Nationalism became very unfashionable indeed in the West in the postwar period although it certainly seems to be making a comeback now.
The problem we have to face though is – what exactly is nationalism? There has recently been much talk of white nationalism. This is a concept that I find rather puzzling. It seems to me to be so broad as to be essentially meaningless. What does white mean? Does it include Armenians? Does it include Jews? Does white mean caucasian?
My impression is that when most white nationalists talk about whites they mean Europeans or those of European ancestry. Fair enough but personally it still seems too broad to me. I have nothing whatsoever against Portuguese, Bulgarians or Germans but I feel no great sense of connection to them. I know a bit about German history and culture but pretty much nothing about Portuguese or Bulgarian history and culture.
To be meaningful nationalism has to involve some kind of emotional resonance. That (in my opinion) requires a shared language, history and culture. Polish nationalism and Danish nationalism make sense since both Poles and Danes have a shared language, history and culture. European nationalism makes no sense to me, plus it has unfortunate universalist connotations – it’s the kind of woolly-minded concept that gave Europe the nightmare of the EU. You can’t expect the Irish and the Lithuanians to feel any genuine solidarity. I’m sure they wish each other well but they have little in common and it’s quite reasonable for Lithuanians to be very concerned about the welfare of fellow Lithuanians and to be entirely uninterested in the welfare of the Irish.
In the United States the proposition nation idea was an attempt to create a different kind of nationalism. It would have worked if only they could have found a way to make sure that every single US citizen would agree with the same propositions, and that every one of their descendants would agree to it. Which is of course entirely impossible. You can’t base nationalism on ideas. Ideas go in and out of fashion. Nationalism has to be based on something much deeper and more lasting.
That leaves the US with a major problem and to some extent it’s a problem for countries like Canada and Australia as well – countries that had to create new nationalisms more or less from scratch. Australia appeared to be well on the way to doing this but several decades of cultural marxism has put paid to that.
I certainly regard myself as a nationalist, but not as a white nationalist no matter how broadly or how narrowly you want to define white nationalism. I’m an Australian nationalist. I have nothing but goodwill for other countries but they’re not my country and for me my country comes first.
Since I believe that nationalism needs to be based on a common language, history and culture if logically follows that I believe that bringing in enormous numbers of immigrants who do not share that common language, history and culture will be disastrous. Nationalism requires borders. Large-scale immigration is the best and easiest way to destroy a nation. To me the race, ethnicity and religion of the immigrants is irrelevant. All large-scale immigration is ultimately disastrous if it weakens the bonds of language, history and culture.
To a liberal admitting to being a nationalist is tantamount to admitting to being a white supremacist Nazi. Which is of course utter nonsense. I’m a nationalist but
I’m entirely supportive of all other nationalists. I’m in favour of Sweden for the Swedes and Japan for the Japanese and Kenya for the Kenyans and Iran for the Iranians. I have absolutely nothing against any other race, ethnicity or religion. In my view having separate countries is the best way to encourage mutual respect. I like and respect and admire the Japanese but I think it’s better for everyone if the Japanese live in Japan and leave Australia to Australians. Fortunately the Japanese seem to be in total agreement with me on that point!
There are some further difficulties with nationalism. If I’m in favour of Swedish and Japanese and Australian nationalism shouldn’t I also be in favour of Scottish nationalism, and Catalonian nationalism? Those nationalisms are however in conflict with British nationalism and Spanish nationalism. Which nationalisms should take precedence? I haven’t found a solution to that dilemma but I console myself with the thought that nobody else seems to have found a solution either.