Nationalism and racism

Nationalism, racism, xenophobia, and populism are words often found in the same sentence. Why would anyone be a nationalist, and is Nationalism racist in its core? As I’m writing my first post on The Global Millennial, I thought that this would be a good introduction to me, as a person, as a Dutchman, and as a nationalist.

What is Nationalism?

First, let me explain that nationalism has nothing to do, by definition, with racism. The definition given to us, by Wikipedia, sums it up pretty well:

Nationalism is further oriented towards developing and maintaining a national identity based on shared characteristics such as culture, language, race, religion, political goals or a belief in a common ancestry.”

The shared characteristics is a key point in the nationalist ideology, because shared characteristics cause national unity. When one meets someone with the same political goals, the same language or the same culture, a special kind of bond will be created which causes responsibility. In prehistorical terms, when one meets another person, who happens to think: “I think we should build some houses here,” you could either agree, and stay, or disagree and leave. This causes mutual responsibility, connectivity, and benefit. Nationalism is cooperation towards common goals.

“Nationalism is rowing the boat, in the same direction”

Nationalism and racism

As you can see in the Wikipedia description of Nationalism, some seek to unite a country based on race, which gives Nationalism a racist side. For all the anti-Nationalists out there, this is a point which concerns me as well. It gave me a reason to study this topic.

In my opinion, the key point of Nationalism is national unity. The best thing to undermine national unity, is to create racial differences, or even make one race superior to another race. Nationalism, and so national unity, requires everybody to be “in the boat”, and requires everybody “to row”. This is why I reject nationalism based on the shared characteristic: race. To make it even better, Nationalism is a good way to battle racism, as it strengthens national unity, and gives people a reason to look at other shared characteristics.

Nationalism, and so national unity, requires everybody to be “in the boat”, and requires everybody “to row”

To summarize, Nationalism is all about preservation, improvement and national unity. A nationalist country can achieve more, in less time. It’s perfectly fine to be a nationalist and so don’t use Nationalism in a bad way, or as an insult; as you can see, it doesn’t hurt us.

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