Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Grames

Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Journo's article was superficial and bad.  

(1) The usual path from universal truths to imperialism is through an intrinsic value theory.  Objective value theory was only discovered by Rand so historically it has been impossible to avoid the error of moving from universals in epistemology to universals in politics.

(2) Hazony's critique of rationalist politics and more empirical explanation of what politics actually consists of does not lead straight to collectivism anymore than Rand's system leads straight to a gas chamber (referencing the infamous National Review review of Atlas Shrugged).  

(3) An objective inquiry into the philosophy of politics should not be baking the correct answer (individual freedom) into the framing of the field's foundational questions.  I find Hazony's classifications clarifying and more objective than the traditional misconceptions and anti-concepts.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Grames said:

(1) The usual path from universal truths to imperialism is through an intrinsic value theory.  Objective value theory was only discovered by Rand so historically it has been impossible to avoid the error of moving from universals in epistemology to universals in politics.

Liberalism and natural rights theory predated Rand, so the claim that it was only historically possible to avoid intrinsic value politics after Rand seems just historically wrong. Of course it's only possible to be Rand if you're Rand, but "non-intrinsic politics" and "being Rand" aren't coextensive. (After all, didn't Rand say she thought it was possible to come up with her theory after Locke and the Industrial Revolution happened?) With both Locke and Spinoza we find examples of arguments to the effect that each individual must reason for himself, first-hand, in order to find the good for him.

But your last sentence is literally makes no sense to me. Presumably Rand, Plato, Aristotle, and Hazony all believe in universals in epistemology, so I fail to see how that translates to favoring a single "universal state." Presumably Hobbes is disobeying that rule then, since he doesn't believe in universals in epistemology, but does believe in an absolute sovereign (which would have to be a single world-sovereign on his own arguments' grounds.)

Thirdly, doesn't Hazony himself favor intrinsic value theory with his "family and tribe" collectivism? You wrote the following note on his text: "non-consensual mutual loyalties bind human beings into families, clans, tribes, and nations; each of us receives a linguistic,   cultural or religious inheritance as a consequence of being born into such collectives. Locke neglects responsibilities that are intrinsic to both inherited and adopted membership in collectives of this kind, establishing demands on individuals that do not arise as a result of consent and  do not disappear if consent is withheld."

If these "non-consensual inherited tribal responsibilities" are not intrinsic, then I don't know what is. This forms its own universal truth Hazony wants us to believe. And we already see that they are non-consensual and do not disappear if consent is withheld. So clearly Hazony doesn't intrinsic value being the path to imperialist domination, but he does see universal truth as being that path. Thus he is still missing the middle term to that argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Grames said:

(2) Hazony's critique of rationalist politics and more empirical explanation of what politics actually consists of does not lead straight to collectivism anymore than Rand's system leads straight to a gas chamber (referencing the infamous National Review review of Atlas Shrugged).  

Nothing "leads straight to" anything, until it does. And a position has its own logic, and that logic leads somewhere regardless of whether you or anyone else says they don't want it to. Locke didn't want his epistemology to lead to idealism or skepticism, but Berkeley and Hume showed just how it did. Nietzsche didn't want his ideas to lead to Nazism, but Heidegger showed just how (some of them) did. Rorty didn't want his epistemology and ethics to lead to nihilism and racial collectivism, but it does.

Where does the logic of the concepts of politics employed in Atlas Shrugged lead as versus the concepts employed in the following statement:

26 minutes ago, 2046 said:

clans, tribes, and nations; each of us receives a linguistic, cultural or religious inheritance as a consequence of being born into such collectives. Locke neglects responsibilities that are intrinsic to both inherited and adopted membership in collectives of this kind, establishing demands on individuals that do not arise as a result of consent and  do not disappear if consent is withheld."

I know it isn't Galt's Gulch or Lexington/Concord.

(And by the I didn't say "leads straight to" I said "is compatible with" which you changed to "leads straight to")

Edited by 2046

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Grames said:

(3) An objective inquiry into the philosophy of politics should not be baking the correct answer (individual freedom) into the framing of the field's foundational questions.  I find Hazony's classifications clarifying and more objective than the traditional misconceptions and anti-concepts.  

On Hazony's classification, Hitler isn't a nationalist and the anarchist Bertrand Russell is a bloody imperialist, and both Stalin and Thomas Jefferson thought they grasped universal truth. If you think that helps clarify things for you, more power to you.

Edited by 2046

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, 2046 said:

Liberalism and natural rights theory predated Rand,

"Natural rights theory" is exactly the kind of intrinsicism invented to justify the theory of rights when the objective justification is unavailable because objectivity was not yet fully conceptualized.  And if one's theory of rights is intrinsically justified then one can impose that value upon the entire world, from the deserts of Arabia to the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, and the people there can be expected to welcome their liberation and convert to the program upon being enlightened.  

Liberalism based upon natural rights theory is now in hindsight obviously false and a failure.  Which is not to say that rights are false or forever unjustifiable, just that it does matter how one goes about doing it.  Rand showed the way, and it isn't natural it is objective.

3 hours ago, 2046 said:

But your last sentence is literally makes no sense to me. Presumably Rand, Plato, Aristotle, and Hazony all believe in universals in epistemology, so I fail to see how that translates to favoring a single "universal state." Presumably Hobbes is disobeying that rule then, since he doesn't believe in universals in epistemology, but does believe in an absolute sovereign (which would have to be a single world-sovereign on his own arguments' grounds.)

No, only Rand tried to teach that universals were epistemological.  All other versions of universals were metaphysical or extra-dimensional (enabling intrinsic value theory).  Perhaps that last sentence makes more sense if you keep that in mind.  {edit for addition} So any broad claim held to be universally true was held to be applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands speaking foreign languages and worshipping alien gods.  This is just recapitulating Peikoff in regard to how a universal cast as intrinsicism would then justifies using force to coerce people to be good, because if the good is not relative to one's consciousness then understanding and consent have no role to play.

3 hours ago, 2046 said:

Thirdly, doesn't Hazony himself favor intrinsic value theory with his "family and tribe" collectivism? You wrote the following note on his text: "non-consensual mutual loyalties bind human beings into families, clans, tribes, and nations; each of us receives a linguistic,   cultural or religious inheritance as a consequence of being born into such collectives. Locke neglects responsibilities that are intrinsic to both inherited and adopted membership in collectives of this kind, establishing demands on individuals that do not arise as a result of consent and  do not disappear if consent is withheld."

This is not offered in a normative sense of theory but as a neutral objective observation of what actually happens in real people around the world and throughout history.  That there is such a thing as human nature implies that humans have intrinsic attributes.  The affirmation that existence implies identity and definite attributes is Objectivism, not Hazony.  Intrinsicism as used in Objectivism refers to the principle of asserting knowledge can exist without knowers or values without valuers.  An attempt to identify human nature is necessarily universal to all humans and is going to identify intrinsic attributes, but that doesn't come near to being intrinsicism even if wrong.

Edited by Grames
their/there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 2046 said:

(And by the I didn't say "leads straight to" I said "is compatible with" which you changed to "leads straight to")

You wrote " Hazony's own "tribe and family" collectivism" and the substance of my reply is against the characterization of family and tribe as collectivism, Hazony's or anyone else's.   An empirical description of what actually exists is not a normative theory of what should exist.  Collectivism is a normative theory.  Hazony's description of the social bonds of family and tribe is empirical.  You are certainly entitled to critique it as false in one way or another but you are committing a category error with this attempt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 2046 said:

On Hazony's classification, Hitler isn't a nationalist and the anarchist Bertrand Russell is a bloody imperialist, and both Stalin and Thomas Jefferson thought they grasped universal truth. If you think that helps clarify things for you, more power to you.

Hitler isn't a nationalist because he wanted to de facto restore the Holy Roman Empire but with his idiosyncratic racial theory substituting for holiness. 

Bertrand Russell was strong D in Peikoff's D.I.M. scheme, of course he was an anarchist.  The question is to what degree was he an intrinsicist?  Intrinsicism is necessary to move from claiming to know a truth to imposing it on others.

Stalin and Jefferson indeed both thought they grasped universal truths, but different ones.  Jefferson would not approve of compulsion in matters of conscience which makes him better than your ordinary theist who is almost automatically intrinsicist.  Jefferson was a deist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Grames said:

"Natural rights theory" is exactly the kind of intrinsicism invented to justify the theory of rights when the objective justification is unavailable because objectivity was not yet fully conceptualized.  And if one's theory of rights is intrinsically justified then one can impose that value upon the entire world, from the deserts of Arabia to the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, and the people there can be expected to welcome their liberation and convert to the program upon being enlightened.  

Liberalism based upon natural rights theory is now in hindsight obviously false and a failure.  Which is not to say that rights are false or forever unjustifiable, just that it does matter how one goes about doing it.  Rand showed the way, and it isn't natural it is objective.

Natural rights theory isn't a justification, or even a single theory. The "natural" refers to a concept of human nature, and so in that sense Rand's rights theory is naturalistic. And it's not necessarily intrinsic except to the extent that human nature refers to a definite thing.

But let's drop the historical interpretation and focus on one area here in the first paragraph:

1 If one's rights theory is justified

2 one can impose that value on distant lands and the whole world

3 and the people can be expected to welcome it

Surely you must know you're making wild non sequiturs here? 3 does not follow at all.

2 follows in the sense that surely if I have rights I am justified in imposing them on anyone in the world. If I have rights to this chair, I can impose them from anyone in Afghanistan or wherever, everyone has an obligation to respect my chair rights. Any arrangement of control over the chair will involve imposing something.

But is this "imposing a value" (you said "that value") in the same way imposing ethical norms? I submit not because rights are not the same kinds of norms as other value claims. That would take a much longer post to argue for so I'll just leave it as a possibility. But if that's true, then "imposing" in 2 isn't avoidable, whether it's Hazony tribal politics or liberal politics. In fact, only liberal politics leaves normative value-sets open-ended and pluralistic because it imposes individual rights, while Hazony's tribal politics imposes "non-consensual inherited" duties.

1 hour ago, Grames said:

So any broad claim held to be universally true was held to be applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands speaking foreign languages and worshipping alien gods.

You said "universals in epistemology" now you're saying well universals as metaphysical or extra-dimensional. You're forgetting nominalism, which is a counterexample to your claim. Then you're saying "any broad claim universally true." These are all different things, and the goalposts keep shifting here.

Well this just brings up what does he mean by "universal." What is a "universal claim applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands?" Is it a Kantian universalizability that applies to ethical values? Or to just any truth claim? Any broad claim? Is it "universal" because it's broad? You see the ambiguity here. Since (as I argued a couple of pages back) liberalism doesn't rely on universalized values, or universal acceptance and conformity to certain practices, or metaphysical or extra-dimensional essences, that leaves open the question of what purpose this "broad universal claims" is doing here. Is a narrow, non-universal claim okay then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Grames said:

Stalin and Jefferson indeed both thought they grasped universal truths, but different ones Jefferson would not approve of compulsion in matters of conscience

Right, which is the point Journo made in the article. A bloodthirsty dictator and an Antifa window smasher both think they know a truth. So does Hazony. So does a Jefferson or a Rand. The question is not the holding of a truth (and I already question what "universal" is doing in there) itself but what is the content of that truth. And Hazony is okay with intrinsic values, the tribe family, and clan, so it can't be that. You're trying to salvage him by putting Rand's value theory in his missing middle term, but it's a square peg in a round hole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Grames said:

You wrote " Hazony's own "tribe and family" collectivism" and the substance of my reply is against the characterization of family and tribe as collectivism, Hazony's or anyone else's.   An empirical description of what actually exists is not a normative theory of what should exist.  Collectivism is a normative theory.  Hazony's description of the social bonds of family and tribe is empirical.  You are certainly entitled to critique it as false in one way or another but you are committing a category error with this attempt.

Does he or does he not think there are responsibilities? If so, then it is normative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Does he or does he not think there are responsibilities? If so, then it is normative.

This is an empirical approach not an exercise in rationalism.  One can observe actual human beings and observe how they speak and act with regard to "responsibilities" and then investigate what those are and what causes them.  With enough observations and a diverse sampling one can then engage in measurement omission and getting to an essence of the concept as used by actual human beings.  I claim that it is possible to objectively investigate even a relatively high level concept such as responsibility.  By Peikoff's principle of two definitions there should be both an objective and a normative definition for the concept.  

Edited by Grames

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 2046 said:

 You're trying to salvage him by putting Rand's value theory in his missing middle term, but it's a square peg in a round hole.

I want a broader theory of politics than Rand left us without abandoning any of what she did leave us.  So yes I'm going correct any perceived weaknesses or missing elements in Hazony's theory by filling with the stronger foundation of Rand's work.  The end result won't be Hazony's theory anymore.  I suppose it would be mine, based on Rand and Hazony.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Grames said:

I want a broader theory of politics than Rand left us without abandoning any of what she did leave us.  So yes I'm going correct any perceived weaknesses or missing elements in Hazony's theory by filling with the stronger foundation of Rand's work.  The end result won't be Hazony's theory anymore.  I suppose it would be mine, based on Rand and Hazony.  

That's fine, but Journo is obviously responding to Hazony and not you. So Hazony needs to get from "believes universal truth" to "will dominate others" and doesn't have the middle term. 

As far as empirical investigation of intrinsic responsibilities, that's fine. You can observe people do act in certain responsibility confirming behaviors. Can you move from that observation to the normative? No you cannot. Can you move from that descriptive observation to "non-consensual intrinsic responsibilities" in the normative sense? No you cannot. Does Hazony hold the normative claim? Of course he does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do I detect a slight animus to nationalism (In Journo's essay)? ;) Well, I am for individual rights as much as he, but until some countries in the West willingly take on rights protecting individual sovereignty, they'll have to make do with protecting the sovereignty of nations, in my view. Speaking of today's Europe especially (that he mentions) I don't think he's noted that theirs is not a nationalism born of antagonism and supremacy over other nations, it came out of a deep concern for not losing European culture and identity, one being dissipated by an influx of migrants who don't entirely - or not at all - approve of those things and the efforts of intellects and struggles which created them.. Mostly conservatives who, I gather, are *not* anti-immigrant nor racist, but simply worry: too many, too quickly. Naturally too, there are the usual minority of true racists who jump on board. The former's concerns are valid, and perhaps Journo could acknowledge that this nationalism is a defense strategy against other ideologies gaining the upper hand, distinct from his preconceptions of traditional nationalism.

I think what goes for the individual goes also for a nation. One needs to be to be strong to be kind/gentle. The West has suffered some moral weakening and loss of rational-intellectual prowess - which won't be turned around causally, by "enacting" full-scale humanitarian policies. Then ... everyone becomes equally weakened or compromised.

"The Argument: From family to tribe to nation". Again, Journo could consider what is inherently wrong with that hierarchy. The bedrock of family - very much inclusive of the individuals, too, and their value - was not my cup of tea, nor I suppose, of many Objectivists, but one can sometimes see the good it provides to its members. And it hasn't done too badly for the West up until now. That such citizens look up to their country and hold it to standards, has often been a positive. But my point: within family-unit and alongside and outside it, Western individualists have generally found the space and freedom they've needed.  So much freedom, in fact, that now there've been emerging fresh generations of  secularist 'individualists' (actually anti-individualist). I don't know what they, the New Left,  Progressives, neo-Socialists, etc., could be well-regarded for, as a whole, but make no bones about it, these are far greater "tribalists", "groupists" and collectivists than the conservatives could ever have come up with in recent times. That formulation for them could be something like: "From tribe to society to global people". I advise - not *ever* from them can we expect individual rights to be supported or arise - whereas from the conservatives, the derided "nationalists", far more likely. 

Edited by whYNOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2019 at 6:57 PM, whYNOT said:

Speaking of today's Europe especially (that he mentions) I don't think he's noted that theirs is not a nationalism born of antagonism and supremacy over other nations

He didn't say that it was (which is different than saying it generally leads that direction).

On 7/19/2019 at 6:57 PM, whYNOT said:

it came out of a deep concern for not losing European culture and identity

What are you even talking about? That wouldn't be nationalism even to Hazony as far as I can tell. There is no monolithic European culture. There is culture that is Scandinavian, German, Italian, Hungarian, Spanish, French, etc. These cultures are all distinct. If you mean "the West", that isn't a national identity, it would be more like an imperialist identity (because it would be some universalist principal or identity that supersedes nation states). This is heavily connected to anti-Semitism by the way, because Jews aren't European and also have a distinct culture. 

On 7/19/2019 at 6:57 PM, whYNOT said:

The bedrock of family - very much inclusive of the individuals, too, and their value - was not my cup of tea, nor I suppose, of many Objectivists, but one can sometimes see the good it provides to its members.

I don't see why Journo would write about this. Why would he want to talk about "the West up until now" when he's talking about what is rational and individualist?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

He didn't say that it was (which is different than saying it generally leads that direction).

What are you even talking about? That wouldn't be nationalism even to Hazony as far as I can tell. There is no monolithic European culture. There is culture that is Scandinavian, German, Italian, Hungarian, Spanish, French, etc. These cultures are all distinct. If you mean "the West", that isn't a national identity, it would be more like an imperialist identity (because it would be some universalist principal or identity that supersedes nation states). This is heavily connected to anti-Semitism by the way, because Jews aren't European and also have a distinct culture. 

I don't see why Journo would write about this. Why would he want to talk about "the West up until now" when he's talking about what is rational and individualist?

 

"European" was clearly my brevity for all European countries and cultures - and any specific one...if you could assume the best 'read' for once. Next time, for your sake I will list them one by one.

Yeah, Elan raised rational and individualist as the foil to nationalism. Nothing wrong. Except, I prefer to see the reality of what exists on the continent and what is immediately possible. Invoking individual rights in that arena is akin to wishful thinking at the moment. As i said, I think the movement to right-politics (a precursor to "nationalism", EJ implied) is for self-protection of the worried citizens' of "Europe". 

Journo's one headline stated and I quoted : "From family to tribe to nation" -- i.e. nationalism by conservatives. I took that concept further for the Left. 

Jews, I guess you don't know, have always been known as the best assimilators in European countries, especially the secular Jews. More German than a German, was once said about them, pre-war. "Jews aren't European" is an error. Where do you believe at least half lived for many100's of years? 

Edited by whYNOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Jews, I guess you don't know

Jewish culture is still distinctly Jewish  because it doesn't stem from any European cultures. But then we get into the fact that anyplace can consist of multiple cultures and be fine. You can be German and Jewish, which is fine. You can even have a hierarchy of cultures, where one takes precedent, like immigrants who think themselves more American than Italian for example, but still maintained some amount of Italian culture. I'm not saying that the modern-day nationalists across Europe are all anti-Semitic, I'm saying that it's a dangerous and realistic possibility. It important to remember that Jewish culture is a thing, and that for centuries people in European countries thought Jews were a threat to their cultural and national identity, pretty much everywhere. It's only a side point, not really very important at the moment.

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

"European" was clearly my brevity for all European countries and cultures

Then don't say things you don't mean, or don't use words for brevity if it changes the meaning of what you said. I'm assuming that you meant what you said. (brevity that changes your meaning is bad writing and therefore bad for philosophical discussion)

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Except, I prefer to see the reality of what exists on the continent and what is immediately possible.

Fine, but Journo was making a normative criticism. I didn't see him say anything that would deny the fact that modern day nationalist sympathies are often a reaction to perceived threats. He spent most of the short article talking about what's more important in his estimation (but it is too bad he didn't provide at least an alternative). It wasn't a book review, so it wasn't going to give you a complete evaluation of everything Hazony said. He isn't doing comparative political history either. He's going right to saying that nationalism is morally flawed, even in this incarnation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Jewish culture is still distinctly Jewish  because it doesn't stem from any European cultures. But then we get into the fact that anyplace can consist of multiple cultures and be fine. You can be German and Jewish, which is fine. You can even have a hierarchy of cultures, where one takes precedent, like immigrants who think themselves more American than Italian for example, but still maintained some amount of Italian culture. I'm not saying that the modern-day nationalists across Europe are all anti-Semitic, I'm saying that it's a dangerous and realistic possibility. It important to remember that Jewish culture is a thing, and that for centuries people in European countries thought Jews were a threat to their cultural and national identity, pretty much everywhere. It's only a side point, not really very important at the moment.

Then don't say things you don't mean, or don't use words for brevity if it changes the meaning of what you said. I'm assuming that you meant what you said. (brevity that changes your meaning is bad writing and therefore bad for philosophical discussion)

Fine, but Journo was making a normative criticism. I didn't see him say anything that would deny the fact that modern day nationalist sympathies are often a reaction to perceived threats. He spent most of the short article talking about what's more important in his estimation (but it is too bad he didn't provide at least an alternative). It wasn't a book review, so it wasn't going to give you a complete evaluation of everything Hazony said. He isn't doing comparative political history either. He's going right to saying that nationalism is morally flawed, even in this incarnation.

It's necessary to bear in mind that the religious are not going to conveniently disappear anytime soon, merely because *we know* that Objectivism is right and proper, and that the Christians, etc.are "mystics" who - it could be wrongly supposed -will eventually have "revealed" to them this fact and become persuaded by the philosophy.

Which is why I can agree with the principled argument made by Journo and still think he's dropping context. He is preaching to the O'ist choir and partly ignoring that vast number of religious conservatives for whom family, community etc. is their mainstay - and won't change.

My argument still, that nationalism and individuality/individual rights are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Even when a country and several others perhaps, adopt individual rights, e.g. when trade is undertaken by *individuals* - not controlled by bureaucrats/government agreements and tariff wars ("economic nationalism")- and when people can move freely from one to the other - and, say, a person is a Christian who holds to family, community, nation and God, those individual rights 'accomodate' all the people and all their ethics throughout the free nations. As irrational as one rates those ethics to be. Now, such a reduced govt. would have no intention, consent or resources, to do any more, militarily, than protect its border integrity from other un-free countries (which would still be around). 

Then and still, I don't see why each (free) nation would not continue to possess its own *sovereignty*, the core of nationalism (since Left/Right, socialist/fascist collectivism is dropped from the equation). And if one values one's nation for these accomplishments, for protecting one's freedoms, even national patriotism could be in order.

Edited by whYNOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Then and still, I don't see why each (free) nation

No one said otherwise (the thing you are arguing against, no one made that argument).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2019 at 4:00 AM, Eiuol said:

 I'm not saying that the modern-day nationalists across Europe are all anti-Semitic, I'm saying that it's a dangerous and realistic possibility. It important to remember that Jewish culture is a thing, and that for centuries people in European countries thought Jews were a threat to their cultural and national identity, pretty much everywhere. It's only a side point, not really very important at the moment.

 

Longstanding French citizens, the Jews have been exiting France, not because of "nationalists" - extreme right-wingers - they rate third on the threat-agenda, but because of Islamists and anti-Semitic Leftists. That's not the only EU country the Jews are beginning to feel insecure in. That "right-wing-anti-semite-meme" is mostly a media exaggerated fiction, diverting attention away from the Left and Islamists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point was that if there is an overfocus on nationality, to an irrational degree (after all, the principle of nationalism underlying a country that we are referring to, individual rights is not baked into the concept and could even be absent), then some people would begin to see -any- foreign culture as inherently a threat.

Anti-Semitism is not a left or right thing. The Soviet Union was anti-Semitic, or we can take those influenced by Wagner who didn't focus on some global takeover but still thought Jews were a threat to Germany. Then what, we start saying that Wager wasn't a "real" German? No, because it's German-ness taken to an exaggerated degree, that cultures cannot be mixed without severe damage to a nation state (the idea that it would be impossible to be both or require complete subjugation to *all* values of a particular culture). As for the modern day, whether or not anti-Semitism is exaggerated doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And besides, I wasn't talking about a specific country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

The point was that if there is an overfocus on nationality, to an irrational degree (after all, the principle of nationalism underlying a country that we are referring to, individual rights is not baked into the concept and could even be absent), then some people would begin to see -any- foreign culture as inherently a threat.

Anti-Semitism is not a left or right thing. The Soviet Union was anti-Semitic, or we can take those influenced by Wagner who didn't focus on some global takeover but still thought Jews were a threat to Germany. Then what, we start saying that Wager wasn't a "real" German? No, because it's German-ness taken to an exaggerated degree, that cultures cannot be mixed without severe damage to a nation state (the idea that it would be impossible to be both or require complete subjugation to *all* values of a particular culture). As for the modern day, whether or not anti-Semitism is exaggerated doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And besides, I wasn't talking about a specific country.

Clear this up, I specified that anti-semitism *does* exist (and is worsening), the only thing being "exaggerated" by media is the role that the far-rightists have in it. Leftist-progressive- socialists who are forming alliances with political-Islamic elements are together and apart the more threatening to Jews, long term. Leftist Jews, also, are finally beginning to realize this, I notice. Prime example, Corbyn's Labour Party in the UK which openly takes up with terrorists. It's partly the numbers, of course. Muslims are a big voting bloc there, and he is popularly anti-semitic . Whatever the swings of the past, the greater threat is from the Left. It is "a left thing" today, predominantly.

The outcome is of Jews emigrating to Israel, considered a "nationalist" country, to many (of the Left). And "Zionist- apartheid". To them, it is immoral that Jews - while they make things extremely hard for Jews elsewhere, ironically and viciously - should desire a national identity, self-determination and a (relatively) secure homeland. "Open your borders to everyone!" Quite, and that's the end of Israel and half the world's Jews. Which is the aim. Not so different from conservatives in European states, as I said, who are not xenophobic primarily -- simply self-preserving. 

The "overfocus on nationality" can't be what Elan Journo had in mind, I'd think, when he titled his essay: The Vice of Nationalism. 

I don't know how one can overfocus on one's roots, anyway. They just are what they are. You didn't make them, you are not responsible for your nationality, ethnicity, gender, rearing, early ed, and so on. Can one feel ashamed of them? Neither can one derive all one's pride from those. But - should one negate and meekly self-sacrifice *any* part of one's identity - intellectual, moral, physical, cultural, and background - to those who wish to bring one down (and perhaps one's country), out of their power-lust, envy, etc.? Never.   

Edited by whYNOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

I don't know how one can overfocus on one's roots, anyway. They just are what they are.

It can include rationalizing things about a culture that are bad or toxic, or saying things like white/black/Latino pride, desiring an ethnostate for an "uncontaminated" nation, things like that. I honestly don't know about Europe, but at least in the US, white nationalists are exactly these kind of people, and distinctly independent of leftist politics.

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

The "overfocus on nationality" can't be what Elan Journo had in mind, I'd think, when he titled his essay: The Vice of Nationalism. 

I'll put it this way. He clearly disagrees with nationalism as any element of a rational political culture. So you are right, that's not what Journo means. I should have been clearer: Journo made clear that irrationality can result from nationalism if we use the wrong principles, so the point I want to make is that wrong principles would have to do with overfocus on nationality. Still, the idea we can take from the article is that we should make explicit that individual rights need to enter the discussion.

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

states, as I said, who are not xenophobic primarily -- simply self-preserving. 

Give me some examples of this, I contest that the people who are concerned about the death of their culture actually face any threat, and the reason they see it that way is their racism (judging whole populations by racial or ethnic identity). Desire for self-preservation is not evidence that their judgment of the threat is rational.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

It can include rationalizing things about a culture that are bad or toxic, or saying things like white/black/Latino pride, desiring an ethnostate for an "uncontaminated" nation, things like that. I honestly don't know about Europe, but at least in the US, white nationalists are exactly these kind of people, and distinctly independent of leftist politics.

 

So, the answer is - what? Jail the white nationalists before they act? Censor people's thoughts, biases, emotions, mind-irrationality...?!

I think nothing was too wrong with the West until leftist politics and politicians started agitating. What is and was wrong, is what we as individuals can correct privately by ourselves, including one's wrongful premises about others, gratuitous hurt to others, etc.

Please -- you know that people get along, when left alone, or they may simply part ways. If you've been to any European city, you'll know that the mix of cultures, religions, colors, ethnicities, etc.  is enormous and constantly visible. Do the homework and you'd realize that all these Europeans, and quite a few generations of them, have been going to school together, playing together, living next door, meeting at the bar and in the streets, working together, befriending, marrying .. and so on.

Okay there'll be "tribal" gangs and social tensions and prejudices, sometimes. But if you are a balanced observer, you know how small are these incidents in the greater scheme of things.

And you must conclude that by and large all these millions of people have got along quite amicably for a long time. (As it basically is in the USA).

Therefore-  few are out-and-out "white nationalist" racists. Like the MSM will tell you.

But there've been some drastic changes happening in Europe. 

Let people see too many things changing radically around them, artificially and suddenly having to accept without control large numbers of new people into the populace, without their agreement, by decree of the EU parliament. It doesn't take a genius to figure they'll be uncomfortable, at least. Apart from the extra load on the infrastructure, law and order, jobs, public moneys, social differences, languages, etc.. It is human to want to preserve what one and one's country has built up. It is rational to ask why one owes a duty to all-comers, and will the "duty" be sustainable for the nation?

And if one happens to be an individualist who perceives others, individually - many other people are not. They see one as a member of "your tribe", and that's what you'll get in return. What one could call inverted bigotry, known as "reverse racism". Except, they'll not accept themselves as racist, they own a monopoly, it goes only one way...

Into this social complexity, the Leftists - predominantly - have brought their poison. If anyone of several countries, and particularly the USA, is stoking racism and tribalism, it is the Left - by miles. Hardly, the conservative right. Obvious: they tell us - they don't pretend otherwise. The leftist's standard of value is "the victim", they can't survive without finding fresh victims. Their rationale, playing on emotion, making people feel guilty, their philosophy, social justice, their morality - sacrifice, self-sacrifice. Gaining permanent power, the objective. Then, the globalist Utopia of total control.

Objectivists are equipped to see through that I thought.. 

It's advisable not to rely on input from the media. I have worked for some papers, fin mags and in PR, and I have a good insight into how the news can be groomed/suppressed/ exaggerated to fit a 'narrative' and how people are being manipulated. Not to add, by movies and social media. 

Edited by whYNOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...