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RightNation.US: Like Socialism, Conservative Nationalism Is Not About Liberty - RightNation.US

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#1 User is offline   pepperonikkid 

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  Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:39 PM

Like Socialism, Conservative Nationalism Is Not About Liberty



For almost 200 years there have been two political movements in opposition to the liberal political philosophy of individual liberty, free markets, and constitutionally limited government: socialism and nationalism. They both have called for reducing the individual to a cog in the machine serving a wider collectivist good. Given that socialism has been making a political comeback, it is not too surprising that there is a resurgent call for a new American nationalism.

During July 14-16, 2019, there was a conference held in Washington, D.C., devoted to the theme of "National Conservatism." Some of the leading lights of various wings of the American conservative movement delivered talks on a revived American nationalism that would replace "the excesses of libertarianism" and the current identity politics of the political "left."

Nations, Not Individuals, as Social Building Blocks

Not too surprisingly, journalists across the political spectrum took notice of the event, and reported on what was said and proposed for this new American nationalism. From the accounts, as much as the participants may have railed against the race and gender multiculturalism dominating "progressive" and democratic socialist propagandizing, a primary thrust in their vision for a new nationalism centered on a rejection of the classical liberal and libertarian elements that have been part of post-World War II American conservatism.

Being thrown out is the rhetorical allegiance to the idea and ideal of open and competitive free markets. American industries and jobs must be secured for Americans. Regulations must be introduced or reinforced to bring social media and big technology to heel to ensure that they serve and save American "values" and interests. Government must protect and restore American culture and virtues against the attacks of an ideology of internationalism and cosmopolitanism that would undermine the character and characteristics of traditional American society.

Several of the presenters went out of their way to insist that an American nationalism had nothing to do with "white" nationalism, that their version of American nationalism was inclusive of all Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity. One division among the speakers, it was reported, concerned America's place in the world. Did a new nationalist America go looking for foreign monsters to slay in other parts of the world, or was American nationalism mostly pacific, only using its military power for defensive and related purposes when the "interests" of the country were directly and clearly threatened?

Also especially emphasized, from these accounts, was an explicit rejection by a number of the speakers of the notion of individual liberty as the foundation stone of the American political, social, and economic experience. Instead, "the nation" is the foundational building block of any society, including the United States. The "nation" determines, defines, and delineates the natural divisions among peoples around the globe. And it is through "the nation" that Americans, it was said, should have their sense of identity, loyalty, and subservience.

Families, Communities, and Identity
Since the beginning of time, people have had senses of connectedness and loyalty to others and things outside of themselves. The human being is born into a family that nurtures, cares for, and gives him a sense of meaning and orientation. At the same time, the family has usually been part of a tribe or community that provides an additional context of identity.

After all, it is in these families and communities that we learn a language through which we not only speak, but also think and have self-awareness of who and what we are. It is in these networks of family and communities that we participate in what sociologists sometimes refer to as shared "structures of intersubjective meaning." We absorb notions and understandings of what is right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust, fair and undeserved, proper etiquette and boorish manners, of what are the roles and places of people in society, and of the meaning of physical things in terms of what they are and how and for what they are used.

Through a good part of history these senses of belonging, identity, meaning, and loyalty were local. Until relatively recently, very few people traveled far from the places in which they were born and had died. With means of transportation limited to walking, riding a horse, riding in a cart or wagon pulled by an animal, or sailing ship or rowboat on nearby rivers and lakes, human life was geographically limited and confined to that small circle of family and local community.

In the ancient Greek world, loyalties and allegiances were to the city-state in which the person lived out their life, such as Athens. In the feudal era in Europe, loyalties included obedience and service to the lord of the manor, who owned the lands, the livestock, and the raw materials with which the villein or serf lived and worked on the nobleman's estate. With the greater concentration of political power in the hands of kings in countries such as France in the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s, loyalty extended to the monarch whose political legitimacy was above the lords of the manor; the king "owned" all within his kingdom including the manors of the noblemen, and, thus, the "commoner" in town or country was expected to be loyal and obedient to this higher authority in the form of a royal personage.

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#2 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:55 PM

Disagree with the author's entire take on what "Nationalism" means. But, then, he is a dyed-in-the-wool "Libertarian" and I'm not. The author seems to be confusing "Nationalist" with "Statist"

The only thing that stops ME from calling myself a "Nationalist" is that Nazis/neo-nazis/fascists/phalangists have tarnished the term.

Let us not forget: The FIRST three words of the US Constitution are: "We. The. People"

As I see it:

"Do I believe that the USA, as founded, is the greatest political innovation of the last several millennia?" "YES, without hesitation."

"Would I risk my own life to, per the enlisted oath of office, "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;". "YES, without hesitation." And in point of fact I have, and have taken such an oath.

Call me a "Nationalist" if y'all want.

The author would prioritize protecting himself and/or family ABOVE defending "This Great Nation" "THESE United States" "The Shining City on the Hill". Personally, I would call that "cowardice".

#3 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:44 PM

The author conflates nationalism with identity. He ventures that we are individuals regardless of birth, origin, and circumstance. However, if you follow his conclusion, you wind up with a borderless globe not of citizens but of subjects under an elite order. Which is the goal of socialism. To regress into feudalism. Historically accurate; hypothetically undesirable.

#4 User is offline   LongKnife 

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 09:51 AM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 12 August 2019 - 05:55 PM, said:

The only thing that stops ME from calling myself a "Nationalist" is that Nazis/neo-nazis/fascists/phalangists have tarnished the term.

Which is why you should call yourself a nationalist. They have co-opted enough of the language that we should not surrender it so easily.

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