View Poll Results: Is extreme nationalism ALWAYS bad in every situation?

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  • yes

    34 64.15%
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    15 28.30%
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    4 7.55%
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Thread: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

  1. #31
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Nationalism is a substitute for race and religion. See Nazism as a substitute for religion, Zionism as a substitute for race, etc.

    Nationalism, like race and religion, often defines itself exactly by what it is not. Therefore, nationalism is inherently exclusive and notoriously xenophobic. We, as a human civilization, must get past these vague group identities. Let us embrace a more individualistic approach to mankind. One that cherishes the merit and worth of each individual life, regardless of race/sex/religion/etc.
    As a liberal, I believe in equality, so I'm inclined to a world that takes each individual as they are, but until we reach that perfect world, nationalism, specifically liberal nationalism, is the most harmless of all the identifiers that people use, it is less divisive than race or religion, as it is almost entirely a legal identity, and a cultural one at worst. As long as notions of what constitute a nationality stay as a legal concept, then there's really no harm in nationalism at all, until is used an excuse for less salubrious activities, but the same can be said of any identifier.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    As a liberal, I believe in equality, so I'm inclined to a world that takes each individual as they are, but until we reach that perfect world, nationalism, specifically liberal nationalism, is the most harmless of all the identifiers that people use, it is less divisive than race or religion, as it is almost entirely a legal identity, and a cultural one at worst. As long as notions of what constitute a nationality stay as a legal concept, then there's really no harm in nationalism at all, until is used an excuse for less salubrious activities, but the same can be said of any identifier.
    The way I see it. Nationalism is great and fine, but the moment people start believing their nation is superior to others without objective, empirical, and quantitative evidence to back it up, there's a problem. It means that there is a loyalty when none is warranted by evidence or logic.

  3. #33
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The greatness of a nation can be empirically measured. By some metrics the United States is at the top or near the top (e.g. civil liberties, economic vibrancy, GDP per capita, military power). By other metrics the United States lags far behind our peers (e.g. education, health care, criminal justice, poverty). Waving the flag and proclaiming America to be better than everyone else is ****ing stupid. Most of the people who do that haven't done a damn thing themselves to make America great; they could have just as easily been born in Nigeria.
    While we totally agree in terms of nationalism, we differ on the "metrics" used to define our lagging areas of health care, criminal justice, poverty and education. First, we have an excellent health care system. We are world renowned for our health care in the areas of the hearts and lungs, as well as prescription drugs, bio-medical technology, and various other fields. The big scare over 45,000 uninsured Americans is not so bad as the vast majority of the world. European countries do share many advantages in lifelong longevity, less violent crime and cuisine, there are also many circumstances which must be considered. This includes observing the massive demographic shift in Europe and the changing political/economic landscapes of various countries. Liberals often praise the EU's accomplishments and advantages, but fail to recognize that their system isn't working and many strongly pro-labor European governments have already massively cut back on social spending. When you consider that the retired population will soon outnumber the working population by a significant margin, you have to wonder how long the political spending party will last. Many of these countries, particularly Canada, benefit from the capitalistic venture medicine in this country that produces so much medical innovation. Canadian practitioners wait for drugs and devices to be tested and approved here before they decide to implement similar drugs and devices.

    There are many things that can improve our system and simultaneously drive down costs. We can change behaviorally as a nation. We can smoke less, eat less, exercise more, etc. in order to sustain a healthier less. We could work less, but I tend to believe the American workweek is not that horrible. The French will fight hard to keep their 32 hour work week, but watch what happens when the politicians propose cutting EVERYONE'S pay down to 24 hour work weeks so that the next guy can get a job. It's not pretty.

    Our eduation can be improved by tailoring education to fit each individual student's need. Such a decentralized, bottom-up view of education doesn't get many supporters. People tend not to mind the status quo of centralized and heavily regulated education. Look at what happened to the woman who was in the middle of transforming D.C. public schools for the better- she got fired just as soon as the next mayor moved in. We seem to fear change when it comes to educational reform. Throwing more money and creating a bigger bureaucracy seems to be accepted status quo of our system. A very unfortunate fact, indeed.

    Our criminal justice system can also be greatly improved if individuals were willing to let a lot of unconstitutional, moralistic laws go. Drug possession and drug trade must be decriminalized if not legalized. Prostitution and gambling must be legalized and DUI laws should be repealed.

    Our foreign policy and our defense spending must also be dramatically altered, but I suppose we might agree on that one and move on.
    Last edited by Mensch; 12-29-10 at 08:16 AM.

  4. #34
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    As a liberal, I believe in equality, so I'm inclined to a world that takes each individual as they are, but until we reach that perfect world, nationalism, specifically liberal nationalism, is the most harmless of all the identifiers that people use, it is less divisive than race or religion, as it is almost entirely a legal identity, and a cultural one at worst. As long as notions of what constitute a nationality stay as a legal concept, then there's really no harm in nationalism at all, until is used an excuse for less salubrious activities, but the same can be said of any identifier.
    I'm not sure how to swallow that statement. Liberalism is strongly related to individual freedom, while nationalism is strongly rooted in collectivism and limited consideration of individual spirit. I'm sure you won't hesitate to explain how you merge the two together. But in my mind, it's an oxymoron.

    I'm not arguing that we must end all nations at once, for I also believe we're not ready for such a revolution (which, at that immediate speed, would mean violent revolution). I do believe that we should empower individuals rather than groups, and not be beholden to some self-sacrificing nationalistic idea.

  5. #35
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    The way I see it. Nationalism is great and fine, but the moment people start believing their nation is superior to others without objective, empirical, and quantitative evidence to back it up, there's a problem. It means that there is a loyalty when none is warranted by evidence or logic.
    Nations are no more superior to each other than you are to me.

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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Nations are no more superior to each other than you are to me.
    I certainly see the US as superior to Venezuela or Saudi Arabia based on certain indicators that I believe are important, such as GDP, Education, Political Freedoms, Health, and Rule of Law. However, we can point to numerical indicators that let us know objectively why the US is better and letting me know why I should be proud to be a US citizen and giving me something to point to if I am ever asked to explain why. It also lets us know what we need to work on. If some other nation has achieved some level of competence in some areas, it means it can be done with today's technology and advancement. This gives us a roadmap for the future.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 12-29-10 at 08:36 AM.

  7. #37
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I certainly see the US as superior to Venezuela or Saudi Arabia based on certain indicators that I believe are important, such as GDP, Education, Political Freedoms, Health, and Rule of Law. However, we can point to numerical indicators that let us know objectively why the US is better and letting me know why I should be proud to be a US citizen and giving me something to point to if I am ever asked to explain why. It also lets us know what we need to work on. If some other nation has achieved some level of competence in some areas, it means it can be done with today's technology and advancement. This gives us a roadmap for the future.
    Then perhaps you also believe that Americans are superior to Venezuelans and Saudi Arabs.

    Read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond regarding this topic.

  8. #38
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    I'm not sure how to swallow that statement. Liberalism is strongly related to individual freedom, while nationalism is strongly rooted in collectivism and limited consideration of individual spirit. I'm sure you won't hesitate to explain how you merge the two together. But in my mind, it's an oxymoron.
    The way I see it, nationalism is a flexible belief, take me and my country for example, I'm proud of being Australian, and, for example, so is the person of Sudanese descent who lives next door, while my family's been here for 100+ years, and he only became a citizen a few years ago, in my idea of nationalism, we'd still both be equally Australian, even if our ideas of what makes us Australian differ, it's the shared idea, rather than the way that people go about it, is what's important, thus it doesn't infringe on individuality.
    I'm not arguing that we must end all nations at once, for I also believe we're not ready for such a revolution (which, at that immediate speed, would mean violent revolution). I do believe that we should empower individuals rather than groups, and not be beholden to some self-sacrificing nationalistic idea.
    It's my belief that while individual freedom is a good thing, a completely anarchist society would cause people to form there own little groups and it would just become fractured, people have a need to belong to something, and the less specific it is, the more personal freedoms it would allow as it is less restricting.
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  9. #39
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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Then perhaps you also believe that Americans are superior to Venezuelans and Saudi Arabs.

    Read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond regarding this topic.
    I have a copy of the book on my bookshelf and I have read it. I agree with much of its reasoning, but I don't agree with its level of determinism.

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    Re: Is extreme nationalism really a bad thing?

    Patriotism, while at times foolish, is generally an admirable trait. Nationalism is never a good thing to see in a person.

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