The Virtue of Nations and Our Identities

The West is engaged in a culture war, internally and externally positioned against itself. In America, post-modernist cultural Marxist activists are attempting to deconstruct and disintegrate society and individuals upon the premise of identity politics. In Europe, two world wars and a genocide have generated decades of collective guilt which has morphed into a flagellation of self-hatred. Across the West, progressives are on a campaign to delegitimize, censor, and silence voices that do not align entirely and completely with their own. Our societies are weakening from the constant apologeticism of political correctness and a lack of open and respectful discourse, particularly in the universities meant to wise up the upcoming generation of adults with critical thought and reasoning.

The phrase “all politics is local” was coined in 1932 by Byron Price, the Associated Press bureau chief for Washington, and was first used by American House of Representatives Tip O’Neill in 1935 when he entered politics. It’s a significant observation because it recognizes the fundamental truth of our societies that we are all governed by the inflexible and unchangeable fact of human nature. Humans are imperfect, nature is imperfect, and therefore life is and always be imperfect and no utopian ideal will ever change this immutability.

There are certain anthropological facts about humans. Biologically, we inherit our genetics, personalities, and mannerisms from our parents and by extension our relatives. As author and artist Layne Redmond wrote, “Before we were conceived, we existed in part as an egg in our mother's ovary. All the eggs a woman will ever carry form in her ovaries while she is a four-month-old fetus in the womb of her mother. This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother's womb and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother's blood before she herself is born. And this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother.” Socially, the human brain is only capable of remembering and maintaining stable social relationships with about 150 people. Spiritually, humans are wired for religion, first evidenced by pagan theology, which is integral to our sense of meaning and understanding of our lives and from there our existence and identities.

Our identities therefore mean that while we are individual human beings, we are inextricably connected to our immediate families, our clans of ancestral relatives, and the larger tribe or nation of connected families and clans. Our cultural inheritance includes the history, religion, language, customs and so on of these generational social networks. Life is about the balance between the individual and the collective. Powerful bonds of mutual loyalty motivated by shared concern and the internal cohesiveness are necessary to strengthen a unique cultural inheritance and pass it on for the next generation. This is the inherent strength and freedom of the family, clan, and tribe that the ideologies of communism and socialism seek to dismantle, to redirect our loyalty multilaterally from blood upward to the hollow replacement of political ego as the new sacred.

With the tight social cohesion of human networks as a necessary precondition for survival, it is therefore confounding why the West is experiencing such widespread hostility toward something so inherent about humanity as identity and nationhood. Today, western and European societies face existential threat from the destructive consequences that present-day political discourse has wrought. It’s a phenomenon only European-founded nations are experiencing, whereas all other ethnicities remain politically correct in the self-preservation of their cultures. The progressive’s self-inflicted murder of western, European societies is entirely irrational and counter-instinctive.

As there are two well known political perspectives, generally described as conservative and liberal, there are also a nationalist worldview and a globalist worldview. At first glance, it may seem counter-intuitive against the mainstream narrative, but the nationalist view aligns with the reality of human nature while the globalist view holds an ideal and theories regarding human nature. Predictably, the intrinsic opposition of these perspectives has manifested into conflict. Conservatism is often more associated with nationalism though most established conservative political parties have become as globalist as the liberals.

Either one believes in an order of independent national states or an international order under an imperial state. For centuries, the politics of the West have been characterized by the struggle between these two antithetical visions of world order, as author Yoram Hazony outlines in his book, The Virtue of Nationalism: “an order of free and independent nations, each pursuing the political good in accordance with its own traditions and understanding; and an order of peoples united under a single regime of law, promulgated and maintained by a single, supranational authority.

 

Good Fences Make Good Neighbours

Western and European societies are founded on Judeo-Christian principles and throughout the Bible are examples of political aspirations determined by free and unified nations living in justice and peace, self-governed by the kings and priests drawn from the nation itself, thought to be better in touch with their “brothers” than an external ruler. Though western societies may be secular in the sense of separation of church and state or an outright declaration of secularism, the fact remains that the West and our societies and political and legal systems are founded upon a biblical heritage.

Humans are social beings who cannot survive in isolation; everyone is loyal to people or a tribe beyond themselves. As another saying goes, blood is thicker than water. Nations, therefore, are founded upon ethnicity and culture. The strongest institutions of human collectiveness are based upon mutual loyalty, where an individual identifies with the well-being and concerns of others in the tribe, which explains why outsiders can join and become adopted into a new tribe. Outsiders (immigrants) can and do join another tribe whereas they are either already predisposed by their own culture to adopt the new one or remain a respectful minority within the strong majority culture. Ultimately, what bonds people most closely, regardless of blood, is enduring hardship and success together. It is not simply a case of altruism, but of a shared experience whereby the experience of another is also the experience of themselves.

Therefore, the only political theory proven accurate in reality is one that respects and understands these elements of human nature and organization. Political philosopher John Stuart Mill said that it is “in general a necessary condition of free institutions that the boundaries of government should coincide in the main with those of nationalities.” American political scientist Robert Putman discovered in his study of diversity that the more diverse a group becomes, the more this destroys mutual trust for the rule of law and social solidarity. He also found that in ethnically diverse areas, people are increasingly lonelier and losing trust in democracy. National populations grow and decline relative to the degree of internal cohesion.

Political empirical philosopher John Stuart Mill observed that Europe’s progress was attributed to its “plurality of paths” that allowed for the success of its political order: “What has made the European family of nations an improving, instead of a stationary, portion of mankind? Not of any superior excellence in them – which, when it exists, exists in effect, not the cause – but their remarkable diversity of culture. Individuals, classes, nations, have been extremely unlike one another. They have struck out a great variety of paths, each leading to something valuable. And although at every period they have been intolerant of one another, and each would have thought it an excellent thing if all the rest could have been compelled to travel his road … each has in time endured to receive the good which the others have offered. Europe is … wholly indebted to this plurality of paths.”

Hazony writes that while nationalism has been viewed over the last century as producing less cohesive and stable and more oppressive nations than a civic state, the opposite is actually true: “The overwhelming dominance of a single, cohesive nationality, bound together by indissoluble bonds of mutual loyalty, is in fact the only basis for domestic peace within a free state. By this I do not mean that the entire population must be drawn from a single nationality, for no such thing exists anywhere on earth. Moreover, there is no evidence that such a complete homogeneity is necessary for cohesion, stability, and success of the state. Rather, what is needed for the establishment of a stable and free state is a majority nation whose cultural dominance is plain and unquestioned, and against which resistance appears to be futile. Such a majority nation is strong enough not to fear challenges from national minorities, and so is able to grant them rights and liberties without damaging the internal integrity of the state… the overwhelming dominance of a single majority nation has produced states that are dramatically more stable, prosperous, and tolerant than neighboring states that have not been constituted as national states.”

Hazony remarks further that to “maintain its independence, a national state must have not only internal cohesion but also military and economic strength and a defensible territory, so that it is not annexed by hostile foreign powers at the first opportunity, or overrun by criminal or terrorist organizations. Where these conditions are lacking, there will be no independent state. A nation or tribe that does not have these things can only hope to live in peace by seeking an alliance with a powerful neighbor, which is to say, as a protectorate.” He essentially describes the non-independent structure of the European Union with NATO ally the United States as protectorate. The growing wave of western populism is therefore understandable from this perspective and explains why Britons voted for Brexit and why Americans voted for President Donald Trump.

 

The Empire Strikes Back

Though many people, particularly adherents to the liberal school of thought, believe that human value and therefore human rights are inherent as a universal truth, history to the present day point out that this is not true. If human rights were universally assumed to be inherent and treated as such, we wouldn’t see countless examples of people, societies, and civilizations that have never afforded the majority of its citizens these ‘human rights’.

The origins of human rights as rooted in freedom is a protestant construction, whereby rights are given and protected by the state. National independence and self-determination are the foundations of a democracy, allowing for the establishment of public norms, rule of law, an economy, and determining security and defense. A western nation’s legitimacy with its people is based upon a political tradition of limited executive power, individual liberties, public religion rooted in Judeo-Christian values, and historical empiricism.

The imperialist’s vision is one of a world in which liberal principles are codified as universal law and imposed on nations, by force if necessary, to bring peace and prosperity for all of humanity. It is a dogmatic and utopian viewpoint. Empires have dominated much of history and always ultimately proven to be a failure, as witnessed under the Holy Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, Napoleon, colonialism, Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, the Ottoman Turks, Communism, Nazism, and the European Union (to name a few) whereas the liberal empire aims to replace the protestant order based upon independent national states. Global empires are unrealistic. Today, they propose the economic and security advantages of a unified legal regime for the whole world; it is unimaginable that Russia, China, or Iran would sign on for that. Liberal ideals are not enough to create a state nor a society in reality, let alone an empire’s collection of diverse peoples who will automatically coexist peacefully. All politics is local, meaning there are only ever local solutions based on the culture of a local issue. International law is ultimately unenforceable in terms of binding determinations because in practice, a nation’s leaders will ultimately side with ‘their own’ rather than an arbitrary set of rules applied by ‘outsiders’. Peace among nations will never be an absolute outcome and it impossible to make it an obligation to prevent every single instance of harm because that is not the reality of life.

In practice, ‘diversity’ no longer means what it once did. Today, it is the ideology of progressive elites that represents ‘diversity’ as a socially engineered proportionality of identity based on race and gender but not of viewpoint, knowledge, or experience. To curtail criticism, these elites use ‘diversity’ interchangeably to present the same meaning: ‘ever-closer union’, ‘global governance’, ‘rules-based order’, ‘international community’, ‘transnationalism’, ‘new world order’, among many others, frequently mixing in ‘leadership’, ‘rules’, and ‘history’.

Multiculturalism as a government policy has been a failure in every country where it was implemented, and this truth has been bluntly admitted as so by the politicians that championed it. In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy under Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who later admitted its failure. Following the recent overwhelming influx of illegal migration from Africa and the Middle East into Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who initially welcomed the migrants and a policy of ‘Multikulti’, announced the policy of assimilation and integration had failed. Several other European leaders admitted the same. The result of this mass immigration has been the increase of ethnic voting blocs, whereas in Europe particularly Muslims vote strategically as a group for left-wing politicians because their policies of open borders, the welfare system, and censorship on criticism benefits them. This is distorting the nation’s democracies and hence the reason why new political parties and movements are being created in response.

Hozany describes the difference between imperialist and nationalist politics as a choice between two theories of knowledge, one that is rationalist (imperialist) and one that is empirical (nationalist): “we may say, in other words, a nationalist politics invites a great debate among the nations, and a world of experiments and learning. Whereas an imperialist politics declares that this debate is too dangerous or too troublesome, and that the time has come to end it.”

Globalist proponents believe they are more civilized and rational than nationalist savages and claim that where nationalism produces or co-exists alongside hatred of the ‘other’, liberals are ‘evolved’ above and beyond hatred. Yet because imperialists ignore the reality of identity based in human nature, they are actually who generates the most hatred when faced with opposition, which they automatically consider to be hatred simply for disagreement over the premise – this in itself is evidence that their universal ideals are not actually universal.

The ugly side of identity politics is how progressives have used it to deconstruct society into further devolution of identity traits from race to gender to sexuality to thought. Tribalism puts its back up in response to unnecessary – in accordance with human nature – threats to its people’s survival. The more globalist empires spread, the more human nature will fight back.