Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Patriotism, nationalism and racism

Warner Todd Huston sets out at some length the simple but rather denied truth that Leftists only pretend to be patriotic. In a patriotic nation they have to do that for PR purposes but their hearts are not in it and they manage the pretence only by claiming that they love what America COULD BE rather than what it is. Pathetic!

I have set out at some length previously evidence that patriotism is not in general aggressive. There is however a related attitude known as nationalism. That is when the lovers of their own country want to dominate other countries. All the examples I can think of, however, from Napoleon to Hitler, have been Leftists. So my summary of the matter is that nationalism is a Leftist perversion of patriotism. No wonder Leftists are so suspicious of patriotism! They judge others by themselves. They know how vicious they would be with an entire nation behind them and assume that others think similarly.

But both patriotism and nationalism are only one sort of group loyalty. Rotarians are often strongly attached to their club and even homosexuals feel "gay pride" apparently. And many church members are strongly attached to their religious denomination or local church. And religious identity can extend to something like nationalism -- with physical attacks on members of other denominations. There is still a faint remnant of that in Northern Ireland (though the enmity there is as much historic as religious) and in Islam there is a lot of it. Muslims are great slaughterers of other Muslims -- if the other Muslims don't subscribe to the "right" brand of Islam. But Islam is Fascistic anyway.

And then there is the great unmentionable. You CAN feel proud of your race. And if the pride is "black pride" that is just fine. But "white pride" is apparently a breath from the depths of hell. Yet history's most destructive example of racism was not concerned with whiteness at all. Hitler in fact allied himself with the non-white Japanese and attacked many nations that were just as white as Germans are. In fact there are proportionately rather more blue-eyed blondes in Russia and in Poland than there are in Germany -- and Adolf slaughtered millions of both. Hitler's bag was -- following Woodrow Wilson -- ARYANS. And most Aryans are in fact brown (Indians).

So the Leftist suspicion of pride in being white has exactly no foundation in the place where it might be most expected! Pretty normal Leftist ignorance of facts and history, of course. So white racism as an oppressive thing is mainly an American phenomenon. And the KKK were overwhelmingly Democrats! Clearly, conservatives were not the problem there.

I can't resist noting here, however, that I quite like Aryans myself. I have at the moment three quite brown Indians living with me in my house and most days I fly the flag of the Republic of India from my flagpole. Maybe that just makes me a nut but the court jester of old was the only one in the court allowed to tell the whole truth so I cheerfully claim that privilege. Does that make me a dangerous nut? Maybe. Truth is dangerous to those who live by deception.

I in fact have very good contacts with India. The chairman of the huge company that owns the recently attacked Taj hotel is the much admired Ratan Tata and if I wanted to get a message to him there is a good Indian friend of mine for whom Ratan Tata would always pick up the phone. Everybody who loves India will be pleased to hear that Mr Tata has pledged to rebuild the Taj hotel so that is is as good as new again.

I imagine that it is by now pretty clear that Leftists would have an uphill job of tagging me as a white racist (though they will no doubt get to the top of that hill somehow). I just don't fit their simplistic black-and-white way of thinking. If we are more careful with our definitions than Leftists usually are, however, I think it should become clear that there are some forms of white "racism" that are perfectly reasonable, normal and harmless.

I refer in particular to my prior comments showing that patriotism is not in general necessarily aggressive, hostile or oppressive. And I see no reason why what we might call "white patriotism" should be aggressive, hostile or oppressive. In other words, a feeling of connectedness with other whites and a pride in being white does not necessarily imply a wish to oppress or attack people of other races. But when we come to nationalism, however (the Leftist specialty), it is a very different situation. White nationalism (the desire to conquer or control non-white races) is indisputably a very bad thing.

But white nationalism is a very rare thing. Hitler wasn't moved by it nor was the British empire. The chief enemy of the British empire was the French, who are quite white. The KKK is about the only example of white nationalism that I can think of. And the KKK at one time dominated Democrat conventions. Such acclaimed Democrat Presidents as Woodrow Wilson and FDR both had solid KKK support. So if we are careful with our definitions, white pride is only dangerous in the hands of Leftists. The very small band of modern-day neo-Nazis are probably an exception to that but there are small exceptions to most rules. And the modern-day political parties that are most often called neo-Nazi (Britain's BNP and Germany's NDP) do in fact have a lot of quite socialistic policies -- just as old Adolf did.

Note how easily everything falls into place once we have swept away the Leftist hokum about Nazism and the KKK being "Rightist".


BrookesNews Update

Obama thinks he can 'jolt' the US economy out of recession. Fat chance - so tighten your seatbelts: Obama's 'economic' thinking could crush manufacturing, cause unemployment and consumer prices rise, worsen the current account deficit, and sink the dollar depreciates. So how long it will be before the public realize that the brilliant Obama really is an empty suit?
The economy slides into recession while the Pollyannas look the other way : Regardless of a still positive GDP the economy is in recession. This leaves two questions: how long and deep will it be, and can the Reserve's desperate monetary pumping reverse the process. Even if the Reserve succeeds it will only amount to a reprieve and not a rescue
Can Obama stop the US recession: If the Keynesian instincts of Obama's economic wizards leads them to conclude that a rapid monetary expansion is a superior alternative to allowing the recession to make the necessary economic adjustments then Obama might indeed end up being a one-term president
The facts are clear: We are not warming the planet : The fiction that Co2 is the driving force behind global warming fits in with the plans of big government dreamers. What better way to get people to follow the script than alleging the sky is falling and we can only stop it by doing lowering Living standards while filling and fill government coffers with endless streams of money to use to develop still more schemes to control the masses
Obama appoints Castro's Lawyer as White House Counsel : Obama appoints Gregory Craig as White House Counsel. Craig is a corrupt lawyer, a coward and a despicable liar. I guess appointing this debased political vulture is Obama's idea of 'hope and change'
Look who's dissing the US economy now: In 2000 President Bush correctly warned that the US was sliding into recession. The response of the country's one-party mainstream media was to assail him for talking down the Clinton economy. Now that Obama is talking, correctly, of a recession, the same bigoted journalists are licking his boots. No wonder Time magazine's Mark Halperin called the media's grovelling 'disgusting'
The Obama economy and the failure to learn from history : Rahm Emanuel, Obama's in-house bullyboy, told a gathering of CEOs at a Wall Street Journal what to expect the Obama administration. He sounded like a Soviet commissar. Government control and planning in health care, energy, the economy, and financial markets
A Thanksgiving Meditation : The ideas of the socialists Peter Singer, a Princeton professor of philosophy, lead to the barbaric conclusion that there is no moral difference between killing a piglet and strangling a baby to throw him in the trash can
Australia needs a moratorium on emissions trading : Slowly the world is coming to their senses on this Global Warming hysteria. Just this week China and India rejected the suggestion that they curb their emissions of CO2, and Italy and Poland said they would veto EU plans unless changes were made
Tearing down crosses and making threats does not change minds: Sometimes the changes are not just in how long we let our hair grow or what the music fad is, sometimes the changes are tragic to the fabric of society and our liberty and freedom - bought and paid for by blood and heartache of our founders. We are experiencing such an era of change now



A blog which does not get as much traffic as it should is Blogwonks. I have a small vested interest in it as I cross-post something there most days. But there are a lot of posts there which are at least as good as mine. Someone who posts there several times a day is Bob Parks, a black conservative. As well as being "articulate and bright and clean" Bob makes lots of good points.

The new search tool seems to have dropped out of sight after the initial splash. It did have some large deficiencies. There is a recent re-evaluation of it here, though. The conclusion is that it is still pretty uneven. So I once again tried a search on the topic I know most about: Myself. I entered the search term "John Ray" and looked at what I got back. I was most unimpressed. I am always on the front page of a Google search but I did not get a mention on until their fourth page. No good to me! A pity though. Google could use more competition.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)



Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

I've been following a broader debate about nationalism, patriotism and all of that across the web and forming my own thoughts on it. I've come to the conclusion that the common belief of nationalism as a "perversion" or negative and aggressive brother of patriotism is actually something of a leftist leitmotif in itself. In leftist thought, nationalism is just another form of collectivism; Orwell solidified this thought in his essay "Notes on Nationalism", where he effectively redefined nationalism from the idea of "loyalty and devotion to a nation" to the blind devotion of the person to the collective in which they subsumed themselves, whether that was a nation, religion or any other group. But, of course, Orwell was a progressive and thought in terms of collectives. He couldn't help but define terms in that way. Nevertheless, the idea of nationalism, if you get down to it, is simply a profound love of the "nation", or to put in the in modern parlance, a highly personal identification with a particular ethnic group. Patriotism, on the other hand, appears to be more related to the state and the place; so one is for the people and the other for the thing.

Neither has to be aggressive or dominating. In fact I've reached the further conclusion that nationalism can have both a positive and a negative mode, as can patriotism. Positive nationalism is defensive, and appears like patriotism, but with an added ethno-national element to it. English and Scottish national identity might be good examples of this idea, with a nation that is tied to a place with well defined borders. Negative nationalism would be like the japanese nationalism, or the German nationalism of world war 1, or the nationalism of Bismark. And it was a highly aggressive form of patriotism that drove the expansion of the soviet empire, rather than any sort of nationalism. Nationalism wouldn't have worked in such ethnically diverse society as the soviet/russian empire but patriotism, the belief in the state and its leaders and laws - the belief in the thing - could and did have the desired effect.

Being married to a linguist has made me rather sensitive to the abuses of language that take place amongst leftists, who often redefine terms and then promulgate their redefinition. Orwell's newspeak is the most common example but of course, he wasn't specifically condemning the practice itself, just the means for which it was used. The redefinition of nationalism and patriotism as opposing forces strikes me as one of the greater crimes against language. At least in my opinion.

Robert said...

Not only did the Democratic Party found the KKK as its terrorist wing, but their 1864 convention anthem also reflected their racism.

The 1864 Democratic Convention Anthem