How to Resist Nationalism

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. - Samuel Johnson. Patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it. - George Bernard Shaw "Drawn crudely in the dust of three window-panes were a swastika, a hammer and sickle, and the Stars and Stripes. I had drawn the three symbols weeks before, at the conclusion of an argument about patriotism with Kraft. I had given a hearty cheer for each symbol, demonstrating to Kraft the meaning of patriotism to, respectively, a Nazi, a Communist, and an American. "Hooray, hooray, hooray," I'd said." Vonnegut.

Steps

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    Be aware of the ideas and achievements of your nation without confusing Patriotism with what is just and correct. Nationalism often plays upon patriotism to convince some to violate their principles.
    • During W.W.II, thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned (had their freedom taken away) in order to protect American freedom. Almost nobody argued against it. Strange thing for "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."
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    Study the historical origins of national borders.
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    “I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.”– Eugene Debs Consider the interests you have in common internationally with others. Compare these with the interests with those in common nationality.
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    Study the military history of your nation critically.
    • "Devotion to the nation is perhaps the deepest and most widespread religion of the present age. Like the ancient religions, it demands its persecutions, its holocausts, its lurid, heroic cruelties; like them, it is noble, primitive, brutal and mad." Bertrand Russell
    • G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "My country, right or wrong, is a thing no true patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober'".
    • No flag is big enough to cover up the killing of innocent people
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    Consider the ways in which the state affect freedoms individually and also collectively.
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    Compare rich nations (their empires and imperialism) to poor nations and reflect on the similarities, causes and solutions. Watch La Grande Illusion (1937), regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.
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    Read about the plight of migrants and migration generally and research the supporters of abolition of all national borders.
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    Compare the free movement of capital between nations to the free movement of labour.
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    If you can, seek out information on stateless societies.

Article Info

Categories: Political Campaigning and Participation | Social Activism