Thursday, June 26, 2014

Imagine there's no nationalism, it isn't hard to do.....

In several articles lately authors comment on a rise in nationalism in certain countries of the world, on all continents. See THIS from the Guardian, and HERE, just two examples. A recent blog post (24 June) at Infidel 753, titled Cultural Nationalism is an interesting read too.

The UK, land of my birth and of which I'm still a citizen, in duality with the USA, is in the throes of increased feelings of nationalism. A passionate anti-European Union movement now exists; this is disappointing, though in some ways understandable. Rather than leaving or destroying the Union, wouldn't it be preferable to at least attempt to fix it? Scotland wants its independence, England, or factions in it, stomp around waving the flag of St. George rather than the Union Jack, and object loudly to more immigrants entering English shores from parts of Europe, and the Commonwealth. "Backward, backward!" instead of "Onward, onward!" is the cry these days then? We know where that backward march would lead, don't we? Or have we forgotten so soon?


I so wish that people of countries who consider themselves to be enlightened, including the UK and the USA, would desist from encouraging an increasingly nationalistic, jingoistic and insular mindset.

H.G. Wells reminded us, long ago, that "Our true nationality is mankind". John Lennon wrote, and sang, "Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do." And in a piece at Counterpunch the other day,
Beyond the Abyss, Winslow Myers in his essay about chaos in Iraq and Syria, but applicable generally wrote:
".....look up at the stars: Look at who you really are, a descendent of these trillions of galaxies. We are one species.........This felt sense of oneness is the great message that bears in upon us from both our biggest challenges and our biggest opportunities — challenges like ocean acidification, rain forest destruction or nuclear proliferation, opportunities for vast networks of communication and understanding represented by the Internet. Global climate chaos encompasses not just physical weather but spiritual weather as well. .....................Great possibilities are known, but the wrong voices are loudest. Let us listen for the smarter, smaller, softer, kinder ones."


mike said...

Self-interest (aka the selfish gene) is in our genes and is responsible for survival against odds in difficult times, but can express itself as collecting worldly goods to ensure future survival. Nationalism is an expansion of the primary family unit to the local group, then to the greater collective within a state and-or nation based on sameness of geographic or ethnic origin.

We are currently privy to watching nationalism played-out in the World Cup football matches now in Brazil. Your post provides other forms of nationalism: monetary, political, religious, and social. I've never liked the word "exceptionalism" that the USA prides itself, as it's an ambiguous, self-appointed derivative of nationalism...I suspect all countries (or groups) view their achievements as exceptional.

I believe that 99.999% of humans display some form of self-interest that prevents sharing of resources equitably. We tend to identify and decry groups that have more resources than we do, while ignoring those having less that want a cut of our resources. In an ironic twist here in the USA, virtually all of us have it much better than most of the non-industrialized nations, but we don't care enough to concern ourselves beyond an occasional charitable contribution, if even that. We shudder at the thought of living like the lower have-nots of the entire world. Our capitalistic doctrine states that more is hard and enjoy your gains...greed is good. Your recent post about the movie, "Crash" typifies our racial-cultural scene here. The religious conservatives want Christian values for all...America was founded on Christianity (NOT!).

The global crisis with nationalism chaos no doubt has its urge through the Uranus in Aries (fiery individual freedom) square Pluto in Capricorn (transformation of social and economic order)...with occasional T-squares and grand squares formed by planets in Cancer and Libra. There isn't much that can be done at this time, except to let the bonfires burn and consume the's the right time, apparently.

Twilight said...

mike ~ As you've said in para 1 of your comment, nationalism is an extended form of, step-by-step : family, group, state/nation. Humanity now needs to take the very important next step - species!
Will we though? If we don't it's curtains for the human race, that's a certainty.

Thanks for your always valuable observations.

I suppose that we do have to simply stand by as the bonfires burn, and trust that the cycles above us have something better to offer, beyond the next learning curve. Most people alive now are unlikely to be around to see what's on the other side of that curve though. I guess I'm impatient (Aries Moon).

LB said...

Twilight ~ I'm more or less with H.G. Wells on this one.

I'd hope my compassion and sense of justice would extent to anyone, regardless of who they are or where they live or come from. The whole concept of patriotism for its own sake escapes me.

I do get wanting to honor cultural heritage and tradition, just not nationalism the way it's commonly thought of.

Twilight said...

LB ~ It looks as though we might have to experience something like Wells' "War of the Worlds" before we, as a species, get it though!

Tradition and culture are worth conserving - like works of art.
It doesn't take separation from a Union of countries or states to conserve those things. I'm particularly disappointed in Scotland's determination to separate itself from the rest of Britain, which is small enough as it is. Scotland's culture is special, different and well known. In no danger of being forgotten - ever. If the move is purely political then there are far better ways to change things than splitting from a Union.

mike (again) said...

Off topic - Essay is on Astrococktail's page and I thought you might enjoy this from Grant Lewi:

"Astrology’s Unique and Lonely Position in Human Thought"

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Oh yes - I always appreciate Grant Lewi's writings - he was such a good, clear, straightforward writer on his topic. Gemini Sun trine Jupiter in Aquarius working well!
That's a nice piece, making good points. Thanks for the link!

ex-Chomp said...

In Europe nationalism-s Have been a plage and continue to be....

Well, when we will re-turn to see... humanity, mankind...

Who knows

Twilight said...

ex-Chomp ~ Yes, that's true, and it has been the root cause of many wars.
We learn slowly - if at all. :-(

Vanilla Rose said...

As far as I am concerned, the only person who has convinced me that they can imagine a world without religion, possessions or religion has been fiction writer Ursula LeGuin. I reviewed her book "The Dispossessed" a couple of years ago.

Vanilla Rose said...

Excuse typo. I mean countries, possessions or religion.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~ I haven't read that book, but having checked a synopsis at Wiki, and your post on it - it does sound interesting.

I've tried some of of Ursula LeGuin's short stories and one novel recommended long ago by a work friend, but I've found her to be a difficult read on the whole. I'm probably in the minority in this this.

One of her short stories has lodged itself in my mind though: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

I agree that Lennon was looking through his rose colloured glasses when he wrote Imagine, but I guess he hoped listeners would do just that - Imagine - and maybe if enough of us did it and kept on doing it - some facet of our imaginings might "rub off" on our world. :-)