Why You Should Be a Nationalist

Why You Should Be a Nationalist

Britain votes to leave the European Union. The United States elects a president who says
he’ll put “America First.” Around the world, nationalism is winning elections. Many see this nationalist revival as the great
danger of our time, fearing that nationalism will take us back to a more primitive and
racist past. But it wasn’t long ago that great political
figures such as Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt, David Ben-Gurion and Mahatma Gandhi, Ronald
Reagan and Margaret Thatcher recognized what I call the virtue of nationalism. So, what is this virtue? A nationalist believes that the world is governed
best when nations are free to chart their own independent course, cultivating their
traditions and pursuing their interests without interference. Nationalism is not about racism. All nations are internally diverse. And it isn’t about isolationism. Of course, nations can a pursue a variety
of different policies in diplomacy and trade. Nationalism is the opposite of imperialism—or
globalism or transnationalism—which are all names for the attempt to bring peace and
prosperity to the world by uniting mankind under a single political authority. The debate between nationalists and globalists,
then, is over whether we should aspire to a world of many independent nations—or to
be one unified super-state, like the enlightened “Federation” of the Star Trek movies. A case can be made for both sides of the argument. But for the last 30 years—really, since
the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of the Soviet Union—the “one world“
side has been dominant. Today, this is changing. Maybe not among elites, but among ordinary
citizens—or, as they are known in America, “the deplorables.” It turns out that a lot of people still think
good borders make good neighbors. It’s hardly surprising that people want
to preserve the way of life they and their ancestors built up over centuries, the way
of life they believe is best. It’s human nature. Our strongest loyalties are to those who are
closest to us: to our family; then the larger community or “tribe”, and finally, to
the nation. Long ago, it was discovered that the key to
human freedom is to build political life out of this natural loyalty. By putting decision-making in the hands of
the family, the community, and the independent nation, you could get people to cooperate
with one another, join in the common defense and willingly obey laws. The only alternative to this kind of community
and nation-based politics is to use force —to coerce obedience. In the 20th century, communism and Nazism
both sought to impose a universal vision at gunpoint. Both the communists and the Nazis were imperialists:
They wanted to eliminate the independent nations of the world. Nationalism holds that borders are crucial:
The border is where each nation’s ambitions should stop. This idea first appears in the Bible, where
Moses gives borders to Israel and tells the Jews they’ll be punished if they trouble
their neighbors. True to its biblical roots, the Protestant
Reformation of the 16th century made the independent nation-state the political cornerstone of
the modern world. When Henry VIII declared that England would
no longer obey dictates from Rome, he became Europe’s first true nationalist. Soon, additional nations declared their independence:
the Dutch from Spain, and America from Britain, to cite just two examples. The competition among these newly independent
peoples led to an explosion of innovation, bringing unprecedented progress in science,
industry and government. For nearly four hundred years, the principle
of national independence served as the foundation for a better, freer world. But World War I and World War II changed everything. Traumatized by these catastrophic conflicts,
many now seek comfort in a simplistic narrative, ceaselessly repeated: that “nationalism
caused two world wars and the Holocaust.” But this is one of the great untruths of our
time. Adolph Hitler was no nationalist. He was an imperialist. If his ambitions had been limited to ruling
Germans, it would have been terrible for Germany, but the French, the British, the Russians,
and everyone else would have been spared a world war. Sadly, European elites learned the wrong lesson,
believing that independent nations are inherently dangerous. Better, they reasoned, that all countries
should live under one government. In 1992, this vision gave birth to the European
Union. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher hated
the idea. She didn’t want the bureaucrats in Brussels
making decisions for Brits in Birmingham. But in the utopian 1990s, Britain thought
it was better to dump Thatcher and go with Brussels. It’s the spirit of Margaret Thatcher and,
indeed, of Henry VIII, that reasserted itself in Britain’s vote for independence from
Europe in June 2016. Donald Trump tapped into the same spirit of
nationalism five months later, in November 2016. Nationalism is making a comeback. If you care about freedom, you should hope
it succeeds. I’m Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of
Nationalism, for Prager University.

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26 thoughts on “Why You Should Be a Nationalist

  1. It’s a terrible idea to let a single government rule the entire humanity. Because I if such a government went wrong, we won’t know about it, because there aren’t any comparison. Even if we know it went wrong, we won’t be able to resist it, because people across the world are divided by different cultures and history, while the global government have access to all the resources across the world.

  2. For anyone that can be potentially misinformed by this, here's a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IsT4-mhado

  3. if your a nationalist liberals go butthurt if your also a monarchist the liberals go butthurt im both so liberals are extremely butthurt when talking to me

  4. No, nationalism is about the people of that nation govern that nation. So basically racism.
    You're describing patriotism.

  5. Sega Saturn was a video game console had three different parallel processors. There for Sega Saturn was made of three different nations

  6. I don't know how Dennis Prager gave you permission to overdo it on his channel but I think you're stupid. You're redefining nationalism conveniently for your own water down idea of what is a very complicated and very historical matter. There is no present day definition of nationalism quote on quote. That's ridiculous. Don't tell me that nationalism has something to do with two different nations who might have completely different ideas of what their nationhood is!

  7. The idea of nations, a group of people that speak the same language and come from the same tribe, started to be popular in the 19th&20th century, because of urbanization. People were feeling rooted out and lonely, so they wanted to believe they belonged to some nation. Before then, the only thing that mattered was who ruled in the land you lived. When you moved, ot changed.

  8. Nationalism gets a very bad wrap, Hitler was not a nationalist. He was a psychopathic extremist. This whole video is about redefining the term nationalism as people, namely citizens of western civilization, are anti-patriotic due to nationalism's association with such bad incidents in history. There is nothing wrong with loving your motherland, but there is a difference between patriotic nationalism and extremist nationalism. I dont understand how this point did not resonate with you, did you even watch the video in its entirety?

  9. Hitler was a great nationalist ……..

    Before fall of Berlin he was offered by his generals to leave Berlin and stay in exile at ARGENTINA …… But he refused right away….

    He said " either I will stay with Germany or fall with it "

  10. According to nationalism our own nation is the most important value. If it is the most important it is more important than individual rights or human life. Nationalism does not respect all borders, it respects borders that we think are right. For example let look and 2 Central European Countries: Poland and Ukraine. Polish far nationalists (not every nationalist) claim "Kresy" ("Eastern Ends") with cities like Vilnius, Lviv or Brest as Polish, because that land used to be Polish. Ukrainian far nationalists claim modern eastern Poland with cities like Chełm as Ukraine, because that land was calimed by Ukrainian People's Republic (not Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic, they were 2 different countries). So if both countries were be ruled by nationalists, would they exist in peace?

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