November 17, 2018


I'm a Patriot, Not a Nationalist (Rhett Jenkins, 11/16/18, Splice Today)

In our present political climate, with public discourse dominated by ideologues and demagogues, the concept of nationalism has been largely absorbed into a cultural war between angry racists clinging to a hateful past and avenging progressives assaulting every aspect of a culture that offers ordinary human beings greater scope for fulfillment--as they define it--than almost any other in history. Americans are right to reject and oppose the ignorant, naive, and doomed social dream of white nationalists, and right to call out the racist basis of the movement. Likewise Americans are right to reject and oppose the impracticable demands and intellectually embarrassing fulminations of the extreme Left. Yet the bickering of these enemies, while contemned and ignored by the majority of Americans, obscures a more fundamental and corrosive element creeping back into domestic and global politics.  The resurgence of nationalism as such poses a far broader and more tenacious threat to shared social values and the political structures erected to embody and protect them.

Nationalism enjoins upon the mob (revolving around a monolithic unifying principle, nationalist movements are powerfully popular and emotional) a rejection of other ways of life and political orientations. National identity is not only threatened from within and without, it must be purified to achieve some transcendent ideal that'll confirm the whole shabby edifice of belief. [...]

While there are nations, there will always be nationalists. Unilateral value systems appeal to the intellectually lazy, as they provide an efficient and self-exonerating explanation for personal and social problems and resentments, a clear guide to action, and a sense of moral purpose. These and similar factors have always endangered the health of society; the need to impose ideological compliance by authority signals decadence in the civil order and prefigures the radicalization of public rhetoric, the institutions of government, and the citizenry.

There's need to differentiate patriotism from nationalism, as America and the world face a choice between the two. Tariffs, immigration law, and other issues merely form the foam upon the tidal forces of history, and our collective decisions now will shape the human experience forever. The primal social elements of cooperation, organization, and conflict play out in terms of our human relationships, not our official policies.

Patriotism invites critical engagement with the political, social, and moral context of our national and personal interests. Nationalism demands adherence to a single idea, an article of faith, a totem. Patriotism, like any love, entails responsibility. One must discharge these responsibilities consciously, willingly, and generously, or the relationship is sick. Like any tribal mentality sprung from fear, nationalism pragmatically regulates behavior and belief, so far as it can. Nationalist movements require force, coercion, and intimidation to impress their agenda upon the unwilling, as they lack the power to inspire sacrifice as love of country does.

Eric Hoffer had their number.

Authorities find a rocket launcher and pipe bombs during massive Florida white supremacist sting (Noor Al-Sibai, 16 NOV 2018, Raw Story)

Thirty-nine members of the United Aryan Brotherhood and Unforgiven neo-Nazi groups were arrested in a Florida drug trafficking sting -- and one had functional pipe bombs in his home.

Tampa's WFTS-TV reported that the multi-agency sting codenamed "Operation Blackjack," a three-year-long investigation, led to the seizure of more than 110 illegal firearms, a rocket launcher and two pipe bombs from the individuals mostly based in Pasco County, Florida.

Posted by at November 17, 2018 7:51 AM