Am I nationalist?

I like a lot of things about the American culture. I like the idea of immigration as I feel it introduces new cultures and if we like that aspect we adapt it if not we reject it. I like the idea of free religion, politics, social standing etc and that we for the most part all get along and set those things aside in our daily interactions. I like to be around people who are for the most part reserved and polite but in certain setting can let their hair down.

I have concerns mainly political about the Latin Americans political culture, I feel it is unstable and having too much effect on American politics and changing our culture in a way I don't like.

It’s perfectly natural to be proud of your country, and to want to try and make it better and protect it from bad outside influences. But let me ask you this. . .would you be willing to enact policies to “better” your country (your nation) REGARDLESS of the effects it will have on your neighbors? Even if it has a detrimental effect? The only criteria is if it would be good for your country?

Nationalism, as the term is commonly understood, is more than just being proud of your own country and trying to make it better. It’s doing so with no thought to others. “I got mine, you get yours”

So are you a nationalist?


I give heavy consideration to my neighbors but would put my own country first as I feel every country should do.

We should treat human beings as human beings, not as members of a particular nation or state, whether it is our nation or another nation.

Can you be more specific? What effects are you referring to? How it it changing our culture?

There’s nothing wrong with making bona fide value judgments. It’s obviously true that different human cultures have general properties that one might feel a preference for.

But humans within any culture are highly diverse, so one must be cautious about stereotyping individual people - that’s the very definition of prejudice. Imagine how you’d feel if you visited Europe, and people dismissed you as a loud, uncultured, gun-totin’ ignoramus - because that’s the limited view of “American culture” that they think they know.

In general, I’m highly skeptical that people are expressing genuine “cultural preferences” if they haven’t traveled widely and speak no other languages. We have no way to know what’s really good and bad in our own culture unless we have experienced other ways of doing things. And, in general, I think people who do experience other cultures become far more tolerant and positive about cultural diversity - focusing on combining the best elements of different cultures rather than condemning the worst.

“Nationalism” doesn’t usually involve any genuine value judgment among cultures, it’s just tribalism - primitive in-group vs out-group politics; an attempt to foster unity among the in-group by focusing discontent outward on some scapegoat rather than acknowledging and tackling the real problems.

So you are happy to allow an energy company to get away with seizing the land of poor people in other countries so that we could enjoy cheap gasoline here?

You are happy to allow a brutal dictator get away with severely oppressing and murdering his own citizens so that we could enjoy favorable military and trade concessions here?

You are happy to allow a chocolate company to get away with effectively enslaving the people of another country to enjoy cheap chocolate here?

You are happy to allow a chemical company to get away with poisoning and maiming thousands of people in another country for cheap products here?

Do you consider this to be justified by your nationalist feelings?

There’s also the common thread to Nationalism that The Nation must be defended against all people not of the The Nation, who are generally actively portrayed as a threat to The Nation, without regard for the facts of whether or not they really are a threat.

I’d say a general approval of immigration without unreasonable restrictions pretty much automatically means you’re not a Nationalist.

Would you do that even if your country were doing something objectively horrible, like committing genocide? If not, you’re probably not a Nationalist.

I’d say you sound like a patriot. That is, you generally support your country, while also recognizing that it can get better. You’re also proud enough to want to share the benefits of your country with others who want to move there an join your society.

The only country it seems you’re allowed to be Nationalist about on the internet is Canada, I’m assuming because non-Canadians think they’re being ironic (they’re not)

During the Cold War, the US attempted to establish a whole bunch of Liberal Democracies all across the globe. Pretty much without fail, they all collapsed and became the same sort of rule-by-force kingdoms that they had been before, with little more to distinguish them from what they had been but the terminology applied. We’ve all just pretended that they’re something different and new - dictatorships, oligarchies, etc.

Fundamentally, there’s a difference between understanding something in theory and in practice. You give a group of modern city-folk a one day workshop on subsistence farming, drop them off in the wilderness, and you’ll just end up with a bunch of dead people come the following Spring, if they even make it to Winter.

The US came about as the logical progression of several centuries of development in the social, economic, and political sciences. And even then, a similarly situated country - France - tried to accomplish the same thing and failed spectacularly and didn’t ever succeed properly until after WWII (as I understand it).

You look at Italy and I don’t know that they’ve ever had a President who didn’t end up going to jail for corruption.

Cultural inertia is a factor that most people have a hard time envisioning, but history shows that it’s a mighty factor.

But history has also shown that the US can take in people from places with cultures that are non-modern - that believe in child marriage, slavery, and a husband’s right to sex at any time - and have those people fully Americanized within a few generations and without influencing the greater culture towards their view. Immigrants to America in modern day have been less prone to crime than the natives and more willing to take jobs that the natives won’t.

But at the same time, we see immigrants coming into Europe and raising the crime rate, continuing child marriages and pederasty against the laws - a thing that we don’t see here. And that’s not just right-wing bollocks from European nationalists, though I’m sure that they’re making it seem like a more world-ending matter than it is.

Personally, I think that the differences are that:

  1. The socialist / welfare state that many call for here, and use Europe as an example to show that “it works”, does work with the natives. But it attracts foreigners who are bums. In the US, we have always said that we’ll take anyone, but once you get here you’re on your own. Want a house? Work for it. Since we’re more callous to our immigrants, we attract the people who want the opportunity to be able to work an honest day and accomplish what they can under their own power. Their Syrians harass women in the streets. Our Syrians invent the iPhone. It’s not a matter of “immigrants” being good or bad. It’s a matter that some people, in any group, are good and some are not. They’re not all angels and they’re not all devils. You’re always going to get a mix, but you can do some vetting and advertising to try and skew the ratio.
  2. The rate of immigration has always been limited. We haven’t been swarmed over the way that, for example, France has been. At the end of the day, you need a certain ratio of natives to immigrants in order for peer pressure to work effectively and push the local culture over.

What a load of bigoted, cherry-picked, slanderous garbage.

Bigoted against who? I’m pro-immigration.

The U.S. has some great qualities, I chose to live here; but are you seriously holding up this nation that just elected the most dishonest and incompetent leader of any First World nation in the past 50 years on a platform of ignorant regressive bigotry as a paradigm for modern civilization?

I’ve always been in the “it can happen here, too” camp, so I agree with your qualifier, but you’re reading more virtue into my depiction than is intended or makes sense. I just covered five nations and a few centuries of history in a dozen sentences. It’s a bit much to expect me to to cover every intricacy.

The US is the longest lasting Democratic Republic in modern times, though. So, I mean, for as much as we may still collapse into tyranny, we’re still the record holder for the longest continuous stretch of good behavior.

Ah, yes. You must be referring to the President of Latin America, Jose Sanchez, and his Latin ideology. Yes, very unstable, indeed. I believe they’ve been quoting him on the Senate floor. Very dangerous, indeed. What’s this world coming to, Smithers?

Interesting theory Sage Rat but I think you’ve missed the mark. The problem countries like France are having (IMHO) with their immigrants has more to do with isolating and ghettoizing them than with attracting “bums”.

And back to the op. . .HoneyBadgerDC you have to be careful of assigning the blame for the troubles that some Latin and SA countries are having to their culture. The problems that Mex, Honduras, and Venezuela are having are do to mismanagement and corruption. Something the USA is all to familiar with as well. While countries like Costa Rica, Panama, and Chile (to name a few) who have similar cultures do not have the same problems.

Immigrants don’t usually take their problems with them; they are trying to get away from them.


By putting your country first, are you saying that you would advocate for policies that help your fellow countrymen, but do not affect the plight of those in other countries?

Or do you mean that you would advocate for policies that would improve your country at the expense of other countries?

Meanwhile, somewhere in Latin America, your doppelganger is playing a very sad tune for you on his tiny violin as he surveys the current state of his local politics and changing culture.

Of course, I would take into consideration any negative affects on other countries. If I felt they were using piss poor policies I wouldn’t feel responsible for that.

Then that’s not America first. That’s maybe keeping american interests as a high priority, but putting america first means imposing your desires at the expense of others.

You are not a nationalist, you are just a patriot who loves your country and is willing to work to improve the flaws that you are willing to acknowledge.

That is not a bad thing.