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    Thread: Nationalism

    1. #1
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      Nationalism

      The concept of nationalism has been on my mind as of late, and I thought it'd be an interesting idea to pick at (or pick apart, depending on your views) here in ED. I'm hoping for a robust discussion on its pros and cons, comments and criticisms, practical uses and potential abuses. It's rising relevance, or dwindling influence, in an increasingly globalized world.

      Don't worry about structuring the discussion in any which way, just drop some ideas and we'll build up from there.
      Last edited by GavinGill; 03-24-2014 at 07:24 PM.

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      I was thinking about something earlier today that I think is relevant.

      In the US, we are taught to fear and hate communism. In China, they are taught to fear and hate capitalism. In reality, we are not actually capitalist and china is not actually communist. In fact, the economic systems of each nation are more alike than different.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      To me countries don't matter at all, it is people that matter. When you stop seeing people that is when you get into trouble.

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      I am nationalistic to a certain extent because I live in my country and care about it. I am very dedicated to it. However, I am not unconditionally dedicated to my government. I criticize it on a regular basis, though I agree with a whole lot of what it does and am glad we have it. Just like with a friend or a relative, if my government is wrong, I say it is. I don't automatically side with my government against factions of the people or against other nations just because it's my government. I always side with whom I perceive to be the good guys. Always.

      I think we have an excellent Constitution, and I am very dedicated to it. When my government goes against the Constitution, I side with the Constitution.

      Unconditional nationalism can be extremely dangerous. It is exactly what allows large militaries to fight for sick causes. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany are good examples of that. Nationalism can be good when a military is on the right side because it allows a military to gladly take orders and fight hard without questioning every detail of what they are fighting for, but that is a horrible situation when the military is fighting for an evil cause.

      I have rolled my eyes at the Pledge of Allegience and the American national anthem for a long time. I think they are just mindless brainwashing mechanisms. I don't have allegiance to a pattern of colors or a government, though I support my government on matters where it is Constitutional and moral. My allegiance is to the Constitution, the good people of the world, and what is right and fair. Fortunately, the oath that my military takes is to uphold the Constitution. That leaves the option of their going against the government if the government ever dismisses the Constitution.

      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I was thinking about something earlier today that I think is relevant.

      In the US, we are taught to fear and hate communism. In China, they are taught to fear and hate capitalism. In reality, we are not actually capitalist and china is not actually communist. In fact, the economic systems of each nation are more alike than different.
      I don't think the Obama Administration is teaching us to hate communism, at least not on purpose.
      Last edited by Universal Mind; 03-25-2014 at 07:16 AM.
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      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      Nationalism is poetic at the best of times, but it has no function in a civilized society.

      People should be free thinking and friendly towards all people, nationalism contradicts that. As alric said, countries don't matter, people matter.
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      In its essence (as I view it), nationalism is a grouping together of people, with fairly sharply drawn lines between the various groups. Within the groups there is a feeling of "we're something special - we are more like each other in here, than we are like the others out there".

      I think this grouping happens automatically and is inevitable, even though there are obvious similarities across neighbour groups. I also don't think this is a bad thing.

      What is bad, is when the members of a group, through political power and control, are manipulated into feelings of disdain, or even hatred, towards members of the other groups. This has generally been used as a way of bringing on war between neighbouring groups.

      Traditionally, the groups were based on geographic divisions. But as time progresses, and people diffuse geographically, those "old" divisions become less important, and new ones arise within - and across - geographical areas - divisions based on race, faith, politics, and more.

      Ultimately, I think "nationalism" will always exist, although it will probably also always be in a state of flux, where the meaning of "nation" over time gradually changes. I don't think a time will ever come, where it's not "us" and "them".
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

    7. #7
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      I guess nationalism is pretty much always bad. It's what a person turns to when they don't have many personal achievements to their name. Nationalism allows you to feel responsible for the achievements of people who really had nothing to do with you. The most benign effect is to make somebody obnoxious... at worst it can make somebody violent.

      I would guess that nationalism is a declining social trend. Technology like global communications and the internet, and upcoming technologies such as digital translators and virtual reality communities, will continue to blur psychological national boundaries and make foreigners more amenable to one another through the exposure effect.

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      Whatever nationalism rocks and my dad can beat up your dad.

      Without a little nationalism, no one would watch the Olympics. I saw some weird show the other day where two teams were composed against each other, and the viewer was assigned to one of the teams according to their birth month. You know you don't actually win, but our attention is drawn into competition more when we identify with one of the competitors. It draws an audience. I just don't think nationalism should be taken any more seriously than your favorite sports team.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 03-26-2014 at 12:50 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      The Olympics are nothing but trouble, I wouldn't mind seeing them go.

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      Nationalism is bad!!!11!!!

      But seriously, it starts to make a heck of a lot more sense if you redraw some borders to have much more contiguous cultures and peoples. For example, consider the fictional Nine Nations of North America:

      The Nine Nations of North America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Or for example what if the Scottish actually separated from the UK (they're holding a referendum later this year). I think it would make a lot of sense for the Scots to feel national pride.

      How would y'all feel about nationalism if you lived in one of those nations? Suddenly the concept doesn't seem so bad (to me at least...).
      Last edited by cmind; 03-26-2014 at 01:24 AM.
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    11. #11
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      It's different with sports. How well a bunch of strangers do against other strangers in a sporting event has a great deal to do with my life, especially when it's a game between cities I have never lived in or universities I never went to. Go my team!

      Jackson, Mississippi has an NFL football team called the New Orleans Saints. Who dat!
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Universal Mind View Post
      It's different with sports. How well a bunch of strangers do against other strangers in a sporting event has a great deal to do with my life, especially when it's a game between cities I have never lived in or universities I never went to. Go my team!

      Jackson, Mississippi has an NFL football team called the New Orleans Saints. Who dat!
      Speak for yourself, my home won the most medals per capita this year. We took more medals than the whole UK. I know the Olympics don't really matter, and hell, I haven't lived there for years and I consider myself I citizen of the world, but you can't help but feel a little proud knowing the mountains you're bred from breed so much Olympic domination. This pride makes me want to try harder and do better myself, because I'm representing one of us in the world.

      It's like Game of Thrones when

      Spoiler for A Dance With Dragons:
      Last edited by Original Poster; 03-26-2014 at 05:39 AM.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      oh my god
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I was thinking about something earlier today that I think is relevant.

      In the US, we are taught to fear and hate communism. In China, they are taught to fear and hate capitalism. In reality, we are not actually capitalist and china is not actually communist. In fact, the economic systems of each nation are more alike than different.
      The US is capitalist -- not laissez-faire capitalist, but we still have a market economy and heavy competition between businesses.
      ERROR 404: SIGNATURE NOT FOUND

    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by TimeDragon97 View Post
      The US is capitalist -- not laissez-faire capitalist, but we still have a market economy and heavy competition between businesses.
      I don't think it qualifies because there's a plutocracy class that uses the government as a blockade against competition. The plutocracy competes with itself to an extent but the game is rigged for everyone else. In reality it's corporatism, just like China. The only difference is that the Chinese government is more heavy handed with its market manipulation, but when you compare other forms of economics to China and the US, it makes them appear very similar.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 03-27-2014 at 06:45 AM.
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      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by TimeDragon97 View Post
      The US is capitalist -- not laissez-faire capitalist, but we still have a market economy and heavy competition between businesses.
      Actually, for as long as the US has a Federal Reserve banking system, and this system has the monopoly on issuance of currency, there cannot be true capitalism in the US.

      Theoretically, the FED could dramatically increase the amount of money in the US, and give all the new money to the government, thereby stealing enormous amounts of wealth from the public, and allowing the government to undermine any business in the country.

      Hang on ... they actually did that! Actually, they're still doing it!
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

    17. #17
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      Nationalism... yeah, we have a lot of that. It's mainly used to bitch and moan and make a spectacle of yourself.

    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I guess nationalism is pretty much always bad. It's what a person turns to when they don't have many personal achievements to their name. Nationalism allows you to feel responsible for the achievements of people who really had nothing to do with you. The most benign effect is to make somebody obnoxious... at worst it can make somebody violent.
      I have to disagree. I don't think nationalism is inherently good or bad in and of itself - it's a neutral concept like capitalism, communism, etc - how it is applied is what matters. I think there's two ways of going about it - unflinching support for your government regardless of the circumstances, or a deep devotion to your people and their shared ideals.

      Quote Originally Posted by Voldmer View Post
      In its essence (as I view it), nationalism is a grouping together of people, with fairly sharply drawn lines between the various groups. Within the groups there is a feeling of "we're something special - we are more like each other in here, than we are like the others out there".

      I think this grouping happens automatically and is inevitable, even though there are obvious similarities across neighbour groups. I also don't think this is a bad thing.

      What is bad, is when the members of a group, through political power and control, are manipulated into feelings of disdain, or even hatred, towards members of the other groups. This has generally been used as a way of bringing on war between neighbouring groups.
      Quote Originally Posted by Universal Mind View Post
      Unconditional nationalism can be extremely dangerous. It is exactly what allows large militaries to fight for sick causes. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany are good examples of that. Nationalism can be good when a military is on the right side because it allows a military to gladly take orders and fight hard without questioning every detail of what they are fighting for, but that is a horrible situation when the military is fighting for an evil cause.
      ^ This brand of nationalism is obviously disastrous in the long run and has no place in the modern world. But...

      Quote Originally Posted by Universal Mind View Post
      I am nationalistic to a certain extent because I live in my country and care about it. I am very dedicated to it. However, I am not unconditionally dedicated to my government. I criticize it on a regular basis, though I agree with a whole lot of what it does and am glad we have it. Just like with a friend or a relative, if my government is wrong, I say it is. I don't automatically side with my government against factions of the people or against other nations just because it's my government. I always side with whom I perceive to be the good guys. Always.

      I think we have an excellent Constitution, and I am very dedicated to it. When my government goes against the Constitution, I side with the Constitution.
      ... this brand of nationalism serves a vital function. If the nationalist operates with the citizenry's best interests at heart (as opposed to their government's best interests), they're compelled to hold their government to a higher standard and flex their democratic muscles if/when that system puts personal profit above the people at large.
      -------
      Quote Originally Posted by Random Guy On The Internet
      "I remember Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip once talking about the “New Canadian Nationalism”. This must have been around 2004-2006. It was about the things we identify with as Canadians, whether they are completely accurate, fair, or not. As a 28-year old, I grew up in a time when Canadians — according to polls — most associated their identities with Health Care, Peacekeeping, and Hockey. Underneath all that, their was a belief in multiculturalism, tolerance, liberalism, modesty, and — I believe — being a microcosm of what the world should be.

      I always believed that Canada was, in contrast to America, the truer experiment in globalization. We were bringing together many different cultures. Beginning with French, English, and Aboriginal cultures, we strove to create an ever-changing cultural mosaic. Unlike America whose melting pot forced everyone to be “American” and whose foreign policy forced the rest of the world to benefit America, Canada didn’t try to change anyone into a “Canadian”: we would meet them halfway by changing ourselves into something newer and inviting them to change as well.

      On the international stage, we weren’t striving for our interests; we were peace-brokers, trying to have our citizens’ home countries live in harmony like their peoples were already doing in Canada.


      Like all “nationalisms” or national-myths, this one isn’t exactly accurate and can be heavily criticized. But it was a good myth to try and live up to. Being a New Canadian Nationalist, to me, was being someone who strove to advance these ideals.

      I still try my best to be polite, sensitive, worldly, and knowledgeable when I travel around the world in my own contribution to this cause. But Canada today, with multiple election victories for Stephen Harper, isn’t that Canada anymore. We aren’t seen in the same way. And we need to take responsibility for that as a nation. I think we will become that progressive, idealistic, modest, and sensitive Canada once again, but for now the New Canadian Nationalism is on the ropes. It’s just plain ol’ literal nationalism, like Mike is talking about. And it makes me ashamed of Canada, even though I’m still proud to be Canadian."

      How Canadian identity has changed and what it means for our future | National Post
      I think there's a lot of potential in this brand of nationalism - it encourages the citizenry to:

      A) live up to an certain standard (an admirable one at that)
      B) protect a specific system of thought (ie. beliefs, principles, ideals, culture) from outside influence
      C) protect the economy from outside influence
      D) protect the government itself from outside influence
      D) *other stuff that'll have to be edited in later* >_> <_<
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    19. #19
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      The individuals in the US that confuse national pride and patriotism with cultural homogeneity really do give patriotism a bad taste for the rest of us. It's hard to find proper language to show affection for your country when every word for it has been hijacked by fearful bigots. Fuckers are mad at coke now, they're mad at fucking coke.

      But this is not what being American is, it doesn't mean adhering to some homogenous standard of culture. That's a fucking lie, and I disdain it. Cities like Austin, TX, invented the slogan "Keep Austin Weird" for a reason (which was later adapted by Portland). Regionally speaking, the US is incredibly diverse. I'd like to think most of us embrace the diversity, but the people bitching at having a Spanish option on their ATM seem to make the most noise. Maybe that's because most of us embrace diversity so the ones that don't are even more terrified because not only do they see their culture getting lost in the melting pot, but they don't see enough people fighting for it.

      It doesn't help that we have a long history of classism and entitlement. If english speaking WASPs aren't in the majority, they can't exactly hold onto superiority. They'd have to face facts that at the end of the day their culture isn't any better than anyone else's.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    20. #20
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      Nationalism is basically like a collective ego. So nationalism is a great way to not do the right thinking.

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