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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

When it comes to nationalism, mainstream media tend to portray it through a predominately negative lens. If someone claims him/herself to be a nationalist, they will likely be shunned or viewed as an extremist. From when did nationalism become almost inherently evil? Is it because nationalism itself can easily lead to evil, or because of how it gets interpreted?

This looks like another philosophical discussion, yet I chose to post it here, mainly because I think it is closely related to social psychology.

Through constant propaganda, Western mainstream media (at least) has successfully constructed and spread a negative perception of nationalism.

The general public tends to get information from various sources and once a view is formed, it is hard to change their minds. Fake news or false information can be made true simply by repetition. Even if you might initially be skeptical, if you hear it over and over again, the repeated message tends to produce a psychological effect, which could lead you to believe something to be true/false.

Recently, I've been thinking about why nationalism, being a neutral term that once even had positive effects on human history, has become so closely related to extreme ideologies such as Nazism. Has today's nationalism changed? Has the attitude toward nationalism changed? If so, is it because of the widespread propaganda relating nationalism to Nazism?

There are no definite answers to these questions. Nationalism, like any ideology, exists not in a singularity but rather, as a spectrum. On this spectrum, there are different degrees of nationalism. On the far left end, you can find something like National Socialism; on the far right end, you can find examples like Islamic fundamentalism (e.g., ISIS Islamism).

Over the years, mainstream media have managed to generate a psychological influence upon the public, which is, that nationalism must be feared. With fear, there comes resistance. As a general principle, living creatures all want to stay away from fear, control it, or destroy it. Because nationalism has been so feared, the public reaction toward it has gone confrontational - combating the rise of Nazism, preventing nationalist movements, keeping a close watch on nationalist groups, etc. All the propaganda goes on as if nationalism is Nazism.

Let's see how mainstream media tends to portray/illustrate nationalists. Just a few examples:

1. Evil, negative, and dangerous, such as:
Vehicle Photograph Motor vehicle Hood Car


2. Neutral to negative, sometimes described as disturbing:
Flag of the united states Flag Fashion Sleeve Gesture


3. Neutral:
Light Flag Flag of the united states World Sky


4. Potentially worrisome: Considering the current relations between rising China and the West, Chinese nationalism in Western mainstream media is often seen as a potentially dangerous sign.
Flag Microphone Event Stage equipment Entertainment


All the images come from the source listed at the beginning of the post.

I'm not defending nationalism. Just because Nazism once happened, does that suggest that all forms of nationalism are as bad?

When can human society develop truly neutral and objective views on anything, and recognize how distorted our reality has become with all the propaganda going on?

I welcome any thoughts, comments, and ideas. :)
 

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There is nothing wrong with your heritage or nationality. I started noticing a trend a while ago when I used to visit news related forums. The people who were saying the most audacious things, I suspected were not actually of my own country. I think there has been a propaganda war for quite some time now. This was confirmed when Trump said something like,"Yeah, we do it to them, they do it to us, it's all politics."

Nowadays mind-hive is out and individual thought is in. So with the amount of pure and utter bullshit out there, it's not hard to say, "I am not part of this school of thought". It started after 9/11 and has become mainstream to create fear and doubt about other's governments, and you're right. It is psychological warfare, usually embraced by people who feel their society has done them wrong, and because it relies on a foreign antagonist, it is kind of nazi-ish to think that way.

But every country is doing it. And, if any of us want to survive (especially now), we have to think collectively outside our origins, to see each other as human beings.
 

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Let's see how mainstream media tends to portray/illustrate nationalists. Just a few examples:

1. Evil, negative, and dangerous, such as:
View attachment 909214

2. Neutral to negative, sometimes described as disturbing:
View attachment 909215

3. Neutral:
View attachment 909216

4. Potentially worrisome: Considering the current relations between rising China and the West, Chinese nationalism in Western mainstream media is often seen as a potentially dangerous sign.
View attachment 909217
What would the positive lens add to this imagery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What would the positive lens add to this imagery?
Good question. I think that in a positive sense, nationalism can be related to independence, autonomy, self-reliance, resilience, and the fight for freedom.

The decolonization and independence movements in Africa and Asia from the 1960s to 1980s, for example, can be seen as nationalism through a positive lens. American independence is another example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I started noticing a trend a while ago when I used to visit news related forums. The people who were saying the most audacious things, I suspected were not actually of my own country. I think there has been a propaganda war for quite some time now. This was confirmed when Trump said something like,"Yeah, we do it to them, they do it to us, it's all politics."
Propaganda warfare - propaganda and counter-propaganda going on at the same time. Under this situation, few would care about truth and facts, all they think about is how to win. Public opinion can be framed and directed. The general public acts like herds in need of a leader to follow. Mainstream social media such as Meta and Twitter practice self-censorship, so, many conservatives and nationalists are scrutinized or even banned. This does not stop them, however. Nationalists have their alternative social media platforms, such as 4Chan and Parlor.

The general rule seems, that if there is a strategy, then there is a counter-strategy. If one side takes an action, the other will take a reaction. Is there a winner and a loser? It seems like a never-ending cycle. If one side advances this time, the other will do so next time. They take turns to win, but there is no declared final victory.
 

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Propaganda warfare - propaganda and counter-propaganda going on at the same time. Under this situation, few would care about truth and facts, all they think about is how to win. Public opinion can be framed and directed. The general public acts like herds in need of a leader to follow. Mainstream social media such as Meta and Twitter practice self-censorship, so, many conservatives and nationalists are scrutinized or even banned. This does not stop them, however. Nationalists have their alternative social media platforms, such as 4Chan and Parlor.

The general rule seems, that if there is a strategy, then there is a counter-strategy. If one side takes an action, the other will take a reaction. Is there a winner and a loser? It seems like a never-ending cycle. If one side advances this time, the other will do so next time. They take turns to win, but there is no declared final victory.
You're correct, this is a downward spiral. One of the things I love by Sun Tzu that no one is even paying attention to right now, is that, you don't destroy the thing you wish to have, bad business. Shit's getting scary right now with so many people at the head of the table. Reminds me of Baki. Lol

If all the heads of state would come together and say, "This is a bad strategy that WILL lead people into a one world or hive mind, as a consequence, this is bad strategy!" I would be delighted, but no one is thinking that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
a downward spiral
If all the heads of state would come together and say, "This is a bad strategy that WILL lead people into a one world or hive mind, as a consequence, this is bad strategy!"
Under the downward spiral, despair and indifference can spread. I think that is a reason why, in many contemporary democracies, voter turnouts are so low. People just cannot care less. 60% would be like a major victory, as it often can be 40% or so. No longer the rule by the majority but by the minority.

Nationalism arises as a perceived 'strong' solution to bring back unity, hope, glory ... whatever is dreamed about. If an external threat, disaster, pandemic, or economic recession is going on at the same time, it is like a blessing to the nationalist leader, as it will become easier for them to bring people under the nationalist banner. A threat, crisis, or danger does not have to be real or objective. It seems OK to just have a perceived or suspected one.

IMO, nationalism does not fall neatly to the political left or right, as it can be used by any group to gain power, popularity, and control. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, for example, were nationalists on the far left, who defied the connection between globalism and communism (stateless and classless). On the other hand, leaders of the Axis Powers in WWII used more extreme forms of nationalism to justify their rule.

Trump is often described as a nationalist due to MAGA, but IMO, he is more of a populist. He appeals to the part of American population that is most likely to buy his rhetoric and plays the role as their only leader. Not nationalism. In my view, nationalism, radical or not, at least seeks the wellbeing and interests of the entire nation, not part of it. It seems to me that when Trump speaks or tweets, he is talking to his followers, not the entire nation. In this sense, he is more of a populist leader rather than a nationalist one. If he is a true nationalist, he would have done everything for the common interests of the American nation as a whole, not just his supporters. Unifying, not splitting.
 

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Under the downward spiral, despair and indifference can spread. I think that is a reason why, in many contemporary democracies, voter turnouts are so low. People just cannot care less. 60% would be like a major victory, as it often can be 40% or so. No longer the rule by the majority but by the minority.

Nationalism arises as a perceived 'strong' solution to bring back unity, hope, glory ... whatever is dreamed about. If an external threat, disaster, pandemic, or economic recession is going on at the same time, it is like a blessing to the nationalist leader, as it will become easier for them to bring people under the nationalist banner. A threat, crisis, or danger does not have to be real or objective. It seems OK to just have a perceived or suspected one.

IMO, nationalism does not fall neatly to the political left or right, as it can be used by any group to gain power, popularity, and control. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, for example, were nationalists on the far left, who defied the connection between globalism and communism (stateless and classless). On the other hand, leaders of the Axis Powers in WWII used more extreme forms of nationalism to justify their rule.

Trump is often described as a nationalist due to MAGA, but IMO, he is more of a populist. He appeals to the part of American population that is most likely to buy his rhetoric and plays the role as their only leader. Not nationalism. In my view, nationalism, radical or not, at least seeks the wellbeing and interests of the entire nation, not part of it. It seems to me that when Trump speaks or tweets, he is talking to his followers, not the entire nation. In this sense, he is more of a populist leader rather than a nationalist one. If he is a true nationalist, he would have done everything for the common interests of the American nation as a whole, not just his supporters. Unifying, not splitting.
Excellent post, and I don't disagree with any of it, so nothing much to reply.
 

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Nationalism as defined in the OP is an ideology that had its place in time, but is too simplistic a worldview to live with any sufficient sense of how to navigate a very interconnected modern world. American Nationalism would result in the policy of Isolationism of the 1920s to early 1940s. It's kind of laughable to think that the US would or even could revert back to a state of Isolationism, and post-WWII is no longer a viable worldview to hold other than as a political worldview here in the US. Nationalists today would most likely make up the more conservative parts of the establishment to both the Democratic and Republican party. The policies that Biden is writing into law are nationalistic policies but obviously with a clear bias toward advancing Democratic interests. The same would occur if a conservative establishment Republican were President (Although with Trump still kicking around and in the spotlight, lol good luck with that happening any time soon.).

In the US, the preferred "Politically Correct" term for someone who loves their country is to call oneself a Patriot. Although that really has more military than social implications. Outside of someone who works for the government because they they want to and believe they're in the best position to affect change, I don't think many other people would be able to call themselves a nationalist without being scorned. Someone who doesn't work in Civil Service and proclaims themselves a Nationalist will likely hold some view on being superior to some group out there, which is obviously not a good look for the people who may be actual nationalists who work as Civil Servants.
 

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Considering that in your examples American nationalism is the direct pipeline to white supremacy, I haven't seen any examples that have negated nationalism as not being evil.

Nationalism in the most neutral definition is self-allegiance to a nation based off citizenship and in some cases ethnicity. It's a dangerous idea that you are no an individual but you pledge unwavering allegiance to a nation while "othering" those who do not adopt the same cultural customs as you is primitive
 

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Considering that in your examples American nationalism is the direct pipeline to white supremacy, I haven't seen any examples that have negated nationalism as not being evil.

Nationalism in the most neutral definition is self-allegiance to a nation based off citizenship and in some cases ethnicity. It's a dangerous idea that you are no an individual but you pledge unwavering allegiance to a nation while "othering" those who do not adopt the same cultural customs as you is primitive
Nationalism is not inherently evil. The OP just doesn't know what he's talking about because he started from a flawed premise that all nationalist thinks that they are superior to another group or nation. That's a pretty extreme view on nationalism itself as outside of a Civil Servant, nationalists just tend to have a conservative worldview. That is, they would rather care about their in-group and not care about the out-group. Whether you like it or not, that is the conservative worldview. Nationalism fits that conservative worldview quite neatly. As for nationalism being about white supremacy, that's much too simplistic a conclusion. While that might be true for some groups, when it comes to the "realpolitik" of exploiting a person's fundamental worldview, a supremacist/racist is easier to manipulate and control than someone who thinks for themselves.

It's nice to think that politics is an honorable field, but it's not. It can be, but it only takes one bad egg to ruin everything. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Well my perspective and answer on this is very biased.

I grew up Jehovahs Witness in half of my home life as a child. They basically teach not to worship 'false idols'. That included flags etc. It was discouraged to be heavily political. I mean just to be clear I do not believe in JW religion and overall practices. But frankly as a child that grew up from a VERY young age having weird cult like nationalists scold and yell at me for not standing the national anthem or saluting a flag, well I learned young that alotta these so called people with 'values' are F'n psycho. If they are so worried about pledging to god, and their nation why are they not worried about living a moral life like kindness to their neighbor or letting god be the judge of what is right/wrong.

I do believe to my core that PATRIOTISM is more so about UNITING. Like what happened in the US among its citizens after Pearl Harbor, or 9/11 etc. *Just to be clear I do not necessarily support some of what took place connected to either. But the point was after those events it brought the country closer together and people were unified asa country. I believe the country has become much more nationalist now. Good example is what is happening within as well as outward.

But Nationalism is an entirely different ball game. Nationalism to me is fanatics yelling at other people or shaming other people to do what their group or side believes in order to validate their belief of who supports the country. Like fanatics screaming at people if they do not get a shot they are murderers, or other fanatics yelling at people that if they get an abortion they are murderers. Fanatics to me look more like Nationalists. Nationalists go to extremes like marching on an opposing side in the name of their side. I.e. extreme Riots, or Coups.

Patriots are more interested in liberty and people. Not dividing, and shoving personal values down everyones damn throat. Weh if you don't like my view you are a Fascist. Lmao you know how much each extreme side says that about the other side now a days.

Anyways when I was growing up I had someone down the street hang me at 5 years old over a fire and scream at me and tell me that I was going to hell. I was told to scream that I believe in god, and not Satan etc. All because my mother was JW. So NONE of these crazy F'ers gaslighting everyone for not taking their side will convince me that bordering on shaming everyones who does not believe your view is not treading into DANGEROUS territory. I view them all, all sides like the 5 year old girl I was that day. Like someone might as well hang me over a fire and scream at me what is right/wrong.

YES nationalism is Propaganda. And it is happening in extremes on BOTH extreme sides in the US.
 

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When it comes to nationalism, mainstream media tend to portray it through a predominately negative lens. If someone claims him/herself to be a nationalist, they will likely be shunned or viewed as an extremist. From when did nationalism become almost inherently evil? Is it because nationalism itself can easily lead to evil, or because of how it gets interpreted?

This looks like another philosophical discussion, yet I chose to post it here, mainly because I think it is closely related to social psychology.

Through constant propaganda, Western mainstream media (at least) has successfully constructed and spread a negative perception of nationalism.

The general public tends to get information from various sources and once a view is formed, it is hard to change their minds. Fake news or false information can be made true simply by repetition. Even if you might initially be skeptical, if you hear it over and over again, the repeated message tends to produce a psychological effect, which could lead you to believe something to be true/false.

Recently, I've been thinking about why nationalism, being a neutral term that once even had positive effects on human history, has become so closely related to extreme ideologies such as Nazism. Has today's nationalism changed? Has the attitude toward nationalism changed? If so, is it because of the widespread propaganda relating nationalism to Nazism?

There are no definite answers to these questions. Nationalism, like any ideology, exists not in a singularity but rather, as a spectrum. On this spectrum, there are different degrees of nationalism. On the far left end, you can find something like National Socialism; on the far right end, you can find examples like Islamic fundamentalism (e.g., ISIS Islamism).

Over the years, mainstream media have managed to generate a psychological influence upon the public, which is, that nationalism must be feared. With fear, there comes resistance. As a general principle, living creatures all want to stay away from fear, control it, or destroy it. Because nationalism has been so feared, the public reaction toward it has gone confrontational - combating the rise of Nazism, preventing nationalist movements, keeping a close watch on nationalist groups, etc. All the propaganda goes on as if nationalism is Nazism.

Let's see how mainstream media tends to portray/illustrate nationalists. Just a few examples:

1. Evil, negative, and dangerous, such as:
View attachment 909214

2. Neutral to negative, sometimes described as disturbing:
View attachment 909215

3. Neutral:
View attachment 909216

4. Potentially worrisome: Considering the current relations between rising China and the West, Chinese nationalism in Western mainstream media is often seen as a potentially dangerous sign.
View attachment 909217

All the images come from the source listed at the beginning of the post.

I'm not defending nationalism. Just because Nazism once happened, does that suggest that all forms of nationalism are as bad?

When can human society develop truly neutral and objective views on anything, and recognize how distorted our reality has become with all the propaganda going on?

I welcome any thoughts, comments, and ideas. :)
Nationilism sounds like a very American Concept
 

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It's a dangerous idea that you are no an individual but you pledge unwavering allegiance to a nation while "othering" those who do not adopt the same cultural customs as you is primitive
It's not. You literally just wrote how it's not in the previous sentence:

Nationalism in the most neutral definition is self-allegiance to a nation based off citizenship and in some cases ethnicity.
Which isn't even directly correct as was mentioned in the original post. Nationalism is considered national-superiority. Much like racism is race-superiority. "My nation is better than yours."

Which, is not bad, depending on how it is used. It is only dangerous when it is used as a rally to oppress others. But on a day to day use, it's very common. During the Olympic games every two years, people love to say, "My nation is better than yours!" There's nothing wrong with this, and indeed, some nations are even better than other nations at entire disciplines on average.

Any unwavering pledging going on is the result of the removal of individuality in favor of "the common good" - no one wants to be outcast, and so all comply. Negative examples of "nationalism" are only such because the word is tacked on after the fact, to an otherwise communist or socialist regime, which did everything in its power to diminish the individual with such concepts as democracy and "what's best for everyone" over focusing on the rights of the individual as paramount.

I think the USA is the best nation on Earth, hands down. I dislike the corruption, and have no unwavering allegiance, outside of that if we were attacked, by any other nation, I'd fight any other nation, and not ever abandon my home nation, regardless of corruption. I prefer the US's cultural customs, but I do not diminish other customs. Allegiance is not unwavering, unquestioning, brainless following. Communism is, however, such a thing. I think the USA is the best nation on Earth, largely in part by how well it is such a hard contrast to what communism is. The USA is about the individual first and foremost, and as those principles stem from God, and no other nation I know of holds as closely to the word of God, I am firmly an American for all political purposes. Though I idolize nothing, nor look at the flag as infallible, nor unquestioningly support any politician no matter what they do.

The danger is not nationalism, but the mindset which you present, which lumps people into categories, instead of treating them as individuals.

Edit: This edit was made after Ewok's "like" regarding the above, to clarify that he didn't directly "like" the below at the time I edited the below into this post.
Nationilism sounds like a very American Concept
It's the same concept held by every world-leading super-power through all history. There are many things a nation can be "best" at. The USA has a lot of "bests," plenty of not so greats, but few worsts. There's nothing in the USA where I ever think to myself, "I wish I had what X country had!" From food, military power, cost of living, cost of gas, healthcare, water quality, access to literally anything, so on and so on, I am thankful all the time, day and night, for this blessing. The fact that, geopolitically, the USA has the most lethal military in the world, means at the very least, every other nation defers to the USA's military might, making the USA "the best" at military strength. So, having an appreciation for such a thing itself isn't bad. Nationalism "goes wrong" when someone cannot tolerate any kind of negativity about their nation, regardless of which nation we're talking about. I find that a lot of non-Americans get mad when you bad-mouth their nation, where not many Americans care what you say about America.

It also reminded me of what I wrote above. It is the communists who must enforce nationalism, that you adhere to the way the government says things must work "or else" which is the true danger. That is not seen in an individual-based society like the USA, where the Constitution is specifically about protecting the rights of the individual above all government power. The People are at the top of the decision chain in the USA, thanks to the Constitution, not "what the government says." Nationalism really only gets momentum as a dangerous concept when people deny the individual in favor of the group.
 

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The danger is not nationalism, but the mindset which you present, which lumps people into categories, instead of treating them as individuals.
I strongly agree with this.

Nationalism is not the problem on its own. It's the "them vs us" mindset that's the problem, and nationalism is just a tool used to exacerbate this problem, and leverage it for other purposes, some good, mostly bad.

The ability to feel a belonging to a common culture is a double-edged sword for us humans. It allows us to band together and cooperate on a larger scale than any other species in our planet, yet ironically this is also the same thing that has caused separation between us.
 

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It's not. You literally just wrote how it's not in the previous sentence:



Which isn't even directly correct as was mentioned in the original post. Nationalism is considered national-superiority. Much like racism is race-superiority. "My nation is better than yours."

Which, is not bad, depending on how it is used. It is only dangerous when it is used as a rally to oppress others. But on a day to day use, it's very common. During the Olympic games every two years, people love to say, "My nation is better than yours!" There's nothing wrong with this, and indeed, some nations are even better than other nations at entire disciplines on average.

Any unwavering pledging going on is the result of the removal of individuality in favor of "the common good" - no one wants to be outcast, and so all comply. Negative examples of "nationalism" are only such because the word is tacked on after the fact, to an otherwise communist or socialist regime, which did everything in its power to diminish the individual with such concepts as democracy and "what's best for everyone" over focusing on the rights of the individual as paramount.

I think the USA is the best nation on Earth, hands down. I dislike the corruption, and have no unwavering allegiance, outside of that if we were attacked, by any other nation, I'd fight any other nation, and not ever abandon my home nation, regardless of corruption. I prefer the US's cultural customs, but I do not diminish other customs. Allegiance is not unwavering, unquestioning, brainless following. Communism is, however, such a thing. I think the USA is the best nation on Earth, largely in part by how well it is such a hard contrast to what communism is. The USA is about the individual first and foremost, and as those principles stem from God, and no other nation I know of holds as closely to the word of God, I am firmly an American for all political purposes. Though I idolize nothing, nor look at the flag as infallible, nor unquestioningly support any politician no matter what they do.

The danger is not nationalism, but the mindset which you present, which lumps people into categories, instead of treating them as individuals.

Edit: This edit was made after Ewok's "like" regarding the above, to clarify that he didn't directly "like" the below at the time I edited the below into this post.


It's the same concept held by every world-leading super-power through all history. There are many things a nation can be "best" at. The USA has a lot of "bests," plenty of not so greats, but few worsts. There's nothing in the USA where I ever think to myself, "I wish I had what X country had!" From food, military power, cost of living, cost of gas, healthcare, water quality, access to literally anything, so on and so on, I am thankful all the time, day and night, for this blessing. The fact that, geopolitically, the USA has the most lethal military in the world, means at the very least, every other nation defers to the USA's military might, making the USA "the best" at military strength. So, having an appreciation for such a thing itself isn't bad. Nationalism "goes wrong" when someone cannot tolerate any kind of negativity about their nation, regardless of which nation we're talking about. I find that a lot of non-Americans get mad when you bad-mouth their nation, where not many Americans care what you say about America.

It also reminded me of what I wrote above. It is the communists who must enforce nationalism, that you adhere to the way the government says things must work "or else" which is the true danger. That is not seen in an individual-based society like the USA, where the Constitution is specifically about protecting the rights of the individual above all government power. The People are at the top of the decision chain in the USA, thanks to the Constitution, not "what the government says." Nationalism really only gets momentum as a dangerous concept when people deny the individual in favor of the group.
the first paragraph literally contradicts how nationalism is not evil or unhealthy, to put it succinctly if we’re talking about global nationalism, that varies from country to country, but ops topic seemed to center around American nationalism post ww1 and in the 2nd paragraph you quoted me I should have Clarified “nationalism in the most possible neutral definition”
 

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When it comes to nationalism, mainstream media tend to portray it through a predominately negative lens. If someone claims him/herself to be a nationalist, they will likely be shunned or viewed as an extremist. From when did nationalism become almost inherently evil? Is it because nationalism itself can easily lead to evil, or because of how it gets interpreted?

This looks like another philosophical discussion, yet I chose to post it here, mainly because I think it is closely related to social psychology.

Through constant propaganda, Western mainstream media (at least) has successfully constructed and spread a negative perception of nationalism.

The general public tends to get information from various sources and once a view is formed, it is hard to change their minds. Fake news or false information can be made true simply by repetition. Even if you might initially be skeptical, if you hear it over and over again, the repeated message tends to produce a psychological effect, which could lead you to believe something to be true/false.

Recently, I've been thinking about why nationalism, being a neutral term that once even had positive effects on human history, has become so closely related to extreme ideologies such as Nazism. Has today's nationalism changed? Has the attitude toward nationalism changed? If so, is it because of the widespread propaganda relating nationalism to Nazism?

There are no definite answers to these questions. Nationalism, like any ideology, exists not in a singularity but rather, as a spectrum. On this spectrum, there are different degrees of nationalism. On the far left end, you can find something like National Socialism; on the far right end, you can find examples like Islamic fundamentalism (e.g., ISIS Islamism).

Over the years, mainstream media have managed to generate a psychological influence upon the public, which is, that nationalism must be feared. With fear, there comes resistance. As a general principle, living creatures all want to stay away from fear, control it, or destroy it. Because nationalism has been so feared, the public reaction toward it has gone confrontational - combating the rise of Nazism, preventing nationalist movements, keeping a close watch on nationalist groups, etc. All the propaganda goes on as if nationalism is Nazism.

Let's see how mainstream media tends to portray/illustrate nationalists. Just a few examples:

1. Evil, negative, and dangerous, such as:
View attachment 909214

2. Neutral to negative, sometimes described as disturbing:
View attachment 909215

3. Neutral:
View attachment 909216

4. Potentially worrisome: Considering the current relations between rising China and the West, Chinese nationalism in Western mainstream media is often seen as a potentially dangerous sign.
View attachment 909217

All the images come from the source listed at the beginning of the post.

I'm not defending nationalism. Just because Nazism once happened, does that suggest that all forms of nationalism are as bad?

When can human society develop truly neutral and objective views on anything, and recognize how distorted our reality has become with all the propaganda going on?

I welcome any thoughts, comments, and ideas. :)

I think your perspective is a little naive given how the 20th century is deemed by historians the bloodiest time in human history, ever. Nationalism is based on feeling unity as a nation AND superior to all others, but how realistic is that view? Nations are a new concept relative to human history, before them humans were relatively freely moving between areas, mixing with each other relatively freely as well (with limitations based on culture usually) so in the end what makes a nation one entity can be debatable and changeable.

Nationalists try to create certainty out of uncertainty, create an identity based on an ideal by nitpicking the good stuff they see in themselves and then others are seen as inferior to that. The problem is, because of the factors in human history I mentioned, it's impossible to maintain that ideal without creating conflict with others. The Jews of Germany were considered Germans until the Third Reich, they even fought in WWI, got medals of honor, they were in all ways part of the German nation at the time. But then the nationalist ideal comes and identifies them as 'other' despite all evidence to contrary because nationalism first and foremost is an idea and ideas are created by people they don't exist in a vacuum.

An idea that is built with the purpose of feeling superior to others easily leads to conflict because it follows to feel entitled to impose on others, i.e. "We are the best nation on earth, we deserve to rule over others, to take their resources, they are dumb, irresponsible etc and can't manage them well, we shouldn't mix with anyone etc etc". Of course there is the isolationist route like North Korea but then the conflicts are directed inwards to suppress the population and even make them unhealthy (i.e. they often suffer blindness from malnutrition).

There are no definite answers to these questions. Nationalism, like any ideology, exists not in a singularity but rather, as a spectrum. On this spectrum, there are different degrees of nationalism. On the far left end, you can find something like National Socialism; on the far right end, you can find examples like Islamic fundamentalism (e.g., ISIS Islamism).
Do you mean here that Nazis were socialist? I just dunno what you mean by the left here because communism and nationalism are the exact opposite, mutually exclusive ideologies.

In regards to the topic of media propaganda - sure the media might propagandize, IDK specifically in America because I'm not there but I feel it's very easy to sort things out by just studying some history and understanding better the roots of these things. It's something I wanna do more as well, in the meantime I recommend Mark Mazower's book Dark Continent: Europe's 20th century. It's regarded as one of the best ones on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Nationilism sounds like a very American Concept
Nationalism originated in Europe and has spread to the rest of the world. Today, nationalism exists as a global ideology, and sometimes it's seen as a counter-trend against globalization and homogenization. Nationalists can be found everywhere in the world.

In its pure form, nationalism, IMO, simply means the love of and pride in one's nation. It can be seen as a stronger sentiment than patriotism. A patriot may be more open toward informed critiques of their home country, but a nationalist tends to have limited tolerance toward criticism (especially critiques from foreigners). In my view, nationalism, taking the form of stronger love and an intense sense of belonging to one's nation, might adopt unconditional obedience and allegiance to one's country/nation. Unity and conformity can often be treated as top priorities. Patriotism can be seen as a mild/light version of nationalism.

I would agree with the view that some have pointed out here, which is, that a nationalist is more likely to find a sense of superiority over other nations. This superiority, if going to an extreme, can even justify invasion and conquest.

IMO, examples of extreme forms of pure nationalism include Fascist Italy, WWII Imperial Japan, contemporary Russia, North Korea, etc. These are based on sovereignty. In the groups that do not identify with the home country, extreme nationalism also exists.

If nationalists love their nation above their sovereign state of citizenship, they might pursue independence, e.g., Scottish independence, Quebec in Canada, Catalonia in Spain, etc. Extreme nationalists can be found in these cases, but because they are extreme, they tend to be a small minority. A majority, perhaps, are moderate nationalists that desire independence and autonomy but not necessarily dominance.

Positive examples - such as American independence, the decolonization and independence movements in the developing world during the Cold War, Ukraine's defense against Russia, Gandhi's India, anti-apartheid in South Africa, etc. Nationalists can play a positive role in adversity, especially when the nation is faced with invasion, repression, persecution, etc. Driven by the nationalist sentiment, they become courageous fighters.

I've mentioned 'pure' nationalism, with a typical extreme form being Fascism. What about Nazism? Where does it fall within nationalism?

IMO, Nazism is not a part of nationalism. Rather, it is nationalism plus. Nationalism blended with another ideology. Nationalism in hybrid. Nazism = strong nationalism + racism. ISIS Islamism = Nationalism + Islamic fundamentalism

Here, how a 'nation' is defined matters. It is a concept with fluid definitions.

Wiki has listed 14 different types of nationalism. IMO, there could be more, like, cyber-nationalism.

Historically, a nation is defined by its bloodline, common history, the same tradition, shared cultural identity, etc. When a nation is defined in strictly ethnic terms, there is ethnic nationalism, which is largely about the superiority of one nation. IMO, ethnic nationalism and religious nationalism are the two types that most easily go with dangerous ideologies.

A nation can also be defined in civic terms. Civic nationalism resembles patriotism and tends to be based on shared civic values such as fundamental rights and liberties. In an immigrant state, civic nationalism can be highly elastic and inclusive. Anyone who shares common civic values is considered part of the nation. Under civic nationalism, a nation, comprised of people from various backgrounds, forms voluntary associations/bonds with one another and shares the same national identity.

The point is, that nationalism takes many forms, some of which are more extreme, biased, and exclusive, whereas other forms can promote openness and democracy.

Do you mean here that Nazis were socialist? I just dunno what you mean by the left here because communism and nationalism are the exact opposite, mutually exclusive ideologies.
Right. Sorry for the confusion. Nazis claimed themselves as national socialists but they were not socialists, despite the official title of the party.

What I mean by "National Socialism", is the combination of nationalism and communism adopted by the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, etc. The contemporary communist regimes.

Communism, in the Marxist view, embodies globalism. Theoretically, it's about the elimination of social classes and state borders around the world. If Marxian communism becomes real, then there will be one unified global society.

The communist leaders, however, rejected the 'globalist' element in communism, and invented their own versions of communism, what I call "National Socialism." Socialism is interpreted as the initial stage of communism. Nationalism replaces globalism so that the emphasis is on realizing a communist society within the national borders and maintaining the national dignity and independence of the socialist state. Lenin and Stalin sought to make the USSR the fortress and leader of the communist world (another way of claiming dominance). China has been on its way toward a communist superpower. In these cases, socialism and nationalism go closely hand in hand, hence, "National Socialism." They are on the left, IMO.

And I agree that Marxian communism and nationalism are incompatible. Communism is more in line with globalism and cosmopolitanism and aims for the elimination of nations and countries.

Thanks for recommending the book!
 

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Nationalism originated in Europe and has spread to the rest of the world. Today, nationalism exists as a global ideology, and sometimes it's seen as a counter-trend against globalization and homogenization. Nationalists can be found everywhere in the world.

In its pure form, nationalism, IMO, simply means the love of and pride in one's nation. It can be seen as a stronger sentiment than patriotism. A patriot may be more open toward informed critiques of their home country, but a nationalist tends to have limited tolerance toward criticism (especially critiques from foreigners). In my view, nationalism, taking the form of stronger love and an intense sense of belonging to one's nation, might adopt unconditional obedience and allegiance to one's country/nation. Unity and conformity can often be treated as top priorities. Patriotism can be seen as a mild/light version of nationalism.

I would agree with the view that some have pointed out here, which is, that a nationalist is more likely to find a sense of superiority over other nations. This superiority, if going to an extreme, can even justify invasion and conquest.

IMO, examples of extreme forms of pure nationalism include Fascist Italy, WWII Imperial Japan, contemporary Russia, North Korea, etc. These are based on sovereignty. In the groups that do not identify with the home country, extreme nationalism also exists.

If nationalists love their nation above their sovereign state of citizenship, they might pursue independence, e.g., Scottish independence, Quebec in Canada, Catalonia in Spain, etc. Extreme nationalists can be found in these cases, but because they are extreme, they tend to be a small minority. A majority, perhaps, are moderate nationalists that desire independence and autonomy but not necessarily dominance.

Positive examples - such as American independence, the decolonization and independence movements in the developing world during the Cold War, Ukraine's defense against Russia, Gandhi's India, anti-apartheid in South Africa, etc. Nationalists can play a positive role in adversity, especially when the nation is faced with invasion, repression, persecution, etc. Driven by the nationalist sentiment, they become courageous fighters.

I've mentioned 'pure' nationalism, with a typical extreme form being Fascism. What about Nazism? Where does it fall within nationalism?

IMO, Nazism is not a part of nationalism. Rather, it is nationalism plus. Nationalism blended with another ideology. Nationalism in hybrid. Nazism = strong nationalism + racism. ISIS Islamism = Nationalism + Islamic fundamentalism

Here, how a 'nation' is defined matters. It is a concept with fluid definitions.

Wiki has listed 14 different types of nationalism. IMO, there could be more, like, cyber-nationalism.

Historically, a nation is defined by its bloodline, common history, the same tradition, shared cultural identity, etc. When a nation is defined in strictly ethnic terms, there is ethnic nationalism, which is largely about the superiority of one nation. IMO, ethnic nationalism and religious nationalism are the two types that most easily go with dangerous ideologies.

A nation can also be defined in civic terms. Civic nationalism resembles patriotism and tends to be based on shared civic values such as fundamental rights and liberties. In an immigrant state, civic nationalism can be highly elastic and inclusive. Anyone who shares common civic values is considered part of the nation. Under civic nationalism, a nation, comprised of people from various backgrounds, forms voluntary associations/bonds with one another and shares the same national identity.

The point is, that nationalism takes many forms, some of which are more extreme, biased, and exclusive, whereas other forms can promote openness and democracy.


Right. Sorry for the confusion. Nazis claimed themselves as national socialists but they were not socialists, despite the official title of the party.

What I mean by "National Socialism", is the combination of nationalism and communism adopted by the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, etc. The contemporary communist regimes.

Communism, in the Marxist view, embodies globalism. Theoretically, it's about the elimination of social classes and state borders around the world. If Marxian communism becomes real, then there will be one unified global society.

The communist leaders, however, rejected the 'globalist' element in communism, and invented their own versions of communism, what I call "National Socialism." Socialism is interpreted as the initial stage of communism. Nationalism replaces globalism so that the emphasis is on realizing a communist society within the national borders and maintaining the national dignity and independence of the socialist state. Lenin and Stalin sought to make the USSR the fortress and leader of the communist world (another way of claiming dominance). China has been on its way toward a communist superpower. In these cases, socialism and nationalism go closely hand in hand, hence, "National Socialism." They are on the left, IMO.

And I agree that Marxian communism and nationalism are incompatible. Communism is more in line with globalism and cosmopolitanism and aims for the elimination of nations and countries.

Thanks for recommending the book!
The Nazis decided what to produce, at what price, the quantity, etc, to the private sector, the private sector were friendly puppets of the regime, the state was the idol.

Then with the costs of the war rising, they did the same as any good socialist would do, increase the money supply causing inflation, then they tried to fix prices causing shortages of products.... I say the same story that is repeated in all "socialist" countries over and over again, they always fall with the same stone.

But I also agree with this interpretation of seeing the oppressive state as a deformation of Communism (I think it doesn't matter which god has the ideology), Socialism is the antechamber, the road to serfdom.
 

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A lot of people here are conflating European nationalism with American nationalism, which isn't as based on supremacy and thinking one's nation is superior to another. The Nazis were definitely a fringe nationalist party. Anyway, here's a non-European dictionary definition of Nationalism as an ideology that would be better fitting of nationalism in America:

Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the state.[1][2] As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a group of people),[3] especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland to create a nation state. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity,[4] and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power.[3][5] It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity, based on shared social characteristics of culture, ethnicity, geographic location, language, politics (or the government), religion, traditions and belief in a shared singular history,[6][7] and to promote national unity or solidarity.[3] Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture.[8] There are various definitions of a "nation", which leads to different types of nationalism. The two main divergent forms are ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism.

Nationalism developed at the end of the 18th century, particularly with the French Revolution and the spread of the principle of popular sovereignty (the idea that "the people" should rule).[9] Three main theories have been used to explain its emergence. Primordialism (perennialism) developed alongside nationalism during the romantic era and held that there have always been nations. This view has since been rejected by scholars,[10] who agree that nations are socially constructed and historically contingent.[11] Modernization theory, currently the most commonly accepted theory of nationalism,[12] adopts a constructivist approach and proposes that nationalism emerged due to processes of modernization, such as industrialization, urbanization, and mass education, which made national consciousness possible.[11][13] Proponents of this theory describe nations as "imagined communities" and nationalism as an "invented tradition" in which shared sentiment provides a form of collective identity and binds individuals together in political solidarity.[11][14][15] A third theory, ethnosymbolism explains nationalism as a product of symbols, myths and traditions, as is associated with the work of Anthony D. Smith.[9] Additionally, the spread of nationalist movements during decolonization has led many theorists to examine the role of elites in mobilizing communities in order to maintain their power.[9]

The moral value of nationalism, the relationship between nationalism and patriotism, and the compatibility of nationalism and cosmopolitanism are all subjects of philosophical debate.[11] Nationalism can be combined with diverse political goals and ideologies such as conservatism (national conservatism and right-wing populism) or socialism (left-wing nationalism).[4][16][17] In practice, nationalism is seen as positive or negative depending on its ideology and outcomes. Nationalism has been a feature of movements for freedom and justice, has been associated with cultural revivals,[8] and encourages pride in national achievements.[18] It has also been used to legitimize racial, ethnic, and religious divisions, suppress or attack minorities, and undermine human rights and democratic traditions.[11] Radical nationalism combined with racial hatred was a key factor in the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany.[19]

I find this topic to be relevant not because I agree with the OP, because I don't, but because I've been reading in the news about teachers indoctrinating kids that something like nationalism is inherently evil, which it isn't. It's a neutral term at worst. The Nazis were nationalists and they were definitely evil, but your average conservative is probably also a nationalist and to say conservatives are therefore evil is such a wildly irresponsible thing to tell children.

I'm glad my children go to school for gifted and talented kids so I don't have to worry about 'woke' teachers teaching kids to grow up to be deviants, but still, you can't be too complacent about having kids being indoctrinated at school.

Personally, I'm not too fond of Nationalism. Nationalism is what made WWI as devastating as it was, and Nationalism is also why the world had almost succumbed to Nazi/Fascist Germany and Imperial/Supremacist Japan and I suppose Fascist/Roman Italy. Like any ideology though, it can be good or bad depending on how it is implemented, and isn't just bad by default. That's an intellectually lazy way of teaching children something complicated like ideologies about the relationship between the Individual and the State.
 
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