A recent editorial by Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer was titled, “Something wrong with Trump’s careless worship of that n-word.”
She wrote with self confident authority:
“Donald “I am a nationalist” Trump was in France November to commemorate the end of World War 1- a monstrous slaughter promoted by the blind nationalism of European leaders.”
Trudy Rubin’s diatribe against nations probably seems borderline nutty to people who attended high school and college before the 1980s and it might sound perfectly right to those taught almost exclusively by the progressive teachers who have garnered almost all of the teaching positions over the last 30-40 years (ideological discrimination in hiring?). Rubin’s understanding of the causes of wars is definitely skewed by a limited historical perspective, one that fits the progressive agenda like a glove.
She was probably taught it, memorized it, never questioned it, never read anything outside of class other than what the professor demanded, and was never curious enough to pick up something written giving a different view, say Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Now that would be a bit revolutionary for the self espoused leftist.
The six bloodiest wars in history are:
1. World War II: Not a nationalist war but a war of ideologies between -Nazi (national socialism), a collectivist ideology, communism, a collectivist ideology, and democracy. The two collectivist ideologists began wars of aggression against the democracies and eventually dragged the US and Britain into taking sides with Stalinist Russia, it being the lesser evil, and at that moment, the seeming underdog.
2. The Mongolian conquests: Tribes, not nations, violently expanding their empire across Asia and the Middle East and into Europe. They attacked kingdoms; they attacked empires; they attacked city states; they attacked other tribes, and they attacked careless people who wandered into their path. If you valued your independence and you fought back, then you were killed. It was empire building, not nationalistic quibbles.
3. World War I: Allegedly came about due to binding alliances, which dragged Germany, England, and France into a quarrel that began between Russia and the aged Hapsburg Empire. It was sparked by the assassination of a Duke. The progressive would argue that these nations would never be dragged into such a conflict over something so trivial, therefore something else lured them in. Maybe so, but bullheaded nationalism is probably not that something else. We may come back to this later.
4. The Manchu conquests: Again this is more about empires than nations. At this point it should be clear to the reader that empires and ideologies cause more death and destruction than nations.
5. The Napoleonic Wars: After France killed its royalty, the Republic thought it would spread its new republicanism, a ideology, across Europe and help all people get rid of all kings. Soon they found that their Republic had an emperor and they were helping him spread his empire across Europe.
6. The Thirty Years War (I’m guessing it fits here in the list): A mostly internal to the Hapsburg Empire conflict caused when the emperor thought it would be wonderful to force all of his subjects back into the Catholic church. 50% of the German population was killed in a war where religion, an ideology, was the major factor.
So why does Trudy rail about the horrors of nationalism, even “ubernationalist” as she calls it? Actually the bastardization of German really means supranationism, which like communism, involves ideologies that transcend national borders. Oops, a Freudian Slip on her part?
Somehow she manages to drag out “white nationalism” to further denigrate the “n” word. She tries to justify it by tagging some unknown former leader of the “white power movement” as a Trump supporter. I guess that this childlike logic is supposed to taint Trump, making him bad because someone bad supports him and and his wall. Does Trudy not think that the drug cartel supports those who oppose the wall? Of course her commentary is a red herring, a very stinky rotting red herring.
She follows with hysterical claims about that the “nativist parties” in European are hell bent on muzzling and eventually destroying European democracies. Well, there is probably only one quasi-government that they want to muzzle, the EU. After suffering over a thousand years with kings and emperors and having in the last two hundred years won their freedom, they might not much want to relinquish self rule to a bureaucratic empire. Certainly the Brits have said as much.
There is a lot more to this progressive war against nations, which explains the lack of political will to control our borders, and the borders of the EU, for that matter. It’s not accidental that the borders of the strongest nations are being violated. This desire to dissolve powerful nations also explains why any political group that says their nation has a right to remain a nation is painted with inflammatory rhetoric accusing nativism and evil intents. The evidence is starkly clear: Progressives want strong nations to disappear.
Strong nations stand in the way of some idealized utopian international collective. One, which progressives see as the cure to all forms of injustice and inequality; one that will end all wars and provide uniform laws and so forth. However such an international collective is just an empire built on ideology, the kind of thing Hitler sought for the Nazis and Stalin sought for the communists. The dangers of empires and ideological purists far outweigh the dangers of nationalism, as we can see from the list of most deadly wars, and I have not even touched upon the millions killed in various internal purges, in the Soviet, in China, in Nazi German, and in Cambodia. All combined they surpass the worst of the wars. Any monolithic government eventually strangles all opposition, and the stronger it is, the more oppressive it becomes.
A free nation is a compact wherein its citizens agree to pursue the best possible future for themselves without being subjugated by any outside force. More eloquently put: “a government of the people, by the people, and for people.”
And if you don’t like your national prerogative, you can seek to change it, or move to another nation, but you should offer something which helps their national goals. Increasing your options is always good.
And we’ll leave it there for now.