Why it is time to kill off nationalism
Nationalism. What a horribly deluded concept. The idea that each people should have its own nation where they can speak their own language. Madness.
It all started about 250 years ago: by the time of the French revolution, the idea ‘One people, one language, one nation’ was born and it quickly caught on. All over Europe people stood up and demanded independence, reshaping the map into a grid of nations. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Bulgaria and later Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and many more became nation states.
Each nation created its own mythology on how it came into existence, composed anthems to drum up patriotic feelings and designed flags and crests to be used as unifying identity marks. The rulers of these nations became human symbols of the national pride and sense of cultural superiority and were regarded with an almost religious reverence. And the unfortunate people of “foreign” cultures still living in these new states were degraded to 2nd class citizens, since they were seen as a threat to the national identity.
This sense of a national identity and cultural supremacy made people easy prey for propaganda, which enabled unscrupulous leaders to create powerful totalitarian societies – based on fascism, Nazism or communism. Wars fought between nation-states tended to be bigger and (due to complex alliances between nation states) caused both of the world wars, making nationalism the biggest source of human suffering after religion. Over all, it’s difficult to find even one forgiving feature of the nation state concept.
Let me give you an example of what happens to a people when they get a nation of their own. For centuries the Jewish people have been living in Europe and the Middle East, peacefully minding their own business – even when horribly persecuted and mistreated. But then, after the end of World War II, they were given their own nation – Israel – in the region of Palestine, and things immediately changed. The Arab nations in the Middle East didn’t see kindly on the intrusion of their national space and several wars have been fought in the region as a result. Even today, 60 years later, there is constant unrest which threatens to escalate at any moment. But it’s the change to the mentality of the Jewish people of Israel that’s most intriguing. They went from philosophers to warriors in less than a year, and Israel now one of the most openly aggressive nations in the world – a nation that wage wars on its neighbours, attack humanitarian aid convoys and place civilians in concentration camps. All this because of the creation of a nation.
Now, I’m not saying that the Jewish people don’t deserve to have a nation state of their own. What I’m saying is that no one does. Nation states are bad news. If you create a nation, you can expect a war. Create many nations – expect a world war. And in the last 20 years, 27 new nations have formed in Europe alone. I wonder what will happen next..?