They view nationalism as an antidote to a specific problem or an ethnic group they dislike. This misses the point.
The point of nationalism is that with a national identity, we can point to the group and its values system, and keep everyone in line with that. It doesn’t require government, or coercion in the classic sense. Culture and a need for approval does the heavy lifting.
The opposite of nationalism is pluralism, or “everybody do whatever they want” where we must consider them all “equal” and thus not interrupt the madness. Under pluralism, you are forced — by government, since there is no culture — to tolerate insane viewpoints from others and pretend they’re valid, much less viable.
With nationalism, a nation functions as an organism. It is united by function, not self-interest alone. As a result, there are fewer rules and there is a greater degree of cooperation.
Even more, there is a sense of hope. There is a clear identity to the group and a sense of having purpose and belonging inherent to that. Then there is also the desire to be the best of that type that one can be. Organic culture encourages upward evolution.
On a practical level, nationalism also creates a sense of group ownership of the nation. There is less incentive to litter, because you are bombing your own base, so to speak. You view your fellow citizens as extended family, not random jerks who live on your block.
In a defensive sense, nationalism makes sense because it eliminates internal ethnic conflict. Each group must act in its own interest; when you put two or more of them in the same place, the result is conflict. We disguise it as “competition” but the truth is: no one wins.
Read Osiris Akkebala on the question of African-American nationalism:
A Celebration in Honor Of The Honorable Marcus Garvey, will only be appropriate when the Demand for Reparation is made and Reparation is received, which then will place Black Afrikan people in a position to do what is required of Black people to do in order to have Afrika to be for the Afrikan and the Black world to become again a united Black Afrikan people.
There is no issue that is in an embrace with freedom for Afrika and Black Afrikan people, than the issue of Reparation, and the sooner Black people reach that conclusion, the time it will be for Afrika and Black Afrikans Resurrection back to the Divine status that the Honorable Marcus so envision to be for Afrika and Black Afrikan people. – Celebration Without Liberation, Is an Exercise In futility, by Osiris Akkebala
Akkebala focuses on reparation for a simple reason: currently, the African-American population of North America does not have the money to move itself. There is a practical need for this outlay.
Even more, he unites a trinity: nationalism, or the sense of Self to a group; repatriation, so that the group can own its mother continent and rule it according to its own destiny; and reparation is the booster rocket that gets them there.
This is in contrast to confused people who think they are nationalists because they fear their jobs will be taken, or high crime rates, or other incidental results of diversity itself. Pluralism creates a lack of social standards and raises crime, conflict and disorder.
Even more, by eschewing pluralism, nationalism creates the type of order that modern people long for. Less government, more flexibility, fewer rules and a built-in ironclad respect for nature, family and values.
Nationalism is demonized by commercial and social forces because it opposes pluralism. Pluralism, or social chaos, is the best place to conduct business (fewest obligations) and/or to hide bad deeds, since without social standards it’s hard to point to an infringement.
Pluralism however is one of those traps in life that seems like a good thing, until you realize what is lost with its adoption. The people who wanted pluralism did so assuming that the social order in which they lived would carry on. That did not turn out to be true.
As humanity faces the crucial choke point of the 21st century, we must reconsider our 1789-era desire to adopt pluralism and instead look toward the idea of having social standards again. Paradoxically, they provide a greater freedom than freedom itself.