Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

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Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Yamamoto on Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:43 pm

Why don't Americans fear nationalism? This is something I don't quite understand about the mindset of the American people, that after fighting the 2 most destructive wars in history, both of which were caused by blind nationalism, they still find nationalism to be preferable. I understand that "patriotism" is what America was built on, but every other country was too and they have moved on past a continual need for it. Yet America has elected ferociously nationalistic presidents over and over again for the past 70 years. And I understand the justification of the cold war era presidents being somewhat nationalistic, but then why George W. Bush and Donald Trump? You no longer have an enemy who threatens your sovereignty as a nation?
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Lord Yavimaya on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:28 pm

I think most Americans try to lie to themselves that "patriotism" is somehow different from nationalism. I think they are basically the same except for the fact that American "patriotism" is less about culture and more about the ideas of America.
Why people are electing such idiots as Donald Trump who echoes the same empty promise of "Making America Great Again" that we have heard time and time again in history, I don't know.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by DuceMoosolini on Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:30 pm

Lord Yavimaya wrote:I think most Americans try to lie to themselves that "patriotism" is somehow different from nationalism.

They are entirely different! Patriotism can be simply defined as having pride for your own nation and culture. There's nothing wrong with that. In America, it's often extended to include our national ideals. Nationalism, on the other hand, is a belief that your own nation and culture is inherently superior to all others, even going so far as to say other nations and cultures are inferior and unworthy of existence. The key factor which sets nationalism apart from patriotism is aggressiveness. Since patriotism is about simple pride, it is passive. Nationalism is about supremacy, and is therefore hostile to other ways of life.

So let's apply this to America, starting with the question of why we keep electing nationalist presidents. Answer: we don't. Obama won in '08 on a semi-isolationist agenda, saying America needs to withdraw from its conflicts around the world and live harmoniously with the international community. He got more votes than any candidate in history. But what about Bush? In '00, he planned to be a domestic policy president. Then 9/11 happened. While there was a vocal minority of nationalists, one can't help but point out that our way of life is superior to that espoused by the Taliban. Also, Bush's wars were motivated by revenge (Afghanistan), and containment/economics (Iraq), not nationalistic belligerence. We didn't try to conquer Iraq or Afghanistan, and it's important to note that Bush put little thought into actually democratizing the nations, disproving a nationalist motive for war. It's also telling that while Bush coasted on 9/11 through '04 (narrowly), by the time '08 rolled around, there was a tremendous backlash against Bush's international adventurism, forcing the GOP out of all three branches of government. But what about Trump? No, seriously, what about him? He isn't a warmongering president. His belligerence is entirely limited to symbolic gestures and vague threats. Nobody voted for him because they wanted him to start a war. They wanted him to fight back against the left, attack political correctness, keep out the immigrants, and protect their jerbs. Trump isn't a nationalist. He's barely a populist. He's just a brick that working class whites decided to toss through the White House's windows. And another thing: nationalists tend to want others to follow their leadership. Trump has repeatedly stated that he wants the nations of the world to find their own path.

Finally, Americans in general just aren't very nationalist in the first place. What looks like nationalism (flag waving, standing for the anthem, the Pledge, pro-military, etc.) is a symptom of deeply held traditions and a more extreme variant of patriotism than can be found elsewhere. But by and large, Americans aren't interested in hating other nations. Even Trumpkins have a weird admiration for Putin. The few nations we do hate (NorK, Iran, ISIS), tend to have rather hostile governments. Also, nationalists tend to be united against other nations. That VERY clearly isn't the case in America. And finally, nationalists believe their nation is supreme, and will accept no criticism and no unfavorable comparisons to other nations. Trumpkins want us to be more like Russia, leftists want us to be more like Germany and Sweden. Conservatives want us to beat our own path, but that path is often different from what has come before. And everyone living here hates something about America. EVERYONE. (Just ask, and I'll happily start ranting).

As for patriotism, we might not have a need for it, but we don't have any pressing need to get rid of it either. Patriotism is just pride in our nation. And what the hell is wrong with that? I'm proud to be an American. I want America to be a better nation. I accept there are many legitimate criticisms about my country. I want us to live in harmony with other civilizations. I want America to be safe. I want America to be free.

That's patriotism.


Not nationalism.


Last edited by DuceMoosolini on Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Lord Yavimaya on Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:07 pm

Looking at the defininition for Civic Nationalism, it seems just like patriotism to me. I do not think nationalism is intrinsically supremacist either. I think it can lead to supremacist thought quite rapidly under the right circumstances, but doesn't necessarily imply it.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:01 pm

DuceMoosolini is right.

Patriots do not start wars; they END them. Neo-Cons like George Bush and Condoleeza Rice are not Nationalists either. We have virtual Civil Wars online about stuff like this all the time within our own country.

Let me give you an example: If Trump wanted to conquer Canada, he'd be impeached, and the military wouldn't go. Our "Nationalism" isn't the same as other's.

You people who imagine US patriotism somehow equates to the motivations behind the world wars just don't get us. US patriotism ended slavery. US patriotism ended your World Wars. US patriotism freed the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe without firing a shot. US patriotism is the greatest enemy of ISIS and other multi-national terror groups (and what are they Nationalistic about?).

(No, I did not vote for Donald Trump, although now I see him as a lot more reasonable person than I expected him to be. In fact, I would vote for him if the election were today.)
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by DuceMoosolini on Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:29 pm

Lord Yavimaya wrote:Looking at the defininition for Civic Nationalism, it seems just like patriotism to me. I do not think nationalism is intrinsically supremacist either. I think it can lead to supremacist thought quite rapidly under the right circumstances, but doesn't necessarily imply it.

"Civic nationalism" is an entirely separate concept from nationalism or ethnic nationalism. Civic nationalism is simply the idea that the state derives legitimacy from having a national identity and having civic participation from the people. And I don't see what's wrong with that either. Even "American" is a national identity.

And I'm pretty sure OP was talking about the supremacist and jingoistic types of nationalism. If you're talking about civic nationalism, then I don't know why people should "fear" it.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Lord Yavimaya on Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:41 pm

DuceMoosolini wrote:
Lord Yavimaya wrote:Looking at the defininition for Civic Nationalism, it seems just like patriotism to me. I do not think nationalism is intrinsically supremacist either. I think it can lead to supremacist thought quite rapidly under the right circumstances, but doesn't necessarily imply it.

"Civic nationalism" is an entirely separate concept from nationalism or ethnic nationalism. Civic nationalism is simply the idea that the state derives legitimacy from having a national identity and having civic participation from the people. And I don't see what's wrong with that either. Even "American" is a national identity.

And I'm pretty sure OP was talking about the supremacist and jingoistic types of nationalism. If you're talking about civic nationalism, then I don't know why people should "fear" it.
Yeah, there is nothing wrong with civic nationalism. My point was that America still has widespread nationalism in the form of patriotism, but it isn't a bad type.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:16 am

Lord Yavimaya wrote:I think most Americans try to lie to themselves that "patriotism" is somehow different from nationalism. I think they are basically the same except for the fact that American "patriotism" is less about culture and more about the ideas of America.
Why people are electing such idiots as Donald Trump who echoes the same empty promise of "Making America Great Again" that we have heard time and time again in history, I don't know.

There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism.
Patriotism just means you love your country.
Nationalism means you'll do anything to preserve your nation, its culture, and typically is a more radical version of patriotism.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Cold War Communist on Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:26 pm

We define patriotism as: a love for one's country and a strong devotion to one's nation.

We define nationalism as: a love for one's country and a strong devotion to one's nation.

Nationalism requires patriots. Patriots promote nationalism. The magnitudes of each can be taken to extremes, but are not inherently negative. There is a myth that nationalism requires the belief that one's nation is superior, but this can be an apt description of either: radical patriotism, or radical nationalism, which denotes their interdependence on one another.

There is no reason to make them distinct, though I guess you can if you wanted to. I don't see a reason to distinguish them myself. I do think people will differentiate the two based on the idea that one is feared, or at least has a tarnished reputation (being nationalism).
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:42 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:We define patriotism as: a love for one's country and a strong devotion to one's nation.

We define nationalism as: a love for one's country and a strong devotion to one's nation.

Nationalism requires patriots. Patriots promote nationalism. The magnitudes of each can be taken to extremes, but are not inherently negative. There is a myth that nationalism requires the belief that one's nation is superior, but this can be an apt description of either: radical patriotism, or radical nationalism, which denotes their interdependence on one another.

There is no reason to make them distinct, though I guess you can if you wanted to. I don't see a reason to distinguish them myself. I do think people will differentiate the two based on the idea that one is feared, or at least has a tarnished reputation (being nationalism).

CWC, up until about 18 months ago, I'd have agreed with you fully. However, the first public figure I know who made a big distinction between the two words was Glenn Beck (one of the top 10 national radio talk show hosts, and founder of theBlaze.com alternative news site). He used the distinction to claim that Donald Trump was a dangerous Nationalist. He put together a bit of historical treatise on the difference between being patriotic and being nationalistic.

It boils down to the old definitions of the root words. Basically (without consulting a dictionary):

Nation = extended family group or race of people who generally accept each other as part of their group. The original Nation-States were states founded on this vaguely racial sense of national identity.

Patriot = a person with exceptional loyalty to a state and its traditions or unifying characteristics that may include, but are not limited to the vaguely racial definition of national identity.

So, by extension, a Patriot may be a race-based Nationalist, but a race-based Nationalist cannot be a patriotic American because America is not a race-based state. (The idea that American national identity was based on race gave rise to the Civil War, and was directly addressed under the 14th Amendment.)

I observe that a kind of dangerous Nationalism is still possible in America, but historically I don't see it as politically dominant. We as a people might conclude that our ideas and values are so much superior to the ideas and values of other countries that we might try to conquer them and impose our ideas and values. But we could never become a Nazi Germany because we just plain don't define "America" in racial terms.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by GrandMarshalSoult on Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:19 pm

America is Nationalist, just not as extreme, still its control over media and other things is profound.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:42 am

GrandMarshalSoult wrote:America is Nationalist, just not as extreme, still its control over media and other things is profound.

I'm not sure I understand your perspective. Personally, I find the major news networks to be profoundly Globalist. There are alternatives, but only a few tens of millions of Americans have accepted them as legitimate. These alternatives include some that are borderline Nationalist. Glenn Beck and Alex Jones despise each other, yet both are against Globalism and, on the issue of war, lean dramatically toward isolationism (thought they deny the term isolationist applies o themselves). Neither of these two is controlled by any element of the US Government past or present. Breitbart is third source of news that is completely outside of state control. In addition, most Americans have access to a variety of news feeds from outside the United States, such as Al Jazeera and Russia Today, not to mention the BBC, CBC, Sky News, the Jerusalem Post, etc.

Recently the EU threatened to crack down on what it calls "hate speech" on social media platforms, and thus the most direct source of information about events in far away places is being censored by computer algorithms Facebook and Twitter are currently experimenting with. To me, that is State control of media, although many people like me will argue that those are private corporations and have a perfect right to decide what they will and will not allow on their own websites. I disagree on the basis that social media are by nature anti-competitive; everyone in the world wants to be on the same social media. Imagine if we split social media based on political views, or religious beliefs! (If you ask me, that's just asking for global wars of an internecine nature.) Humans want and need to stay in touch, and humans want and need the Truth. No one should judge for another person what information they should and should not have access to in deciding what is true.

The least divisive of the issues currently being targeted for censorship by many around the world is Climate Change. To me, the use of that term to replace Global Warming is cynical, because those who questioned Global Warming used evidence of historical climate changes as evidence that warming temperatures do not necessarily prove human agency in the ongoing climate change. But questioning the official line, or the predominating scientific theory on Climate Change threatens certain political agendas. Therefore, governments, and those private citizens who support the political agenda that would be adopted if everyone understood Climate Change to be the direct result of human activities, seek to limit access to information about past climate changes. In my lifetime I have watched this happen in person as the University libraries in my part of the United States gradually transferred to storage the scientific reference works that describe climate changes since the end of the Wisconsin/Wurm Glaciation. For example, within the past 10,000 years there were forests growing on the north side of Hudson Bay in Arctic Canada. This data point (among many others) is now considered dangerous. It could give people the wrong impression! So, the reference works are transferred to a part of the library that the general public has no idea exists. It's not that you can't still get your hands on these works, but you have to know what you're looking for very specifically. You can't accidentally stumble upon this information, which might cause an average person to question the official line, which is that outside mankind's influence, climate has been relatively static for thousands of years.

So, I would not say that "America" has profound control of media. I would say that "Globalists" have a great degree of control over media, but that America is one of the places where that control is most tenuous. Here the free flow of uncensored information is greater than in most parts of the world. When we have a political administration in power in Washington which is more supportive of the Globalist agenda, then it starts to look as though "America" controls the media (or at least the so called Main Stream Media), but that is most definitely not the case today. Most of our major media corporations oppose the political party currently "in power" in Washington DC.
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Re: Why Don't Americans Fear Nationalism?

Post by Cold War Communist on Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:52 pm

Thorfinn Karlsefni wrote:
Cold War Communist wrote:We define patriotism as: a love for one's country and a strong devotion to one's nation.

We define nationalism as: a love for one's country and a strong devotion to one's nation.

Nationalism requires patriots. Patriots promote nationalism. The magnitudes of each can be taken to extremes, but are not inherently negative. There is a myth that nationalism requires the belief that one's nation is superior, but this can be an apt description of either: radical patriotism, or radical nationalism, which denotes their interdependence on one another.

There is no reason to make them distinct, though I guess you can if you wanted to. I don't see a reason to distinguish them myself. I do think people will differentiate the two based on the idea that one is feared, or at least has a tarnished reputation (being nationalism).

CWC, up until about 18 months ago, I'd have agreed with you fully. However, the first public figure I know who made a big distinction between the two words was Glenn Beck (one of the top 10 national radio talk show hosts, and founder of theBlaze.com alternative news site). He used the distinction to claim that Donald Trump was a dangerous Nationalist. He put together a bit of historical treatise on the difference between being patriotic and being nationalistic.

Haha, yeah, I understand. Personally I consider myself a nationalist, but let's call it a more "passive" one, so a "patriot" would be one way I could see people defining my identity (politically, at least).

I'm going to look up the Glenn Beck podcast (or video, or broadcast, whichever) and see how I feel after. I expect the same, but we'll see.
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