers for those whose rights have been infringed, etc. this is no doubt a wonderful thing. However, when one makes the argument that “nationalistic pride” requires the committing of atrocities or the destruction of the rights of others, whoever they may be, it’s not “nationalistic pride” that is wrong, it’s the argument.
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