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Old August 29th, 2017, 11:39 AM   #1
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Liberal nationalism?


Nationalism is a ideology/world view that is usually seen as conservative and often right wing or even authoritarian. But do we have liberal nationalism? I think Norway is an example of this. Most would call the country liberal. It is in many ways. But at the same time we celebrate our national day in every small village, people in National costume and waving flagsfill fill the streets, people are proud of their flag and national a them, movies about kings and resistance heroes are modern blockbusters etc.
Do you agree Norway is a liberal nationalist society and can you think of other examples?
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Old August 29th, 2017, 11:42 AM   #2

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A distinction ought to be made between "patriotism" and "nationalism."

This quote from Timothy Snyder is a pretty useful surmise of the difference:
A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, “although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,” wrote Orwell, tends to be “uninterested in what happens in the real world.” Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism “has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.”

A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.

Last edited by Wolfpaw; August 29th, 2017 at 11:44 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2017, 12:00 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number24 View Post
Nationalism is a ideology/world view that is usually seen as conservative and often right wing or even authoritarian. But do we have liberal nationalism? I think Norway is an example of this. Most would call the country liberal. It is in many ways. But at the same time we celebrate our national day in every small village, people in National costume and waving flagsfill fill the streets, people are proud of their flag and national a them, movies about kings and resistance heroes are modern blockbusters etc.
Do you agree Norway is a liberal nationalist society and can you think of other examples?
It is an interesting question. Socialism and the other far left ideologies focus on the international, but at the same time they are encouraged to see their home country as the source of all their bounties.

As a suggestion, is it possible Norway's nationalism predates the country becoming a liberal democracy. Norwegians are just naturally proud of their home and culture?
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Old August 29th, 2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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I think patriotism is a better word than nationalism since the latter has more negative coronations.
Willard from Oz asks a good question. I don't think that's the whole reason. Patriotism predates liberal democracy in Sweden too, but my impression is that patriotism is much more asociated with the political right there and many feel akward using the flag or singing the national anthem. I suspect some of the explaination comes from WWII. Socialist didn't march in paradis on the national day before the war, after they did. The king became a symbol for freedom and resistance, so did the flag and the anthem.

Can you think of other cultures that can be called liberal nationalist/patriotic?
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Old August 29th, 2017, 12:26 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfpaw View Post
A distinction ought to be made between "patriotism" and "nationalism."

This quote from Timothy Snyder is a pretty useful surmise of the difference:
A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, “although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,” wrote Orwell, tends to be “uninterested in what happens in the real world.” Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism “has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.”

A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
Interesting take. Here is how Merriam-Webster defines nationalism versus patriotism: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism.
Here, the difference is defined as the former presenting an air of "superiority." Definitions such as this walk a fine line, open to individual interpretation.
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Old August 29th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #6

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Interesting take. Here is how Merriam-Webster defines nationalism versus patriotism: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism.
Here, the difference is defined as the former presenting an air of "superiority." Definitions such as this walk a fine line, open to individual interpretation.
I think that key and corrosive sense of "superiority" is what Snyder (and Orwell and Kiš) were getting at, albeit somewhat more bluntly.

Last edited by Wolfpaw; August 29th, 2017 at 01:12 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2017, 02:55 PM   #7

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I think that key and corrosive sense of "superiority" is what Snyder (and Orwell and Kiš) were getting at, albeit somewhat more bluntly.
If we use a sense of superiority as the determinant, the problem can be one man's patriotism is another man's version of nationalism. If I say, " the U.S. is stronger than Mexico or Canada," you may find a few who will say, "An American with a superior attitude," but many may agree. If I shift the loaded term slightly and say, "therefore, The U.S. is better than Mexico or Canada," then, many may say, "what an superior thinking, American." Thus, patriotism can be viewed as nationalism. What is acceptable suddenly isn't, even if it is factual. In regard to your OP, I think it is fair to say there is Liberal Nationalism, if we are going to use an air of superiority as the measure. After all, don't most people think their worldview and way of life is superior, especially if one is invested in the creation or maintenance of that way of life? Surely, the followers and supporters of Stalin and Mao thought they had a superior system over the West.
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Old August 29th, 2017, 03:11 PM   #8

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Liberals were the forefathers of modern nationalism in history.
It was they that led the nationalist movements in the 19th century against the old ancien regime Empires of the European continent.
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Old August 29th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #9

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_nationalism
Quote:
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Liberals were the forefathers of modern nationalism in history.
It was they that led the nationalist movements in the 19th century against the old ancien regime Empires of the European continent.
Indeed. Liberals were the nationalists which accomplished the most in Europe.
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Old August 29th, 2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfpaw View Post
I think that key and corrosive sense of "superiority" is what Snyder (and Orwell and Kiš) were getting at, albeit somewhat more bluntly.
Nationalism is nothing more then mere FANDOM.

Rooting for your country and wearing its colors like its a sports franchise.
With no more thought, no more depth, and no more responsibility than any soccer hooligan.
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