Nationalism vs Patiotism

  1. A good essay that sums up the differences between patriotism and nationalism, and why nationalism is a very scary trap. For those trying to understand why I could be so against this war, I invite you to read this. I love my country, but it doesn't mean I love everything it does.


    Notes on Nationalism
    by George Orwell, May 1945
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you Eddy:
  4. by   Disablednurse
  5. by   natsfanrn
    According to Orwell in the article, nationalism is "the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests."

    Sorry, neither myself, nor, from what I gather, anyone else who has posted on this board as being for US action against Iraq, places the US above good and evil and are solely for advancing its interests. Such a conclusion is insulting to me, as I am not a blind sheep obediently nodding to whatever my master tells me.

    Orwell continues, "The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." I don't for a minute think this war is about securing more power and prestige for the US, but rather about getting rid of a cruel dictator and liberating a country's people.

    We can support the president and be patriots...
  6. by   sanakruz
    Thanks Eddy. I'd like to tell you youre a good man but.....?

    Kardut- Why did you post a quote from Frederick Douglas?
    It doesnt apply to the current conflict. You do know who he is right?- Please pm me - I'm not interested in making this ugly.
  7. by   eddy
    Some people may not care for it. I believe it presents the differences in a simple yet fairly thorough way.

    We CAN support the president and still be patriots, but we can also be against him on this matter and be patriots as well.

    What determines your being one or the other or perhaps both is not in what you support, but WHY you support it.
  8. by   rncountry
    nationalism is not always a bad thing. Nationalism can take divergent tribes with divergent histories, social norms and cultures and create instead a "national" identity in which that identity in it's form more important than the individual identity of specific tribes. This form of nationalism gave rise to Nations, in which a common identity was able to be formed from many identities. This allows different groups of people who under tribalism killed and maimed people from other tribes because of their differencies. Once a common identity is formed this behavior decreases. The alternative is what we witnessed in Bosnia. Nationalism taken to an extreme is more like tribalism on a large scale, so that those that are different than you are simply an enemy for that difference.
    Britannica defines nationalism as this:
    Loyalty and devotion to one's nation or country, especially as above loyalty to other groups or individual interests.
    Patriotism as this: love for or devotion to one's country.

    The meaning of Nationalism has changed over time, as is also noted in Britannica.
  9. by   DebsZoo
    Last edit by DebsZoo on Apr 20, '03
  10. by   eddy
    It seems that some of the latest analysis of the "war debates" is increasingly including this as subject matter.
  11. by   SharonH, RN
    Eddy, thank you for posting that. I found the entire article fascinating and it was amazing some of the parallels between what was happening then and what is happening in America today. In particular, in the sections regarding "Obsession" and "Indifference to Reality", were most applicable to events occuring in the U.S. and the rest of the world today.
  12. by   eddy
    Thanks SharonMH31.

    I have to agree with ya.
  13. by   Furball
    I posted this on another thread but it's fits here better. Nationalism is alive and well in the Arab world at a much more disturbing degree....

    I found this opinion at the Sydney Morning Herald website

    Rise of a dangerous nationalism

    April 7 2003

    Iraq doesn't exist. Not as a real country. Not in the real world, where people live their daily lives, as distinct from the legal world defined by lines on maps, treaties and seats at the United Nations General Assembly.

    On March 20, 2003, when the US military began to pulverise Saddam Hussein's power structure, this country, which for centuries was known as Mesopotamia (it was named Iraq in 1921) became no more than what it really is, an unstable and accidental amalgam between a Kurdistan in the north, a Shiite Arab enclave in the south, and a rump that for the past 25 years could best be described as Saddamistan.

    The day the US and British troops began to topple the statues and liquidate Saddam's occupation force, brutal absolutism gave way to the underlying tribal realities which do not follow the lines on the map written by departed colonial powers. During the past 90 years, what we call Iraq has switched from being part of Turkey's Ottoman Empire, to a British- controlled mandate, to a kingdom under a monarchy created by the British, to a "republic" controlled by generals, to a fiefdom ruled by a warlord, to a federation functioning as an American-British military protectorate.

    After just two weeks, all that remains of Saddamistan is a shrinking, ranting, desperate, isolated rump collapsing down to its essence - guns, terror and hatred. There's nothing else left.

    Oil wealth: gone. Economy: gone. Territory: almost gone. Ports: gone. Airports: gone. Border control: gone. Credibility: gone. Ideals: never existed.

    Until a few days ago, 20 million Iraqis were trapped inside this primitive, atavistic kleptocracy, where basic freedoms existed only at the whim of criminal gangs. The national sport was torture. This kleptocracy has been dismantled with what can only be described as extraordinary precision given the huge forces unleashed in the process.

    While an entire standing army has been demolished up and down the country, the civilian casualty rate has been of an order of magnitude of around .005 per cent of the population. Prior to the invasion, the percentage of truncated, fearful lives of Iraqis was of a magnitude of 99 per cent of the population. Not even the army's generals were immune from execution.

    If the coalition forces can move quickly to normalise the economy - get the oilfields pumping, the food-for-oil program working, the markets full, a sense of personal freedom flowing - it would leave the remnants of Saddamistan trapped like caged animals inside their self-made cage, knowing that if the Americans don't kill them for their reign of terror, the people they terrorised surely will.

    The problem with this end-game was always going to be the hostages to history in Baghdad. So long as it can hide behind this human shield, Saddamistan can appeal to its one remaining source of strength, a source of power which has grown stronger, not weaker, even as the regime has been destroyed.

    Saddam may be deluded, paranoid, monomaniacal and incompetent but he knows one thing that his mortal American enemy, George Bush, does not seem to know: that he can count on the most powerful force in the Middle East today: Arab pride.

    Ethnic solidarity, not Islamic fundamentalism, is the force driving continued support for Saddamistan and hatred of the US.

    The emotional drive and intellectual energy comes from something deeper than espousing the righteous of Islam - the sense of rage that the Middle East is being colonised all over again, an anger exacerbated by self-pity, envy and racism. It takes precedence over all other narratives, including Islam, including even the atrocities committed by Saddamistan against Arabs on a large scale.

    Anything that seriously contradicts this message is airbrushed out of history, and a truly awe-inspiring amount of airbrushing is going on in the Arab media. Resistance by Saddam's loyalists is portrayed as an intifada, and thus mass-murderers become victims. Two Muslim uprisings were butchered in Saddamistan, which has killed or tortured a million Muslims, but it is America that is waging war against Islam.

    Saddamistan acquired enough chemical weapons to kill everyone on the planet, and used them repeatedly, but America's precision-guided weapons are the "weapons of mass destruction". Mosques are used as military installations by Saddam's forces, while US and British forces refrain from firing on mosques, but allied forces are desecrating holy ground.

    Saddam exhorts people to become martyrs of jihad while he hides deep inside a bunker, but he is the one brave Arab leader. International law is paramount, unless Arab nations are invading Israel in defiance of the United Nations.

    The condition of the Palestinians is paramount, unless they are trying to emigrate to Arab countries. And the 900,000 Jews driven from Arab countries since 1948 have been conveniently airbrushed out of history completely. This is the only narrative possible. It takes precedence over sovereignty, over any lines on the map, especially as many of those lines are the legacies of colonialism, such as those dividing Iraq and Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the four-nation territory of the Kurds and the white-hot lines dividing Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

    Pan-Arab or pan-Islamic nationalism is also championed by the Arab media because it invokes an era when Arab culture was greater that the culture of the West. As Professor Richard Bulliet of Columbia University wrote in Policy magazine last year: "Because Muslims retain a historical memory of being unified under a caliphate - a powerful state predicated on Islamic teachings - the dream of Islamic political unity will not disappear."

    These faultlines are shuddering from the earthquake started by President Bush. Nowhere are the reverberations felt more than at the House of Saud, America's most important strategic asset in the Middle East (Israel is a more powerful military ally but also an enormous strategic liability). Paradoxically, the two-faced House of Saud is also the greatest financier of the brand of Islam that extolls jihad. It is no accident that Saudi Arabia provided 15 of the 19 suicide bombers for the September 11 catastrophe, produced Osama bin Laden, and the suicide bomber who killed an Australian cameraman in the first week of the war.

    While Saudi Arabia's leadership is opposed to the war and actively supporting it, there are numerous credible reports that the corrupt, corpulent House of Saud is increasingly in danger of becoming a victim of the Islamic fundamentalism it has so assiduously financed. That would change the world.

    This story was found at:
  14. by   rncountry
    Furball, this is a good article. What the writer calls Nationalism though I would call tribalism.
    What seems to be so conviently forgotten by the Pan-Arabs of today is the role scholorship and the arts played in the early Islamic world, before the Ottoman empire. The Koren was important then as it is now, but there were not only laws there was intellectual blooming as well.
    It is truly a shame that the Pan-Arabics do not see what they are missing.