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Izie
12-21-2004, 11:58 AM
Now, I don't want the plain and simple "what is it and examples", but more along the lines of why it exists. And focused on the ethnic nationalism, please (and yes, I do know this topic will probably evolve into Godknowswhat eventually).

So, what are your oppinions? Why does nationalism exist? How does it begin? How does it develop, and why do people support it? And if you have any ideas, a profile of the person who does support it would be nice.

wheelchairman
12-21-2004, 12:18 PM
hmmm why it exists, this is an area I haven't focused on particularly much, so what I might say could be quite fallacious.

Nationalism as we see it, has developed from a time, probably when a nation reaches the feudal stage of development and a kingdom is divided into different geographic city states. The only way for a Prince to gain support was by creating a feeling of regional superiority, this was especially needed for defence and war purposes I would suppose. And of course these feelings become especially polarized during war.

Nationalism as we see it today, is a remnant of this. It's used and abused by politicians for their own purposes. Colonisation for example, most certainly prolonged these feelings.

As I see it though, we shouldn't group all these feelings together, there are in areas of conflict and contradiction, two kinds of nationalisms. One nationalism is the nationalism of the oppressor. The imperialist force, the Americans Nationalism in Iraq is an example of this nationalism, another is the British in Ireland. This kind of nationalism, obviously should not be accepted.

However, there is an acceptable kind in my opinion. The nationalism of a group of oppressed people, this is different from the latter nationalism. It is not used for imperial purposes, it is used to unite the people against their oppressors. Like that of the nationalists in Iraq, in fact Ba'athism itself was Arab Nationalism based, but the resistance mostly draws from Iraqi nationalism to fight Americans, and to a lesser extent Islam, which has definite Arab nationalist elements in it. Or the IRA in Ireland. Although the IRA has decayed from what it once was, and is really just a group of thugs and drug dealers. But back in the day it was an Irish nationalist force. (Very romanticized in the Irish emigrť communities in the states.)

There is an interesting form of nationalism inside Western European countries now, against immigrants. We can see it with the rise of Nationalist parties across Europe. In my opinion this too is an incorrect and fallacious nationalism. It generalizes a group of people based on judgements of skin color (and this is always a wrong generalization). This form of nationalism is used to worsen and weaken the condition and position of the immigrant communities inside Western Europe. Because when we invited them over, we never meant for them actually to be a part of our democracy, we only wanted them as laborers, they were never meant to rise in social class or actually talk to us. Now that they do, we're fucking terrified.

Izie
12-21-2004, 12:43 PM
The nationalism in the feudal era is quite understandable, so I never really thought about it much.

I will agree about the two sorts of nationalism in history, and I will agree that the first is unacceptable, whereas the second is, but I was most interested in the one you last mentioned.

I agree it is unacceptable, but that's not really my question, my question is why people would resort to this now. We've had quite a few lectures on the nationalism in Belgium (more like neo-nazism), and they were extremely interesting to me. They said EXACTLY the same things like our Radical Party did, and everyone knows our Radical party is... The reason we're considered neanderthal. So I don't see, how they can consider some people neanderthal, for the points of view they accept. I don't understand why they would want to resort to such a backwards policy, and what good it can bring.

That's my main question really, what good do people find in nationalism and the hatred it supports?

wheelchairman
12-21-2004, 12:58 PM
Personally I say it's the policy of the system. It's so easy.

Every politician needs an easy solution, and every politician needs a trademark case to fight passionately for. Now when you have a group of people, in which there is a large amount of crime, and they are generally the same skin color (or religion), then it's so easy to lump them together and blame all crime on them.

Although to believe that crime is solely based on this one group, is to believe that there was no crime before they came, and that there will be none after they leave. This is obviously wrong, crime always exists among the lower classes.

But actually doing something about the class problem, no that would be too difficult and dangerous to the system. However blaming everything on a group of people and grouping them together based on skin color and religion, well that's a policy that has worked in the western world since the dawn of capitalism and the end of slavery. Ordinary people who are nationalist, are generally uneducated, and see the logic that one skin color is more violent than another, based solely on statistics. The media is no help whatsoever, the media mentions 'muslim' and 'middle east' in almost exclusively negative terms (this is of course a reference to mainstream media.)

So you are mixing these patriotic feelings from the middle age, and turning them into a form of xenophobia (because there was no immigration really back then, not at the scale that we have today.) Now certain politicians can get away with saying they are not Dutch, so they do not belong in the land of the Dutch. They can't and won't integrate (says a lot about the mindset of the people, since integration happens from both sides). etc. etc.

Jojan
12-21-2004, 01:26 PM
Nationalism feels like it is thinking the best for your country. And everybordy with and opinion abot how a country should be.

wheelchairman
12-21-2004, 01:44 PM
Nationalism feels like it is thinking the best for your country. And everybordy with and opinion abot how a country should be.
Did you not read the very first line of this thread?

Sexy Panda
12-21-2004, 06:23 PM
Yeah Jojan you naughty boy. If you don't directly relate to whatever it is that WCM wants to talk about then you aren't following the rules. For shame you non-contributor you.

wheelchairman
12-21-2004, 06:34 PM
Of course. The debate is on the nature of nationalism. Not the definition. Why do people believe in it, not do they believe in it.

noodler
12-21-2004, 06:52 PM
Wheelchair man are u serious?

How the hell can u make such judgements from all the way up there in Denmark?

While im no staunch replublican, i still try to take a middle ground view.

the British took over Ireland, they were beaten out of everypart but the North.

population in the North is like 53 per cent unionist[protestants for the most part] and 47% republicans/nationalists[catholics for the most part]

drug dealers is very wide off the mark and is the exception to the rule and not the rule itself. i dunno where u get ideas like that from but take it from someone who lives there that u watch far too much UK news.

wheelchairman
12-21-2004, 06:58 PM
Wheelchair man are u serious?

How the hell can u make such judgements from all the way up there in Denmark?

While im no staunch replublican, i still try to take a middle ground view.

the British took over Ireland, they were beaten out of everypart but the North.

population in the North is like 53 per cent unionist[protestants for the most part] and 47% republicans/nationalists[catholics for the most part]

drug dealers is very wide off the mark and is the exception to the rule and not the rule itself. i dunno where u get ideas like that from but take it from someone who lives there that u watch far too much UK news.
I've lived in Ulster. You can get whatever numbers you want. The British have no business up North. The Unionists should integrate into the Republic of Ireland.

and really, both the UVF and IRA are guilty of organized forms for crimes nowadays. I've talked to quite a few cops.

noodler
12-21-2004, 07:03 PM
exactly true.

not "kicked out" as some nationalists say but integrate nice choice of words.


all im saying is the IRA are as bad as the UVF or any of the occupaying Brtiish armies.

the drug dealing thing is harsh. as far as terorist groups[and its very debatable, depends on who ui talk to, that they are] they are quite idealistic.

wheelchairman
12-21-2004, 07:05 PM
exactly true.

not "kicked out" as some nationalists say but integrate nice choice of words.


all im saying is the IRA are as bad as the UVF or any of the occupaying Brtiish armies.

the drug dealing thing is harsh. as far as terorist groups[and its very debatable, depends on who ui talk to, that they are] they are quite idealistic.
yeah I never meant they were worse than the UVF when it comes to organized crime. I've never had respect for the UVF,while the IRA usually got my sympathies.

And I actually edited that into my last post before I saw you had replied.

Izie
12-22-2004, 03:26 AM
Yes, it's quite easy with the system, because the politicians always need something stupid to justify their idiotic ideas, but why do people follow?

And no, it's not just lower classes and uneducated people, there's a rising number (in Belgium anyway, and in Serbia there have always been many) of people with high education who follow the nationalists.

And saying that it's "the system" which is nationalist, doesn't really go. To be qualified as the system, you have to actually have some sort of power, be in some sort of governing position, and... The two I know most about are not. Serbian radicals haven't been in the government since 2000. And all the other parties are doing everything they can to keep them off. Yet again, they still book high scores on elections.

In Belgium, it's pretty much the same, they keep a "cordon sanitaire" against them, and never go into coalitions with them. Their Vlaams Blok has even been brought to court, and they've been convicted as racist and had to change their programme, but people still follow. The bas part of that is that now they officially changed (stayed the same really, just changed some lines in their programme), but now there is no more cordon sanitaire, as they're not officially "bad" anymore, and now they might even get into the government.

Apparently (credit goes partly to Ken for this), all the parties that are in power lose votes in the next elections (this happened in basically every European country in the last 4 years), the votes/voters usually don't go from social dem to neo-liberal or neo-liberal to social dem but mostly to the extreme end in countries where there is a well organized/structured extreme party with no internal different positions (or they hide them really well). These are mostly right extreme parties=jingoist nationalists (which is the negative nationalism). So another explanation would be, "we're not voting FOR the nationalists, we're voting AGAINST those who are in power and the political elite which has formed a block against the "radicals".

What amazes me about this point of view, is how they pick to vote exactly for the nationalists. There are other parties who are not in power, why not vote for them? Sure, they too are against the nationalists/radicals, but they're most certainly not the same as the ones in power (they're not in power either). Some analysts have said, voting for the most extreme parties makes the statement very clear, but I don't see how people don't see that voting for the nationalists isn't just making problems for the current government, but making much more problems for the normal people. How and why can't or won't they see that in the long run, voting for nationalists can't bring anything good for anyone?

Another thing I keep hearing is "let them into the government, for just one term, let them ruin themselves by proving their ideas are completely irrational". I might agree, but I am somehow afraid of what they might do in that one term.

And I still don't think that's the only explanation, I do think some people vote nationalist because they do believe in the ideology. And that, that I completely don't understand, and never will. One would think we've been stuffed with the equality and tolerance enough, but apparently, we haven't. It honestly makes me wonder what it would take to prove to people that nationalism isn't right, and doesn't work.

wheelchairman
12-22-2004, 05:57 AM
Well obviously the equality we've been stuffed with has been far from enough. The feudal feelings still remain and still affect our way of thinking. I mean growing up in America (where everyone is an immigrant) it was always a big deal as a child, what one's heritage was (as if it really meant anything.) As a kid, it didn't really matter what you were, since none of us knew what it meant, what was coolest was having the most. Not sure why I remember that.

I do think the system is inherently racist. At least on the right-wing side. I don't think the conservatives and the liberals (economically speaking) have any problems with pointing out that the problem is a race problem. What I think separates them from the nationalists, is that the method of the radicals (or in Denmark, the Danish People's Party) is the fact that the methods of these parties are extreme and not favorable.

The people who vote for these parties, trying to show a message of dissatisfaction, are the people who want to bring the government more the right. (Although it's odd, the Nationalist party in Denmark, has started trying to claim that it's a center party). So to bring the government right, they try and show that the people are more to the right. So they basically vote for nazis.

Also generally, whenever a country is having economic problems (and I know Holland has) the votes always get polarized. When the middle class gets smaller, that means the votes are dividing between the working class and the lumpenproletar (the social class that is either in poverty, unemployed, or working poverty, meaning they have 2 jobs but are still below the poverty line), these votes tend to go between fascist and socialist (extreme left and extreme right), I think that's usually a sign of desperation. They see that the moderates don't bring them anywhere, so they believe that the socialists will fix things through bring equality, or that the fascists will fix things threw getting rid of an ethnic minority.

So what it really depends on is who's propaganda is better.

And I think it's only a Dutch trend, that a larger number of intellectuals are supporting the nationalists. But nationalism (the modern nationalism that we see in Europe) has been a trend of the (lower) middle classes for a while now. In Denmark they do have some intellectuals supporting them, but not the majority of intellectuals, they don't attract intellectuals.

What they offer is the world's easiest solution, and that's all people really want. (Does that sound too Machiavellian?) What I think attracts people to the nationalists is the easy solution. Socialists can't offer an easy solution, they know very well it will be difficult, the moderates can't offer the easy solution since they are the problem. The nationalists have simplified everything. Especially since they've simplified the problem down to lines of skin color.

And there will always be nationalists. People who are raised to feel pride in their blood and heritage, well they have to feel that it's superior. You can't feel pride in something average. I personally don't know what it's like. I guess it would be the same way I feel when I look at my guitar or something. To see a Dutch flag in that way, or a Danish one, nah I just don't feel it.

Jojan
12-22-2004, 07:49 AM
Did you not read the very first line of this thread?
No. I didn't.

Vera
12-22-2004, 08:47 AM
No. I didn't.
*snorts*

Swedes!

Leo_ARG
12-22-2004, 09:22 AM
Nacionalism is really stupid.
It was created by some to take advantage of the hate it produces, for example to start stupid wars.Wars, that only benefit those who don't fight and sit comfortably in their chairs.

noodler
12-22-2004, 05:38 PM
im pretty proud to be Irish. does that make me nationalistic?

i dont think its a bad thing.

just like anything, it depends how u channel your energies.

Leo_ARG
12-22-2004, 09:49 PM
im pretty proud to be Irish. does that make me nationalistic?

i dont think its a bad thing.

just like anything, it depends how u channel your energies.

And why u are proud?Thoese being irish make you somewhat special?Or better?
I'don't think so...that's why I don't understand patriotism.

Marion
12-24-2004, 02:26 PM
it makes people feel as if they belong to something bigger. it helps people focus on other things rather than themseves and helps make a nation strong. Not all politians are bush or blair a small few are in it to make there country better for everyone. Well, thats why I do it

DirtyMagical
12-24-2004, 03:36 PM
Nationalism is rooted than far beyond feudalism. Even in Ancient Greece you could see men give allegiance to the City-States. Nationalism existed always since the most premature societies were born.

Izie
12-24-2004, 03:59 PM
I'm back :p

I find it interesting that your heritage was so important to you, what I remember most as a child is that all of us pretty much hated any form of "national" tales, music, traditions, or whatnot. Of course we were kids then, I obviously do find value in them now, but I'd never go so far as to say that Serbian fairytales are better than others just because they're Serbian. I somehow always thought there's more sense in learning from other cultures than ignoring them/saying bad things about them/hating them. But I guess I'm the minority.


I do think the system is inherently racist. At least on the right-wing side. I don't think the conservatives and the liberals (economically speaking) have any problems with pointing out that the problem is a race problem. What I think separates them from the nationalists, is that the method of the radicals (or in Denmark, the Danish People's Party) is the fact that the methods of these parties are extreme and not favorable.

Ken and I have had a different interpretation of what you said here, so if you donít mind clearing it up for us? Is it that
a)The system has no problem saying that the immigrants cause economical problems
b)The system says the immigrants have economical problems because of their race (they donít have equal opportunities as some employers are racist)
c)Something completely different, implying we donít know how to read anymore

The thing is, I donít think people are always trying to bring the government more to the right, I think thatís giving people too much credit, the general population isnít that interested in politics and doesnít really think that much about what they want, their protest is more a sign of what they donít want Ė the current system. And even if they are, more to the right doesnít have to mean nazi. There are conservative parties, leaning right, but still not being nazi. But Iím repeating myself here.


Also generally, whenever a country is having economic problems (and I know Holland has) the votes always get polarized. When the middle class gets smaller, that means the votes are dividing between the working class and the lumpenproletar (the social class that is either in poverty, unemployed, or working poverty, meaning they have 2 jobs but are still below the poverty line), these votes tend to go between fascist and socialist (extreme left and extreme right), I think that's usually a sign of desperation. They see that the moderates don't bring them anywhere, so they believe that the socialists will fix things through bring equality, or that the fascists will fix things threw getting rid of an ethnic minority.

So what it really depends on is who's propaganda is better.

I agree with this, so nothing to add really.


And I think it's only a Dutch trend, that a larger number of intellectuals are supporting the nationalists. But nationalism (the modern nationalism that we see in Europe) has been a trend of the (lower) middle classes for a while now. In Denmark they do have some intellectuals supporting them, but not the majority of intellectuals, they don't attract intellectuals.

I donít really have any data on this, so when I find it Iíll talk more. I donít think itís only a Dutch trend, but then again, I might as well be wrong. Will say more later.

The thing is, nobody can offer an easy solution, the one that the radicals/nationalists offer looks easy, but the problem is that it doesnít work. And that should be made quite obvious. In fact, it IS quite obvious if you think a little. Maybe some people just donít want to bother. Or donít have the time to bother.

There can always be nationalists, but I do believe they could be... Softened, if you will. I do believe that you need to know your national history, traditions and culture, but I also believe that you shouldn't be taught that it's better than any other. It's a joke with Serbia really, as much as we've been taught of our "glorious nation" during the socialist regime, that much are we now being taught into believing that promoting your own culture is awful, nationalistic and almost racist. I don't believe in that either. All cultures, I think, can be promoted, and people should be invited to know more about each other, it just shouldn't be pushed on anyone. It should be a matter of choice. Slight digression there.

And why can't you feel pride in something average? People are taught every day to love themselves and be proud of who they are, and if completely average people can do that, why can't it be the same case with tradition? Why can't it be taught that way? It simply IS, it's not better or worse than any other, it's IS, it's yours, so can't you just like/love it, even though it's average?

There might always be nationalists. There also might not, but getting into theories of the future of the world is really not for this topic, or this hour.

Slayter
12-25-2004, 02:26 AM
I'm think Nationalists simply children of fucking GITLER!

They must die!

I'm against they!

wheelchairman
12-27-2004, 11:21 AM
Dirty Magical- Yes, you are correct. However if you go to tribal societies or such, you will find that the nationalism they have, would be completely unrecognisable to us.

Izie, ooh...I made myself very unclear I think. When I said "Liberals (economically speaking)" I meant, Liberals, as in terms of economic program, Adam Smithian types, not in the American Liberal-in the moral sense. Oops....

So my point actually was that, these parties point out that crime is highest among the foreign races, etc etc. (while crime is always higher in certain social classes, and these races make up these low social classes). Thus they term, what in reality is a problem of economics, into a problem of race/ethnicity/culture.

And I don't really have anything to add to what you said. Generally though, I feel that when one takes pride in one's own nationality/race/ethnicity this is because you find it to be superior. This is not the same kind of pride as taking pride in oneself. Sometimes I think the English languages lacks the vocabulary to say these things appropraitely.

Izie
12-27-2004, 01:17 PM
It's okay, we got it cleared up ;)

I know what you mean, and I do agree with you, people do feel differently about themselves and about something else, that's obvious... I'm just someone who wants, and tries to believe that not all humans need to be that stupid, and I am trying to find some sort of way to fix some of the things that aren't right... Not literaly, see, if you can get just one extreme nationalist to change his mind, that's already a start. So I'm just trying to find arguments that would help me with that.

wheelchairman
12-27-2004, 02:00 PM
Well to get an extreme nationalist to change his mind, would require a lot of time, and you knowing more about his own pride and joy than he does. (and more specifically, knowing it's faults.) At least that's how I see it.

Izie
12-27-2004, 02:04 PM
Agreed, that's exactly why I'm trying to get as many good arguments of any sort as possible... Because, the way I see it, if you manage to undermine one of the basic beliefs in the theory, the theory falls... Or at least gets seriously shaken. And if the person in question is not completely brainwashed, he might see that there's something wrong with his idea...

And it's not exclusively about the extreme ones...

DirtyMagical
12-27-2004, 07:40 PM
Of course it was a different form of nationalism, but the unity of people practiced in ancient Greece was far closer than the feudalism period that you brought up. As a matter of fact, feudalism is a bad example since the allegiance swore by the vassals was to the Lords and not to the country. A good example is a dispute between the French and the English in the 13th centiry. The French king, Phillip II, had ordered at one point the English king, John, to appear in his court and explain himself on the basis that John was a descandant of William of Normandy (aka the Conqueror) who in turn was a vassal of the Capet house which Phillip II ruled over. The fact that the two were seperate countries mattered no longer. What mattered is the relationship between a Lord and a Vassal.