Against Nationalism


Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy writes Against Nationalism in response to some conservatives idea of reviving nationalism in the United States. He writes:

Indeed, I believe that nationalism is second only to communism as the greatest evil of modern politics.

As a conservative, I am definitely not a nationalist. I don’t see anything special about the genetic makeup of the people in the United States nor is our geography something special. Yes, we are unique in that we are what we are, but that is not what makes us American nor is it what we look up to in our nation.

What makes our nation different is we worship ideals, the ideals that each individual is a unique and special creation of God, endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This applies to us within our borders and everyone else in the world as well, no matter who their ancestors were or what country they live in. You may be an Atheist, but I suspect you worship the same ideals I do, even though my ideals are built on a religious belief and yours are simply believed without foundation.

This is what Americanism is all about. It’s why Americans are known world-wide as being rude. We don’t bow to people. We don’t consider ourselves beneath anyone. To some, that looks like we consider ourselves above others, but what we are really doing is trying to show, in word and deed, that they don’t have to bow either.

The logical result of our system of national belief is that we have developed a system of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Our government serves us by protecting our rights, and ceases to serve us when it doesn’t. And we reserve the right to overthrow our government whenever we tire of it. That happens roughly every two years or could happen in some other way outside of the constitution since we, the people have retained certain rights that the constitution cannot limit.

While I don’t believe we should go around the world saying, “America is #1!”, I do believe we should go around the world and say “American ideals are #1!” We should work to actively subvert and destroy governments that exist in conflict to these ideals and are a threat to us, and leave the rest alone. If there is some international movement to subvert our ideals, we should identify it and destroy it with all haste.


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