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Macron’s speech about nationalism on armistice day

ataraxia

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World leaders gathered in Paris yesterday to honor Armistice Day, the conclusion of WWI. The horrors of modern technology unleashed in that war left the world speechless. It was the war that was supposed to have been so horrific that it was going to be the “war to end all wars”. It was fueled by the rise of sentiments of nationalism, and the armistice only lasted a short time before its embers rekindled the fire of WWII that would dwarf even the horrors of the first.

The US played a crucial role in ending the two wars. In trying to put in systems which would help prevent such future horrors, it spearheaded the League if Natiins after the first war, and an even more robust United Nations after the second. It spearheaded the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, to prevent many of the injustices and resentments which led to these wars. This document declared that basic human dignity demanded that governments be responsible for providing basic human needs like food, water, a basic education, and healthcare for its citizens at a bare minimum. It said that people from any nation should be able to seek asylum in any nation.

But memories are fading. And history is not a subject which is taught well in our schools. Those heard-earned lessons are being forgotten. So how ironic it is that the nation which so energetically spearheaded these efforts is now the same one which is out with such a vengeance to gut them all.

In reflecting on the war, French President Macron reflected on the role of rising sentiments of nationalism. The whole idea of nationalism was something that arose contingently out of the European politics of the late 19th century, with the rise of nation states like Germany and Italy, fueled by resentments after the Napoleonic wars.

So it was rather ironic that that the French President would be making this speech reminding the world of the lessons of unbridled nationalism that it had learned so harshly exactly 100 years ago. It was hard not to see it as a direct rebuke of Trumpism and the recent global rise of dangerous sentiments of xenophobia and nationalism:

”Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism," he said through a translator. "Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values."
"I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death," he said. "History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again."
-Emmanuel Macron

Is the world heading down the same path and seeing the same sentiments and dark passions which led to such horrors in the last century? Certainly the rhetoric and actions of many world leaders and people we are seeing again today are eerily reminiscent. Our own president is now spearheading this new world movement.

God help us all.
 
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ttwtt78640

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World leaders gathered in Paris yesterday to honor Armistice Day, the conclusion of WWI, and all the horrors of modern technology that left the world so speechless. It was the war that was supposed to have been so horrific that it was going to be the “war to end all wars”. But the war was fueled by the rise of sentiments of nationalism, and only lasted a short time before it’s embers rekindled the fire of WWII that would dwarf even the horrors of the first.

In reflecting on the war, French President Macron reflected on the role of rising sentiments of nationalism. The whole idea of nationalism was something that arose contingently out of the European politics of the late 19th century, with the rise of nation states like Germany and Italy, fueled by resentments after the Napoleonic wars.

So it was rather ironic that that the French President would be making this speech reminding the world of the lessons of unbridled nationalism that the world had learned so harshly exactly 100 years ago. It was hard not to see it as a direct rebuke of Trumpism and the recent alarming global flare up of dangerous sentiments of xenophobia and nationalism:



Is the world heading down the same path and seeing the same sentiments and dark passions which led to such horrors in the last century? Certainly the rhetoric and actions of many world leaders and people we are seeing again today are eerily reminiscent.

While patriotism and nationalism are different they are definitely not opposites.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism
 

Captain Adverse

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While patriotism and nationalism are different they are definitely not opposites.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism

Perhaps this was why Trump decided not to attend the ceremony? That he got wind of the speech Macron was going to give and determined if he attended it would be a personal attack on his own views and he wanted to avoid a requisite public response in kind?

I also object to the OP's position that nationalism arose out of 19th Century European politics. Nationalism has been around at least as long ago as the Greek Polis, where each city-state (Athens, Thebes, Sparta, etc.) considered its "nation" unique from all other's.

One could even argue it goes back further to Sumer, Babylon, etc.. IMO it is a natural outgrowth of the human penchant towards tribalism which is a survival characteristic of our species.

However, I suppose that eventually as we develop over time there will be a one-world government, where it is "Earth against the Universe."

Meanwhile, I will stick to being an "I love America first!" patriot for the time being, since that seems to have kept us more successful than any other nation so far...else why all the efforts of so many people trying to come HERE rather than stay THERE?
 
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ttwtt78640

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Perhaps this was why Trump decided not to attend the ceremony? That he got wind of the speech Macron was going to give and determined if he attended it would be a personal attack on his own views and he wanted to avoid a requisite public response in kind?

I also object to the OP's position that nationalism arose out of 19th Century European politics. Nationalism has been around at least as long ago as the Greek Polis, where each city-state (Athens, Thebes, Sparta, etc.) considered its "nation" unique from all other's.

One could even argue it goes back further to Sumer, Babylon, etc.. IMO it is a natural outgrowth of the human penchant towards tribalism which is a survival characteristic of our species.

However, I suppose that eventually as we develop over time there will be a one-world government, where it is "Earth against the Universe." Meanwhile, I will stick to being an "I love America first!" for the time being.

Hmm... isn't having a one world government just nationalism on steroids? After all, nationalism, unlike patriotism, is about expanding power and control over (all?) other nations rather than just proudly leading by example.
 

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”Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism," he said through a translator. "Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values."
"I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death," he said. "History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again."
-Emmanuel Macron

i agree. patriotism means that i love my country and want to make it better. nationalism is about some idiot consolidating power and probably using a war / killing a whole lot of people to do it. i support patriotism.
 

Captain Adverse

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Hmm... isn't having a one world government just nationalism on steroids? After all, nationalism, unlike patriotism, is about expanding power and control over (all?) other nations rather than just proudly leading by example.

I don't know where the idea that nationalism is about expanding power and control over all other nations comes from. That is IMPERIALISM.

Imperialism (Noun): the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imperialism

While Nationalism:

Nationalism: (Noun): Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.

n.The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.

n. Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination.
https://www.wordnik.com/words/nationalism


I don't see any reference to expanding power and control over (all) other nations in that definition...do you? :unsure13:
 
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ttwtt78640

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I don't know where the idea that nationalism is about expanding and control over all other rnations comes from. That is IMPERIALISM.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imperialism

While Nationalism:

https://www.wordnik.com/words/nationalism


I don't see any reference to expanding power and control over (all) other nations in that definition...do you? :unsure13:

That depends on how far one intends to take their idea of nationalism.

But the definition of nationalism also includes “exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.” This exclusionary aspect is not shared by patriotism.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism
 

ataraxia

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While patriotism and nationalism are different they are definitely not opposites.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism

I suppose the two terms are often used interchangeably. But there is often a dark sides to both which we must be careful about. Given the founding fathers of this country saw it. Even before the term “nationalism” became fashionable almost a century later, this is one of them have to say about it:

”Patruotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”.
-Samuel Johnson
 

jnug

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Hmm... isn't having a one world government just nationalism on steroids? After all, nationalism, unlike patriotism, is about expanding power and control over (all?) other nations rather than just proudly leading by example.

Macron is not talking about one world government. Where was that in the speech?

That said I am wondering how far Macron wants to go with re-militarizing European countries. Europe has something we don't have, many land borders with nation states many of them jostling with each other. The EU does give them some common interests, but not many. WW1 was initiated on a laughably absurd set of circumstances fairly specific to the geopolitics of the region and WW2 was essentially a consequence of WW1. Anybody that thinks they should be bristling with arms again needs their heads examined.

By the way, just for clarity, we were never an ally to anybody in WW1. We were a belligerent.
 

Captain Adverse

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That depends on how far one intends to take their idea of nationalism.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism

I appreciate the expansion of the definition you provided, but even that addendum of some exalting their own nation over all others it is merely extreme nationalists saying "we are better than you," NOT "we are going to take you over."

Your addition is more aptly viewed as emblematic of those so-called "white nationalists" who often claim that "we are better than you innately simply because of who we are nationally." In that vein one enters the realm of prejudice as opposed to merely national pride. ;)

I am a nationalist because I am devoted to our culture and interests acting independently from the rest of the world. That we can cooperate for common goals, but should remain a distinct national entity. However, I don't wish to dominate anywhere else, and I don't mind anyone of any race, religion, or creed immigrating here for a slice of the American dream as long as they come willing to assimilate.
 
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ttwtt78640

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I suppose the two terms are often used interchangeably. But there is often a dark sides to both which we must be careful about. Given the founding fathers of this country saw it. Even before the term “nationalism” became fashionable almost a century later, this is one of them have to say about it:

I suppose that it all depends on how far one wants to take their 'parental' authority.
 

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When nationalistic zeal makes you forgot your sense of humanity, that’s when it turns dark.
 

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ttwtt78640

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I appreciate the expansion of the definition you provided, but even that addendum of some exalting their own nation over all others it is merely extreme nationalists saying "we are better than you," NOT "we are going to take you over."

Your addition is more aptly viewed as "we are better than you and we don't want YOU here messing things up for US." In that vein one enters the realm of prejudice as oppose to merely national pride. ;)

Nationalist loons like Hitler and Stalin come to mind.
 

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"But the definition of nationalism also includes “exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.” This exclusionary aspect is not shared by patriotism."

And that is a bad thing why?

Thats why. Get a dictionary!
 

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When nationalistic zeal makes you forgot your sense of humanity, that’s when it turns dark.

And since that isnt happening you can put out the fire burning in your hair.
 

ttwtt78640

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"But the definition of nationalism also includes “exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.” This exclusionary aspect is not shared by patriotism."

And that is a bad thing why?

In moderation nationalism is not a bad thing but Hitler and Stalin got a bit carried away with that concept.
 

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Thats why. Get a dictionary!


ex·alt
[ig- zawlt]

VERB (USED WITH OBJECT)
1.
to raise in rank, honor, power, character, quality, etc.; elevate: He was exalted to the position of president.
2.
to praise; extol: to exalt someone to the skies.
3.
to stimulate, as the imagination: The lyrics of Shakespeare exalted the audience.
4.
to intensify, as a color: complementary colors exalt each other.
5.
Obsolete. to elate, as with pride or joy.

OK, I got the dictionary out, so whats your problem?
 

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I also object to the OP's position that nationalism arose out of 19th Century European politics. Nationalism has been around at least as long ago as the Greek Polis, where each city-state (Athens, Thebes, Sparta, etc.) considered its "nation" unique from all other's.

That’s not the OP’s main point. The point was that the United States was the nation that led the world toward greater global cooperation and moving away from nationalism.

America first, nationalism, tribalism or whatever you want to call it is just selfishness on a national scale. It has always led to war.

If you want to go back further than the Napoleonic wars, there were the Peloponnesian wars, Punic wars, etc. This nationalist selfish mentality leads to war when everyone takes on a My-nation-first attitude.

Macron is a real leader who has wisdom. Trump is a moron proposing short-sighted solutions.

America first sounds great until it’s followed by China first, North Korea first, Russia first, etc. That’s how you have wars among selfish short-sighted nations.

What made America great was that we strived for something more novel than petty national selfishness.



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Fletch

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In moderation nationalism is not a bad thing but Hitler and Stalin got a bit carried away with that concept.

But this isnt Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. This is America. The question is in what way would American nationalism be a bad thing?

And I might add, that nationalism was the least of their problems. Totalitarianism was their flaw
 
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President Trump created this brohaha with his own words. Regardless of his intentions, using the word “Nationalism”was inimical. “Patriotism” could have served the same purpose and he could even used the phrase “America First” if that was the point he was trying to make.

Imho
 

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Nationalist loons like Hitler and Stalin come to mind.

But Hitler and Stalin were both imperialists. Just because the Nazi party name starts with "National" and Stalin ruled a "communist" nation means little, since both leader's led SOCIALIST dictatorships and both had the goal of world conquest under their rule.
 
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