Friday, December 4, 2009

The Scourge of Nationalism

While we are now deeply concerned and in conflict with radical religious fundamentalism, it is also true that nationalism is essentially equal to religious zealotry in its destructiveness. The wonderful British philosopher and essayist A.C. Grayling stands in agreement having stated that "Nationalism is an evil. It causes wars, its roots lie in xenophobia and racism."

The notion of "American exceptionalism" is not only bunk, it is at best insulting to the rest of the world. At its worst it marks us as delusional in the irrational belief that we are inherently superior to everyone else which sets us up for a hard fall. We are all Americans simply by the accident of our birth.

While we have long felt - and perhaps rightly - that our particular constitutional system is superior to any other, as we know all too well, it has been so bastardized in practice (if not in print) over the years that it is hardly recognizable. George, Thom, John & Ben would probably shake their heads in dismay at what we have wrought out of their hard labor in the Philadelphia heat.

However, I am not one who hankers back in the belief that we should return to our supposed governmental roots. The fact is, this country and the times in general have far outgrown our founding documents. That there are those who would amend our constitution for the sole purpose of depriving citizens of basic rights is perhaps a harbinger of worse things to come.

We are on the verge of being a global society. I won't live to see it, and perhaps no one alive today will witness it either, but it is coming, like it or not. It will be necessary to human survival. If it doesn't come, it will mean that we have blown ourselves back to the stone age to start again (if any humans do survive.)

Its coming will no doubt be violent and painful. If we think getting health care reform has been difficult, wait until the battle begins over the notion of a "one world" global government. Warning shots have already rung out with the collapse of the WTC. Nationalism and its cousin, regionalism, won't go quietly, not to mention the ongoing tussle over whose god can beat up all the other gods.



Anonymous said...
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Zoe said...

I think I agree. Though I'm one of those Canadians and a little less brash then you Americans. Humble too. (Zoe bats her eyes sweetly.)

BTW, I don't think I agree with Anonymous's comment, do you?


Terry S said...

No, I think Anon nailed it. Different strokes, and all that don't you know... :)