Nationalism - an irrelevant alternative for real self worth?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Drifterwood, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Drifterwood

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    In my travels I encounter people who really do believe that they have a greater intrinsic value simply through the accident of their geographical place of birth.

    Every country appears to foster this sentiment that somehow you are special because you have x, y, or z citizenship. Be honest, you think it too. But then 90% + of us hardly add much to the supposed betterness of our countries. Or do we?

    This promoted nationalism goes beyond patriotism in my opinion. I can hold to my patriotism whilst thinking we are a bunch of idiots, but promoted nationalism demands faith that you are the best, always, No. 1 perhaps, or at least better where it matters.

    Most European countries have a chauvinist nationalism, the US's nationalism is often in your face, but frankly I worry most about Chinese nationalism.

    I tend to look for who benefits in these circumstances. I think it is a happy union between being owned by government and our need to feel to belong to something bigger than ourselves. I can see it causing problems again soon.
     
  2. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    I'm the least nationalist person you could hope to meet, my loyalties are so infinitely divided and my eye is too jaundiced and I was a born outsider.

    Nationalism is just an example of lack of critical thinking in my view.
     
  3. tbrguy

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    There are a thousand and one things that I love about England and would miss were I to live abroad again.

    But I would certainly not describe myself as a nationalist.

    I have been fascinated by every other country I have visited or lived in, their peoples and cultures and could be just as happy living in any of them.

    In my limited experience people are people where-ever they come from, we all have the same problems and delight in much the same things.

    I think mankind would be far better off if we outgrew nationalism. Or at least those aspects of it that end up pitting one group of wholly innocent individuals against their counterparts from some other place arbitrarily designated another country. (Viz: the partition of India and the carve up of the middle east, the island of Ireland, the list goes on...).

    My instinctive reaction to overt displays of nationalism is to distance myself. I can just about put up with our royal family so long as I don't get them rammed down my throat every time I open a paper or turn on the box; I think getting rid of them, my rational position, would just cause too much strife.

    The plague of flags that erupt from every other house and car whenever we are about to get knocked out of some major sporting event makes me shudder, and those fringe political parties that use nationalism as their rallying cry make me want to do quite undemocratic things to them.

    Given that none of us have any say in the circumstances of our births, nationalism is a rather curious phenomenon.
     
  4. rawbone8

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    It's almost always self-serving and hypocritical.

    We seem to unfailingly laud the fellow citizen-high achievers who we are proud to have represent us and our nation (see celebrities, Nobel Prize winners, Olympic athletes etc.), and dismiss and excuse the miscreants and shameful examples who are our countrymen — as though they are anomalies. Editors will even assign reporters to dig up unfavourable research on bad people to check their ancestry to uncover an unsavory link or lack of tenure (as in immigration).

    Exceptionalism is a myth. A very costly myth for the target nations who fell in the path of British empiricism, Lebensraum, Manifest Destiny or many other doctrines, for example. There is no "chosen people."
     
    #4 rawbone8, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  5. Stretch

    Stretch New Member

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    Put simply...there's a very fine line between nationalism and racism.
     
  6. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    Blah blah blah DW. You're off on your favourite hobby horse again:wink:

    You might as well attack any community grouping.

    Liberals, Africans, Republicans, Bankers, Trade Unionists, LGBT, A football team & it's supporters, Golfers, People who are fuckable, people who are not., FAMILIES! - & of course THOSE WHO EQUATE NATIONALISM WITH RACISM........ad infinitum.:rolleyes:

    Wow, nationalism causes people to group together & act to further their own purpose. So does every other grouping on the planet!!!!:cool:

    Wouldn't the world be better if we were all a homogenic puddle of amorphous shit!:smile:

    Fuck me, you resent paying taxes for those who aren't as successful as you. That's a small club. You're the Bono of LPSG!:smile:

    When I think of those racists trying to preserve barely spoken languages that should be dead dead dead, it makes my blood boil how they dare to try to be DIFFERENT, & don't start me on those tribes & cultures trying to preserve their ways.:tongue:

    I know most people on here can't see the savage hypocrisy of their anti nation-community views, but what can you do!

    What kind of common purpose, experience, sense of belonging, & shared culture binds people? One that should be destroyed of course!:smile:

    What organisations & group structures are OK - & who decides for us what they are? Give it a rest:tongue: Such narrow mindedness, tut tut.

    Anyone who knows the individual nature of the nations of the UK would know that its citizens frequently admit, we're shit & we know we are - be it in sport, industry, education etc. It's simply not true to say that other communities are not well regarded, looked up to, or even aspired to - there's nothing wrong with that either.
     
    #6 B_crackoff, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  7. rob_just_rob

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    Nationalism always seemed to me to be something leaders like to foster in order to get followers to die for causes they don't believe in, or to defend people they don't know.
     
  8. erratic

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    Nationalism, like so many other social constructs, is one of the means by which we build self-esteem. Personality, religion, culture...all of these are human creations that (regardless of whether or not they are, in fact, real) we use to prop ourselves up. In some situations they can be adaptive, in others they're not. Politicians have learned how to use them to pit people against each other who might otherwise team up against the ruling class. It's an old story, I'm afraid.
     
  9. Drifterwood

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    The problem with your entire position, Crackers, is that you accept that a fabricated Nation can promote itself through hijacking cultural and other achievements and expressions by groups, often very small within it.

    The vast majority of your fellow citizens couldn't name a Shakespeare play, give you a Newtonian law, name the inventor of the jet engine, date the Battle for Britain; but not to worry, Big Brother is back and the footie is on again :wink:.

    My point regards the abuse of cultural achievement to create a sense of superiority or betterness rather than accepting simple difference, diversity, and respecting that. Actually I think that the Brits are pretty good at absorbing things from other cultures. Tikka Masala and chips, anyone?
     
  10. AlteredEgo

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    You can get chips with that? Oh my God! I'm getting on a plane. On second thought, if the Tikka Masala is anything like the Roti I had, I'll just go make my own.

    Anyway, I see nationalism as sort of the religion of a country, right along with its politics.
     
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