Monday, November 12, 2018

Commentary on "11/11/18: Nationalism vs. Imperialism"


Nationalism is always anti-imperialist.

It’s not so simple. Nationalism can grow into imperialism. We saw this with Athens, a city-state to be sure. At first, it was one city-state among others and got along with others. But as it became richer and stronger, it sought hegemony over other city-states and finally clashed with Sparta, another city-state that developed overweening ambitions.

Initially, German provinces were unified to create a nation. But Germany became the most powerful nation in Europe, and the logic of power is to expand. So, nationalism can serve as a base for imperialism. British Empire and French Empire were cases of nationalism + imperialism. Britons were awful proud of their British National/Racial Core and did everything to preserve it(like in DUNKIRK) from invasion(by foreign armies or hordes). But they were also imperialists who ruled 1/4 of the world.

The American colonies began as part of an imperialist project. But they broke away from the mother country of Imperial Britain. It was born of both imperialism and resistance to imperialism. But as the 13 colonies grew in power, they sought to expand, even waging war on Canada. That didn’t pan out, but the young nation moved Westward to take land from American Indians and then waged war on Mexico to wrest the SW territories. So, the historical theme of US has been both national independence from British Empire AND imperial expansion to become a great power. Once the continent was tamed, US waged war on Spanish Empire to grab more territory and gain foothold for worldwide hegemony. While Anglo-America turned into an empire, Spanish Empire withdrew into humble nationhood.
But the horrors and the heavy cost of WWI led many Americans to focus on the nation. There was a sense that ‘we have enough here’ and 'we just about had enough over there'(meddling in European affairs led to huge headaches). But then, WWII happened… followed by the Cold War. While the US developed some imperial institutions in the early 20th century, the sourness with the aftermath of WWI led most Americans, elites and masses, not to develop them further. But WWII and Cold War led to such elaborate and expensive development of imperial institutions of world hegemony that so many in the Deep State became addicted to them even in the absence of other Evil Empires to combat around the world.

For most of human history, as there were no international treaties bound by law, there was only regionalism, not nationalism. And political territoriality was always shifting and changing in accordance to power. So, the areas of Persian hegemony were expanding, shrinking, expanding, shrinking, etc. Now, tribalism is as old as mankind itself, but nationalism is more than tribalism. Tribalism is about a sense of bond with those whom know and feel closest with. It’s a gut instinct. In contrast, nationalism is about a sense of solidarity with many strangers whom you've never met in life and will never know. And nationalism can be premised on anything: ethnicity, ideology, religion, and etc. But history has shown that ethnicity is the soundest and most resilient foundation of nationhood. It is why capitalist West Germany united with communist East Germany than with capitalist Italy or France. Germanism trumped economic theory. West Germans and East Germans shared common ethnicity. And in the US, black Christians feel closer to black Muslims than to white Christians. And secular Jews feel closer to religious Jews than to secular non-Jews. A secular Jew may work together and be friends with a secular Arab, BUT he will feel a closer brotherly bond with religious Jews in Israel. And the secular Arab will feel closer to Muslim Arabs.

Imperialism today is an insane idea, but it had its place in history as a useful and constructive force. It’s like a forest fire. Very destructive but also clearing the ground for new saplings to grow. If not for European imperialism, nationalism wouldn’t exist around most of the world, which would likely be ruled by local elites who regard their own folks essentially as subjects than as comrades.
In the Middle East and Asia, the ruling elites were like big tall trees. They hogged most of the sunlight and power-nutrients. Little plants beneath them were stunted in growth. It was with the Western imperialist fire that the old institutions of power began to fade away, clearing the way for the rise of new movements and new elites based on the Western nationalist model of the people as fellow countrymen than mere subjects of the elites.
Granted, the Western Imperialists did much to both strengthen and weaken local elites depending on the circumstances. As long as the local elites were willing to collaborate, the Western Imperialists protected and favored them. In such cases, the Western imperial fire was directed at the saplings and little plants while protecting the big old trees(the comprador elites). The West actually backed the Manchu elites in the crushing of the Taiping Rebellion that pushed for something new. Still, because the collaborationist native elites came to be seen as toady puppets of foreign overlords, they increasingly lost prestige and legitimacy(the mandate) in the eyes of the people. No one admires a puppet king.
Anyway, if not for Western Imperialism, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia would now probably be ruled by the old elites who ruthless suppress any possibility of change or progress. So, the rise of national orders around the world owed to Western Imperialism. Not only did local peoples learn of Western nationalism but, in time, developed their own nationalism to resist Western imperialism.

That said, whatever good imperialism may have done in the past, it is no longer necessary since all the world has been discovered and connected by trade and communication. We can acknowledge of the benefits of past imperialism without calling for more imperialism. Whatever crimes the Western Imperialists may have committed, they deserve acknowledgement as the makers of the Modern World. Also, non-whites know of each other only because of Western Imperialism. For 1000s of yrs, Indians and Chinese hardly knew each other as both tended to be insular and static. They now do a lot of trade with each other due to the World Order created by European/American Imperialists. And non-whites in the Old World came to know of the New World only because the world was united by Western exploration, discover, and conquest. So, we have to give imperialism its due. Now, globalism would be fine as long as it's about the world trading and communicating with one another. Sadly however, globalism has come to mean hegemony by the lone superpower that has gone morally degenerate with Homomania, insane Wars for Israel, and needless craziness like ‘new cold war with Russia’. It also means violating of border security by masses of migrants who’ve been given the green-light to trample into whatever nation, esp rich white ones.

Though nationalism vs imperialism is a useful dichotomy, history has also been about imperialism vs imperialism AND nationalism vs nationalism. In the case of imperialism vs imperialism, one empire could be a friend to nationalism at war with another empire. In LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, the hero is an agent of British Imperialism aiding nascent ‘Arab Nationalism’ against the Ottoman Empire. (The irony, of course, is that even as Lawrence berates the Arabs of being a divided Little People, European Christendom in WWI is a bloody stage of divided white folks slaughtering each other by the millions over inches of territory. Not much of pan-European/Christian unity either.) French Empire was the greatest friend to American national independence. Soviet Empire backed Vietnamese nationalism against American imperialism, and American Empire gave moral support to Eastern European nationalisms against Soviet imperialism. Though China and Japan are currently not at war, there are real national tensions between them. There are also tensions between China and Vietnam. This is nationalism vs nationalism. And in this case, the smaller nation(Japan or Vietnam) seeks alliance with a great imperial power(the US) to gain leverage against the bigger national power(China). So, Vietnam now has good relations with US because it fears China. And Poland and Hungary, even though in nationalist mode, are allied with the US empire because they still fear the Russian Bear. There have also been cases where imperialism may have saved a people/nation from extinction. Thais and Vietnamese were carving up Cambodia for themselves, and Cambodia may have been saved as a distinct territorial entity only by the intervention of French Imperialism.

Anyway, that was then, this is now. It is now possible for the world to have Universal Nationalism. Indeed, that was what United Nations was about in its founding. It was the idea that, no matter how weak or small a nation, its sovereignty-borders-and-culture would be respected. It did for nations what the Constitution did for individuals in America. In the US, the law ensures certain basic rights for everyone, no matter how poor or weak. Jeff Bezos has gazillions, but if he murders a homeless person, he has face the Law. Through most of history, powerful people could do pretty much as they pleased toward the weak. And powerful peoples routinely invaded, conquered, and pushed around weaker peoples. Weak people had few protections or rights.
European Empire was the biggest the world had ever seen, and yet, it spread ideas that were ultimately anti-imperial in their logical implications. The reason why European empire had grown so powerful was because there was more respect between elites and peoples. Even prior to rise of democracy and concept of basic rights, Christian Europe had banned whites-enslaving-whites. So, even as European aristocrats did push white folks around, they didn’t enslave them. There was serfdom in Russia, but even there, the nobles didn’t feel proud of it. Russia on its own abolished it in time. In contrast, other peoples still enslaved their own kind in non-white cultures and civilizations. Even in European monarchies, the people had more rights and guarantees than in most of the non-West. So, there was greater unity between rulers and the ruled in Europe, and this mutual-solidarity led to explosive growth in power. And with this power, the great European nations conquered much of the world. But in the acts of conquest, they spread the notion that rulers and ruled could be one united people instead of rulers trampling on their subjects. Then, over time, the non-West began to produce a new kind of elite who appealed to their masses as brothers and comrades, and this proved fatal to Western Imperialism.

Anyway, there was so much hope with the UN project following WWII when so many newly minted nations emerged from the collapse of European Empires. But United Nations is now an anti-nationalist monstrosity. Non-whites once valued the UN as a platform to press for national rights and security from bigger powers. As the non-West was far less developed and poorer than the West, it feared White Power. What if the whites decide to regain hegemony over the non-West again? The Vietnamese, having experienced French Imperialism, couldn’t believe that the US would be any different. It was just the New Boss. During the Cold War, the USSR backed certain nations, and US did the same. In both cases, it was about helping to protect national independence from the other Evil Empire, be it American(from the communist perspective) or Soviet(from the capitalist perspective). Most non-aligned nations feared USSR or US or both. So, their message in the UN was that they had a right to be left alone and not be invaded/colonized again as in the Age of Empire.

But then, the non-West began to change its outlook when, in a spectacular failure of imagination and prophecy, the West began to welcome tons of non-white immigration-invasion. The Third World went from fearing the ‘Return of White Imperialists to Rob Us of Our Nationhood’ to ‘We can move to the West and take all that goody rich stuff from white folks who’ve grown old, decadent, soft, and stupid.’ So, now the UN runs propaganda films about how the West must welcome mass invasion. And as the West is now ruled by cuck-collaborators of the Glob, they play along. And so, the ideal of Universal Nationalism went to hell.

It’s been said that the slave trade ruined the African Kingdoms. The profits were so huge that the dropped everything and ran after Black Gold to sell to whitey. And Mass Immigration has had the same effect on much of the Third World. Too many people just gave up on nationalism, independence, pride, dignity, and hard work to make things better in their own homelands. Instead, they are glued to the TV or smart-phone beaming fantasies of the US as paradise of Cool & Wealth or Europe as the Welfare State that doles out freebies to all comers. Mutter Merkel.
Though US and Cuba have been enemies, Cuba at least tried to develop their own national power and economy. Puerto Rico just placed all the bets on ‘Go to America and take from whitey’. Of course, there is shame in being a leech, so Puerto Ricans like Luis Guiterrez try to mask their shame with highfalutin talk of ‘justice’ and ‘compassion’. Anyway, all the Third World has gone from the Cuban Ideal to the Rican Ideal. From virtuous nationalism resisting the empire to venal globalism to leech off empire and serve its aims.

While it’s true that many immigrants in the West have done well for themselves, the globo-migration mindset has corrupted the souls of so many peoples in non-white nations. Instead of doing real stuff to make their nations better, they just watch TV and dream of making it to the West. They’ve become refugees from National Pride toward Global Dependence. It turned non-whites into Caravandals.

No comments:

Post a Comment