A website revolving around the social and economical injustices brought about by Globalization. Also, questioning if Globalization does in fact exist or just a progression from 18th Century imperialism?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Is Nationalism, as an ideology, good for the world?

Is Nationalism, as an ideology, good for the world?

Since there is an existence of common humanity, from the tribes of Africa to the major cities of the Western World, it seems unnatural to polarize neighbouring countries into different communities of people, based upon the accident of birth on the chance of what side of the border you’re produced.

Difference between one citizen from one nation to a citizen of a different country is ‘created’ through nurture of being brought up within ego-political lines, drawn by history, politicians and war. We, as a people aren’t segmented into specific countries based upon our similarities with our fellow nationals. It is something we are unable to avoid, to escape the social construction of national characteristics is an impossibility.

So where has the need to feel a sense of pride about ones residency come from? Why do insiders of a host country wave the flag and sing the national anthem? Some may suggest this has been drummed into the individual as a sense of duty (otherwise, treason). Again, this proves the phenomena is far from natural and something much more rational. But what is the reasoning behind making citizens turn to nationalism rather than to conform to the idea we are all humans inhabiting the same planet?

The answer may seem complex, but if we were to look at the people who are behind this social engineering, it should unfurl into a fairly simple and unambiguous answer.

Politicians often speak rhetorically about the issues which may or may not be beneficial for the nation-state (for that is what politics is). So it is very easy to conclude that the best interests of politicians are of the national form of governance they work for. On top of that, this form of power is of high value. Anthony Eden staked his political career on the preservation of British interests in the Suez, Benjamin D’israeli sought to further the advances of Empire through conquer and conquest. This paradigm best suit’s the reasoning behind the systematic lie of nationalism over the truth of common humanity.

Retreating back to the title question: Is Nationalism, as an ideology, good for the world? It would be useful to look at the effects of this line of thinking has done to people within and beyond the borders of a given nation.

Adolf Hitler and his Final Solution, ridding Germany of impure people is a prime example. His belief in Eugenics sought to exterminate those with non-national characteristics which exemplifies the catastrophic consequences of rational racism. Genocide in general and by definition is the sum of historical experience by an individual through national consciousness, pride and deliberate isolation from the outside world. Would the massacre of 6 million people in Germany and other such human disasters have been avoided if the protagonists behind them had ventured outside the stranglehold of national perimeters? Would Eichmann and Goebbels have killed as many Ashkenazi Jews if their paradigm shifted towards a common humanity and not as an "us and them" mentality?

Economically, with the inverted trade among citizens with citizens, does this prove a lack of foresight? Considering the global offering of raw materials, wouldn’t the distribution be best suited on an equally global scale? Instead, while one country reaps the benefits from its territorial fruits, it is possible for the neighbouring country to starve - with death and disease as a consequence. This surely leads us to a further question of ethics. Why allow one community to die of a lack of supply while another group is allowed to enjoy self indulgence and wasteful luxury? A need for common humanity isn’t merely a matter of morals, but also of pragmatism and common sense. What has led the world to fear its peals and diamonds of being exchanged for global welfare?

Inevitably, there would be critics to the claim that Nationalism is the cause of all inhumanity and starvation, but the link between the negligence of fellow human beings with national interests is too clear a correlation to ignore.

674 words

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