Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nationalism - The New Dirty Word

by: Fight4TheRight

Be careful how you describe how you feel about your country - you might just be called a Nationalist!

Main Entry: na·tion·al·ism
Pronunciation: \nash-n-li-zm
Function: noun
Date: 1844
1: loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
2: a nationalist movement or government

And another definition:
Pronunciation[nash-uh-nl-iz-uhm, nash-nuh-liz-]
–noun 1. national spirit or aspirations.
2. devotion and loyalty to one's own nation; patriotism.
3. excessive patriotism; chauvinism.
4. the desire for national advancement or independence.
5. the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.
6. an idiom or trait peculiar to a nation.
7. a movement, as in the arts, based upon the folk idioms, history, aspirations, etc., of a nation.

Yes, welcome to the newest "Evil" word to the American vocabulary! With the recent uproar regarding the Immigration Bill (a.k.a. Shamnesty Bill), there came some shouts of nazi, neo-nazi, racist, white supremacist, and yes, nationalist. And recently, in the Counter-Jihad movement, there has been a wave of blogosphere condemnation of nationalism and the inevitable linking of that term to "neo-nazi", "white supremacist" and racist.

Interesting note regarding Google Search results:

Word / Number of Entries

Nazi / 34,500,000
Racism / 31,000,000
Neo-Nazi / 2,000,000
Supremacist / 1,410,000

That's a lotta labels out there in Google Land! So one comes to the point where one may struggle for a way to identify one's own views of Country, of Culture, of Home.

The recent addition of "Nationalism" to the 10 Most Hated Words in the Human Language has pointed to two main arenas: 1) Is American Nationalism different than European Nationalism? 2) Immigration

Let me tackle Immigration first. An excellent article speaks to the rise of the Hispanic population in America, and in essence, points to the effects that immigration, whether legal or illegal, will have on America. So the question is this. Does this worry you? Is this the same "melting pot" scenario that formed this Land? Are immigrants assimilating to America or is America conforming to the immigrants' cultures?

This leads to the other point which discusses the difference between American nationalism and European nationalism. After viewing the blogs for weeks now regarding the division in the Counter-jihad movement along nationalistic ideals in Europe, it IS interesting to note how there indeed seems two standards of nationalism. In America, apparently, nationalism refers to patriotism because of course we are the melting pot. In Europe, nationalism apparently has to be associated with either racist, nazi or supremacist goals. This distinction is exemplified here in a commentary:

A debate on this could rage for hours and perhaps days but is it really fair that we Americans have an exclusive on "acceptable" nationalism while a Dane or a Swede who stands up to say he wants his culture to survive is labelled a racist? A Nazi?

Ask yourself this question: Do I wish to preserve the culture of America that I was raised in, that perhaps I have defended? And if I do, will I be labelled as one of those staggering Google Search terms? At what point in time does protecting or wishing to preserve one's culture cross the line from patriotism and pride to supremacy and racism?

A Nationalist? Are you willing to call yourself that?

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