Jerry Muller: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism

Something positive about nationalist beliefs? So maybe he is not “official WN” but  check out some snippets  . I give the site  credit as well for not being anti-free speech wussies, most just wouldn’t allow someone who doesn’t only promote PC standard fare.  Damn . I’m in lurk mode , still feeling  kind of rough,  wanted to really get into all the great points he made and write about it,  but I trust you can do that for yourself.

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Us and Them

The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism

      Ethnonationalism was not a chance detour in European history: it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit that are heightened by the process of modern state creation, it is a crucial source of both solidarity and enmity, and in one form or another, it will remain for many generations to come. One can only profit from facing it directly.

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 Along with the process of forced ethnic disaggregation…(love that phrase, very good, fight them with their own icky PC language)

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The challenge for the international community in such cases is to separate communities in the most humane manner possible: by aiding in transport, assuring citizenship rights in the new homeland, and providing financial aid for resettlement and economic absorption.

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 Speaking of Europe, he says:  (on why they embraced the EU)

 Several decades of life in consolidated, ethnically homogeneous states may even have worked to sap ethnonationalism’s own emotional power.

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Whether politically correct or not, ethnonationalism will continue to shape the world in the twenty-first century.

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 But if ethnonationalism has frequently led to tension and conflict, it has also proved to be a source of cohesion and stability. When French textbooks began with “Our ancestors the Gauls” or when Churchill spoke to wartime audiences of “this island race,” they appealed to ethnonationalist sensibilities as a source of mutual trust and sacrifice. Liberal democracy and ethnic homogeneity are not only compatible; they can be complementary.

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But if there is indeed a link between ethnic homogeneity and a population’s willingness to support generous income-redistribution programs, the encouragement of a more heterogeneous society may end up undermining the left’s broader political agenda.

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Wealthier and higher-achieving regions might try to separate themselves from poorer and lower-achieving ones, and distinctive homogeneous areas might try to acquire sovereignty — courses of action that might provoke violent responses from defenders of the status quo.

 http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080301faessay87203-p0/jerry-z-muller/us-and-them.html

Summary: (from page)   Americans generally belittle the role of ethnic nationalism in politics. But in fact, it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit, it is galvanized by modernization, and in one form or another, it will drive global politics for generations to come. Once ethnic nationalism has captured the imagination of groups in a multiethnic society, ethnic disaggregation or partition is often the least bad answer.

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