Nationalism - Technically, according to the masses and so-called "experts."
Nationalism is a term that alleged experts have trouble defining but which most people can agree pertains to:
- Devotion to one's nation
- Devotion to the interests of one's nation
- Devotion to the culture of one's nation
- Holding a strong belief that nations will benefit and progress in a positive way via independence from other nations rather than collectively and with emphasis on national rather than collective international goals
- Aspirations to gain national independence in a region/country that is under foreign domination
Nationalism - The Reality
It doesn't matter WHAT definition Nationalism is given, its effects are questionable because agreement to view self and closest neighbors as one unit while determining far away neighbors to be "the others" is ALWAYS A DANGEROUS WAY to think about other human beings.
While Nationalism can generate strong bonds and feelings of unity and togetherness, shared purpose in the target group of nearby neighbors, it necessarily separates them from farther away persons... now if something happens to affect the relationship between the mutually far away neighbors (different nations/nationalities), then it takes almost no effort - and even less thought - to place differing national groups against each other.
People get wrapped up in nationality as an integral part of their identity (a HUGE mistake) so that when a nation is insulted, the individuals each feel the insult as a personal attack to their identity and personal self...
I fight feelings of nationality all the time (I was indoctrinated for over 30 years) - now that I've become aware of how complex nationalism is - and how dangerous it is to buy into, especially without critical thinking applied to its effects.
I'm proud to be me and I live in Canada. I'm proud of a few Canadian persona accomplishments and I do say "eh" all the time... I don't know when that started...probably when I was a kid, eh? But I am not what is meant by "the ideal Canadian" by any means.
I think the Canadian flag looks "kinda cool, eh?" but I do not wave it patriotically or as an inherent and active nationalist. I am more inclined to use the Canadian flag I have in ways that are probably not legal in my country (but are extremely practical) lol so I'll dummy up on that now, eh? I kinda don't wanna lose my practical household fabrics anytime soon.
You'll note that I'm not using very technical or academic language here. Partly this is because I've sifted through the academia on "nationalism" and much of it is displayed in complicated Political Science books and documents...but when one steps back or aside from these things, it is sort of like seeing the whole elephant in the room - instead of being so close to the animal that you can only feel, see, and describe the kneecap... The Poli-Sci stuff - when seen from a few paces back - especially where it praises nationalism as a people-bonding "good," - looks rather like the manual for a strategic chess game...and politicians are the bishops, rooks, knights, kings and queens...the nationalist public crowd are the pawns (expendable?).
The realities involved with nationalism are:
- creates bonds (which can be manipulated for good or bad effect)
- creates stereotypes
- creates "the other" which is anyone NOT within the national bond group
- becomes attached to each individual identity - acts like a cell of the original within the whole
- can exist without critical thinking about it - and this sort of nationalism is most prevalent but also most dangerous
- is really "prejudice" for likeness and PREJUDICE against "the other" or differences
- can be used to create and start, maintain and promote - wars, violence, hate crimes, hate in general - of any group outside of the nation/nationality group in question
- can be teamed together in allied groups (WWI, WWII, etc) for astounding damage to humanity and earth in general
- is so complex that only critical thinking can get to the bottom of the cons of nationalism
- is so complex that lack of critical thinking actually promotes/allows for nationalism (it's an EASY concept on the surface ie: "you belong" "this is your country" but is infinitely complex underneath).
Do you love your country?
Are you a nationalist - are you patriotic?
If you're Patriotic, If you're a Nationalist
Here are some things you might believe or some ways you might think about life in general if you are patriotic/if you're a nationalist:
- My country is the best country in the world
- My country is better than other countries
- My country and its people are best in the world and better than in other countries
- I have a duty to my country
- I have a duty to my country, its people, its interests
- I have a duty to go fight for my country if I am asked to do so by authorities
- If I am asked to fight to defend my country I agree to kill other human beings in this dedication to my country, its people and interests
Not all, but many nationalists or patriots have these thoughts. Certainly very patriotic people who talk often of patriotism have the thoughts and beliefs above.
Now if you dissect the statements above... they're all unhealthy statements lined with prejudice or lack of rational content. Most of the duties are not duties at all - they're "responses" to authority and fear reactions! No critical thinking is necessary to say "If I am called, I will go to fight for my country." This is then called "patriotic" and a person who will do this is a nationalist who will go or act against common human rationality and actually kill another person just because that person isn't on his or her same nationalist "team."
How humane, or how rational is this?
If you're interested: The Nationalism Project: What is Nationalism? (information about Nationalism, links to essays, journal articles, etc)
No Difference From Other Illogical Positions of Prejudice
Religion has been used in the same way that Nationalism has been used - since forever - and currently. To influence people, to control people, to start wars, to manipulate economy. Religion and Nationalism aren't very different at all, except for their respective titles and spelling of such...
Because intense dedication to religion and religious peers is NOT DIFFERENT THAN NATIONALISM. Religion is just about a different topic... sometimes and only in a very literal sense. In a figurative sense, there's very littledifference. As well, structure of hierarchy in religion is markedly similar to structure of hierarchy of governments.
(*Note: some religions claim to be "inclusive," and for these, it is my opinion that they differ from nationalist groups in their general thinking - providing these religions can act upon the inclusion factor, including all who approach the religion in reasonable fashion - conversion into such a religion can be a matter of choice).
People can get the same results from people not thinking critically in a religious group as from people not thinking critically in a country.
I'm not sure WHY people use the term "religious war" and think that drastically different things are happening with religious wars than in regular warfare or conflicts. People are "indoctrinated" into nationalist and patriotic beliefs just the same as they're indoctrinated into religious belief systems...
The bottom line:
In both religion and nationalism we mostly find illogical positions of prejudice. Religious groups and national groups usually view themselves each as THE BEST, and their members as superior to other groups and each will battle for supremecy (this is a POWER struggle, not a struggle for "rights" - not if it is against another self-identifying group... power struggle against AUTHORITY is the only thing acceptable to call a "fight for rights."), as apparent from all our history books as far back as we can trace.
Any group - nationalist, religious, or any other - which can be influenced to believe its members are superior to any other group just based on membership or geographical region - is DANGEROUS and has been led far, far away from critical thinking.
THE ULTIMATE BOTTOM LINE:
NATIONALISM AT ITS CORE IS "SEPARATION" and prejudice. It breeds discomfort with differences and is a seed from which hate can grow. Hate will grow BEST where the most intense feelings of love (of only similarity) also grow... Nationalism creates a dissonance in the human mind where emotions reside... it is very easy to tip the balance and allow hate, fear and negative things to grow - with the same intensity as love we might be aware of. In order to feel two things very strongly at the same time we have to separate them in our psyches.
Concepts of "community" can accompllish the same things that we expect nationalism and patriotism to accomplish (if we're trying to view nationalism and patriotism in positive ways) - WITHOUT the damage of "othering" far away neighbors, the differences in others, etc.
Of course - to accomplish the above, we'll have to call this "Community," instead of "Nationalism or Patriotism," won't we?
Think about the ultimate bottom line, will you, please?
Getting rid of medals and stars
Bring on the Critical Thinking
There's obviously no way to get away from nationalist groups forming but with a great deal of critical thinking, we can transform unhealthy and dangerous nationalist groups and behaviors. Frankly, there is need for "grouping" because we have billions of people on this earth and we do need some governance and order...
The only way to have groups is for large numbers of people to reach toward critical thinking and transform and transcend physical boundaries. People in one geographical location are NOT superior to others in another geographical location in their entirety.
I believe the key concept to promote here, is: EQUALITY versus any persons or groups deciding they are superior to any one or many others.
Mostly, I think that high percentages of peoples from each country around the world quite unanimously wish for the world to be a peaceful place. It is mainly when governments via media, laws, etc., influence people that individuals learn to hate other nations/peoples. Most people, if they are away from their TV sets, radios, etc., and if you ask them to discuss "what would a peaceful world look like to you?" they have many of the same ideas despite geographical location...
Almost everyone from every country appreciates family units, friends, nature, enjoying good physical health...
So why do so many of us INSIST that our national group is SO DIFFERENT than other groups and also insist that our national group is superior to others?
Believe me, (and if you don't believe me, get out some textbooks, go ask some people - foreigners included - and find out for yourself) human beings around the world hold more fundamental similarities than differences. So many of the same needs for food, clothing, shelter, safety, friends, family, good health, etc., why would ANYONE WANT TO impose upon all this sameness with Nationalist beliefs?
Nationalism is one of the most dangerous social constructions ever to affect humankind. The term wasn't common until the last hundred years or so but the "othering of perceived enemies" has been with us for a long, long time...you could describe most or all of the past ancient peoples' wars as nationalist groups pitted against others...the need to be bonded with neighbours in a beneficial way has always been with us - we're social creatures... Positive and amicable bonds like this have a different name - "community" - but politicians, particularly in our present day, influence us to believe that community and nationalism mean the same thing...and that if we are acting for our country or national group, we are serving community... (notice the intricacies here - they're important).
Sorry but nationalism does NOT serve community - it destroys community - and also, in a very sneaky, NON NEGOTIABLE WAY - it ends up DESTROYING BONDS...because nationalism often KILLS people - in the form of "patriotism" and "fighting for your country."
In the social construction of nationalism what has happened/resulted is negative influence by authorities for ages...this nationalism makes people believe that they are DOING RIGHT by killing people outside their own nationalist group.
Let's stop getting "community" mixed up with "nationalism" and things supposedly good for our countries. The only people benefiting from nationalism are people so far at the top of the political manipulation games that they're not close to our human communities, anyway.
If you're interested in reading, I recommend a book by Benedict Anderson called "Imagined Communities." All about the origin and spread of Nationalism. On google books, the entire text can be read, save for the bibliography portion of the book. (I have this book in my personal library - if there's a particular reference you really need I can look it up for you).
* Note - not a book easily skimmed through - rather - you shouldn't skim through this material.
Responses to Jason R. Manning
Because there are a number of distractions and side-arguments going on in the comments from Mr. Jason R. Manning, I've choosen to respond in a module set aside for this purpose.
In my opinion, Mr. Manning uses a number of arguments which begin from questionable premises and/or lead to fallacy, including arguments in the style of ad hominem, appeal to emotion, Ad Hominem Tu Quoque, appeal to tradition, argumentum ad consequentiam (appeal to consequences of belief), begging the question and many more. In fact, most of Mr. Manning's arguments are bad argument style, full of passion but little logic or based on improper evidence... perhaps the greatest evidence source is Mr. Manning's passion - however - articulate, impassioned words still require reason (not "a reason" but "reason/critical thinking") to be valid. Some example of bad arguments and fallacies: Bad Argument Tactics: Ad Hominem and More
Before I start rebuttals of sorts, I'd also like you to view Mr. Manning's hub, Ungrateful Whine: antinationalist poison just so you can get a well rounded sense of Mr. Manning's viewpoints on Nationalism. I've supplied the link to Mr. Manning's hub as I'm pretty sure he wrote it in response to arguments that first started on this "Dangers of Nationalism" hub and I'm also pretty sure that I am the Ungrateful Whine-r Manning intends to insult (ad hominem - nice) by the writing and publishing of his "Ungrateful Whine [...]" article.
Dangers of Nationalism - arguments and comments Mr. Manning has placed before me:
1. Mr. Manning: "I am curious; you do realize that you have been given a gift to dispute Nationalism? Do you think that you would be given the right to say what you are saying in China? Or better yet, North Korea? (in the 1st comment block Mr. Manning placed on my hub).
(Firstly, I have to ask... which issue are we discussing, Mr. Manning? The issue of Nationalism (and MY apparent lack of respect for nationalist benefits, etc?) or the human rights or lack of human rights in China - and in North Korea?)
Next...in response to the "gift" question... I answered appropriately in comments, however, I will extend my point of view right here:
- the issue of "right to speak" is no gift according to the laws and human rights documents in my country. Furthermore, I observe the rights that other people have and regularly respect when they make use of their right for free speech - without belittling or launching ad hominem or other disrespectful attacks on the speaker.
- the "gift" Mr. Manning speaks of is no gift to me but rather, the "freedom of speech" concept I grew up with demands that I be RESPONSIBLE in my statements, (if I am allowed to speak, I must speak carefully and considerately and from critical thinking to avoid unnecessary harm to others...I must not use my freedom of speech to oppress another, harm another or do intentional damage to another person, group or people) for freedom of anything never comes without accountability and responsibility surrounding the thing being allowed as a "right." I have been exercising my freedom of speech and my responsibilties to share knowledge about what I have learned about Nationalism via concerted efforts and study beforehand.
- My viewpoints on Nationalism are not simply my deeply held emotional responses to ideas about Nationalism - in fact - in learning about nationalism I had to OVERCOME the indoctrinations, common ideologies of my region and times in order to understand HOW DANGEROUS NATIONALISM IS...I did not choose to speak out against nationalism until I understood its dangers very well.
The question about China... no, I probably wouldn't have the right to speak freely in China while holding the positions and viewpoints I do - and I am very grateful not to be expressing myself in China or from under Chinese forms of Nationalist oppression and control.
The question about North Korea... I must give a similar answer as above...no, I'd likely not be speaking freely without inviting danger to my person if I were voicing my opinions about the dangers of nationalism in North Korea. Again, I am grateful not to be in danger of being silenced in any way by powers of Nationalist oppression and control from North Korea.
To sum up my thoughts on these three topics... It's still not a "gift" to be able to speak freely in North America. The right to be respected and the responsibilities to respect others happens to be something more complex than a bunch of founding fathers of ANY country - and early military personnel from a recent but earlier generation - making this "right" available to me.
Manning: "[...] it was Nationalist’s and Patriots that fought for our right to turn around and tear down the men and women who elevated our countries."
My response: (it should be "Nationalists" not "Nationalist's")
I feel that I use the right of freedom of speech responsibly. I do not make HEROES of past military personnel who fought for any portion of North America to gain its freedoms and the rights of its people. I am truly grounded in how our "rights" and "freedoms" documents and laws were brought about and am grateful without buying into the myths about war, founding fathers, etc., that are taught in North American schools as indoctrination into Nationalism and Patriotism. I am also highly aware of the social constructions of family, religion, dominant ideology in society and do not promote those constructions which are harmful to society or seem to be primarily used to the detriment of society - such as patriotism and nationalism.
- I also do not share in Mr. Manning's opinion of our "elevated" countries. I do not believe that Canadians or Americans are inherently better or more elevated than people in other countries. That is, in the "worth" aspect, Canadians and Americans are not worth more than Sudanese people, the people of East Timor, people in Malaysia, North or South Koreans, Greeks, Brits, etc. Some of us behave more poorly, according to the social constructions we're trapped in or are sometimes completely unaware of, but we are all worthy of life, respect, freedom from oppression, social interactions, etc., from country to country.
- The borders of countries are SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS... nobody "owns" any particular area or region but leaders CONTROL and use tactics of oppression to define, guard and extend borders. We allow, by manufactured consent and by ignorance of the rights of others and even misunderstandings about the rights we have individually, our world leaders to outline, control and manipulate our borders and the people within and without.
2. Mr. Manning: "I just wonder for the sake of this conversation if you find it respectful to disrespect the sacrifice’s of the many?"
My Response: (it is "sacrifices" not "sacrifice's")
I have intended no disrespect regarding sacrifices past generations have made, Mr. Manning. In the interest of ad hominem your question/point seems intended to make me appear like I am unpatriotic and non-nationalist (actually true, I am not patriotic, I am not a nationalist), and therefore steer me into an area, for future readers, where I am in a bad light. I think, by my past articles and certainly my language on this hub, readers will be able to ascertain that I mean no disrespect here. I only intend to avoid presenting an illusion that I would gladly make heroes of past military personnel and glorify anything of the events and consequences of past wars. Regardless of the benefits that some wars have brought to countries like Canada and the U.S.A., I never intend to highlight the benefits without also drawing attention to the cons. In fact, so many people are aware of the perceived benefits of past wars that I don't even have to focus on the pros... I can safely keep discussing the downfalls of past wars without anyone ever forgetting to mention something they view as a positive (and, usually erroneously positive) aspect of wars. The price paid for certain sorts of liberation has been too high and too few have learned any proper lessons from wars in our past, Mr. Manning. I would be an irresponsible Canadian, North American, and Global citizen if I were to take on your viewpoint just because you pressure me with ad hominem and other fallacy arguments.
Manning: mention of Winston Churchill, Queen Victoria and Seward... "It was Winston Churchill who rallied the Briton’s to stop Hitler. Queen Victoria was instrumental in using her diplomatic skills to secure Canada’s future, not to mention many other devout Briton’s. Seward helped divert attention from American’s salivating over Canadian property when he helped purchase Alaska."
My response: (it is "Britons" not "Briton's" and "Americans" not "American's")
What do Sir Churchill, Her Highness Queen Victoria and Seward have to do with "Dangers of Nationalism?" Besides the fact that your assessment of these peoples' involvement in our recent past is a "pop culture" version and you have picked a few items of action from these people and disregarded their OTHER ROLES in the creating and funding of global warfare in our recent past... these people have all been considered powerful Nationalists who have all caused detrimental events upon people of numerous nations, Mr. Manning. To continue to address a line of argument or discussion involving these individuals will be complete distraction from the Nationalist topic at hand while your attempts to use very shaky points on these people to support your ad hominem attack on me is just non-sense. Your use of Churchill, Victoria and Seward are about your attack on my character and my "ungratefulness" toward those you see as heroic in some way... not about Nationalism.
Mr. Manning: "There are times in our lives when it is just that simple, us against them."
My Response: the statement is a statement of oppression, using "us" and "them," implying that one group of people has more inherent worth than the group being compared ie: US is better than THEM... One cannot use this statement universally and switch who US and THEM are, so I reject this statement as being a voice of oppression, a voice of intended intimidation and intended to display a "superiority" over the "them" group. Also - nothing involving human beings, their well being, aspects of power, control, ownership/use of regions of the globe, etc., should ever be considered "just that simple." Nothing is ever this simple. Determining complex situations to be "simple" will always result in band-aid "simple" solutions or actions which will always fall short...
Mr. Manning, are you and your "us" (in this case, your Americans) group more worthy than any 'them' you can compare against? Are you aware that "us" and "them" are illusions of social construction? Are you aware that, across the world from you, they are "US" and you are "THEM?" This still isn't right - but nationalism and "othering" those that people don't understand or feel immediate kinship toward happens from all areas of the globe. The "us," "them," "they" and "other" are conveniently built into our English language and I believe it is a good idea to only use these words to denote a group I am talking about when I cannot quickly or conveniently put a name to a group I am speaking of - without the connotations of power and control these terms also carry. I used "they" above, for example, but only to refer to a non-specific group of people somewhere - not to convey that "they" have less worth or power or that "they" includes a threat to another group.
Mr. Manning: "Do you believe that Muslims will leave Jew’s alone if they just quietly give up their tiny little state and walk away?"
My Response: (it's "Jews" not "Jew's")
I believe that, as an American, you are being very high-brow and overly forward to suggest anything one way or another about Muslims and Jews. How is this question directly related to my hub on Dangers of Nationalism? You mention two groups of people shown to be as dangerous as any other who hold erroneous beliefs about power, oppression, other groups as well as notions about their own superiority over other individuals and groups. You are not excluded from being dangerous or holding dangerous and erroneous beliefs by being the one to point fingers, either, Mr. Manning.
(BTW the argument here/information on Muslims and Jews is a fallacy argument: false dilemma tactic, also a distraction tactic - away from the real issues. My arguing this point either unsuccessfully or successfully doesn't add or take away from my points in "Dangers of Nationalism" ie: winning or losing this side-argument won't change the validity of my points about dangers of nationalism or your weak/invalid, fallacy arguments on the same subject. Arguing about Muslims and Jews might be interesting but won't prove any point suggesting that nationalism or patriotism are good, if that's what Mr. Manning is hoping for or if that is his intended position).
Is a Muslim or Jew living in your neighborhood in need of different things than you are, Mr. Manning? Food, clothing, shelter, social interaction and relationships, peaceful communities and community interaction? I believe that most Muslims want peace - wherever in the world the Muslims live and that Jews, likewise, would like to live with ample food, clothing, shelter, social and community interaction and relationships and that Jews, like any other group of people, would like to have interactions with any neighboring groups or individuals.
Actually, instead of talking in strictly "nationalities," you are now including "race" and "religion" into your argument style, leading me to believe that you might be issuing racist slurs and fanatical statements - also based on emotion and lack of critical thinking. Since racism, religious fanaticism and nationalism all rely on tools of oppression, "othering" and power, they're all extremely close to the same thing, so perhaps we're going to cover a lot of ground basically on the topic of OPPRESSION here some day.
To Sum up: Mr. Manning it may be no business of yours whatsoever to say or imply what Muslims or Jews do or how they interact together - certainly it is little of your business to assume how Muslims and Jews feel in their own peer groups and toward other groups - particularly when you are assuming yourself (or speaking from a position which tends to lead) to be superior in knowledge about Muslims and Jews or what is right or wrong in their interactions with each other.
I am certainly not qualified to answer the question, "Do you believe that Muslims will leave Jew’s alone if they just quietly give up their tiny little state and walk away?" How would I know - how would ANYONE know if Muslims will leave Jews alone of if struggles to own and control a "tiny little state" will continue or not? Is it YOUR state, Mr. Manning? Do you have a real interest in that tiny little state - or just an interest in pointing your finger at 2 groups of "them-others"?
Mr. Manning: "I make no bones, I feel compelled to show respect to those who died so I can have a better life. I certainly am not going to spit on their graves and call them backward for being Patriotic. But hey, I am just one man talking here. Good Day."
My Response: I'm pretty sure we're both above spitting on graves, Mr. Manning. A good day to you, too.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on March 14, 2019:
Brad on January 15, 2019:
My country is the best country in the world
My country is the US and it is the one country I would rather live in than any other.
My country is better than other countries
It is certainly the most powerful country in the world.
My country and its people are best in the world and better than in other countries
I am not sure about people, and the government is certainly not good.
I have a duty to my country
I think that duty should be mutual
I have a duty to my country, its people, its interests
I have a duty to go fight for my country if I am asked to do so by authorities
Only to protect the country, not to marshall other countries.
If I am asked to fight to defend my country I agree to kill other human beings in this dedication to my country, its people and interests
Sanxuary on April 11, 2017:
Nationalismn is a tough topic in a country of immigrants. The last election has been a bold attempt to find a nationalist movement when it really does not exist and has quickly been proven it does not work. Its more of a club these days with some honest members and most of us clueless. Its like the commercial where you get a dna test and find out your not German but Scottish instead. The person turns in one cultural costume in for another. Did it really matter before and does it really matter now? Most of us have several which one should I be this week. Its the ideaology that is dangerous or a belief that other normal people ruled by tyrants must support the tyrants that rule them. Live and let live and if God exist I hope he is the same race as me. Thats a dumb idea but maybe i get to pick my next color and country in the after life.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on December 17, 2014:
Hi holley weeks, thanks for adding a definition on patriotism here. Your definition and words provide a lot to think about concerning inclusivity and "community."
holley weeks on December 02, 2014:
One definition of patriotism is "love of one's birthplace". Our birthplace is the earth, our allegiance needs be inclusive, blanketing the entire community residing on this "pale blue dot". No part is greater then the whole.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on November 15, 2013:
Oh, wow, Dolores Monet - had I been able to state things the way you just did, a full page hub wouldn't have been written at all. Concise arguments, I think people should quote you! :) Thanks for reading and commenting.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 15, 2013:
Whoah, interesting topic and I love the whole comments section. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and remember talking about nationalism in school. We were warned against nationalism. How it can blind a people, how it led to the rise of fascism, and how the Nazis used it. Sure, my school flew a flag. We recited the Pledge. But there is a kind of blindness that comes with political passion that can lead us into evil, into turning on others without rational thought.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on November 10, 2013:
Thanks for commenting. I see you don't like my conclusion and feel it "is total rubbish." Perhaps if you have a chance to re-visit, you can explain why you think my conclusion is total rubbish. Perhaps you'll say/text something that will change my mind. I don't learn much when people agree with me, so maybe you'll teach me something! :)
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on November 10, 2013:
Hi Z, thanks for reading and commenting - I'll head over to check out your articles.
Carl on November 10, 2013:
Some of your points I can agree with, some I can't. But your conclusion is total rubbish.
Gary Z McGee from Everywhere, USA on January 16, 2013:
Great hub, Myth. I am Z. And I'm perhaps the least patriotic American you'll ever meet. I'm looking forward to checking out more of your work. Ciao!
Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on January 04, 2013:
Excellent Hub, Mythbuster. "Isms" of all sorts have a strong tendency of gathering and creating extremists in their support. As you state, more critical thinking is needed and nationalism , as well as all other 'isms' tend to destroy critical thinking. We need more reaching out and developing empathy with 'others" rather than excluding them.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on August 19, 2012:
Hello drantolic. Thanks for commenting and sharing your account of this incident experienced in Iraq. Perhaps others will take note on how this situation was dealt with and question orders in similar circumstances from now on (I can hope, anyway). I'm glad that you and those you were with questioned and dealt accordingly with authority in your situation. A village was prevented from being burned, by the sounds of things, due to your and your peers' capacity to do what is right. What you have shared leaves me hopeful that, even in difficult circumstances, many people out there have the capacity and resolve to do difficult things - even if they go against authority and might face consequences for their actions. Thanks again for sharing these details.
Anthony W. Antolic from Vancouver, Washington. on August 19, 2012:
I served in Iraq. I know first hand what hate can make a man do. But when our CO gave the order to burn a village with no justification, he became the enemy. After he woke up staked to the ground with nothing to protect him from the sun and no water. The jack ass never assumed to give an order based on hate again. He resigned his commission for fear of not living through his own command. War is never nice but a soldier was give the right to refuse an order if the man giving the order is deemed unfit for command. Every man on that battlefield has the choice to do what is right. I am ashamed that so many don't have the guts to follow through.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on August 04, 2012:
Hello Rick. Thanks for sharing a little about your experiences in South Africa. I also struggle to understand all the "other-ing" of those who are not living in our same location, living our same lifestyle, etc. I think diversity is much more interesting and valuable than everyone aspiring to be the same. I have a struggle with watching Olympics and partly - because I am aware of the surge of emotions I feel when Canadians do well at the games... it's hard to THINK CLEARLY when I want to cheer, etc, so it brings me really, REALLY close to understanding how people can be misled by emotional cues - into being Patriotic or Nationalistic on a daily basis... sort of a foot-in-the-door effect... after the emotion and committing to a side... it gets easier to believe in one-Nation (to the exclusion of others) ideas and harder to move back toward valuing diversity, etc. For me, I take time to evaluate "what just happened" to my emotions, thinking processes following viewing of Olympic coverage... I'm always taken aback by the way feelings can interrupt/intrude upon critical thinking!
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on August 04, 2012:
konna4649, thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you chuckled a bit. I do, too, sometimes - when I see how serious some of the responses are on the topics of Nationalism and Patriotism... wow, a lot of emotions wrapped up in this stuff. (*Note: mine is sort of a nervous, out-of-sorts chuckling - not laughin' at anyone).
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on August 04, 2012:
Darkproxy, I'm not sure I am on your same wavelength... thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I will think about your comment s'more.
Rick on August 04, 2012:
Great article! I grew up in South Africa where I saw first hand the damage that racism and prejudice can cause, often based on the myth that some people are superior to others.
I completely agree with you that we need to actively fight feelings of nationalism, it's all to easy to get caught up in it.
What I struggle to understand is why people deprive themselves of getting to learn about new cultures, making new friends, simply because they believe some broad group is not to be trusted. I would agree some governments are not to be trusted, but then every government has a skeleton in its closet. Every one is led by politicians with their own personal interests at stake.
As time has gone I have grown to despise patriotism and nationalism. With the Olympics on at the moment I find it worrying to see just how nationalistic many people really are. I wonder, is this how things appeared before the two World Wars?
konna4649 on July 30, 2012:
You have eloquently expressed my similar feelings of nationalism / patriotism. I have travelled around the world and have since recognized the "us" -"them" dichotomy (as an "us" and a "them") and have argued about it while being an "us" as well as a "them". Funny enough, when I was a "them" my argument was more accepted than when I was an "us". Interesting, eh? (cultural background revealed)
Your fallacy analysis is just an added bonus (with a few chuckles and a couple of ouches.)
Darkproxy from Ohio on July 18, 2012:
For america it beats Romney and Obama, hell Obama loves to kill brown people in his first year in office Obama used more drone strikes than bush did in 8 years. Scary but true he used a drone to kill a 16 year old boy who was a citizen of the US.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on June 11, 2012:
Thanks Marquis. Nice article.
Marquis from Ann Arbor, MI on June 11, 2012:
No, it is on Suite 101.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on June 10, 2012:
Hello Marquis. Thanks for taking time to read and to comment. Is your article on militant atheism on Hub Pages? I would like to read it sometime.
Marquis from Ann Arbor, MI on June 10, 2012:
For a nation to survive, it must have patriots and to believe in something. Since you attack religion, can we take a look at militant atheism? I did an article on militant atheism and how the U.S.S.R attacked its churches reducing them almost nothing in numbers.
Religion has given education and solice to the world. It is the differing beliefs which is bad.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on April 19, 2012:
Hello shadow Jamesclow. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I agree - some dangerous general impressions/perceptions masquerade as our reality.
I navigated over to the new hub you've written and have enjoyed it a lot. I hope you will write more articles like "Being Genuinely Kind Vs Being Religious." You've written on more than just kindness and religion - but also on honor in the kindness vs religious hub, so your article has given me a lot to think about.
James from Shadow Street on April 14, 2012:
Nice hub. Never trust to general impressions. Some of them are dangerous that drives reality.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on February 10, 2012:
A patriot, I assume we'll have to agree to disagree on a number of points. Yes, I do believe that community can replace general concepts of patriotism and nationalism and that it can be superior to both. I don't think my statements are an appeal to fear and empathy. Nationalism often kills people. Period. It's a pretty plain statement, A patriot. You say nationalism and patriotism are deeply embedded in human mind however, I feel they are social constructions and do not have to become embedded in our thinking. To continue to promote strong nationalism and patriotism isn't going to get rid of "the world where nationalism and patriotism are so present those that reject them get trampled by those who embrace them."
Sooner28 on February 05, 2012:
Interesting. I also like the way you pointed out that the ultra religious, especially of the conservative variety, have nationalistic tendencies, especially with the belief that "hell" is the place where "non-christians" go. Good hub and voted up.
A patriot on February 01, 2012:
You seem to forget that high doses of violence, outbursts of emotion...etc. caused by nationalism and patriotism are not necessarily bad.
They serve both for rallying people in launching an unjust attack as well as rallying people for just defense.
Hitler and his like may have throughout history used nationalism and similar concepts to aid their goals but so did everyone that fought against them.
You speak of some sort "community" as if community is an alternative to nationalism and patriotism which really makes no sense.
If by "community" you mean the feelings of community that humans feel then I must again inform you that is not alternative to nationalism and patriotism, it is nothing more then a watered-down version of nationalism and patriotism.
Community and "community" are what gives rise to nationalism and patriotism.
Given enough time and importance in the mind of man every community without exceptions will begin generating in people emotions for that community that are the same as emotions that power nationalism and patriotism.
We have seen this happen over and over again throughout the history and can see it happen today.
I am not telling you that we are restricted from behaving better I am telling you that we are restricted from behaving that much better and that it is good we are.
I am telling you that all-encompassing equality view you propose is impossible and that are very good reasons why it is impossible.
I have used emotions to bolster my arguments but to my knowledge I have not appealed to emotion as an argument in itself.
Also what the hell do you think you are doing if not appealing to emotions when write "nationalism often KILLS people"?
Is that sentence not an appeal to fear and empathy?
I have not committed the fallacy of Appeal to Tradition because I have never claimed that we should act in a certain way just because we have acted that way before.
I have used history and human behavior to prove that nationalism and patriotism are deeply embedded in human mind but the reason I have given why we should embrace nationalism and patriotism is not because we have acted that way before but because in the world where nationalism and patriotism are so present those that reject them get trampled by those who embrace them.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on January 27, 2012:
A patriot - you make very good points, I have refused to accept traditional arguments and now view them as invalid. I will speak on this for a moment, then take on some of your other arguments on another day, after more thought.
Yes, I reject and view traditional arguments as invalid. I used to hold these as truths (as I mentioned in the core of my article) but found these truths to be lacking in many things - social justice, accountability, fairness, non-violence, etc. I didn't reject the concepts of Nationalism/Patriotism lightly or just overnight. I feel I have studied enough on Nationalism/Patriotism, history of war, psychology, sociology etc., to be able to speak in my article in exactly the way I presented. I don't believe we need be harnessed into our instincts with no control over our behaviours. We are asked to use critical thinking skills in most other areas of life - I have asked people to use critical thinking skills to examine what Nationalism/Patriotism has given us (high doses of violence, outbursts of emotion, etc) - and also provided an example of "Community" which provides what many/most people erroneously believe Nationalism/Patriotism gives us in a positive way. It seems to me that you're telling me I know too little about human nature yet you seem to be saying, also, that we are restricted from behaving well due to our human nature and have a history of this to back up your point. I feel that we are much more than just our emotional outbursts and that people have a great capacity for problem-solving over our great and many difficulties in our world. That we have a history of acting bad, harming people, going to war does not mean we can't find and employ better ways to behave and problem-solve even over wide-spread, difficult issues. I feel you are just showing up to oppose me - without actually considering my article in full. You admitted as you made your first post that you did not read the article in full. I studied on Nationalism/Patriotism and points in other disciplines along with and besides the discipline of history studies which related to Nationalism/Patriotism before I wrote this article. Doing so cemented my position on these matters - but I was informed before making my strong statements. Learning about these Dangers of Nationalism changed the views I had going into the study of these topics. If you have more to teach me on these matters, I will gladly learn - but if you're just showing up to debate and oppose me because you can - I can assure you - you are repeating arguments that I had, myself, before I began researching on these topics and are repeating age-old, traditional arguments that can be proven as fallacy arguments. You have already used Appeal To Emotion, Appeal to Tradition, and other forms of fallacy statements/argument. If these are your best arguments, or I have mistaken them for fallacies and they are not, you'll need to provide me with more proofs that I should take on your point of view.
A patriot on January 26, 2012:
I never said anything about attacking others, only about defending ourselves from others.
What I am describing is reasoning that takes into account how man behaves and prescribes actions best taken to ensure the survival and prosperity of individual and those he cares for.
The fact that you refuse to accept traditional arguments does not make them invalid.
In your article you have asked people to use reasoning skills and then told them what to think offering them facts that support your reasoning while leaving out many aspects of human behavior that fly in the face of your reasoning.
You speak of some sort of all-encompassing equality but such a thing does not and can not exist, humans by their very nature discriminate and prefer those like themselves; we have entire human history (writen or unwritten) as undeniable proof of this.
In your article you claim that nationalism creates "the others" but you are sorely mistaken, "the others" along with prejudices and tendency to creates stereotypes predate nationalism by tens of thousand if not millions of years, they are unerasable parts of human mind that make your goals impossible and your stances unnatural.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on January 25, 2012:
A lot of people disagree with me, matlock
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on January 25, 2012:
Dear A patriot:
Sorry to hear you could not bring yourself to finish reading the article. In your argument about limited resources of the world, combined with the whole of what you've conveyed, do you expect me to applaud your reasoning? ie: resources are limited so it is okay for people to act uncivilized, bond together in various groups to go after the unlimited resources - at the expense of other bonded groups? (I know you didn't say all this - just pushing the argument to its logical end... it's a very old argument, basically a "model" of expected reaction to nationalistic threat that has been preached for thousands of years - I hope you don't mind). Something like that?
Sorry, A patriot, I can't see this reasoning as sound and am sure you and I will not agree on many things. What I feel you've described in your commenting are human fear reactions (mention of "tribe" - do you mean instinct?), followed by expected (and so far, permissible) actions - not reasoning. I think most of us are capable of reasoning instead of only responding with the more unstable fear reactions.
I have, in my article (that you didn't read in full), asked people to use reasoning skills, not provide the old fear-generated, instinct-based and traditional arguments. The latter have all brought us quite enough damage, war and oppression in the name of Nationalism/Patriotism and alleged love of country. I will never ask a patriot OR a hippie to lay down his/her life for me or for his/her country and people.
Don't worry - A patriot - I won't ask you to help me if an armed invasion happens in my country. Thank you for stopping by to comment.
A patriot on January 24, 2012:
Dear Mr. mythbuster I honest to God could not finish reading your article and as such will not address each point of your article but will rather inform you how reality works for you appear to be divorced from it.
The world is not perfect, all men are not "brothers" and the world is not your home.
Our "brothers" are those to whom we naturaly bind due to the fact that we share country and culture and with whom we more often then not share fate with, our home in not world for world holds many places with many group that will never accept as their own instead our home is the place where others share our ways and embrace us as their own.
Resources of the world are not unlimited and humans are biologically programmed to attempt to gain them for themselves, their kin and their "tribe" and most of them do not particularly care that those resources are yours.
This is where your "tribe's" nationalistic feelings come into play, this is the part where they say "you cannot have that, that belong to our tribe", where the "others" realise that you are not alone and that harming you will cost them.
You go on and preach how bad nationalism is but I wonder who would you rather have next to you should another nation assault your country; a hippie that contemplates on how unhumane nationalism is and how it generates prejudice or a patriot that will gladly lay down his life for his country and people?
matlock on November 06, 2011:
I totally disagree with you sir.
blake4d on June 12, 2011:
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on June 12, 2011:
Wow, Q Source, Blake? re-posted? nice! Nothing like some controversy, huh? thx. Will be spending much time at the blog updating. Nice to see you too!
blake4d on June 12, 2011:
Hi wanted to let you know that you have articles I reoposted on the 800
Here are the days and articles:
613, 611, 610, 609, 608, 607
The sticks and stones, the three part R. Forest Ufo series, and the two part BEK series, ( except Ithink the videos are no longer on Utube)
597, 596, 595
Pareidolia, Q source, Nationalism
Glad you are well. Blake4d
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on June 12, 2011:
wingedcentaur, thanks for the support of my ideas on this hub - especially since the concepts are NOT POPULAR lol. At your mention of the mainstream media's celebration of the murder of Osama Bin Laden, I cringe once more - appreciating that you used the word "MURDER!"
Much of the world just celebrated "MURDER" in my lifetime. This frightens me a whole lot.
William Thomas from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things! on June 01, 2011:
I gave you four out of four stars for this one, mythbuster. That means I voted this hub up for useful, awesome, beautiful, and funny (It's "Britons" not "Briton's" and "Americans" not "American's"), etc, so on and so foth, lol.:D
What you were referring to about the dangers of nationalism sounds a lot like something Dr. Michael Parenti calls "SuperPatriotism." Another word, I believe, for excessive patriotism or excessive nationalism, is jingoism. Basically, in this modality people are "proud" of their nation's superior ability to inflict violence on other people.
As I am sure you have noted, mythbuster, the ugliest manifestation of that was the celebration in the mainstream media of the murder of Osama bin Laden (probably a CIA aseet from beginning to end). You may have noted that President Obama said something about how "justice was brought" to bin Laden. What does that mean???!!!!
All of the sudden his administration turned sensitive about releasing the photos (violence porn) of the assassination, claiming that "that is not who we are" and so forth.
I would just add that not only are religion and nationalism very similar phenomena, but the two have often been joined. In ancient history this took the form of the state cult, in which the emperor himself, was worshipped as a god. I think we came close to that, if not replicated the phenomena, in the United States after 9/11.
George W. Bush's professed Christian Fundamentalism is well known. During the first presidential campaign of 1999/2000, during one of the debates, George W. colorfully said that JESUS CHRIST was his favorite philosopher, and so forth. He was asked cornball questions by his abettors in the media, about how his faith "sustained" him (after the 9/11 attacks,you know, during that time of intergalactic crisis when the weight of the cosmos was on his shoulders, and all that).
Rumor has it that before th 2000 presidential SELECTION Bush went around telling people that he believed "God" had been "calling" him to be President of the United States.
And so on and so forth.
Take it easy.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on November 06, 2010:
Gathering from the last line of your comment post, MauiPortal, that you're somewhat of a Fatist?
MauiPortal on November 01, 2010:
nationalism is on the rise everywhere in the world, that is the trend, because communism and international socialism is on the decline. Your whole life you've lived in a bubble created by international bankers who love globalism and hate nationalist. But the bankers are on the run, the government is not going to save you, now you'll have to depend on family. And when you really think about it, family is an extension of tribe, and the tribe is in fact an extension of the nation, hence nationalism. Long after the bank is dead and 100 years of fraud is over, the nationalist will take over the world again as they have from time eternal
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on October 26, 2010:
Thank you for reading and for commenting. I'm not sure your examples of Nationalism and Patriotism aren't either "pop-culture" concepts or self-defined but will think upon them awhile, Mr. Berndt, giving you the benefit of doubt for a time.
I am quite aware that most people DO TAKE ISSUE with my words on these topics. I have had to "un-learn" my own concepts about nationalism and patriotism - and it was painful to do so - in order to learn the history of, effects of and manipulations surrounding these topics. I can definitely understand that you take issue here but my hub isn't about my passionate opinion on these topics - it's about my study of the same and what many scholars (rather than "pop-culture" authors) from the fields of history studies, sociology and psychology say on the matters of Nationalism and Patriotism.
Jeff Berndt from Southeast Michigan on October 26, 2010:
Hi, Mythbuster. This is a useful hub, but I take issue with your confounding of patriotism and nationalism. A patriot will try to correct his country's course if he sees that it is going in the wrong direction. A nationalist will defend his country's course regardless. A nationalist thinks, "Whatever my country does is right." A patriot thinks, "Whatever is right is what my country ought to do."
See the difference? I consider myself to be a patriot. I love my country, but not unconditionally, and I'm doing my best to make it a better one.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 26, 2010:
I have a feeling I will never be done with this issue, lorlie6 lol.
Misinformation is an almost impossible thing to correct. I'm not even going to suggest the word/concept of "ignorance" here 'cos most people are NOT really ignorant - just misinformed but content to stay in a viewpoint that gets "stable" and "comfortable" and feeds some of their emotions. Also - the "stable" argument is usually shared by many people and if people are afraid to stand alone in a valid argument, it is very easy to side-step back to "a crowd" and abandon better reasoning. Bad reasoning "sounds good" and people can shout it loud so long as they are in a large group...
I think a lot of people come across "truths" and are not ignorant at all... but we're human, so it's hard to be assertive against a crowd of emotionally-thinking and speaking people.
Thanks so much for your comments, lorlie6.
Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on September 26, 2010:
The 'powers that be' depend upon the lack of critical thinking and encourage an emotional, invalid stance when nationalism is in question. Mythbuster, you've met this challenge head-on and make excellent points. The patriotic, nationalistic, or chauvinist viewpoints are indeed social constructs, not truths.
But those who adopt these ideologies, who are socialized mercilessly to live by their fallacious standards, are terribly misled. It's only with a critical eye that we can see that elephant you describe for what he in fact is.
Excellent treatment of a troubling issue.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 26, 2010:
OMG my comment posts are almost longer than my hub lmao
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 26, 2010:
Sorry, Mr. Manning, by "emotion" I intended to say "appeal to emotion in argument." Many of your points are an appeal to emotion and are very weak arguments, partly distractions from the points I've made in my hub.
Appeal to tradition, appeal to emotion, appeal to common belief, distraction and more are all forms of bad (but are commonly and erroneously considered valid) argument and all lead to fallacy. Strong emotional reaction, yes, you'll get those with your arguments - proof that your points are valid, no.
The more I assert my points, the more you ask me to consider away from the topic of Nationalism. You also provide examples or ask me to consider democracy, capitalism and what I assume is Christian religious influence... all forms of the same sort of nationalism model or subject to the same problems as ideas about nationalism are prone to that I have provided information about in this hub. You seem to not understand that your points are based in common ideology, not "proof of the value of nationalism." That you feel very strongly about your points does not make them valid. It actually makes them dangerous - just as I've explained that Nationalism is dangerous.
I am constantly reminded of the situation Galileo encountered in his time when I read your arguments... when people threatened him because his new truths went against common ideology of his times. Your arguments are of the "common belief system," not based in proofs of valid beneficial function (of nationalism), truths, or even reasonable logic. ie: you feel strongly so you make statements and appear to refuse the logical arguments I have provided for you to consider.
Your last question has nothing to do with Nationalism, its definition, consequences and effects. You've asked me to provide you with a solution to an example of your design (attempt at covert ad hominem?) when I set out, with this hub, to expose the dangers of nationalism so that people can stop falling into emotional arguments, traditional arguments, common arguments which support the complexities and various negative aspects of nationalism - which greatly outnumber the one possible positive component of nationalism (feeling of unity - but this can also be achieved with models called "community").
You've mentioned the word "discourse" but this is not discourse here - this is more a "debate."
Discourse happens when people share their views and exchange ideas. What you seem to be doing is trying to prove the entire of my content in my hub as invalid information, show that I am not correct in my statements.
Did you read the information I provided the link for yet? The Anderson material on Nationalism? "Imagined Communities?"
You speak of your points about governments, leaders, government structures like democracy, etc as if they are real structures, Mr. Manning - when they're not...they're imagined ideals, imagined communities. We have allowed authorities to imagine our structures into existence and nationalism is also one of those pseudostructures which keeps us believing that certain "structures" are physical, palpable and beneficial for us to keep in society. (We can change things for the better by imagining newer, better ideals and implementing them, however we cannot do this if too many people REFUSE to imagine something NEW or if people INSIST on emotional, traditional arguments and structures).
If you understand a little more about common ideology, you will start to understand that all this stuff about nationalism is a very powerful illusion because it is upheld by so many emotional arguments and people who seem to refuse to get to the details underneath while they speak loudly and emotionally about their Nation and Nationalism...
I can - and I will, take on all your points individually at some point as I am not intimidated by any of your arguments - but I will have to do so about 2 weeks from now as I have pressing tasks (I'm moving) for the next week and a half.
Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on September 20, 2010:
First I would like to address your observation of my seemingly emotive responses. There certainly is a tinge of ideological investment on my part. I may be ill equipped to accurately express my religious belief associated with the connection of God’s work and his using the U.S. to further that work. Proponents to anti-American exceptionalism (which I do not equate to America haters) do not understand the long term view held of how America has shaped the world for the better.
Everyone needs to agree that humans are imperfect and therefore it is imperfect humanity that forms rules and governs by trial and error. The improvement to the human condition is always slower than we wish it to be. Given the numerous choices of governing systems throughout history, I find and believe a combination of democratic, capitalistic and religious influence is still the best suited to mostly giving everyone the “opportunity” to “pursue” what they desire. I hold no reverence for any system where one works hard to educate oneself and apply that to a trade, thus enjoying the fruits of labor to only have despots come in to take it away. Universally I do not believe in forced distribution, it has to be earned, and I equally believe oppressors should be dealt with by the people they oppress. Evil still exists and does its job well regardless of the origin’s or system it works within. Evil has no preference. I have never seen any perfect system in where one group does not feel slighted or oppressed. If you know of one, I am all ears.
Your position does not sound new or I still do not grasp how you plan to build upon it. If you had a society that believed as you do, who governs and how does it defend itself from tyranny of outsiders?
Thanks for the challenge.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 19, 2010:
Mr. Manning I'm wondering what you view as the "inconsistent position" I hold?
No, my mind is not locked in it's position. I hold my position based on having studied what Nationalism and Patriotism do to the psyches of people, Mr. Manning. Not to mention how these concepts, their form and function are consistently turned against the average civilian, making Nationalism and Patriotism tools of oppressive control over people.
Nationalism and Patriotism are concepts which stir the emotions and put people into "irrational modes of thinking" whereby they are quite open to suggestion from almost any source of authority. When certain sources of authority then feed an irrational public propaganda, things like The Holocaust happen. Nationalism and Patriotism aren't restricted to North America and Britain...
I attempt to veer away from this:
"Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do"
--James Harvey Robinson
I require a better "position" or argument than those you have offered if I am to take on a different opinion. My opinions are quite NEW, Mr. Manning - based on shocking things I have learned in the past 6-7 years. That my viewpoints are not traditional, I think, speaks for the fact that nobody has indocrinated me to hold Nationalism and Patriotism as some sort of "necessary good."
If I may ask, where did your opinions come from? What are they based on? (From some of your comments so far, I am viewing "emotional arguments" from you).
Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on September 19, 2010:
I do appreciate your reflective response. I can deduce from it that your mind is locked in your position. I can also see your apprehension from the potential powder keg belief you hold against nationalism. I am not without want of using strong language and metaphors; however, I can still see that it wouldn’t matter in the end.
At the end of the day, your synaptic fire is opposite mine and we’re going to agree to disagree. I do wonder how a female refugee from Saudi Arabia would see your inconsistent position, after all if she stated openly what you speak of in her country, she would be a martyr, but then again, maybe that is your point and aim. The safety of an ideologically free society does wonders for free thinkers, appreciated or thankless alike.
Thank you for the opportunity of dialogue.
Good luck and good day.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 18, 2010:
Hello, Mr. Manning, thanks for stopping by, reading, and expressing your points of view. You bring up many important things for consideration, however, and with all due respect concerning your opinions, I do not feel compelled in any way to believe in or support the numerous points you bring up, particularly where points fall into common ideology of the past and things related to "grey" and "black" propaganda (your statements about Churchill, Queen Victoria, Seward are, by far, only a portion of the version of events of the global conflict you bring up).
You speak of my being able to speak out about the topic of Nationalism as if I should be grateful for the "gift" of free speech. From my point of view, it's not a gift. It's more of a responsibility to speak ethically on the topic of Nationalism.
In contrast to the respect I should pay to "the men and women who have elevated our countries," that are suggested in your points of view, I feel a great shame and horror as well as an empathetic sense of needing to speak out AGAINST the fact that many men and women in previous generations in my country were manipulated into taking up arms in the past. I regularly apologize to foreigners who immigrate to where I live - for the damage my forefathers caused in their countries - if ever any particular political or war topics arise (I am around a lot of immigrants - I do English conversational language tutoring). I apologize for current affairs which may be damaging in other countries right now. I regularly apologize to fellow-Canadians whose family members were involved or are involved with the military in any way, shape or form - for the time family members are taken away from their families, for the ones who didn't, don't, or might not return home.
I have never once been challenged by, ridiculed by or told I'm being disrespectful about my past or present generation when I am speaking with someone from another country and apologizing for what has happened or is happening right now, regarding military personnel from my country. I am rarely disrespected by any fellow-Canadian I am apologizing to for the issues already mentioned above. I have, however, been constantly challenged, often ridiculed, and often told I am being disrespectful (mostly by North Americans and British people who consider themselves Nationalists and Patriots) when I refuse to speak of my country's military as if they are heroic and when I refuse to speak of past military personnel as heroes and because I refuse to glorify war in any time period, in general.
To do so, Mr. Manning, would make me appear as a "Nationalist" and a "Patriot," which I'm sure you can attest I'm not likely to be, considering this hub and the details in the comments section.
I've enjoyed your challenges and do apologize for not taking on and commenting on all of your points but I've made what I realize is a pretty long comment post already. I'll think more on the rest of your statements and return later.
Thanks for the arguments and for allowing me to consider what other people might believe about Nationalism, Patriotism and several other issues.
Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on September 18, 2010:
Interesting Hub. I am curious; you do realize that you have been given a gift to dispute Nationalism? Do you think that you would be given the right to say what you are saying in China? Or better yet, North Korea? We who live in Republic's and Democratic society’s can often forget that it was Nationalist’s and Patriots that fought for our right to turn around and tear down the men and women who elevated our countries.
I am not assuming you feel one way or another, I just wonder for the sake of this conversation if you find it respectful to disrespect the sacrifice’s of the many? It was Winston Churchill who rallied the Briton’s to stop Hitler. Queen Victoria was instrumental in using her diplomatic skills to secure Canada’s future, not to mention many other devout Briton’s. Seward helped divert attention from American’s salivating over Canadian property when he helped purchase Alaska. There are times in our lives when it is just that simple, us against them. Do you believe that Muslims will leave Jew’s alone if they just quietly give up their tiny little state and walk away?
I make no bones, I feel compelled to show respect to those who died so I can have a better life. I certainly am not going to spit on their graves and call them backward for being Patriotic. But hey, I am just one man talking here. Good Day.
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 11, 2010:
Micky Dee - glad you liked this hub. I think if we re-humanize our far away neighbors we will be less likely to shoot them, bomb them, agree to launch missiles at them, etc.
poetvix - I can easily agree with your viewpoints here. I also hope that people will hear my messages.
poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on September 11, 2010:
You have taken on a very touchy subject here very well. Nationalism, in my opinion, is partly so dangerous because people are "indoctrinated" into its principles before critical thinking skills develop. As one becomes a little older, one is critisized and ostrisized (sp) from the group for being seen as "agaist" its main dictates. When older still, the scars left from such treatment remain as psychological deterants to the critical thinking that challenges the teachings of childhood to be loyal to one's country above all. Just my opinions here of course. I hope your message here spreads for in this world, we need it.
Micky Dee on September 11, 2010:
You are right. We're global now and we are our brother's keeper. We have to raise everyone on our planet up. Thank you Mythbuster! Great hub!
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 10, 2010:
The cold war "was"? I keep talking with people who think the cold war still "is," Mentalist acer.
I will think on your statements about being able to "find your country appealing without dissuasion toward other country" and your assertion it is mainly extremists who think other countries are against them...
What you present is not what I usually hear from many of the Americans I've conversed or had correspondence with.
Is the definition "Nationalist" important to you?
Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on September 10, 2010:
You can find your country appealing without dissuasion toward other country...but there are extremist who think other countries are against them economicaly or militarily ...The cold war was a mystery to me and think we should get an even deal on trade...so am I a nationalist...at least I know I'm not dangerous,I'm a US citizen by the way;)
mythbuster (author) from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 10, 2010:
Hi Maita - I appreciate your comments but would argue that the unity people think is apparent in "nationalism" can be covered much better in the concepts surrounding "community."
prettydarkhorse from US on September 10, 2010:
Hi myth, Nationalism is a broad concept, you almost explained all in this hub. I can't say anything except that being a nationalist makes for a national identity -- the more nationalists people are in a country the more they are united -- should be.
But of course there are negative consequences like you said, the sense of community is affected.
Thanks for this extensive discussion of nationalism, Maita