Monday, 5 February 2018

Patriotism is not enough but it is the most important thing

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I am not a nationalist (I'm a Metternichian conservative) but I do think that the nation is the most important thing, as far as politics is concerned, and I assumed naively that everyone else did too. But they don't. Not just communists like Messrs. Corbyn and McDonnell but lots and lots of people don't.

Nationalism in the French Revolutionary sense - a derivation of fraternité, implies people have the right to rebel against a foreign monarch or ruler. It is something I certainly reject. It leads to all sorts of bad things like the American revolution and other insurrections. It leads to people like Gandhi, Nehru, the Stern Gang, etc. People sometimes nowadays seem to confuse nationalism, a revolutionary doctrine, with putting the nation in first place in one's list of political priorities, something all patriots do.


7 comments:

  1. David in Ukraine6 February 2018 at 09:30

    The last refuge of a scoundrel? :)

    http://samueljohnson.com/patrioti.html

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  2. There was a short period when fraternité was taken to mean fraternité de rébellion but generally has meant a sort of brotherhood or 'we're all in it together', interesting in its contrast to the individualistic liberté and egalité (before the law).
    I agree that the French Revolution did spawn nationalism in France, not least because of the Libertè and Egalité leading to a greater sense of National Identity (impressive in a country where if you went 100 miles no-one could understand you).

    Dominic Johnson

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  3. Hang on, in your Brexit post you said the UK doesn't want to be ruled by foreigners, now you object to people objecting to foreign rule. Which is it?

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  4. I have no objection to people objecting to foreign rule but I do not believe in rebellion except against very dreadful tyrannies. The UK is a sovereign country - unlike Poland in 1830 or Great Britian's American colonies in 1776.

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  5. I say this simply to explain that I am not a nationalist, though I respect nationalists and do think nations of overwhelming importance.

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  6. King Louis XVI was not a "foreign ruler" - he was French. So your post falls at the first fence. However, I agree with you that Italian and German "unification" was a disaster - the old Kingdom (and Free Cities and so on) should have been left alone. Even today I think it is clear that a "united Italy" has failed - and it is also clear that Bavaria should free itself from Germany.

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  7. Of course nationalism was used both for ("we seek the natural boundaries of France") and against ("we Germans, Italians, Spanish should not be ruled by a French puppet") the various regimes that came after 1789. Of course one could argue that Europe would have been better off dominated by France, with the various states ruled by members of Napoleon's family or French military officers turned into Kings, but this would not have been a popular argument on this island.

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