I normally despise anything National Review writes, but every now and then they can be very helpful even if very wrong. In “Denationalizing Politics” Jonah Goldberg notes,
Donald Trump almost never uses the language of traditional American conservatism, with its emphasis on classically liberal notions of limited government, constitutionalism, individualism, and free trade.
Well, yes. Though given National Review’s support for neocon wars, one wonders how committed to constitutionalism they are.
Still, these visions leave millions of traditional conservatives and committed libertarians without a natural home in either major political party
Welcome to my world for the past two decades. Not fun, is it?
No one simply lives in the United States of America. We live in Peoria, Harlem, and Seattle. The virtues built close to home, Levin argues, are those that make us good citizens and ultimately draw us together.
This is almost true. I like the “go local” part of it. The problem is that the United States as a singular entity was never supposed to exist. We are supposed to be a collection of federal republics.
What would be so terrible about letting diverse communities decide how they want to live and spend their tax dollars?
Didn’t you guys call for the mass suicide of white communities?
As a whole much of Goldberg’s post sounds like something I would write. The problem is the neocon agenda. How can we empower local communities (“not cede power to Washington”) when the federal government expanded under his hero George W. Bush?
But isn’t “nationalism” dangerous? Depends on what you mean by that term. I think “nationalism” as used today is an empty term that serves only to link the enemy with Hitler. Of course, those who studied philosophical romanticism and the development of cultural cohesion know that no proponent uses the term like that.
So what is nationalism? Goldberg doesn’t actually define it but I think he means something like state centralization of power at the expense of local and international communities. In doing so he makes a classic error in defining the state in modern, post-Enlightenment terms as some sort of bureaucratic apparatus. Goldberg sees the state as synonymous with the nation. Earlier Romantics (and the middle ages) did not use such a definition. “Nation” for them was the cohesion of a number of unifying factors: culture, religion, language. Oh yeah, see Augustine’s City of God 19.24-26, “common bonds of love.” State as a modern bureaucratic invention did not happen until much later.
Thus, we can define nationalism–no doubt as Herder defined it–as promoting the cultural cohesion of different groups who are defined and bound together by their shared objects of love. Far from being “xenophobic” or “wacist,” this is the most loving and culturally enriching thing one can do.
Tell me what is better: Ethiopian Orthodox art or some watered down white-boy band pop music? Tell me what is better: the mosque at Timbuktu or Bauhaus architecture? Tell me what is better: the Tao te Ching or 50 Shades of Grey?
I wonder if the loss of a culture is the reason for much of the mental illness in America today.
But moving on: without nationalism and a strong identity, we are simply Lockean atoms bouncing in the Void. Uprooted communities who live in fear and angst will not be able to stop the Internal Bankster Regime.