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Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

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The Virtue of Nationalism is a new book in political philosophy by Yoram Hazony.  Hazony here operates at the level of philosophy because he works with wide abstractions, has a sharp critique of Locke's Second Treatise on Government, provides an alternative to that tradition of rationalist political philosophy, and uses that conceptual framework to integrate a variety of current disparate controversies into coherent view of fronts where two different political philosophies are conflicting.

Here in this topic I plan to go over the book chapter by chapter and provide a review in outline form of what he claims as I've done with other works listed in my signature block.  Since those other works were all by Objectivists and this one is not I will also provide comments of my own relating the points made to the Objectivist perspective.  Others are welcome to post comments or questions as well in between my content posts because I won't catch everything there may be to say or question and my focus here is not as much on presentation and continuity as when I covered a lecture series.

I'll just plunge in and get started by paraphrasing his introduction.

Introduction

Britain voted for Brexit.  America voted for Trump.  Oh no, this is reversion to warmongering and racism.

But wait a minute.  Until a few decades ago nationalism was associated with broad-mindedness and generosity.  Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteeen Points" and Churchill/Roosevelt's Atlantic Charter were progressive because independence and national self-determination for enslaved and colonized people around the globe were good things.  Statesmen from Mahatma Ghandi to David Ben-Gurion led nationalist political movements.  Why was nationalism thought to be a good thing then but not now?

I, Yoram Hazony, a Jewish Israeli Zionist (a type of nationalism) have some insight into the question.  My family moved to Jewish Palestine in the 1920's and 1930's as aspiring nationalists and Israel has been governed continually by nationalists since then.  Nationalism is not a forgotten and now alarming idea in Israel but familiar and normal.

Nationalism is the principle that the world is governed best when nations are free to cultivate their own traditions and pursue their own interests without outside interference.  Opposed to that is the principle of Imperialism which holds that the world would be peaceful and prosperous if united under a single political structure.  Pros and cons of each will be considered in turn but note here these principles are contradictory.  One must choose to be one or the other.

Nationalism vs Imperialism contest gained new life with fall of Berlin Wall in '89.  After that, two new Imperialist great projects commenced: the European Union and the American "world order".  EU is the Austro-Hungarian Empire restored.  Charles Krauthammer advocated for an American "Universal Dominion" to establish a new pax Americana just like the pax Romana of old.  Both projects involve suppressing the sovereignty of existing nations and are thus identified as imperialist.

Open debate and discussion of Nationalism vs. Imperialism has been muted and seemingly deliberately avoided.  The following list of euphemisms have been employed to conceal the imperialist agenda:

"new world order," "ever closer union," "openness," "globalization," "global governance," "pooled sovereignty," "rules-based order," "universal jurisdiction," "international community," “liberal internationalism,” “transnationalism,” “American leadership,” “American century,” “unipolar world,” “indispensable nation,” “hegemon,” “subsidiarity,” “play by the rules,” “the right side of history,” “the end of history,” etc.   [footnote 6 of intro notes an uptick in more explicit calls for an American Empire after 9/11/2001].

The time for clear unambiguous reasoned debate on principles is now.

This book is a statement of reasons to be a nationalist.  For clarity "globalism" will be taken as a version of the old imperialism.  Also for clarity, "patriotism" will be avoided as a synonym for nationalism because it merely refers to the love or loyalty of an individual for his own nation but not the wider context of a position within political philosophy.

The argument will be as folllows:

Part One “Nationalism and Western Freedom” will be the basic historical framework for understanding the confrontation between imperialism and nationalism as it has developed among the Western nations.  The aftermath of Hitler is the narrative that "nationalism caused two world wars and the Holocaust.”  It is this narrative that is responsible for nationalism being regarded as unnecessary and even morally suspect. The new imperialism takes liberal theories of the rule of law, the market economy, and individual rights—all of which evolved in the domestic context of national states such as Britain, the Netherlands, and America—to be regarded as universal truths and considered the appropriate basis for an international regime.  Supporters of imperialism have not described nationalism correctly.

Part Two “The Case for the National State”.   Three alternatives of political order are described: the order of tribes and clans found in every pre-state society, the international order under an imperialist state, and an order of independent national states.  The admitted economic and security advantages of an unified legal regime for the entire world is a narrow and inadequate basis for the imperialist state because the fundamental political relations at the level of family, tribe, clan and nation are not universal and cannot be made so.   The advantages of an order of independent national states are: provides greatest possibility for collective self-determination; a logical aversion to campaigns of foreign conquest and a de facto tolerance of diverse ways of life ; productive peaceful competition among nations; powerful mutual loyalties are the only known basis for free institutions and individual liberties.   Not every stateless people can have its own independent state so what then?

Part Three "Anti-Nationalism and Hate".   The Universalist ideologies that underlie and justify imperial regimes encourage hate toward all who won't cooperate with the imperialist program.  Examples: medieval Catholicism vs the Jews; Islam vs the world; Marxism vs the productive independent; The EU vs Poland, Hungary et al ; globalists vs Israel; etc.  Racism and hate can also be found in nationalist movements and expressed in national rivalries.  Hate is a feature of politics or human nature in general and is not a deciding factor in Nationalism vs. Imperialism.

Part Four "The Virtue of Nationalism” The conclusion.  Some brief remarks on the relationship between nationalism and positive personal character traits.

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Table of Contents [my comments are in square brackets]

Part I Nationalism and Western Freedom

I: Two Visions of World Order 

The history of western civilization is succession of rising and falling empires.  Nationalism as an idea makes its first appearance in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament as a state with defined borders living in peace with its neighbors because it disavows expansion by conquest.  Nation  defined.

II: The Roman Church and Its Vision of Empire

When Christianity established itself as the official state religion of Rome it adopted the Roman dream of empire. "Catholic" means universal.  Protestantism brought back to life long neglected chapters of the Bible and was embraced by peoples chafing against rule by foreigners.  

III: The Protestant Construction of the West

The period between the English Act of Supremacy and the Westphalia treaties gave a new, Protestant construction to the West based upon two principles found in the Old Testament:  First the idea of a moral minimum for a legitimate government and secondly "right of national self-determination" [would be more accurate if negatively stated as a "no foreign rulers" principle rather than cast as a right].

IV: John Locke and the Liberal Construction

Since the end of World War Two the Protestant Construction has been being pushed aside.  The liberal construction of the West assumes that there is only one principle at the base of legitimate political order: individual freedom.  The most influential impetus for this new principle overtaking the West is Locke's Second Treatise of Government (1689).  Locke critiqued.  von Mises and Hayek both quoted as sympathetic to a world government.

V: Nationalism Discredited

World War Two was a conflict of imperialist ideologies. Communist world revolution, the Third Reich, The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the remnants of the colonial British Empire were all imperialist projects to strip sovereignty from other nations. Self-serving commenters blamed nationalism because they would not give up on their imperialist dreams.

VI: Liberalism as Imperialism

Much like the pharaohs and the Babylonian kings, the Roman emperors and the Roman Catholic Church until well into the modern period, as well as the Marxists of the last century, liberals, too, have their grand theory about how they are going to bring peace and economic prosperity to the world by pulling down all the borders and uniting mankind under their own universal rule.  But unity and diversity are incompatible principles.

VII: Nationalist Alternatives to Imperialism

There are three anti-liberal camps based upon whether one or the other or both principles underlying nationalism are wielded.  These are described as neo-Catholic, neo-nationalist (or just statist), and conservative (or traditionalist).  Conservative is used because preserving the Protestant Construction is conservation.

Part II  The Case for the National State

VIII: Two Types of Political Philosophy

Philosophy of government is distinguished from philosophy of political order. Political order precedes establishment of government and makes it possible.  Whatever is assumed without argument comes to be regarded as self-evident, whether it is true or false. 

IX: The Foundations of Political Order

Politics as practiced by an individual is the art or craft of influencing others to act to accomplish goals seen as necessary or desirable. People join together in collectives to take more effective action for common goals than an individual can accomplish alone.  Various motives exist, with various results.

X: How Are States Really Born?

Hobbes, Locke or Rousseau are invoked to tell the story that, while living in a state of perfect freedom and equality, each individual consents, together with countless others, to form a government and to submit to its dictates.  This is compared to a fairy tale.  The real story is told, based upon the foundations of political order discovered in chapter 9.

XI: Business and Family

Business is contrasted with family to further expose the weakness of analyzing politics as the calculations of consenting individuals maximizing their property.

XII: Empire and Anarchy

A continuum of possible forms of political order is laid out, from anarchy to empire.  The difference is not mere scale but the ordering normative principle each enacts.

XIII: National Freedom as an Ordering Principle

Empire and Anarchy are the horns of a dilemma; Nationalism resolves the dilemma by retaining what is valuable and discarding what is dangerous from each.

XIV: The Virtues of the National State

  1. Violence banished to the periphery of the state; citizens do not war upon each other.
  2. Disdain for imperial conquest as against the interest of one's own nation.
  3. Collective freedom is maximized, as the disorder of anarchy and the despotism of empire are avoided.
  4. The resulting political order is analogized to a peaceful market competition.  
  5. Individual liberty is maximized compared to anarchy and empire.

XV: The Myth of the Federal Solution

There can be no compromise between [food and poison] nationalism and imperialism.  Proposed international dispute resolution mechanisms are either voluntary or compulsory.  Voluntary participation respects the sovereignty of nations but compulsory participation and enforcement actions destroy sovereignty and are identical to the imperial state model.

XVI: The Myth of the Neutral State

A state without an underlying nation/culture can only continue to exist with coercion and repression as a protection racket and inevitably fall into civil war.

XVII: A Right to National Independence?

There can be no universal right to national independence and self-determination.  National independence and self-determination are good things but no one can be obligated to provide them. Furthermore dividing up humanity into units smaller than nations is regression back to tribal and clan political order i.e. anarchy.

XVIII: Some Principles of the Order of National States

Reminder that the idea of "international law" originated in the Protestant political order of nation states.

  1. Political independence is for nations strong enough and cohesive enough to secure it.
  2. Non-interference in the internal affairs of other nation states.
  3. Government monopoly of organized coercive force within the state. [Here Objectivists would use "retaliatory force"]
  4. Maintenance of multiple centers of power to prevent the imperial temptation from taking root in a super-power.
  5. Parsimony in the establishment of states. [Hazony's Razor?]
  6. Protections of minority nations and tribes by the national government. 
  7. Non-transference of powers of government to universal institutions.

Part Three ANTI-NATIONALISM AND HATE

XIX: Is Hatred an Argument Against Nationalism?

No.  Or rather, it fails as an argument.  Imperialists also hate.  Tribes and clans can be consumed with petty feuds.  

XX: The Shaming Campaigns Against Israel

Using Thomas Kuhn's framework, the paradigm shift away from the Protestant order of independent nations toward imperialist projects makes nationalist Isreal appear to be a throwback to a more primitive era.

XXI: Immanuel Kant and the Anti-Nationalist Paradigm

Nationalism was an early modern [oddly close the Enlightenment time period] political theory that recognized the freedom of nations to assert and defend their independence against the predations of international empires.  Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (Kant, 1795) is Kant's manifesto attacking national states.   [You don't want to be on the same side as Kant, do you?]

XXII: Two Lessons of Auschwitz

One lesson is that the defense of a nation, such as for example the jews, cannot be left to others because they did nothing.  Following this lesson, Isreal is the answer to Aushwitz.  Another lesson is that neither Germany nor any other nation should be permitted to go to war on its own behalf.  Following this second lesson the answer to Aushwitz is the EU.  

XXIII: Why the Enormities of the Third World and Islam Go Unprotested

Because Kant said a world-spanning imperial super-state is the progressive inevitability, but not everyone in every place will join at the same time.  It is important that the leading nations join the world government first so the savages can join later when they are less savage.  It is the racism of low expectations.

XXIV: Britain, America, and Other Deplorable Nations

The imperialist perspective is that any nation that is European or descended from a European settlement is expected to obey Kant in renouncing national self-interest and unilateral action.  But primitive brown people don't know any better, so will never be described as deplorable.

XXV: Why Imperialists Hate

Historically, every imperial theory with which we are familiar—whether Egyptian or Assyrian, Greek or Roman, Christian or Muslim, liberal or Marxist—has offered an ideology of universal salvation and peace.  And each such imperialist ideology, as soon as it collides with a determined rejection of the salvation it offers, responds to this rejection with an intense and abiding hatred.   The universal hates the particular, is appalled and disgusted by it.

Conclusion: THE VIRTUE OF NATIONALISM

Nationalism is not a form of Utopianism.  What is wrong with imperialism is that it is.  Such a large and splendid Utopian dream can excuse a host of crimes to bring it about.  [That is the only practical application Utopian dreams have ever had, to excuse crimes and warmongering.]

At level of personal character everyone who embraces universal salvation doctrines and the empires they call into being participates in being a destroyer of what is not universal.  Clansmen and tribesmen esteem loyalty above all.  A nationalist knows that there is great truth and beauty in his own national traditions and in his own loyalty to them; and yet he also knows that they are not the sum of human knowledge, for there is also truth and beauty to be found elsewhere, which his own nation does not possess, cannot possess, and has no desire to destroy.  

 

 

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On 11/18/2018 at 5:08 AM, Grames said:

XIV: The Virtues of the National State

  1.  
  2.  
  3. Collective freedom is maximized.
  4. ...
  5. Individual liberty is maximized...

In unrelated news, I'm releasing a new book. It's about cakes, and if you follow along, you will benefit for a variety of reasons, including these:

1. eating your cake is maximized

2. having your cake is maximized

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Do you write that because you think collective freedom and individual liberty are opposed or contradictory ideas?

Individual liberty and business freedom tend to be found together.  Yet a business is merely a collective activity.

I am glad the lesson that Ayn Rand wished to teach, that "collectivism is bad", has made such a deep impression upon you.  However if you think collectivism is bad because collectives are bad, or in the other direction that the possibility of collectivism taints all collective action, you have not actually understood the lesson.

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.

Nuclear war is not an idle threat. It is a real threat. Multiple states having great nuclear weapons capability---USA, Russia, France and some others---together with the real potential for use in an escalating international crisis is how nuclear deterrence has been able to work so long as it has. There was no guarantee it would work this far, but on the other hand, our understanding of mutual unacceptable damage and our moves to secure it were our best move in the circumstances. All-out nuclear war will happen sooner or later. I suggest that internationalism on that issue, specifically nonproliferation meddling in the programs of other countries, is a way of pushing that finale of the human world, including all the peoples of all the nation states, to later rather than sooner. Silence on this reality will not make it go away. The human world changed with the Bomb. Even if mutual nuclear disarmament were someday attained, human nature will not change, and the technology and new production will come back to that ultimate, total human demise. Our best move is to push out that demise to the farther future, and pure nationalism, a nationalism that would include non-intervention on this issue of ever more countries attaining deliverable nuclear explosives, rather hastens that future extinction.

I do not take the end of the race of men to diminish a whit the glory that our kind existed and was what it was. Our kind was an end in itself, just as each individual and mortal human life was an end in itself. I think a book today on nationalism that does not address effect on the nuclear end-date would be myopic.

Edited by Boydstun

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2 minutes ago, Boydstun said:

.Nuclear war...

Well, as a gentle reminder, the notion of international law and international treaties logically presumes nations to exist before they can agree to things between them.  Internationalism requires nations.  "Full nationalism" sounds like the caricature of individualism that is "atomistic individualism" that the individual must go be a hermit because "participating in civilization requires interacting with other people but that is against the principle of individualism".

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On 11/19/2018 at 7:35 PM, Grames said:

Do you write that because you think collective freedom and individual liberty are opposed or contradictory ideas?

Individual liberty and business freedom tend to be found together.  Yet a business is merely a collective activity.

I am glad the lesson that Ayn Rand wished to teach, that "collectivism is bad", has made such a deep impression upon you.  However if you think collectivism is bad because collectives are bad, or in the other direction that the possibility of collectivism taints all collective action, you have not actually understood the lesson. 

Ayn Rand's lesson isn't that "collectivism is bad", or that "collectives are bad". In fact, I'm not gonna try and describe her lesson, I'm just gonna quote it:

"The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. No man—or group or society or government—has the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man. Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. "

By the way, based on the lack of response, am I safe to assume the answer to my question is "No, the book doesn't actually define what nationalism is."?

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16 hours ago, Grames said:

Well, as a gentle reminder, the notion of international law and international treaties logically presumes nations to exist

International treaties presume states ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_(polity) ) to exist. And yes, they're called inter"national", but they're actually between states, not nations. It's just a poor choice of words (chosen poorly by nationalists who confuse the two terms).

The essential difference is that a state is a governing body over a geographic area, while a nation is a governing body over a group of people. Clearly, Objectivism advocates for the former, not the latter (because, in the former, people at least have the freedom to choose their government by moving).

Edited by Nicky

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Chapter I Two Visions of World Order

I. Definition of nation:  a number of tribes with a common language or religion, and a past history of acting as a body for the common defense and other large-scale enterprises.

II. Empire

definition of empire: "an order of peoples united under a single regime of law, promulgated and maintained by a single supranational authority."   

motive: put a final end to war, starvation and disease by winning the last battle.  

“None hungered in my years or thirsted in them,” Pharaoh Amenemhet I wrote a few centuries before Abraham. “Men dwelled in peace through that which I wrought.”   

To “bring the four quarters of the world to obedience” was the task of Babylonian king Hammurabi and other imperial rulers.

These were not idle boasts, the empires did bring peace and prosperity to millions for as long as each lasted.  A succession of empires in antiquity (Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia, etc) form the context in which Isreal's prophets lived and learned to oppose imperialism.

III. Nationalism

definition of nationalism: a political order based on the independence of a nation living within limited borders alongside other independent nations.

Nationalism has its origin in Israelite prophets' complaints against empire.  [an extensively endnoted claim] The complaints against empire are the bloodshed of conquest, the imperious manner of governing, slavery, expropriation of women and property.  Empire is idolatrous in its focus on extending its power and maximizing its grain storage.

City-states did not form a viable alternative to empire.  Once the first city-state succeeded in conquering another it could run the table against all the others on the Mesopotamian plain.  They were also vulnerable to imperial armies from abroad (Egypt, Persia). [City-states were somewhat more defensible in Greece against each other, but imperial Roman might from beyond Greece eventually conquered them.]  

The plan as promoted in the Bible [footnotes mostly to Deuteronomy] features

  • members should regard one another as brothers
  • Mosaic law would effectively be the constitution of a nation-state in modern jargon
  • the king would be drawn "from among your brothers"
  • the prophets and priests would be drawn "from among your brothers"
  • priests were to teach the laws to the king so that he would not lift himself or his thoughts above his brothers 
  • Moses sets the boundaries of Israel, and forbids conquering the neighboring tribes
  • individuals from other, non-Israelite tribes can join so long as they accept Isreal's God and laws 

Summary quotation:

Quote

The Bible thus puts a new political conception on the table: a state of a single nation that is united, self-governing, and uninterested in bringing its neighbors under its rule. This state is governed not by foreigners responsible to a ruler in a distant land but by kings and governors, priests and prophets drawn from the ranks of the nation itself—individuals who are, for just this reason, thought to be better able to stay in touch with the needs of their own people, their “brothers,” including the less fortunate among them.


In addition, because the Israelite king is one of the people, and not the representative of some abstract universal ambition, his powers can be circumscribed to prevent abuse. Unlike the kings of Egypt or Babylonia, the Israelite king under the Mosaic constitution is not empowered to make the laws, which are the heritage of his nation and not subject to his whim. Nor does he have the power to appoint the priesthood, thereby making law and religion subservient to him. Moreover, the Mosaic law limits the king’s right to tax and enslave the people, just as the limitations on Israel’s borders prevent the king from embracing the dream of universal conquest.


It is important to notice that the Israelites’ conception of the nation has nothing to do with biology, or what we call race. For biblical nations, everything depends on a shared understanding of history, language, and religion that is passed from parents to children, but which outsiders can join as well.

Chapter I has 15 endnotes.

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Boydstun,

Do we have to be so pessimistic about nuclear war?  When Ayn Rand's ideas are understood, accepted, and implemented worldwide, won't that make it extremely unlikely that any nation will make and use nuclear weapons?

Would nuclear war completely wipe out the human race, or would it completely wipe out a majority of its individual members at the time and be a terrible setback for the human race, but leave some people alive to find a way to survive and then start rebuilding?

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Doug,

I don’t think that the philosophy of Ayn Rand nor any other particular philosophy—whether rational, irrational, or mixed—will ever come to be the guiding philosophy for all autonomous humans. Were such a philosophic frame ever accepted universally, then just wait. In time diversity of frame would return. Not returned after 100 years? Wait. It would return. But more realistically, the course is never going to result in any one particular philosophy being universally accepted. I mean freely accepted, but that just means really accepted.

There can be nuclear exchanges that do not result in total extinction. Wait. The finale one not happened after 500 years? Wait. It will come.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read the neat book This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. In that story, there is massive secret coercion being committed on the world population by a central authority, making the people peaceful as well as completely determinate and coordinate in their productions and consumptions and life spans. But there will be leaks, sooner or later, of individuals slipping out of the system, returning to their own free mind and body, and they will join together with other leaked fellows and fight the world system.

Stephen

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2 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Doug,

I don’t know if you’ve ever read the neat book This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. In that story, there is massive secret coercion being committed on the world population by a central authority, making the people peaceful as well as completely determinate and coordinate in their productions and consumptions and life spans. But there will be leaks, sooner or later, of individuals slipping out of the system, returning to their own free mind and body, and they will join together with other leaked fellows and fight the world system.

Stephen

I don't often run into mentions of This Perfect Day, but it is a neat book! :)

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18 hours ago, Grames said:

Chapter I Two Visions of World Order

I. Definition of nation:  a number of tribes with a common language or religion, and a past history of acting as a body for the common defense and other large-scale enterprises. 

That doesn't seem to leave much room for "individual liberty". Only option the individual seems to have is to obey the tribe they were born into, speak the official language, and believe in the national religion.

Quote

 

definition of empire: "an order of peoples united under a single regime of law, promulgated and maintained by a single supranational authority."   

motive: put a final end to war, starvation and disease by winning the last battle.  

 

Makes no sense. The Roman Empire, and then later the British Empire (just to name the two most notable ones) weren't trying to put an end to war or disease, they were trying to spread civilization (replace tribalism with civilization).

Nationalism, by the very definition above, means reverting to tribalism.

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Thanks for sharing. Having browsed through your summary I'm not seeing much to disagree with and I think these lessons were understood by America's funding fathers. The challenge is ensuring objective knowledge is passed on from one generation to the next without fail regardless of environmental considerations. It seems we can't break the cycle of booms and busts; as soon as we reach a state of material well being the next phase is moral degradation followed by loss of hard earned material gains.

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14 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

It seems we can't break the cycle of booms and busts; as soon as we reach a state of material well being the next phase is moral degradation followed by loss of hard earned material gains.

In a free market this applies to families, not whole societies.

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On 11/20/2018 at 2:29 PM, Nicky said:

, while a nation is a governing body over a group of people. 

This is not correct.  Nations are people.  Nations can be identified even in the absence of a unifying government.  In a later chapter the author Hazony goes on to make the point that every enduring state is actually a nation-state, that an underlying principle nation by means of a strong majority population is a necessity for a state to be secure.  Not every nation becomes a state but every state has a nation.

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20 hours ago, Nicky said:

Makes no sense. The Roman Empire, and then later the British Empire (just to name the two most notable ones) weren't trying to put an end to war or disease, they were trying to spread civilization (replace tribalism with civilization).

And what, pray tell, would be the point of spreading civilization?  What is civilization good for?

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This is more of general thought than an exact comment on all of this, but I see no reason why a future capitalist government that serves the entire earth would need to be classified as either Imperialist nor Nationalist. It would be neither, and would show that the premise of this book is just a false dichotomy.

Edited by EC

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2 minutes ago, EC said:

 a future capitalist government that serves the entire earth 

Thank you for your personal testimony that your understanding of liberalism is compatible with imperialism.  That the two ideas 'capitalism' and 'world government' should not go together will be covered in later chapters.  Please stay tuned.

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Chapter  II: The Roman Church and Its Vision of Empire

The ideal of national independence has been largely not practiced in ancient and then medieval Western history because first the Roman Empire and second the Roman Catholic Church.  Paraphrasing, it was a natural fit to move from the imperial premise of pax Romana to extending Christian salvation to the world.  "Catholic" is the Greek word for "universal".  When the Eastern Roman Empire fell when Constantinople became Istanbul, the Germanic Holy Roman Empire took became the center of Christian imperialism in Europe and in Russia the Tsars began their own imperial tradition.  (The Caliphate installed in Istanbul being yet another imperial salvation scheme.)

Despite imperialism seemingly being everywhere and since forever, Christendom was still a vehicle for spreading around the Christian Bible which contained the Old Testament and its subversive anti-imperialist sentiment and nationalist scheme.  Thus, even before the Protestant Reformation there were unique national-religious traditions found in the Poles, the English, the Czechs, and the French.

When the Protestant Reformation did come along it was not solely a religious dispute but a political civil war which led to the breakup of the existing united Catholic Empire.  The Thirty Years War pitted the emerging national states of France (Catholic), Netherlands (Calvinist) and Sweden (Lutheran) against German and Spanish armies.  It was the concept of a universal Christian empire that was decisively defeated after 13 centuries of domination.

[A short chapter.  Endnotes 16-24]

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