Thursday, 20 December 2018

Some Helpful Definitions and Distinctions

Different Strokes and Folks

Three "hot button" words these days are nationalism, globalism and patriotism.

Patriotism usually refers to the love of one's country.  It is a term which is often used in contrast to nationalism and globalism.  Patriotism is not spoken of much these days.  However, it is important to distinguish between patriotism and nationalism.  According to
These two words may have shared a distinct sense in the 19th century, but they appear to have grown apart since. Or rather, it would be more accurate to say that only nationalism has grown apart, since the meaning of patriotism has remained largely unchanged. There are still obvious areas of overlap: we define patriotism as “love for or devotion to one’s country” and nationalism in part as “loyalty and devotion to a nation.”

But the definition of nationalism also includes “exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.” This exclusionary aspect is not shared by patriotism. [Merriam-Webster
Amongst an emerging group of politicians and nations, nationalism is bad, but globalism is good.  The idea here is that those who are globalist in their worldview purport to take into account the needs of the entire human race.  When adopting policies or pushing barrows the globalist allegedly considers the needs and aspirations of those who live in Bantustan, Manhattan, and Goa.  Or, that is the proud claim.

The claim is nonsense of course.  The globalist can never satisfy the aspirations or meet the needs of every person on the planet.  The globalist cannot promote policies which satisfy all individuals, all peoples, all ethnic groups at the same time.  So, the globalist uses the term as a smokescreen whilst he or she promote policies which are championed by the elites, the power brokers, and the monied.

President Macron of France has publicly championed globalism.  He has argued that this is what the true French patriot who loves France would do.  He is confused.  Lots of French who see themselves as patriots love France before an artificial loyalty to the whole human race.  Macron sees himself as part of a global elite trying to lead, pull, and push the whole world in certain directions--such as unrestrained borders when folk come knocking at one's door.

For the globalist, the evil bogey-man is nationalism.  The nationalist mindset has been responsible, it is said, for all kinds of wars and deprivations.
 Putting the needs of one's nation ahead of the needs of other nations inevitably means competition, which leads to struggle and squabbles, which in turn leads to quarrels and ultimately armed conflict.  All of this may indeed come to pass.   Usually it has manifested itself in conjoint with a particular ideology (Communism, Nazism).

But globalism is nothing more than yet another ideology.  Globalism can become a reason to oppress other peoples and nations.  And so it is coming to pass to some degree in Eastern and Middle Europe.  Hungary and Poland, for example, have different views and values over a number of issues (the place of the Christian faith in national life, for example) from France and Germany.  Thus, to preserve the historically Christian roots and character of their respective nations, they have closed their borders to unrestrained migration of (in most cases) non-Christian migrants.  This has infuriated both France and Germany who see this as a betrayal of true globalism, which the European Union is alleged to represent.

Patriotism and globalism cannot co-exist over the longer term.  Neither can patriotism and nationalism.  Only the patriot can argued for closed and protected borders, for example, whilst acting to assist refugees to settle in one's own country in a selective, controlled, and orderly manner.  This is not a hard concept to grasp.  Patriotism arises out of familial ties and bonds.  Family members put the needs of family first; then, as circumstances allow, they cast their family net to include the wider households and communities and neighbours amongst whom they live.  But the globalist argues that the duties and obligations to human beings living a thousand  miles away are equal (if not greater) than the obligations and duties to our next door neighbour.

 The patriot loves the "father-land", or "mother-land"--the land into which they were born and raised.  It is a love which arises out of family and community bonds.  The globalist loves neither, preferring instead a love for a philosophical abstraction.  The globalist lives by the slogan, "for me to love the whole world is no chore; my only real problem is my neighbour next door."

The nationalist, however, loves neither the whole world, nor the neighbouring country next door, nor, for that matter, the next town over the hill.  (The breaking apart of the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia are testaments to this.)  Conformity to the "right", approved belief system is what matters, come what may.

Carefully distinguishing between patriotism, globalism, and nationalism--and their respective fruits--is a necessity.

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