“Nationalism” has nothing to celebrate in 2016

Nationalism is a dangerous and backward philosophy. By definition, it creates an “us” and “them”, and thus runs completely contrary to true equality and freedom for all.

Of course, what we in this part of the world refer to as “Nationalism” is merely one version – most varieties of “Unionism” are another. Ultimately, they are all about representing an “in group”, often quite blatantly against an “out group”.

From 1916 through the early inter-war years, Nationalism was the predominant political movement in much of Europe, in opposition to imperialism. This may have been understandable, but we should not forget the inevitable outcome – a collapse of multicultural societies, the abuse of this collapse by nationalist and populist extremists, the rejection of moderates, and the worst genocide and conflict in human history.

A century on, it is time we reflected on what Nationalism in all its forms is – necessarily uncompromising, inevitably discriminatory, and unavoidably a haven for intolerance and extremism. That is inherent within it – it is about putting the interests of an “in group” first (NB not equal, first).

In 2016 we see Nationalists in various guises trying to destroy international cooperation, block the necessary aid to refugees, and even resort to overt religious divisions. We should not lose sight of how extraordinarily dangerous this was in Europe a century ago, and how extraordinarily dangerous it is on the borders of Europe now. It has the obvious potential to be dangerous within Europe and the United States too – unless, for once, we learn the lessons of the past.

2016 should be the year of cooperation and compromise on behalf of all our people, and of the hand of friendship and aid to those escaping societies where nationalist/tribal/religious conflict has already erupted and caused vast and horrific destruction.

2016 should be the year of unity and, therefore, of anti-nationalism (in all its forms).

Advertisements

4 thoughts on ““Nationalism” has nothing to celebrate in 2016

  1. amghobsmacht says:

    I hear ya Mr P.

    I’ve argued similarly myself for a while, co-incidentally such thoughts are being galvanised as I type this on account of reading history of the Hapsburgs and how much carnage ‘nationalism’ wrought on their former lands following (or even preceding) their demise.

    • Chris Roche says:

      Are you suggesting that the ROI should give up its hard-gained prosperity and join with the Six Counties in being an economic backwater?

      • amghobsmacht says:

        “Are you suggesting that the ROI should give up its hard-gained prosperity and join with the Six Counties in being an economic backwater?”

        Nope.

  2. I’m not sure if Nationalism in general has taken a hit. Look at Da’esh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: