Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Nationalism is more than its many “njets”

Globalism has a simple vision: more prosperity. This vision worked (very) well for the “happy few” but not for all. Hence, dissatisfaction with globalism caused a fertile ground for nationalism, including its ultimate act: Brexit (2016). Brexit’s utter failure serves globalism well. In my view, nationalism could work.

A recent article in The Conversation states that Brexit lacks a vision. I agree. Dreaming about an “empire that rules the waves” cannot qualify as a vision; it’s rhetoric. Moreover, dissatisfaction, including its many “njets” on Europe and immigrants, will only last for some time. Dissatisfaction never stops (eg, Brexit).

In 1963, Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. That speech qualifies as a vision.

Ultimately, nationalism is about a simple question: what’s in it for me? Also see my 2022 blog. The answers are also simple: health, wealth & self. The word ‘self‘ stands for (more) freedom (of expression). Remarkably, various examples of nationalism fall short of those answers (eg, China, Hungary, Poland, UK).

An explanation for that shortfall might be that citizens focus on their micro interest, and governments on their macro interest. This difference in perspective and/or focus might be too wide to bridge.

Another explanation (for the shortfall) might be that globalism serves a majority of citizens (though not all), while nationalism serves a minority (eg, only one political party).

Yet another explanation (for that shortfall) might be that globalism is about cooperation, while nationalism is about competition (eg, China, Russia, Turkey). Cooperation always wins from competition.

Hence, nationalism needs a (macro) vision that includes a (large) majority of its citizens (micro). These macro and micro interests must be aligned for nationalism to remain successful. Possibly, Israel and Turkey are examples. They both use religious identity and a victim role to unite citizens.

Finally, the arrogance of globalism is often stronger than the ignorance of nationalism (my 2017 blog).

Some quotes:

  • The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance. Albert Einstein
  • The worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. Jim Rohn
  • Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. Sun Tzu
  • Foolishness is more than being stupid, that deadly combination of arrogance and ignorance. Paul David Tripp
  • ARROGANCE and IGNORANCE are the root causes of most of the problems in this world. Saptarshi Mandal

Just Say Yes (2009) by Snow Patrol
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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