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What is a Nationalist?

philipp

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Many talk about identity politics and nationalism. And some consider nationalism to be a serious problem. But what is nationalism, how would you define it? Is nationalism equal with patriotism? And is nationalism, objectively see, negative?


In my opinion a patriot isn’t necessarily a nationalist. I would define a nationalist as someone:
Who thinks that his own nation/culture is superior to others without objective evidence.
Important is the last part of the sentence (“without objective evidence”).

Example 1: One can actually say something like: “America is better than North Korea”, or “Americans are better then Iraqis” without being a nationalist. It is just necessary to reason the claim. One could say for example: “The USA is better than North Korea because America’s economic and cultural system allows a higher range of occupational opportunities, more individualistic self-actualization and a higher level of quality of life for its citizens.” This statement wouldn’t be nationalistic because it’s just a declaration of the facts.
Example 2: One also could say: “Americans are higher developed then the people of certain Arabian countries, because in certain Arabian countries possessing a bible or being homosexual can be punished with death and a high percentage of the population supports such laws, while most American citizens would reject them”. This statement wouldn’t be nationalistic too, because it’s true. And speaking out the truth can't be immoral.

A real nationalist, by contrast, would say something like: “Americans are better then other nationalities just because they are Americans”. This statement is nationalism because it doesn’t rely on objectively observable facts like the statements above. Being a nationalist is thinking the own nation is better than other nations without conclusive reasoning. This is what the Nazis did: “Germans are better then Non-Germans just because they are Germans”.


Some would interpose that even the fist two examples were nationalistic and morally wrong, because we should never belittle others and always be politically correct, friendly and smile. But I would say: I believe in freedom of speech. And if it is true that a nation punishes infringements like possessing a bible or being homosexual with death – and its citizen approve such laws – it spoils nothing to say that the American society has reached a higher developmental stage than that nation. Because speaking out the truth can't be wrong – even if the truth inconvenient for some.
 
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ecofarm

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Nationalism is short sighted idiocy embraced by those with no other means of self worth. That's why it often accompanies racism and sexism. It's intellectually pathetic and its adherents are universally deplorable.
 

DamnYankee

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A nationalist is an advocate of or believer in nationalism.

Nationalism is loyalty and devotion to a nation.
 

Captain Adverse

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Instead of asking, why not simply seek the published definition?

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

A nationalist (despite allegations otherwise) is a person who is devoted to the interests and culture of his nation, want's to preserve that nation's identity/existence, and supports the advancement of that nation's goals.

In the case of subject people, the drive to create an independent nation.
 

The Mark

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Personally I think "nationalism" can take many forms.

Whether good or bad depends on the individual and the form, or more accurately what actions it leads the individual to perform.
 

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Instead of asking, why not simply seek the published definition?

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

A nationalist (despite allegations otherwise) is a person who is devoted to the interests and culture of his nation, want's to preserve that nation's identity/existence, and supports the advancement of that nation's goals.

In the case of subject people, the drive to create an independent nation.


Merriam Webster

... 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.
 

spud_meister

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Nationalism is the arbitrary belief in the supremacy of a nation.
 

Skeptic Bob

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I’m also guessing a nationalist would keep his business and jobs here in the Us rather than looking for cheaper opportunities in other countries.
 

Conaeolos

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I’m also guessing a nationalist would keep his business and jobs here in the Us rather than looking for cheaper opportunities in other countries.
ummm, not necessarily...sometimes that is just not viable to remian competative. Better said, havea proclivity to try and keep jobs local.
 

spud_meister

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Nationalist is interchangeable with White Supremacist-Neo Nazi etc...Own it

So Ugandan nationalists are white supremacists? Or can only white people be nationalists? Either way, that's a really stupid statement.
 

Captain Adverse

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I see that this citation is from an essay, and advocates for an addition to the standard definition. As seen by this point:

As a dictionary, we must weigh all matters of semantic and regional difference. Therefore we can offer no firm guidance as to whether or not nationalism qualifies as an insult across the board. We can, however, advocate for the revival of the tradition of insult with precision.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism

Dictionaries are not supposed to "advocate" for anything; they are merely supposed to define word usage.

It points out the following:

In U.S. usage nationalism is now perhaps most frequently associated with white nationalism, and has considerably negative connotations.

So, simply because some racists (both White, and Black) call themselves White Nationalists or Black Nationalists and infer this racist connotation to their view of who belongs in their "nation," does not support the modification of the basic usage properly defined in my citation. Seems to me we have some SJW's polluting our reference sources...much like they have infiltrated and polluted our educational system.

Moreover, and as an aside, when this "essay" quotes the following:

We do not have any evidence of nationalism occurring until just before the 19th century...

They are referring to the word itself. However, de facto nationalism has existed almost as long as there have been nation-states. That means at least as far back as the Greek City-States, and perhaps as far back as the first civilizations along the Nile, Euphrates, Ganges, and Yangtze Rivers.

So while used in reference to "Racist Nationalism" which is simply just racism...the basic and most accepted definition of nationalism is the one I provided.
 
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Saladin4

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So Ugandan nationalists are white supremacists? Or can only white people be nationalists? Either way, that's a really stupid statement.

Uganda?...You care about Uganda?.......You White Nationalists only care about your White Privilege
 

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President Trump should not have called himself a Nationalist. It was an asinine comment to make. He would have been better served calling himself a patriot and pushing for “America first”.

Jmo
 

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Nationalism is merely an extension of the idea of family first. I put my family first. That does not mean that I dislike other families, or try to tear down other families to prop up my own. It means that I look out for my family first, and once it is taken care of, I help others. It is like a ripple, it starts in the center and moves out. Nationalism is no different. It starts with America first, then spreads from there. This should apply for any nation. This is also independent of the current government. I was no fan of President Obama, but not agreeing with him did not affect my love for my country. Any American that would not put their fellow Americans or country before those of another country are not good fellow countrymen and are certainly not patriotic.
 

calamity

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Many talk about identity politics and nationalism. And some consider nationalism to be a serious problem. But what is nationalism, how would you define it? Is nationalism equal with patriotism? And is nationalism, objectively see, negative?


In my opinion a patriot isn’t necessarily a nationalist. I would define a nationalist as someone:
Who thinks that his own nation/culture is superior to others without objective evidence.
Important is the last part of the sentence (“without objective evidence”).

Example 1: One can actually say something like: “America is better than North Korea”, or “Americans are better then Iraqis” without being a nationalist. It is just necessary to reason the claim. One could say for example: “The USA is better than North Korea because America’s economic and cultural system allows a higher range of occupational opportunities, more individualistic self-actualization and a higher level of quality of life for its citizens.” This statement wouldn’t be nationalistic because it’s just a declaration of the facts.
Example 2: One also could say: “Americans are higher developed then the people of certain Arabian countries, because in certain Arabian countries possessing a bible or being homosexual can be punished with death and a high percentage of the population supports such laws, while most American citizens would reject them”. This statement wouldn’t be nationalistic too, because it’s true. And speaking out the truth can't be immoral.

A real nationalist, by contrast, would say something like: “Americans are better then other nationalities just because they are Americans”. This statement is nationalism because it doesn’t rely on objectively observable facts like the statements above. Being a nationalist is thinking the own nation is better than other nations without conclusive reasoning. This is what the Nazis did: “Germans are better then Non-Germans just because they are Germans”.


Some would interpose that even the fist two examples were nationalistic and morally wrong, because we should never belittle others and always be politically correct, friendly and smile. But I would say: I believe in freedom of speech. And if it is true that a nation punishes infringements like possessing a bible or being homosexual with death – and its citizen approve such laws – it spoils nothing to say that the American society has reached a higher developmental stage than that nation. Because speaking out the truth can't be wrong – even if the truth inconvenient for some.

Nationalism in a flattening world economy is short-sighted. And, IMO, it's a lot like racism. My country is better than yours.--or, like you wrote: a false sense of superiority.

Now, does that mean we should emulate ****holes? No. But, there might be a lot to be gained by working hand in hand with some of the more enlightened places on earth, especially the secular nations. Not that we would do that.
 

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A nationalist is the opposite of a globalist. For a nationalist their own country is the highest priority. For a globalist, their own country is irrelevant and only the whole world matters.

In pure form, a globalist would eliminate essentially all social programs in the USA and divide up the USA's wealth equally to all 7+ billion people. A pure nationalist would have social programs solely for American citizens.
 

joko104

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Nationalism is short sighted idiocy embraced by those with no other means of self worth. That's why it often accompanies racism and sexism. It's intellectually pathetic and its adherents are universally deplorable.

Globalism is short sighted idiocy embraced by those with no other means of self worth. That's why it often accompanies racism and sexism. It's intellectually pathetic and its adherents are universally deplorable.
 

ecofarm

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Globalism is short sighted idiocy embraced by those with no other means of self worth. That's why it often accompanies racism and sexism. It's intellectually pathetic and its adherents are universally deplorable.

That really is the best you can do because nationalism and anti diversity are utopian fantasies for you.
 

philipp

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Nationalism in a flattening world economy is short-sighted. And, IMO, it's a lot like racism. My country is better than yours.--or, like you wrote: a false sense of superiority.
It can correlate with racism but nationalism isn’t necessarily racism. I understood nationalism rather negative till today (like I defined it in my first post of this thread) but I found some very positive elements of nationalism in the posts of others that changed my mind (like the drive to create an independent nation,....)




Nationalism is short sighted idiocy embraced by those with no other means of self worth. That's why it often accompanies racism and sexism. It's intellectually pathetic and its adherents are universally deplorable.
You didn’t say anything about WHAT nationalism actually is. And if you would define it as I did in the very first post.




A nationalist is the opposite of a globalist. For a nationalist their own country is the highest priority. For a globalist, their own country is irrelevant and only the whole world matters.
A nationalist is an advocate of or believer in nationalism.
Nationalism is loyalty and devotion to a nation.
Interesting definitions. They differ from my initial definition and cast a more positive light on nationalism.
When nationalism is “loyalty and devotion to a nation” and own-country first politics, how would you call the attitudes I described in my first post?




I’m also guessing a nationalist would keep his business and jobs here in the Us rather than looking for cheaper opportunities in other countries.
Better said, havea proclivity to try and keep jobs local.
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.

A nationalist (despite allegations otherwise) is a person who is devoted to the interests and culture of his nation, want's to preserve that nation's identity/existence, and supports the advancement of that nation's goals.

In the case of subject people, the drive to create an independent nation.
Source: https://www.wordnik.com/words/nationalism
OK. More positive elements of nationalism I didn’t considered before. I listed a summary of defining features at the end of this post.




Nationalism is merely an extension of the idea of family first. I put my family first. That does not mean that I dislike other families, or try to tear down other families to prop up my own. It means that I look out for my family first, and once it is taken care of, I help others.
....
It starts with America first, then spreads from there. This should apply for any nation. This is also independent of the current government. I was no fan of President Obama, but not agreeing with him did not affect my love for my country. Any American that would not put their fellow Americans or country before those of another country are not good fellow countrymen and are certainly not patriotic.
Great definition!




I think "nationalism" can take many forms.
Whether good or bad depends on the individual and the form
What are the good and the bad forms?


------------------------------------------

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.
Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/patriotism-vs-nationalism"]Merriam Webster
Merriam Webster seems to be dominated by leftwingers. The first part is rather negative. The second part could be seen as positive or negative. I added the statement to the conclusion below.




Nationalist is interchangeable with White Supremacist-Neo Nazi etc...Own it
Nationalism is the arbitrary belief in the supremacy of a nation.
I added the statements to the negative side of nationalism.


Positive Elements (from my perspective)
- extension of the idea of family first
- emphasizing national rather than international goals
- drive to create an independent nation
- belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively
- want's to preserve that nation's identity/existence
- loyalty and devotion to a nation

Negative Elements
- exalting one nation above all others
- false sense of superiority
- the arbitrary belief in the supremacy of a nation
 
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Slavister

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Now, this one caught be off guard...

Merriam Webster seems to be dominated by leftwingers.

Why does everything have to be politicized? Do you have any proof of this? Or is it because you don't like what they say?
 

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Positive Elements (from my perspective)
- extension of the idea of family first
- emphasizing national rather than international goals
- drive to create an independent nation
- belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively
- want's to preserve that nation's identity/existence
- loyalty and devotion to a nation

Negative Elements
- exalting one nation above all others
- false sense of superiority
- the arbitrary belief in the supremacy of a nation

To better understand "nationalism" it helps to compare it with other similar words.

What do YOU think is the difference between patriotism and nationalism?

I already mentioned one source.

Here is another one

Patriotism is fundamental to liberty because pride in one’s nation-state, and a willingness to defend it if necessary, is the basis of national independence. Patriotism is the courage of national self-determination.

By contrast, nationalism is patriotism transformed into a sentiment of superiority and aggression toward other countries. Nationalism is the poisonous idea that one’s country is superior to somebody else’s. Nationalism is intrinsically a cause of war and imperialism.

Here is a third one

The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.

Fourth

Nationalism is not the same as patriotism. While patriotism is a bit more of a vague word to describe the love and devotion to a country, its ideals and values, nationalism is more the promotion of a nation's culture, language, and supremacy above others. In this sense, nationalism is often race or ethnicity-driven, which can have dangerous implications.

Patriotism can be seen in things like the singing of the national anthem at a World Cup soccer game, the decorations on a table for the 4th of July, or the dedication service men and women show through their heroism. It is far less ideologically destructive than nationalism and doesn't necessitate the same devotions.

Here is FOX opinion writer (from BEFORE Trump times) who is using "nationalism" as a "bad" thing

This [Obama] administration doesn’t care about the Anglo-American special relationship, which is why it’s so quick with the insults and so eager to play the card of American nationalism.

Here is another one from Fox about Russian "nationalists".
The [Russian] nationalists see the West as their key enemy, but some are dissatisfied with President Vladimir Putin's handling of the war in Ukraine and believe he has not gone nearly far enough.

Another from FOX:
There are also those in Britain who avoid the tradition, saying the poppy has become too politicized and nationalistic, or even a symbol that glorifies war.
 

poweRob

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A nationalist is an advocate of or believer in nationalism.

Nationalism is loyalty and devotion to a nation.

This is what nationalists would like you to think they are. Nationalists are actually just fake patriots who wrap their emotions in a flag pummel to conflate it with actual patriotism. Then, given enough time and power, they go off and start killing people who aren't like them.
 
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