I am a nationalist. More specifically, when people ask about my ideology I tell them I’m a national conservative – as the name implies, a combination of nationalism and conservatism. I’ve written several articles on immigration, on the failures of free movement in the EU, and on the threat of federalization. However recently it occurred to me that I’ve never written an article outlining exactly why I am a nationalist.
That’s what I intend to do in this article. Hence, without further ado: This is why I am a nationalist.
Because nation-states are not artificial.
This is a favourite claim of the radical, multiculturalist left: That nations only exist in the head, that they are “illusions”, and that borders are artificial limits on human freedom.
I will concede that nations exist in the heads of the people living in that nation. However, I fail to see how this makes nations as a concept something worthy of ridicule. After all, love only exists in the head – love, when you break it down, is just a chemical reaction in the brain. It’s a feeling. Does that make love “artificial”? Does that mean that we shouldn’t respect romantic relationships, since the bound between the couple only exists “in their heads” (they’re not conjoined twins after all)? Of course not!
And just like you cannot suddenly decide to love another person than the one you currently love, I cannot decide to not be Swedish or feel a different national identity than the Swedish identity. I cannot suddenly decide to feel that I have just as much in common with people from Bulgaria or Spain as I do with fellow Swedes, just like I cannot suddenly decide to fall in love with someone. That is not to say that national identity cannot change (assimilation is perfectly possible), only that trying to force (as the EU is doing) people to feel like they have an identity (a super-national European identity) that they don’t have is as futile and harmful as a parent trying to force their child to fall in love with the suitor the parent prefers.
Because without nation-states, worse types of division will occur
It is impossible to understand this point without examples, so let me give you one: Northern Ireland.
What was (still is, to a lesser extent) the problem with Northern Ireland? Some may say that it’s religious division – a protestant majority but with a significant catholic minority. However, that doesn’t really answer the question as there are several countries with similar demographics (Germany for example is majority protestant but with a significant catholic minority).
No, what sets Northern Ireland apart is the lack of a common national identity. There is no such as “Northern Irish”. There are Irish, and there are Brits, but there is no such thing as “Northern Irish” (other than on paper).
When people lack a common national identity, they turn to other things to identify themselves instead. Globalists pretend like the alternative to nationalism is a universal embrace of diversity, but both history and current events show that this is not the case: Where there is no nationalism, people instead define themselves based on tribal and, in the case of Northern Ireland (and many other regions), sectarian lines. There is no such thing as “Northern Irish”, therefore instead of being “northern Irish”, the people in the six counties that formed Northern Ireland became Protestants and Catholics instead. While in Germany, while there are millions of Catholics and millions of Protestants, they are all German first and foremost. That’s the beauty of a functioning nation-state: Whatever our differences, we all unite under one banner.
Northern Ireland is an artificial construction that never should have existed in my opinion, an early example of how de-colonialism can misfire. Real, non-artificial nation-states don’t struggle with the problems that Northern Ireland struggle with, because they are based on history and on a common heritage. Every artificial nation-state – or super-state that attempts to act as a nation-state (see; European Union) – will however run into these sorts of problems.
Northern Ireland is far from the only example. When Africa was divided up between different colonial powers, no consideration was given to the cultural and ethnic differences between different regions in Africa, and so when the colonies later gained their independence, we ended up with a bunch of countries full of people who have no sense of national identity. No-one identifies as “Somali” – they identify as whatever tribe they happen to belong to. Same goes for most countries on that continent.
Why is that a problem? It shouldn’t have to be spelt out, but here it is: National identity is why we sacrifice for one another. A man from Stockholm is willing to pay taxes to provide welfare for an unemployed man in Gothenburg, because Gothenburg is part of Sweden. In fact, a man from Stockholm would be willing to throw on a uniform and fight to death to defend Gothenburg’s right to freedom. Because Gothenburg is part of Sweden, and when you’re in the same country, that’s just what you do – you stick together and you leave no one left behind. Our Stockholmer however would not be willing to pay taxes to provide welfare for someone living in Berlin, or fight for the freedom of some guy in Athens, because those are different nations. When you lack national identity, you also lack the necessary incentive to sacrifice. And mutual sacrifice is what keeps nation-states, and in the end civilization itself, together.
Also, on a smaller note, we should remember that nations have the structures necessary to deal with conflicts peacefully, for example through ambassadors and diplomats. Religious denominations and tribes however generally do not, which is why conflicts on that level are so much more prone to lead to violence.
Now, you may be wondering: Why can’t we just learn to “connect” with everyone the same? Why can’t this guy in Stockholm learn to give his life for the guy in Athens? Now to be fair, there are two countries which have learned to do that, though usually without receiving much in terms of gratitude (hint; both their names start with United). But even those countries would ever treat non-citizens the exact same as citizens. Essentially, European federalism is neo-marxist in its approach to human psychology: Humans are to be redesigned. Marx wanted to redesign humans not to be greedy so that his socialist system could work (because basic human instincts and flaws cause it to unravel), and communist states set up massive “re-education camps” for this purpose. Federalists want to redesign human beings into no longer connecting more with some people than with others, because that’s what it takes for their vision of a Europe united as one super-state to work. What they both have in common is that both of them come up with a vision first, and then try to change humans to fit into that vision. And that, dear reader is why no true conservative can support the European Union: Our ideology by its very definition is realistic, anti-utopian, and cannot accept such redesigning. Politicians should study human nature and build a society based on that nature. If reality does not agree with your map, you change the map.
Because nation-states are the only thing standing between us and tyranny
That statement must come off as somewhat hyperbolical, but please let me explain. Most of the world today is pretty horrible, in particular for women. It’s easy to forget, but there are places in the world where feminists are (legitimately) concerned with real problems like women not being able to vote, being denied education, being denied the right to drive etcetera and not first-world problems like man-spreading.
If we were to hold a global referendum on women’s rights – well, a series of referendums as it would have to be – women would lose most of them. A majority of the earth’s population disagree with equal pay for equal work. A majority of the earth’s population believe that women go out at night have themselves to blame if they get raped. A majority of the earth’s population believe that men should be prioritized when it comes to being given higher (or even basic) education. A majority of the earth’s population believe that a woman who has pre-marital sex dishonors her family, but does not believe that a man doing the same thing is just as serious.
So how come women have any rights at all? How come the women where I live – in the Republic of Ireland – get to pursue a higher education? I see hundreds of them on campus every day. The simple answer is that Ireland is a nation-state, with borders. And what that means is that it doesn’t matter that there are only 4.5 million Irish and that there are tens of millions of people in the Middle east who would disagree with the rights granted to my Irish female friends, because these people in the middle east don’t get to vote, because they are not citizens, because that’s how nation-states work. Therefore, even though we the people in what can rightfully be called the civilized, free part of the world are a minority as a proportion of the world’s total population, our rights are secure.
That is, unless we allow tens of millions of people from the Middle east to come here…
Because immigration can change a nation, even without immigrants overtaking the majority
Immigration changes nations. That is something everyone can agree on when we study history – the US today would not be the same without the Irish immigration wave during the 19th century (no Kennedy presidency for starters). Strangely however, multiculturalists and federalists like to deny that this still holds true today.
By studying the culture of a certain ethnic group, we can more or less predict what will happen if this group were to immigrate to another country: A mass immigration of Italians to Finland may cause the Finns to put down the vodka and learn to appreciate some nice wines. If there were to be a mass immigration of French to England, the English may learn how to cook. And if there were to be a mass immigration of Swedes to Ireland, the Irish may finally learn how to win the Eurovision.
The cultural changes in the US that came with the mass immigration of Irish men and women in the 19th century were not unpredictable: The immigrants came from a catholic country that celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day and had a fondness for Guinness, so naturally the countries they immigrated to became more catholic, adopted Saint paddy’s day, and saw an increased consumption of beer so bitter I can’t believe anyone drinks it voluntarily.
None of those changes were harmful, but it’s easy to see how they could have been, had the Irish brought with them a fundamentally different belief system with no regard for many of the rights that we call human rights. And that brings us to today’s immigration from countries the likes of Syria, Iraq, Libya and so on. What will these immigrants bring to the table? Probably some delightful Middle Eastern & north African cuisine I’m sure, but what else?
How about wife-beating, honor killings, female genital mutilation and just theocracy in general? As much as we may sympathize with the refugees from those parts of the world, all those things are just as deeply ingrained in their cultures as Guinness & Saint Paddy’s Day was in the culture of the Irish immigrants who fled during the Famine.
But then you might say; so what? They’ll never be a majority anyway; we’ll always be in charge. And it’s not like they’ll be able to convince us to start acting like they do. And while it’s true that Europe is nowhere even remotely close to being majority Muslim, again we only need to have a cursory look at history to realize that immigrants don’t have to outnumber the original population to change the host nation’s culture: To go back to my previous example with Irish immigration to America, we note that millions of non-Irish Americans today drink Irish beer, whiskey, and celebrate Saint Patrick’s day. Yes, overall, the Irish became a lot more American than the Americans became Irish, but the immigration of Irish to America undeniably added an Irish flavor to the American melting pot and brought Boston closer to Dublin. The question is; do we want Dublin, Stockholm and London to be closer to Mecka? Do we want our cultures to move closer, value-wise, to the cultures of the Middle East? If not, we should be wary of welcoming large numbers of immigrants from those cultures, and even more wary of policies that encourage them to preserve their cultural heritage rather than assimilate. This will undoubtedly pull society as a whole in the direction of theocracy and totalitarian rule.
I believe that moving even one inch closer to the theocratic ideals of the Muslim world would be a tragedy. I believe the only way we can avoid this is by assimilating the immigrants who come to our countries; and the only way we can realistically assimilate them is if we don’t allow too many of them to enter in the first place.
I believe we in the West ought to celebrate our cultures, defend our nation-states, take pride in our heritage and history, protect our borders and preserve our traditions. That is how I define nationalism, and that is why I am a nationalist.