First we tackled sexism with women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. Then came the Civil Rights Movement fifty years later. Currently, we’re battling with some of the country’s homophobia. What will be next? Our next goal should be to eradicate something that is, in my opinion, worse than all of these. Combined.
I’m referring to nationalism.
noun \ˈnash-nə-ˌli-zəm, ˈna-shə-nə-ˌli-zəm\
: a feeling that people have of being loyal to and proud of their country often with the belief that it is better and more important than other countries
It’s the driving force behind anti-immigration laws. It’s the reason why the majority of the country is apathetic towards the world’s problems. It’s why people have an “Us vs. Them” mindset. If you had the ability to help someone who was homeless, but you had to choose between someone in San Fransisco or someone in Central America, who would it be? Most of you would help the man living just down the metaphorical road.
So much more could be said about this subject. My only goal of writing this is to get people to answer this question of why, and to get them to think. I find nationalism horrifying, and it has inhibited the human race from prospering as a whole. It’s why US citizens choose to remain ignorant about what’s going on in the rest of the world. I’m not just talking about the United States either. I’m talking about any country’s attitude towards those around them.
Instead of being more point specific like I am in previous blog posts, I’d rather open it up for discussion. There’s much I’m implying with what little I’ve written, and I wanted to be vague on purpose. What does nationalism mean to you? Is it more than just an Us vs. Them policy? How has it helped? How has it been a problem?
Write your response in the comments.
“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” – Albert Einstein
Breaking nationalism, in my opinion at least, will never happen in our generation, nor will it in the next three or four to come. Man is naturally self-serving, constantly allowing itself to be dictated by the notion of self-preservation. The national identity is instilled upon us from a very early age, look at our texts- Revolutionary War, Cold War, War against Terror. We are indoctrinated into believing our nation is this great bastion of hope, and that we should be proud of it, and whatever anyone else achieves that is noteworthy, although not achieved by us- is fuck all. And I agree nationalism is silly, imagine the great achievements humankind would be capable of producing if petty differences were put aside.
Agreed. I meant to respond to this awhile ago, but in any case: Nationalism is indeed an infantile disease. It’s one of the driving forces behind people’s devotion to a cause they may/may not believe in. Though, I think it might be even deeper than that. With the recency of the Super Bowl and now the Winter Olympics, our human race separates off into teams (countries, ethnicities, religious affiliations, sexes, fans of sports teams, etc.) And, how many times have we heard of clashing between opposing sides? It seems to be an inherent human drive to tie ourselves to similarity (for which there really can’t be any blame), but it’s the development of that whole “us against the world,” “we’re right, you’re wrong” mindset. And, even that aspect can be delved deeper. But, then again, there’s the competitive aspect of it all. Competition has been one of the key driving forces behind everything area consistently improving: art, science, sports, human ability, etc.) Nationalism is horrid, but I can understand how it’s developed. It’s a huge problem, causing wars and a sense of entitlement and superiority over any and everything. Seems better in some ways to think of ourselves simply as members of the world and merely residing in a country.