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Is it possible to get rid of nationalism?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Winner, Oct 18, 2013.

?

See the thread title.

  1. Yes

    27.1%
  2. Yes, but it will take centuries and we may never get there at all

    35.4%
  3. No, it will never go away

    29.2%
  4. I am unable to formulate an opinion of my own, but I want to see poll results.

    8.3%
  1. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    One of my trademark simple questions for which there probably isn't any simply answer.

    Nationalism is an ideology responsible for more conflict, suffering, misery, and death than any other except perhaps religion (in that regard, the two can be considered forms of the same underlying problem). It continues to plague this planet and drive millions to slaughter, even though it fortunately doesn't do it any longer in the place where it originated, i.e. the continent where I was born.

    Clearly, if we are to achieve maturity as intelligent beings, we need to get rid of it. We invented it, we created, we should be able to undo it and throw it into the dustbin of history.

    My question is therefore two-fold:

    1) Can it be done, or is humanity destined to suffer from this plague until it finally destroys us, one way or another?

    2) If you believe it can be eradicated, how would you go about it? What's the medicine? How long before it takes effect?​

    Discuss, and vote in a poll :)

    -------------------------------
    If anybody is in any doubt that nationalism is a problem, I invite you to watch this documentary series.
     
  2. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    It was also nationalism that helped prevent some of the worst things from happening, since some people believed in their nation and what it stood for and was willing to make sure it's ideals were spread around the world. AUS#1
     
  3. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Right on, preach it man. Correct me if I'm wrong but you used to be pretty pro-nationalism just a few years ago right?
     
  4. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    There isn't anything inherently wrong with a minor amount of nationalism. It is perfectly natural to feel that way about your country:

    This is quite distinct from what the wiki characterizes as "ultranationalism":

    This is where the problem lies. It is excessive nationalism which is the cause of so many "dysfunctional" societal problems. USA #1...
     
  5. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Would you accept that people would be willing to stand up for whatever ideals you're referring to whether or not those ideals were exhibited by their nation? If so, do you think the nation is really a necessary aspect of the equation?

    I'd think that whether or not it's possible to get rid of nationalism has some sort of relationship to its utility. If it doesn't have any, then it'd probably be easier to get rid of.
     
  6. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    I mean a little pride in your area motivates you to make it better. Just don't have an ego about it ;)
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I think you're going to see less and less nationalism as regions become more closely entwined in terms of political and economic treaties - such as the treaties that bind the EU together for example.

    You'll see plenty of regional pride though, and I think that's probably something that we'll never quite shake off... and that's probably a good thing - there's nothing wrong about feeling proud of your local community and what it's accomplished.

    Nations are probably on their way out - eventually, but that regional pride will never quite disappear. Poles will be proud of Polish butter and Californians will be proud of Hollywood blockbuster movies, but that "I'm Polish so Germans suck" or "I'm Californian so Mexicans suck" mentality will decrease over time, as I feel that it is partially artificially in place due to national borders, which creates the feeling that once you cross this artificial border, you are in a land populated by "other people".

    The same feeling occurs when you cross from California to other states for example - but the feeling is not nearly as strong, right? I think that's where we're headed, assuming that countries are on their way out.. Which I think they are, it just might take a couple centuries for the last one to disappear.
     
  8. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    What Forma posted is similar to what I would have said.

    First of all, to have this discussion, we need an agreed upon definition of what constitutes nationalism. I remember some discussions here where opinions differed on what is nationalism and what patriotism, and whether there is even any difference between the two.

    I think it's fundamental human behavior to look for tribes in all areas of life. In sports, people look for a team to cheer on and suddenly become part of their successes and defeats. Suddenly "they" have won a game even though they did nothing but sit in front of a TV and drink beer. People tend to attribute themselves to groups and judge themselves and others by whether they belong to it or not, even if they didn't do anything to affect whether this group is successful or not. This can take very ridiculous turns such as judging others for selecting the brands that they favor (Apple vs Android come to mind).

    Nationalism is basically this concept applied to international politics and history. You'll hear English people say that "they" created the largest empire in the history of the world even though they surely didn't contribute anything except being born in the same country as those who did that centuries before, and so on. The examples write themselves.

    It's very stupid if you think about it, but I think with some critical introspection we all have to come to the conclusion that we have done similar stuff in at least some areas of life, even if we think nationalism is dumb. So I guess the only way to get rid of nationalism is to get rid of this sort of tribal behavior altogether, and get people to only take satisfaction from their own accomplishments, instead of that of a semi-imaginary group they didn't contribute anything to anyways? I don't know if that works for the majority of the human population.
     
  9. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Is seems very possible to get rid of (EU) nationalism ;)
     
  10. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Well, is the question about whether it's possible to get rid of this tribal behaviour of which nationalism is the most prominent example (arguably?), or about whether it's possible to shift to instead expressing tribal behaviour in terms other than the nation?
     
  11. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    There is no European nation. But you're one of the people from whom I totally expected a non-constructive contribution to this thread.

    That's a good point. I've already heard the argument that European football served as an outlet for competition between previous enemies in a peaceful way after WW2.
     
  12. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    ^Thanks, i guess a positive is potentially seen as the negative of a negative. :D

    And some do see the EU as a nation. Just observe them in places like that 'CFC' forum or what was its name...
     
  13. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Not a Czech nationalist, for sure. I may have (inter/trans)nationalist tendencies concerning Europe as a whole.

    -----------

    However, it is clear to me now that so long as the idea of the nation state exists, so long as the belief that nations are real and that they have "rights" and "interests" is considered to be true, we are on a slippery slope towards self-annihilation as a species. The idea of the nation state might have been tolerable while the most destructive personal weapon was a single-shot musket. It had clearly become extremely dangerous when we invented machine guns and poison gas, and it has crossed into the insane territory when we introduced nuclear and biological weapons.

    Disregarding war as the end product of nationalism, there are other areas where nationalism contributes to the creeping suicide of the human race.

    Environment - our collective "national self-interest" prevents us from effectively managing the environment and tackling climate change.

    Economy - nation-states obsessed with their relative power measured by GDP-growth drive this world into a financial and economic meltdown.

    Population - the belief that there needs to be more of "us" as opposed to "them" contributes to the crazy levels of population growth which make all other global problems worse.

    Science - how much more could be achieved, if "nations" co-operated effectively, instead of trying to be the "first to XYZ". Countries even obsess about how many of their citizens received the Nobel Prize, totally ignoring the fact that the Prize is given to individuals or individual teams of people, not nations.

    etc. etc. etc.

    Hitchens said that religion poisons everything. I agree with him and add nationalism as the other main poison.
     
  14. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    How do you reconcile this attitude and your opinion that Palestinians should be moved elsewhere than where they are now?

    What unity is the slogan "diverse in unity" referring?
     
  15. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Moderator Action: In the best interests of this thread, please discuss this elsewhere.
     
  16. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    Nationalism is the measles of mankind. It's narcissism, xenophobia, an us vs. them mentality, and arrogance all rolled into one. Nationalists think their "nation" is special and superior simply because they were born there, and are fascinated in it because it related to themselves.

    As Leoreth has said, this tribal "us vs. them" mentality is human nature. I'm not sure it'll ever go away, but as Camikaze has noted, it can be shifted. Probably only sustained relations with an alien race will unite humanity and give it an "other" to unite against. People may be white or black, Muslim or Hindu, Turkish or Greek, but at least they won't be aliens, the thinking will go.
     
  17. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    ^ No man, Persian or Greek, no man threatens a messenger.
     
  18. bhsup

    bhsup Chieftain

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    I don't understand how you can be pro-EU and not think that is nationalism. Your hope for the EU seems to be to turn it into a United States of Europe, so all you're really wanting Europeans to do is transfer their nationalism from their current state to the soon to replace them EU State.

    That aside, though, your poll is incomplete. There is no option for "Yes, but only after the return of Christ and the establishment of his Kingdom on Earth."
     
  19. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Is every state a nation state in your opinion? Can states only exist because of nationalism?

    That's a very nationalist point of view (when all you have is a hammer ...).
     
  20. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    It will go away in time, or perhaps not go away but cease to become important, once the concept of the nation-state peters out or changes to something different, as society will be radically different [x] years from now.

    I don't like nationalism myself too much. Even its moderate form in civic nationalism I'm pretty suspicious of, admittedly. But that's just my opinion.
     

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