Sometimes people want to contain what cannot be contained. They want to close what has been opened. They want to insult the present and the future by clinging to a time in the past.
I am referring to Nationalism here.
Nationalism can be effective on people because it really touches on people’s feelings. Leaders have used Nationalism to gain power in the past. Telling citizens that it is time to focus on us and take care of our country sounds nice. Who would be against taking care of their own country people? Who doesn’t want to see their own country succeed?
The problem is that Nationalism and it’s policies fall into economic fallacy. Protectionism and tariffs that usually accompany Nationalism are not even free market capitalism. They are in a way government intervention. They are an economic fallacy because the policies of Nationalism only look at one group and not all groups, and they only look at the short term and not the long term.
I have been convinced for a long time that most Americans don’t know what any of the “isms” actually are or mean. I’ve seen people completely confused and bewildered by talk of globalism and nationalism. Ask people to define socialism, communism, fascism, or Nationalism. If they truly knew the “isms” you would not have an embrace of Nationalism. You would not have a rise of Socialism. You would not have sympathizers of Fascism. Most of your “isms” are egocentric ideologies, convenient to whoever wants to distort and use them to gain power, full of inconsistency, and ripe with economic fallacy.
Beware of people who think or say there is absolute truth to any of these “isms.” At best they are ideas and theories that are bent and manipulated for those seeking power and the power seekers who use them to pit one group against another.
I was recently told by someone that Nationalism “is a care for one’s own country,” and didn’t see any problem. Okay. While it may involve a support for your own country it also involves an exclusion or detriment to other nations and this is where the economic fallacy comes into play because you are forgetting about the interconnections of all the other nations to our own. Relationships and markets have been built and established that can’t just be undone. Under Nationalism you may protect a steel worker’s job here for the short interval but you are doing so at the cost of all of those other unforeseen groups and connections. You help a job here for the short term but you cut off a job there that is connected to “x” number of other jobs and dependents. Maybe the job over there that you just cut off was sending money and demand for other things over here that are now going to suffer.You are also picking and choosing what to “protect” which is a lot like central planning. This is basic economic fallacy and it has been explained and written about by people far more intelligent than myself and I suggest you look this information up. Go beyond your feelings and really investigate whether Nationalism is even a road we need to be going down.
Whether you like it or not the world is vastly connected and Nationalism seeks to undermine that reality at a perilous cost.
I will leave you with the words pictured above which are from an article on nations and censorship but seem fitting for this post on Nationalism.
“Is the nation a closed system? In this internationalized moment, can any system remain closed? Nationalism is that ‘revolt against history’ which seeks to close what cannot any longer be closed.”
Until next time, good reading.