Archive for the ‘HUMANS CAPABLE OF EMBRACING AMAZING NONSENSE FOR EMOTIONAL COMFORT’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HAS NATIONALISM’S DAY COME? AS ONE WHO DISLIKES AMERICAN-THROWBACK THINKING, I SINCERELY HOPE NOT – PATRIOTISM IS JUST A FORM OF SECULAR RELIGION – FANATICISM IN SUPPORT OF EMPIRE MUCH AS WITH ISRAEL’S ULTRA-ORTHODOX “SETTLERS”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PAT BUCHANAN IN UNZ REVIEW

 

“Has the Day of the Nationalists Come?”

 

Let’s hope not.

It would simply represent a giant step backward of over a century and a half.

Nothing good can come of smaller, narrower interests taking on new importance.

Indeed, it would only increase the opportunity for disagreement and conflict. It would make large-scale trade more difficult and less secure too.

Our world has become immeasurably richer through the effects of globalization and with degrees of free trade and with large economic groupings, like the EU, somewhat replacing the narrowness of 19th century nationalism.

Globalization is just what happens when advances in technology shrink the world and enlarge everyone’s potential markets. It is just one of the real economic effects of rapidly advancing technology in travel and communications.

Saying anything else is just economic illiteracy.

But people who cheer for narrow causes have rarely been renowned for their learning.

After all, we still have millions who believe the exact words some hermits, holed up in caves, scribbled on scrolls a few thousand years ago, are eternal truths. That is the basis for religions embraced with the same intensity and, yes, blindness, as nationalism, but even also for some nationalism too.

Words which reflect nothing of what the world has become, nothing of its complexity, nothing of its science, yet are embraced as though they were all-seeing and wise beyond reckoning. Just meaningless superstition.

Indeed, not just hermits, but in a good number of cases, genuine mentally-ill people – eg, the authors of texts like The Book of Revelations or Genesis or Leviticus.

There really seems to be no limit on the kind or amount of nonsense many humans are capable of embracing for some emotional satisfaction.

And it’s just the same with fixating on a 19th century phenomenon like nationalism.

The coming of nationalism provided historical transition away from the empires, dukedoms, and kingdoms of the previous many centuries – not a final and definitive state for human political arrangements.

And, of course, many aspects of nationalism represent accidents of history, not rational arrangements, as, for example, the areal extent and resource endowment of the various nation states.

The original nationalisms found their generating force in narrow concepts like ethnicity or language spoken and frequently religion – hardly a rational basis for long-term arrangements. That kind of nationalism is just a few steps from tribalism. I trust no one is advocating a return to tribalism, although that, too, is something we do see here and there, as with the ultra-Orthodox in Israel.

Globalization – not so-called globalism – is a natural economic result of technology shrinking distances and enlarging markets. It’s been a steady process for centuries since people first travelled outside the confines of their native little villages on new roads with the new technology of wagons and horses’ bits and saddles, right on through the sailing technology which opened the New World.

The huge modern increases in trade and commerce engendered by globalization require increased international arrangements – protocols, regulations, financial arrangements, and treaties of every description.

Everyone wants to be able to sell their goods and services to the rest of the world in a well-regulated environment, just as they expect to do at home. So that requires all kinds of organizations and arrangements. Those comprise the “globalism” arrangements needed owing to the inevitable birth of globalization.

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Response to a comment:

Patriotism is just what the brilliant Dr Johnson called it when he said “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

He was referring to rebelling American aristocrats like Thomas Jefferson.

“People,” he also said rightly, “who speak of liberty while being drivers of negroes.”

Here’s some interesting analysis of patriotism, that secular religion:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/john-chuckman-comment-patriotism-and-nationalism-much-like-religion-in-blindly-praising-the-insupportable-nations-like-people-come-in-all-types-and-many-hardly-deserve-praise-patriotism-is-a-to/

An American Patriot-type should find this interesting too:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/john-chuckman-comment-the-remarkable-case-of-thomas-jefferson-he-wasnt-at-all-what-so-many-think-he-was-how-the-needs-of-politics-can-twist-and-exploit-historical-figures-and-myth-making-as-a/