Home > Security and Violence > Illusions of a nationalist

Illusions of a nationalist

You can usually tell which ideas the elites benefit most from by observing what non-elites will defend most vehemently.

My original post on nationalism (expanded in my book) dismantles many of the basic misconceptions of nationalism and its euphemism, patriotism, and exposes it as the dangerous delusion it is. But the phenomenon persists. Apparently, it is a force more powerful even than this blog.

Nationalists and patriots are full of illusions. I come bearing inconvenient truths, but the sooner people understand them, the sooner they can see the world for what it is.


You do not have a country of your own. You do not have any control over it. A few powerful people own the territory within the colonial boundaries you live in, and you are not one of them.

Nationalists hold romantic dreams of an eternal spirit of their countries. But that is because they have no historical perspective. Your country does not have a destiny, and what you think is its history is largely based on myth. The idealised depiction of war is the clearest example. Nationalists believe their side has always been righteous, perhaps fighting for God but always fighting only in self defense. But the people who came from nearby where you come from who fought in wars were not fighting for you. They have nothing to do with you. They were fighting because they were told to, and because they would be killed if they did not.

patriotism nationalism

Do you think there is something better about the people who inhabit your corner of the globe? Are they more virtuous than others? If you believe they are, you undoubtedly have superficial, stereotyped views of people in other places. Nationalists see their people as individuals making up a glorious whole and people from other countries as undifferentiated masses that are somehow more threatening than locals. Such stereotypes engender the belief that, while our elites are bad, at least they are not FOREIGN.

The FOREIGN is, of course, to be feared or at least not fully trusted. For this reason, most nationalists want to limit immigration. They worry their compatriots will one day run out of land, or the culture will change. As such, they are willing to use violence to stop the wrong kind of people from entering their country. That is called racism.

Yet, change is constant. Cultures and countries and ethnic groups change. Your country and culture are not eternal. They will change, their values will change, and they will end, like everything does.

For religious people who think your country is the best and is superior to all others, you may want to consult your holy books and see what your god says about idols.

For non-religious people who believe in their countries and sacrifice for them and attack others for criticising them, surprise! You are part of a cult of worship as well.

If you want to believe in something bigger than yourself, how about all of humanity? Or all life on Earth? Or love, or kindness, or peace? Or, if you want to keep it simple, your family and friends? If not, please do not expect my sympathy for your racist exclusion of other humans.

  1. May 15, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    In contrast to the respect I should pay to “the men and women who have elevated our countries,” that are suggested in your points of view, I feel a great shame and horror as well as an empathetic sense of needing to speak out AGAINST the fact that many men and women in previous generations in my country were manipulated into taking up arms in the past. I regularly apologize to foreigners who immigrate to where I live – for the damage my forefathers caused in their countries – if ever any particular political or war topics arise (I am around a lot of immigrants – I do English conversational language tutoring). I apologize for current affairs which may be damaging in other countries right now. I regularly apologize to fellow-Canadians whose family members were involved or are involved with the military in any way, shape or form – for the time family members are taken away from their families, for the ones who didn’t, don’t, or might not return home.

    • February 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

      why would you apologise for something someone else did?

  2. A.L
    February 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    You don’t even have a clue about the subject you are talking about.

    • February 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

      um, actually I do as I’ve been studying it for years. Would you like to be specific about what I don’t have a clue about? Or are you just another blind nationalist who is not interested in logic?

  1. November 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

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