I keep asking a simple question. When has nationalism, of any type, ever been a positive influence? I haven’t yet had an answer, from anyone, of any type.
People talk about “political engagement”. As in – feminism, fight against global poverty, fight for democracy. All good, noble, positive. But “political engagement” combined wtih nationalism and you have what – Isis, the BNP, National Socialism. The point is that the concept of “nation” is dangerously intertwined with that of “race”. Easy to tip from one to another. A cheap way of harnessing base prejudice to a politician’s particular interest. Did I say cheap? Expensive in the end. A bill paid in hatred, division, further prejudice. Ask Jim Murphy.
So I repeat. When has nationalism, of any type, ever been a positive influence?
And living as I do in Scotland – part of a rich peaceful democracy – and nationalism seems to me to be self-indulgent at best – given the quiver-full of real issues that cry out for our political engagement.
Henry Kissinger wrote a telling and thoughtful piece in the Sunday Times Review today – about the dangers that could engulf the world. Look only to Russia and Ukraine, almost anywhere in the Middle-East and much of Africa.
And in Scotland our attention is where exactly? And why?
I would understand some of this if I had an answer to my question. When has nationalism, of any type, ever been a positive influence?