Some years ago, I wrote that patriotism and nationalism are opposites, which shocked those who have no idea what nationalism is or why it is suddenly popular or even why people like it. (They could have read The Nationalism FAQ and saved some time!)
Naturally, the battle rages on, mainly because the Left has a vested interest in obscuring the meaning of nationalism by re-defining it as civic nationalism or another form of patriotism. Loosely interpreted, patriotism means loyalty to the nation-state as expressed through its government, political system, economic theory, and symbols; nationalism on the other hand of course means loyalty to your people, their culture, and continuity instead of religious faith in a political and economic system.
In fact, we could see nationalism as organic, or arising from the natural needs of a population as its appears on the pages of history, whereas patriotism is a formalized “system” which humans impose on themselves and nature for the purpose of social control. The organic, ecosystem-like order of traditional society is inherently incompatible with the egalitarian, procedure-based, administrative, and bureaucratic patterns of the systems behind modern society.
Not surprisingly, nationalism is in the news again because the battle of our time is organic nationalism versus egalitarian globalism, and so its incompatibility with patriotism:
With U.S. President Donald Trump and other world leaders looking on during an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday, Macron said the “ancient demons” that caused World War I and millions of deaths are growing stronger.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” the French leader said.
“In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values.”
Let us translate this here:
In other words, patriotism is a system of moral values… as encoded into politics, economics, and government. That means that these are not moral values, or a code of conduct for life, but ideological values, or a scheme of thought about how humans should re-make life in place of the order of nature.
Now that we translate Macron, we see that he is saying simply that the State is egalitarian, this comprises its morality, and any disobedience to the state is a violation of that morality and must be punished. The state can be international through alliances with other states, but a people can be loyal only to itself, which is why nationalism is taboo.
This allows us to understand what he is actually saying, as opposed to the game of choosing between different categories of public opinion. Those categories, defined within our system, reflect existing options, not choices we could make for the future. If we look at the ideas behind them, we can see our actual choices.
Macron and others who are vested in the system we prefer that we choose from among the choices that they give us, because those options do not destabilize the system. He and his ilk have narrowed our many potential choices to a few options that support the existing order, and as long as we confine ourselves to those, we will be okay.
Others have seen what he has expressed as well, and see our choice as one within an orthodoxy established by our political order. For example, some argue for neo-conservatism as the basis of America:
Trump effectively defines America as a white ethnic nation that is being overrun by aliens — people who don’t look like us, don’t share our values, who threaten our safety and take our jobs.
Trump’s blood-and-soil nationalism overturns the historical ideal of American nationalism, which was pluralistic — that we are united by creed, not blood; that our common culture is defined by a shared American dream — pioneers settling the West, immigrants crossing an ocean in search of opportunity, African-Americans rising from slavery toward equality.
…[I]n the wake of Trumpian nativism, immigration is seen as a racial justice issue. Calls for law and order on the border are taken as code for racism. The phrase “illegal immigrant” has been struck from the Democratic lexicon. Anything that is pro-immigrant is seen as enlightened, and anything that restricts immigration is regarded as morally suspect.
According to Brooks, America began sometime in the 1806s, because prior to that, its nationalism was most decidedly not pluralistic. The historical ideal of America was as a place for the people who settled it, not to invite in the world.
Further, he misses the point that the Left has always seen immigration as a racial justice issue because to the Left, the push for diversity is part of class warfare, which is the only reason the Left exists. Egalitarianism itself as an argument against existing hierarchies and for their replacement by mob rule.
Some of us have pointed out that the Left merely legitimizes an existing pathology, namely the human tendency toward herd behavior. Everything else they endorse forms an argument for the validation and adoption of this pathology as normal, instead of being seen as aberrant as it would be in a healthier society.
Brooks misses the nature of class warfare: its goal is to transform society by removing its natural leaders. This is why they tax the successful to pay for the unsuccessful, resulting in fewer successful people, and it is also why they import foreign populations to politically and then economically and genetically replace the original.
In 2016, the West sort of “woke up” and realized that this demographic replacement had been occurring since the changes in immigration law in the 1960s, and that in another few years, the Left’s population of new citizens would be large enough that the Right would never win another election. All minority groups vote Leftist.
The West responded with an appeal to organic society, namely the idea that with unity, we would not require class warfare or identity politics since we would be working together unequally toward the same purpose. This gets expressed rarely, but sometimes appears as resistance to quotas and “positive discrimination” which it sees as divisive:
“I believe in people, and you don’t need to be a feminist for that,” Bernier, leader of the fledgling People’s Party of Canada, said Tuesday in an interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics.
“I’m not focusing on you because you are part of a faith, or because you are a lady, or because you are man, [but] because you are Canadians,” he said.
“If you’re choosing somebody that doesn’t have the competence, but because it’s a young guy, or it’s a lady or if it’s a man, it’s a positive discrimination and I won’t push that.”
Across the West, we are seeing that this situation also works in reverse: once we start positive discrimination, all unity goes away, a situation that is only made worse by religious, ethnic, cultural, and racial diversity. We can either be a unified organic entity, or we become a managed herd that requires ideological brainwashing to stay together.
The essence of the alienation present in the modern world comes from this disunity. Instead of participating in civilization, we find ourselves adrift as financial commodities within a system that aims to exploit us. Instead of having honest social links, we are thrust into a social situation where the degree of our flattery determines our success.
Add to that diversity, and we find ourselves aliens in our own societies who find it difficult to bond with others and end up retreating to our homes and giving up on any kind of bond with others. We become atomized, or particles on our own adrift, with nothing of greater significance offered us, which further estranges us from life itself.
Nationalism arose in response to the massive failure of diversity in the West, sure, but it also sprang up to address our loneliness and sense of futile pointlessness to existence. People want to be part of a tribe again; now that the other tribes get their chance to have unity, the former majorities also want ethnic unity and a culture of their own that others cannot take away:
Trump’s demagogic genius has always turned on paranoid crusades against imagined enemies: ethnic minorities, feminists, the press, bureaucrats, Democrats, “establishment” conservatives. But invading aliens still seem to be among the most potent of Trump’s dystopian phantasms.
Nativism arises when a subset of citizens feel alienated from their own society.
Many of our citizens feel alienated from mainstream society. That leaves them lamentably susceptible to nativist appeals.
Nationalism offers, more than anything else, a sense of unity. People of shared heritage also share a general liking for the same things, a general belief about what the good life is, and most of a shared direction. They can be unequal and still work together so that all can enjoy these things, but they can only do it alone.
Modern society has proven to be radically alienating. Individualism, as it turns out, not only cuts us free from other obligations, but separates us from the social structures which deliver benefits. True individualism would be living alone with a machine that generates our food, with nothing to do but watch television and troll the internet until we die. In an ironic twist of fate, the more proficient our technology becomes, the more likely we are to end up as high-end basement NEETs with nothing to live for.
Starting in the 1990s, we saw across the West a rise in the type of attitudes last seen in the 1920s and 1930s where people pointed out that modern society is not a success; instead, it is a miserable and terrifying time in which nothing is stable because mob rule proves to be wholly unstable.
Instead of trying to become a special interest group crusading against one issue to fix this, the people who caught this idea started fighting back against modernity itself, especially its social core of equality, diversity, and individualism. They no longer wanted to be part of a system, but to take over and reform the system from within through mass grassroots cultural change, an organic notion:
This has been brought about by what is often described as “civil society” – citizens’ groups or organisations with a particular aim…Many of these conservative groups share a belief in “traditional” values – those often associated with:
- religious beliefs
- national identity
- protection against immigration
- support for the family unit
…While most groups favour democracy and work within mainstream politics, a small number are more disruptive and sometimes even violent – as is the case among groups on the left.
Whatever the differences, research by Carnegie Europe shows that there are many countries where conservative civil society has had a key role in shaping domestic events.
The populism wave pulsing through Western society represents a recapture of civilization by its organic groups, instead of a system increasing its power over the same. This revolution strikes not against parts of the system but the system itself and wants to replace it with cultural authorities instead of political, economic, and mass culture ones.
Not surprisingly, these civil institutions assert the importance of things that have been foundational to Western society long before its switch to an ideological basis in the mid-1800s. They want national identity, including protection from immigration, defense of the family against sexual liberation, a sense of community instead of diversity, and cultural and spiritual beliefs unique to that community.
As this group goes further along, it re-discovers the history of the West, even using Greco-Roman literature and philosophy to find an orientation toward a truth of its own, since no one can trust anything influenced by the system any longer.
But in the case of stoicism’s sudden revival, Zuckerberg found that an active corner of Reddit was applying Hellenistic philosophy to explain the pain and hardship white western men were suffering in the 21st century.
While universities make progressive attempts to broaden the canon so students aren’t simply reading one dead white man after another, “the manosphere rebel against this. They see themselves as the guardians of western civilisation and the defenders of its cultural legacy.”
This shows us Western Civilization going back to its roots and bypassing the entirety of modernity. The for-profit academia, lobbyist-influenced science, administrative-managerial institutions, politically-motivated jobs, ideology-infused government, and on-narrative writers and artists have all fallen away because to succeed in the system, one must invest oneself in dishonesty, so all of these parts of the system cannot be trusted.
If the hippies bandied about the slogan “don’t trust anyone over thirty,” its new equivalent is “don’t trust anyone who succeeded during the Obama regime.”
Through this wave, citizens who noticed the misery of modern society but could not articulate how wide and deep the problem was can see hope. This brief ray of hope consists of people like Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and Jair Bolsonaro, a form of resistance springing up from the soil to hold back international Leftism and assert the ability to have a real life with meaningful connections instead.
We know that time works against us. We have to break globalism (the new name for internationalism) before it ends nationalism through “fundamental transformation,” or our ethnic destruction by demographic replacement and outbreeding, which is the ultimate goal of diversity.
At this point, civil war remains theoretical, but we know that we have come down to the line: either we reverse this ethnographic destruction or we are permanently defeated at the polls, which will force us into a shooting war or other form of resistance. No one wants to end up like the last thirty years of the Soviet Union, resisting in silence against a police state.
If the Left wins, the Soviet cycle enters its endgame: increasing repression as people stop participating with enthusiasm, followed by constant warfare and militarization as a way of motivation the sluggish population, leading to many small wars and shortages before it becomes generally acknowledged that the system has failed.
All of humanity watches. No society so far has escaped from the downward spiral caused by going from internal/organic leadership to external/bureaucratic control, and if we effect our escape, we will show all of humanity a better way to live, and a way forward for a species that fears that it is permanently mired in self-destructive conflict.