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Notes on Nationalism
http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/nationalism.html ^ | May, 1945 | George Orwell

Posted on 10/29/2001 6:27:39 PM PST by A.J.Armitage

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1 posted on 10/29/2001 6:27:39 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: *Paleo_list; *libertarians; *History_list; OWK; Anthem; Publius; diotima; Aristophanes...
.
2 posted on 10/29/2001 6:33:07 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Will anyone actually read all this? Come on, now. Really?
3 posted on 10/29/2001 6:36:15 PM PST by gcruse
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: A.J.Armitage
He defines nationalism and patriotism well, but then he throws in that nasty little word, 'jingoism'. What the *^%^@%!#(&^)(&(_&*&%@%!!! blazes is that word??? People throw that around like its worse than Nazism, a seeming reaction to someone who boasts of the accomplishments and virtues of their country, a reaction that is one of revulsion and dismay and shock.

I hate that word!! Its thrown into every conversation of patriotism for the last 30 years...and its usually mouthed by someone of European/UK origin.

5 posted on 10/29/2001 6:41:46 PM PST by Alkhin
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To: gcruse
I hope so. It's worth reading. There are people who read my classical threads, so I don't see why not.

I guess you could say the more serious posters will go to the trouble of reading long, but important, articles. Others might not.

6 posted on 10/29/2001 6:46:11 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: Alkhin
I think "old-fashioned British jingoism" expresses the meaning he had in mind pretty well. It's no more perjorative than the other forms he discusses.
7 posted on 10/29/2001 6:50:52 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Bump
8 posted on 10/29/2001 7:03:08 PM PST by AndrewSshi
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To: AndrewSshi
And a bump back to you.
9 posted on 10/29/2001 7:03:57 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Okay, but the definition of jingoism is someone who professes their patriotism loudly and excessively...and I think it is that concept that bothers me, because this definition smacks of thought policing...I mean, someone could be simply saying they love being British, and while anyone else would take that as a natural view of someone born and raised in the UK, another whose sensitivities are slighted by this mere expression would call it excessively braggadocious.

all too often I have run across non-Americans who not only bristle, but bloviate over the fact that I expressed pride in the country of my birth and gave specific reasons why...and I think jingoism is a slam towards those who have the audacity to express that pride. As someone who is proud of her own country, I would not find fault in say, someone from Madagascar expressing great love for that African island. Why would I consider it an insult to hear him brag of it?

The only time *I* would get offended is if they started putting down America without ever having experienced the country. How could I put down Madagascar without having ever been there???

On the same note, I have heard one or two British slam America...that's to be expected considering our historical relationship. But since I am well educated in both my own history and that of Great Britain, the insults and slams do not affect me...because I happen to have such a high opinion of America...and I believe I have the better deal.

I really hate the word 'jingoism.' Nothing more than New Speak for the 1984 era.

10 posted on 10/29/2001 7:06:09 PM PST by Alkhin
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To: A.J.Armitage
Some day I may actually read this. I don't know what to make of Orwell. He was right about Communism, but as Communism has receded his relevancy has waned. Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" seems to have been a better guide to the future than Orwell's 1984. Orwell offends both right and left -- and often goes out of his way to offend one or the other or both. The question is whether that is a strength or a weakness. Once it seemed an unquestionable strength, and perhaps it will again some day. During the post-Cold War period it looked more like posturing and an annoyance than anything else.

Orwell's distinction between patriotism and nationalism is valid. The nationalist often doesn't have much love for his actual country. But this was a distinction that Orwell had to work out for himself. For many of those who came afterwards this distinction has been just be a way of making an easy condemnation of those one disagrees with -- more armament for political argument than something to really reflect upon.

I enclose more "Notes on Nationalism" that someone posted on the Internet.

THE SEVEN RULES OF NATIONALISM.

1. If an area was ours for 500 years and yours for 50 years, it should belong to us -- you are merely occupiers.

2. If an area was yours for 500 years and ours for 50 years, it should belong to us -- borders must not be changed.

3. If an area belonged to us 500 years ago but never since then, it should belong to us -- it is the Cradle of our Nation.

4. If a majority of our people live there, it must belong to us -- they must enjoy the right of self-determination.

5. If a minority of our people live there, it must belong to us -- they must be protected against your oppression.

6. All the above rules apply to us but not to you.

7. Our dream of greatness is Historical Necessity, yours is Fascism.

11 posted on 10/29/2001 7:06:31 PM PST by x
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To: gcruse
Will anyone actually read all this? Come on, now. Really?

I did. Excellent article. Amazing how the pro and anti Israeli, pro-Southern (there are few true pro-Northerners), and pro and anti Catholic groups here on FR (among others) illustrate his points perfectly. All rationality disappear when "their side" is viewed as under attack.

I have seen numerous people, who one presumes are normally decent human beings, call for the slaughter of more than a billion humans for having the nerve to be of the same faith as that claimed by the killers of 9/11.

12 posted on 10/29/2001 7:14:25 PM PST by Restorer
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To: A.J.Armitage
"The interesting thing is that had the romantic rubbish which he habitually wrote about France and the French army . . ."

I just skimmed this briefly, but will print, read, and comment tomorrow (time and mid-terms permitting). I found the above passage curious. Is he confusing Chesterton with Belloc? I know the latter actually served a hitch in the French army -- artillery, if I am not mistaken.

13 posted on 10/29/2001 7:18:07 PM PST by Goetz_von_Berlichingen
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: x
I like your Rules of Nationalism. Amazing how well they apply to most of the territorial problems in the world, notably to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
15 posted on 10/29/2001 7:18:22 PM PST by Restorer
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To: Agrarian
Yes, ma'am.
17 posted on 10/29/2001 7:22:37 PM PST by gcruse
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To: Alkhin
You make some good points, but I think Orwell had a slightly different meaning in mind. After all, the British still had the empire, so the contents of boasts about Britain at that time and earlier would often have had a distinctly(and unpleasantly) militaristic bent. Think Victorian neocons. I think the perjorative use of "jingoism" for all patriotism is meant to blur the distinction between regular love of country and less worthy emotions.
20 posted on 10/29/2001 7:40:41 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: x
I don't know what to make of Orwell. He was right about Communism, but as Communism has receded his relevancy has waned.

I've been reading more of his stuff lately. Maybe he'll come back into fashion.

Orwell's distinction between patriotism and nationalism is valid. The nationalist often doesn't have much love for his actual country. But this was a distinction that Orwell had to work out for himself. For many of those who came afterwards this distinction has been just be a way of making an easy condemnation of those one disagrees with -- more armament for political argument than something to really reflect upon.

That happens to a lot of interesting thought.

22 posted on 10/29/2001 7:47:03 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Alkhin
The context of the coining of jingoism was British foreign policy of the late 1870s: the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, favored sending in gunboats to halt the advance of the Russian fleet out of their own waters into the Mediterranean; this gave rise to a music-hall song, written in 1878 by G.W. Hunt, the refrain of which went: "We don't want to fight, yet by Jingo! if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, and got the money too"; opponents of the policy picked up on the word jingo and used it as an icon of blind patriotism
24 posted on 10/29/2001 7:49:12 PM PST by Eagle74
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To: Restorer
I like your Rules of Nationalism. Amazing how well they apply to most of the territorial problems in the world, notably to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I think the first two were written with that conflict in mind.

25 posted on 10/29/2001 7:50:54 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Orwell was writing at a time when strong and violent nationalist passions were still alive. Today, we'd probably talk more about "ideology" than about "nationalism," but some of the basic thought patterns Orwell found are alive today as restorer remarks, and they show up on some of the debates we've seen right here.

As an example of Orwell's annoying quality -- how much does Chesterton really have in common with Communism? Maybe our reaction is influenced by the fact that we don't take Chesterton wholly at his word (and maybe Orwell does mean Belloc, rather than Chesterton), but still it does look like an outrageous comparison from where we sit today.

Also, Orwell's distinction between patriotism and nationalism captures something real, but also distorts or at least shapes reality to suit Orwell. By definition, in his view, the nationalist seeks power and wishes to impose his way on others. By definition, if you are not obsessive, unstable, and indifferent to reality you are not a nationalist. But this imposition of one's own categories can do violence to reality. What to make of Madison, Hamilton, Marshall, or Monroe, who were all nationalists to varying degrees and in ways, but who didn't have all these characteristics? One could say they were patriots, but that doesn't quite get at one side of their active life, which "nationalist" does. Perhaps what Orwell is talking about is frustrated nationalism, which feels its wounds intensely, rather than a healthier form, which doesn't focus on wounds and victimization and doesn't have to prove itself.

26 posted on 10/29/2001 7:56:34 PM PST by x
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To: Agrarian
The perfect illustration of jingoism was Jonah Goldburg's idea that we should conquer Africa. It can't really be called patriotic because it would do the United States no good whatsoever. That fact, if I recall correctly, was actually a selling point. It was supposed to be more moral or something if we didn't have a selfish interest. Ayn Rand might have something to say about that, but in any event we'd be screwed now if we'd taken his advice to ship large portions of the military off to Africa.
27 posted on 10/29/2001 8:02:54 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: Agrarian
Thanks.
28 posted on 10/29/2001 8:05:19 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: A.J.Armitage
The perfect illustration of jingoism was Jonah Goldburg's idea that we should conquer Africa. It can't really be called patriotic because it would do the United States no good whatsoever.

I don't think there was anything jingoistic about this proposal at all. It was to be undertaken not in a mood of nationalistic exaltation, to show the world what a wonderful country the US is, but rather as a dirty job that needed doing to prevent avoidable human suffering.

I don't agree with Jonah about the advisability of such action. Frankly, I suspect he proposed it primarily to stimulate wholesome debate about what could be done about the deterioration of Africa, which is an undeniable fact. It was quite successful in this regard. (Not that anybody has noticed Africa since September.)

I believe that one long-term result of the present war will be some form of (disguised) recolonisation of much of the third world.

30 posted on 10/29/2001 8:13:14 PM PST by Restorer
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To: x
Also, Orwell's distinction between patriotism and nationalism captures something real, but also distorts or at least shapes reality to suit Orwell. By definition, in his view, the nationalist seeks power and wishes to impose his way on others. By definition, if you are not obsessive, unstable, and indifferent to reality you are not a nationalist. But this imposition of one's own categories can do violence to reality. What to make of Madison, Hamilton, Marshall, or Monroe, who were all nationalists to varying degrees and in ways, but who didn't have all these characteristics? One could say they were patriots, but that doesn't quite get at one side of their active life, which "nationalist" does. Perhaps what Orwell is talking about is frustrated nationalism, which feels its wounds intensely, rather than a healthier form, which doesn't focus on wounds and victimization and doesn't have to prove itself.

I think he takes that criticism into account somewhat when he said that nationalism doesn't exist in a pure form, but in degrees(although sometimes in very large degrees) and often intermitantly. If I can answer you on the Founding Fathers the way Orwell might have, it operated on them only at times, and in relatively small amounts, as a tendency within their overall patriotism. The effect was to push them against compromise at key moments.

31 posted on 10/29/2001 8:22:26 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Looks like a very good read, book marking for later.
32 posted on 10/29/2001 8:25:57 PM PST by WolfsView
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: A.J.Armitage; gcruse; x
Thanks for the Orwell moment!

Come, come, gcruse; this is hardly a tome.

And x, smack yourself! Orwell is not less relevant since the collapse of the Soviets. His insights perfectly describe the political situation of all modern 'war-states', including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and the rest. ;^)

34 posted on 10/29/2001 8:33:16 PM PST by headsonpikes
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To: A.J.Armitage
As always thanks A.J. I posted an excerpt from this piece referring to pacifism recently. I'm glad to see the whole thing posted here.
35 posted on 10/29/2001 8:40:13 PM PST by nunya bidness
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BTW, what does longeur mean?
36 posted on 10/29/2001 8:43:49 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
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To: A.J.Armitage
Great when I first read it, and great today. Thanks.
37 posted on 10/29/2001 8:45:47 PM PST by Mortimer Snavely
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To: A.J.Armitage
^^^^-
38 posted on 10/29/2001 9:38:52 PM PST by prognostigaator
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To: A.J.Armitage
Thanks for the bump! Looks like some things haven't changed:

Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defense of western countries.

For a contemporary variation on the same theme, see:

Anti-American Anthems: Singing Songs of Solidarity -- for the Enemy

39 posted on 10/29/2001 9:43:01 PM PST by mrustow
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To: A.J.Armitage
It is difficult if not impossible for any nationalist to conceal his allegiance.

Is this supposed to be a bad point? Open allegiances are necessary for an open society.

Chesterton's battle poems, such as "Lepanto" or "The Ballad of Saint Barbara", make "The Charge of the Light Brigade" read like a pacifist tract: they are perhaps the most tawdry bits of bombast to be found in our language.

Readers, judge for yourself: Lepanto makes an appearance on this thread

Thus, his almost mystical belief in the virtues of democracy did not prevent him from admiring Mussolini. Mussolini had destroyed the representative government and the freedom of the press for which Chesterton had struggled so hard at home, but Mussolini was an Italian and had made Italy strong, and that settled the matter. Nor did Chesterton ever find a word to say about imperialsm and the conquest of coloured races when they were practised by Italians or Frenchmen. His hold on reality, his literary taste, and even to some extent his moral sense, were dislocated as soon as his nationalistic loyalties were involved.

This is simply false.

When I went to Italy I had one dark suspicion in my mind, which prejudiced me against Mussolini and his government. It was not the statement that he was reactionary or militaristic, for I knew that such terms may mean anything and generally mean nothing. It was not the fact that journalism is not free in Italy; for, being a journalist myself, I am of course aware that it is not free in England. Naturally it was not, in my case, the fact that Mussolini has declined to act in the accepted and normal capacity of a Free Thinker; which is persecuting all those who think that Catholicism is true...

Before attempting, even in the vaguest way, a description of fascism which may be mistaken for a defence of fascism, I think it well to state that I doubt whether in the actual original Italian conflict I should have been for the Fascists. The party I should naturally have chosen is that called the Popular Party, which was specially the party of the Catholic Democrats. I have heard criticisms of it from reasonable critics; and I am exceedingly proud of the fact that the Catholic Democrats are chiefly criticized for having been too democratic...

When people try to thrust mere internationalism down the throat of Catholic nations, there is always a violent national reaction; so there was when English Socialists tried to do it during the Dublin Strike, so there will always be when cosmopolitan diplomacy tries to disarm the eternal vigilance of Poland. For Catholics know in their bones that men are citizens of a city, and not merely of a cosmos; and that the hearth is sacred as well as the altar. Anyhow, that is the only doubt I should myself have had about the original Catholic Popular Party; I should have had many more doubts about the Fascists; and I have a good many doubts still...

I know too little about the facts to bear witness to them. I know too much about the modern newspapers to accept them as complete witnesses. It seems fairly certain that the [fascist] revolution, like most revolutions, was stained by many infamous crimes and indefensible acts of violence; though they were not all on one side. But as I have passed much of my life in trying to persuade my fellow-countrymen that their fortunate immunity from revolution is rather an accident for which to be thankful than a virtue of which to boast, I am bound to say the same of the Fascist Revolution as I have always said of the French Revolution or the Irish Revolution. I can hardly in honesty play the Pharisee over Mussolini when I refused to do it over Michael Collins; and it is just as easy, and in one sense quite as just to call Michael Collins a murderer as to call Mussolini a murderer. The fact is that they both did a number of things that nobody would think of defending except on the ultimate theory of national self-defence; that is, the theory that society was in dissolution and the fatherland at the point of death. That the readers of the Morning Post would denounce the Fenians and excuse the Fascists, while the readers of the Daily News would denounce the fascists and excuse the Fenians, does not concern me. But since I have so often protested against this English self-righteousness about foreign violence, since I have so often suggested that Danton was not a gory baboon because he made the Terror or used the guillotine, that Irish rebels were not dirty assassins because they conducted a guerilla war, in the only way in which it can be conducted, against a much more powerful army--I do not propose to treat the Fascists as fiends, merely because their rebellion was as nasty as rebellions always are.
All that concerns my argument is that there certainly is a New Italy as there certainly is a New Ireland. I do not approve of all the things that were done for the resurrection of Ireland; and I think it exceedingly improbable should I approve of all the things that were done for the resurrection of Italy. But I have no personal information about the details of those things; the development of my own thesis did not bring me in contact with them; and as I cannot give a personal verdict of my own, I will not repeat all the partisan verdicts of other people.

...In short I resent British superiority to foreign fury; because it always assumes that the British have gained placidly all that the foreigners would gain furiously. In truth, it is not that English conditions are not so infuriating, but only that English people are not so infuriated. There is a great deal of good in their attitude; but there is good also in the other. And nobody can begin to understand Fascism, who does not know that it was not so much a revolt against the Communism prevailing in Russia as against the Cosntitutionalism prevailing in England.

Orwell apparently dislikes Chesterton because he tried to see some good in every system, rather than systematically chucking the actions of whole peoples. Moreover, Chesterton was a localist, who thought that one should no more force democracy upon a people than force coercive education upon them. I get the feeling from Blair that this should not always be so.

Obviously there are considerable resemblances between political Catholicism, as exemplified by Chesterton, and Communism.

Ironically, Chesterton addressed this very point:

I remember especially the views of an Italian friend of mine, who is a moderate and critical supporter of Fascism, and who certainly would not dislike the Popular Party[Catholic Democrats] merely for being popular; or for sympathizing with the populace. He used the strong expression that the Popular Party was merely Bolshevism dressed in white instead of red; that is, Communism masquerading as Catholicism. It may be very perverse of me; bu tI heard this also with a deep feeling of pride; of pride in the party that I never had the chance to belong to. If the charge was false, it was only another of the endless contradictory charges with which Catholics are pelted whatever they may do; called slaves if they are loyal to a king, or rioters if they are compassionate to a multitude. If the charge was true, it was at least enough to refute and flatten out a good many other charges. When we next hear the Roman Catholic religion called the opium of the people, or charged with keeping the poorer classes in subjection by the hypnotism of superstition, we shall not forget that in the terrible hour of trial and division priests were blamed for going only too far in their denunciation of capitalism; and were blamable, if they were blamable, for yielding only too much to their indignation at the oppression of the poor. If this was indeed the excess by which the Popular Party failed, it was assuredly a most glorious and Christian failure; the sort of Christian failure which can generally in the long run be counted as a Christian triumph. For the time, it has failed; and many without sympathy with it seem resigned, on arguable grounds, to its failure. But let it always be remembered that it was not put down by ecclesiastical authority, as so many would eagerly anticipate; it was put down by secular, scientific, highly modern and rational authority; not by the Church but specially and specifically by the State.

Most of the people surrounding him are sceptical and disaffected, and he may adopt the same attitude from imitativeness or sheer cowardice: in that case he will have abandoned the form of nationalism that lies nearest to hand without getting any closer to a genuinely internationalist outlook. He still feels the need for a Fatherland, and it is natural to look for one somewhere abroad. Having found it, he can wallow unrestrainedly in exactly those emotions from which he believes that he has emancipated himself.

Here is my problem: why precisely is Orwell speaking of internationalism as though it were the "good view"? He defines patriotism as "devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people." So our local devotions are in no way to be infused into local law, lest we "force" our views on others? This is simply repeating that "cosmopolitain diplomacy" of English Labour gentlemen and American Liberals, and it is that internationalist democracy which motivates, for instance, our bombings in Yugoslavia or our forays in Somalia, or the UN's lobbying for "liberal" abortion laws. Not exactly "defensive," is it? Despite his disavowal of ComIntern, I fear Orwell would allow a castrated sort of localism only within the context of a worldwide government, thus destroying any possibility of Federalist republicanism. Has he written any "Notes on Internationalism"?

[quotes are from GKC's "The Resurrection of Rome" in his Collected Works vol. XXI]

40 posted on 10/30/2001 12:30:20 AM PST by Dumb_Ox
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To: Restorer
Amazing how the pro and anti Israeli, pro-Southern (there are few true pro-Northerners), and pro and anti Catholic groups here on FR (among others) illustrate his points perfectly. All rationality disappear when "their side" is viewed as under attack.

Though rationality certainly disappears among some people when their tribe is under attack, I fear this is being used as an excuse for shirking any form of loyalty whatsoever. Orwell's definition of patriotism is too brief, and seems to me a toothless one; it can't accept anything more than the most transient loyalty. A man without such loyalties is quite fit for a journalistic trade, but I fear such a man is not rooted enough to be of great use. He is like a homeless fellow who, after dispensing some wisdom here and there, will not accept an invitation to shelter for fear he'll be compromised, and so his few insights are left in abject vagrancy.

41 posted on 10/30/2001 12:47:45 AM PST by Dumb_Ox
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To: A.J.Armitage
Excellent article. Thanks for the bump.
42 posted on 10/30/2001 2:31:34 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: A.J.Armitage; Restorer
Thanks for the heads up, A.J.! I made it half way through this morning. Will print it out and read the rest sometime today.

I was thinking much the same as Restorer--but with the extension that Democrats and even Republicans have a core of this nationalism. Or am I stating the obvious here?

Are all political parties basically nationalistic at the heart?
I may sound stupid, but a good way to learn is to ask.

43 posted on 10/30/2001 4:38:35 AM PST by SusanUSA
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To: Dumb_Ox
You make good points. I guess the answer, as in so many aspects of life, is balance. At the point an attack (a genuine attack, not just criticism) of your team is underway, I can certainly understand a reluctance to be even-handed.

But those who cannot ever admit the shortcomings of their own side are doomed to have their opinion become irrelevant to any thinking person.

I had an extended discussion a couple of weeks ago on FR with a Catholic who was essentially unable to admit that anything evil had ever been done in the name of Catholicism by ardent Catholics. I finally asked him/her why the Pope seemed to have no such difficulty and received no reply.

There is only one Man, I believe, who has been without fault. The rest of us shouldn't get overly defensive when accused of wrongdoing.

We should, however, focus on the net record of an organization or individual. Another friend of mine is a Socialist (really!) and he assigns blame to America for essentially every negative trend in recent world history. America ain't perfect, but it has probably a better record of doing good than any other powerful government has ever had. (It isn't difficult for Switzerland to avoid conflict with others.)

44 posted on 10/30/2001 5:43:43 AM PST by Restorer
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To: A.J.Armitage
bump for later reading
45 posted on 10/30/2001 5:46:16 AM PST by Equality 7-2521
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To: susangirl
I think all political parties are esentially nationalistic in Orwell's use of the word. Some are obviiously far more so than others. Those who are utterly even-handed and are able to see all sides of an issue seldom get much done. They are excellent at criticism, but probably not very effective.

A subset of "paralysis by analysis."

The True Believers and the Over Analyzers are both needed by a free society.

46 posted on 10/30/2001 5:52:00 AM PST by Restorer
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To: A.J.Armitage
Jonah Goldburg's idea that we should conquer Africa.

Ha. I was just about to comment that the sorry state of the British intelligentsia in late 40's, described by Orwell, is directly responsible for their willful and outright criminal abandonment of the British Empire. We may end up recolonizing the Third World just to pick up the mess that Orwell's masochistic nationalists had left.

Ayn Rand might have something to say about that

An invasion of a nation that has no representative government is just: Defense of Liberty: Just Intervention

47 posted on 10/30/2001 6:27:12 AM PST by annalex
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To: A.J.Armitage
An interesting find. Thank you so much for posting it.

I like the civil self mockery in the first sentence--for surely the English word for longeuris analysis?

I was rather rivetted by the length of time he spent analysing (not always accurately) Chesterton's "nationalism" given the breadth of the subject he was covering. Something was stalking Orwell there, I think; something that he was trying to beat back with a garlic-dipped pen.

There's an overall quaintness about the article. A not-nice quaintness. In his fiction Orwell always escapes time and place--but not here. The dreary fact is that his intellectual and emotional ilk have run the show in England and America for the past 60 years--and what has it come to? What, perhaps, was it inevitable that it would come to?--

Domestically: A permament "inquisition" against naughty forms of nationalism from kindergarten through the glass ceiling. And in foreign affairs--that grotesque parody of the reason and probity prescibed by Orwell known as "humanitarian bombing" and "non-violent" economic sanctions.

Thank you again for an untimely, timely article.

48 posted on 10/30/2001 6:50:25 AM PST by LaBelleDameSansMerci
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To: A.J.Armitage
Fascinating post and insightful discussion.
Thanks for posting.
49 posted on 10/30/2001 8:03:39 AM PST by Marianne
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To: Dumb_Ox
Is this supposed to be a bad point? Open allegiances are necessary for an open society.

But does allegence only mean being nationalist?

Readers, judge for yourself: Lepanto makes an appearance on this thread

From what I read of it, Orwell looks like he was right.

On Chesterton: I think perhaps Orwell got close to home with that one for some people here. By comparing political Catholicism with Communism, he wasn't talking about how the two would actually rule, but the effects on the thought of British intellectuals at the time of his writing and earlier. It was on that point only, the nationalist loyalty transposed to a "unit" outside of England, and the use of thought as just a means to score points for that unit.

Here is my problem: why precisely is Orwell speaking of internationalism as though it were the "good view"? He defines patriotism as "devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people." So our local devotions are in no way to be infused into local law, lest we "force" our views on others? This is simply repeating that "cosmopolitain diplomacy" of English Labour gentlemen and American Liberals, and it is that internationalist democracy which motivates, for instance, our bombings in Yugoslavia or our forays in Somalia, or the UN's lobbying for "liberal" abortion laws. Not exactly "defensive," is it? Despite his disavowal of ComIntern, I fear Orwell would allow a castrated sort of localism only within the context of a worldwide government, thus destroying any possibility of Federalist republicanism. Has he written any "Notes on Internationalism"?

He's not, really, just noting that they don't have that view, if indeed such a view is possible. He talks about the "need for a Fatherland", so maybe he doesn't think it is possible. In spite of your jump to the conclusion that rejecting group membership as the big, or only, issue means world government, the more fanatical supporters of globalism fit into his analysis nicely. They also illustrate that the object of loyalty doesn't have to exist in the real world.

50 posted on 10/30/2001 8:56:06 AM PST by A.J.Armitage
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