When is the last time you heard someone stand up and point out how dangerous nationalism is, how it's historically led to wars, massacres, and other oppression and brutality. I suspect the public, hearing no criticism or counterpoints, goes along with the nationalists.
Where are the liberal and moderate conservative elite? Asleep at the wheel? Cowed? Complacent?
Intense nationalism does cause conflicts (look at the US and Russia relationship at the moment), often fabricated for pure political gain by controlling/power individuals.
Very few individuals look at the core of an issue, but instead follow the example set forth by people in authority positions and/or the frenzied click-baiting-gotta-get-eyeballs-on-as-many-ads-as-possible media.
For example, a Russian jet is shot down over Syria by Turkey. Almost immediately the spin machine kicks into high gear to paint a picture of a plotting Putin carefully strategizing how to dismantle NATO by means of getting his soldiers killed (which makes little sense)... all because the nationalistic side says "USA good, Russia bad". People died, we should have some compassion.
I disagree strongly with this point: The more nationalistic parties, pushing nationalistic and nativistic (e.g., anti-immigrant) plicies, are always conservative: The Republicans in the U.S., the Tories and the right-wing extremists in the UK, the Republicans and National Front in France, the LDP in Japan, Likud in Israel, etc. Internationalists, international cooperation, and international organizations are the province of the left and of moderates.
In the U.S., a common conservative criticism of liberals is that they are unpatroitic and 'don't love America'.
> Intense nationalism does cause conflicts ... often fabricated for pure political gain by controlling/power individuals. / Very few individuals look at the core of an issue, but instead follow the example set forth by people in authority positions
Agreed. That's what I was referring to when pointing out the lack of response by liberals and moderates in authority positions - why are they silent?
> Anti-immigrant policies, are always conservative.
Even if you assume a one-dimensional political spectrum there's plenty of reasons for why someone might by for or against immigration for any number of reasons.
For simplicity's sake let's use the stereotypical US definitions of conservative and liberal, even then you can find plenty of reasons on both sides to be for and against immigration.
You could be conservative and be for it because you're a business owner and it implies cheap labor, or against it because you're also a xenophobe and just don't like people from other countries.
You could be for it as a liberal because you believe in some pan-nationalistic idea of humanity without borders, or against it because you think the influx of cheap labor will ultimately create a lower class within society which interferes with the project of a socialist state.
You mentioned Scotland as an example among the rise of the rise of right-wing ideals in Europe. I think it's entirely unrealistic to mention that in the same paragraph as nationalism leading to "massacres, and other oppression". If anything bad things might happen because Scotland is being denied national autonomy, just look at what's been happening in Ireland.
Sometimes people just want to do their own thing in their own little piece of the planet. I myself am from Iceland which has a long history of a nationalist movement that has nothing to do with any of that stuff. Sometimes people just want a bit of self-determinism without negatively impacting others. Ascribing that desire to left or right or conservative or liberal is a gross and inaccurate oversimplification.
There are many examples of liberal and conservative nationalist movements. I think it requires some research to demonstrate if one or the other is more inclined to nationalism, or jingoism.
> the political ideology is more nuanced ... I think it requires some research ...
I agree on one hand. On the other, any issue like this is much more complicated than what can be presented in an HN comment, so we all need to simplify things a little.
> You can have either liberals or conservatives subject to such an emotional appeal to the state
In theory, yes. I find this response by you and others to be odd. Nationalism is a tenant of conservativism, I believe, and I think that's widely accepted; I think most conservatives I can think of would embrace it. It almost seems like people are pushing back against anything that reflects badly (in the context of my original post) on conservatives, and/or are trying impose a theory of equivalence on a real situation where it doesn't exist. But I could be wrong, of course; I don't see significant evidence I'm wrong, I see plenty in my favor, but it's not conclusive.
I'd have to find a list of parties and their positions to know for sure, which is beyond the scope of what I'm going to do for this discussion. I'd be interested in seeing it if someone has one. More valuable would be surveys 'nationalist' attitudes, however those are defined, and other political beliefs (a quick online search didn't turn up any).
The correlation doesn't have to be perfect, of course. Some here pointed out the Scottish National Party, a left-wing but nationalist (or separatist) party. Also there is the Christian Democratic Union in Germany; its leader and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is pro-immigration (though I don't know about the rest of the party). Also, we might learn some nuance to tmy simplistic model by understanding what drives those parties.
> The Cultural Revolution, likewise a left of center revolution ... was nationalistic ... and certainly not conservative
It was indeed the opposite of conservative! I'm not sure I agree about nationalism. It was mostly the radicalization of a younger generation to reject and take power from the prior one (with plenty of self-serving political machinations mixed in, of course). I'm not sure how to map 'nationalism' to something like that. Also, much of Chinese communist ideology was service to the proletariat and, I think, to international Communism (and against capitalism), and not to the state.
Nationalism a tenant of conservatism is absurd. My degree is in political science, it's not widely accepted. Nationalistic sentiment within the U.S. Republican party, and conservative libertarians? Perhaps. But that is a narrow sample.
Widely accepted is the actual denotation of nationalism, which doesn't include left vs right tendencies.
Consider emotional attachment, appeals, devotion, strong desire to easily identify nonbelievers, all part of nationalism. Similar to religious belief, but involves deification of the state (or some idealized future version of it, via violence, like the 2nd coming).
Actually, it was a fascist coup pretending to be a "left of center revolution".
Revise your understanding of fascism.
Actually, as the name itself suggests, it is about devotion to the nation not the state. Nationalism never ceased to be promoted, even after ww2, but the attention bias caused much of it to go unnoticed. The so-called "rise" of today's nationalism is in fact more of a rise in public awareness to it from (globally) opposing sides.
Nations are called States commonly. Sometimes even referred to as "Nation-States".
The USA is unique in that we have states within a nation, rather than a single nation state and/or provinces.
I understand where you are coming from, but I have to disagree that nation and state is the same. They are different as concepts (state is organized territory, nation is people), and although usually states and nations reside in roughly the same place, not all of them do! USA have managed to develop itself as a nation to some degree, but there are enough countries out there that didn't! To understand this it's enough to look at the states with separatist movements or in general at ones in which the feeling of appurtenance to the country is very low to say the least. There are people inside the same country very foreign to each other (speaking from group attachment perspective), close to the report between any given two foreign people on the planet. Is India a state? Well, it has states within it, like USA, and its overall organization is like a state too. Is India a nation? Not really! People inside it fought together for independence, and they may have common problems like a nation does (defense, foreign policy, etc), but the ethnic groups in there although living peacefully with each other don't really adhere much to something "national". Not yet at least. It's the same with Iraq, a state inhabited by different ethnic groups which the head statesmen failed to make a nation from. The same for a bunch of African states. Nation is different from the state.
The U.S. usage of 'state' has a different meaning. Maybe when the states were more independent entities (with their own currencies, militias, etc.) around the time of the Revolution, it carried the standard meaning.
Being patriotic has nothing to do with being nationalistic. It's one thing to love your country, support it, etc... but it's another thing entirely to believe your country is so great, all others fail in comparison, everyone's out to get you (because you're so great), your nation must always be "top dog" and set all global policies, etc...
Being ultra-nationalistic could be paralleled with a phobia of sorts.
> lack of response by liberals and moderates in authority positions - why are they silent?
They aren't silent. The US Executive Branch is currently liberal (as is the State Department, and Secretary of Defense... all foreign policy makers), and certainly has aided the growing sense of extreme nationalism with all the anti-non-european-countries rhetoric. The general message often conveyed is, if you aren't part of North America or Europe, then you're out to get us.
This instead of saying "We may have our differences, but we have worked together in the past and achieved great things, and we can work together now to achieve great things."
> The more nationalistic parties, pushing nationalistic and nativistic (e.g., anti-immigrant) plicies, are always conservative: The Republicans in the U.S., the Tories and the right-wing extremists in the UK
This is extreme partyism, and just as wrong as extreme nationalism.
All parties are guilty. As are all ideologies. They just have different ways of showing it.
This is the first time I've heard this charge. Consider which group is constantly demonized for globalization, and which group riots at WTO conferences. Democrats, for the last 100 years, have been protectionists.
On one hand, conservatives in the US have rejected multilateralism. For example, the latter Bush administration openly denigrated and ignored the UN and our European allies. Conservatives criticize even attempting to follow international law or legitimizing US military action through multilateral support, calling it weakness. They say they don't want to be tied down and see the US going it alone. Also, they tend to be more isolationist. Fringe conservatives (a small group) talk about UN black helicopters and world government conspiracies.
On the other, you bring up some good points:
> Consider which group is constantly demonized for globalization, and which group riots at WTO conferences
Just some ideas:
* Perhaps globalisation isn't international cooperation as much as international action - it's seen as the US imposing itself on other nations. The economic equivalent of military action.
* Maybe the WTO is an exception to that, or maybe it's the US creating a legal and bureaucratic tool to further it's power.
* You're mostly talking about the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. They are substantial, but the moderate wing rules and the progressives also criticize Bill Clinton and Obama for globalization.
> Democrats, for the last 100 years, have been protectionists.
This I strongly disagree with. Clinton brought NAFTA to the US, Obama is trying to implement the TPP. That's more than any GOP administration since ... I don't know when. There are protectionist elements in both parties, including unions and progressives among the Dems and businesses in the GOP; I don't think it favors one or the other (but that's just my impression).
> This is the first time I've heard this charge.
I assure you it is nothing new. I will point out that you are talking about economic issues, which is perfectly valid; I was thinking of political issues such as immigration, conflict, etc.
I'm not sure what kind of cooperation has a more positive impact than economic. It brings peace and prosperity.
> Clinton brought NAFTA to the US, Obama is trying to implement the TPP.
NAFTA was Bush Sr. The GOP has a lot of reasons to resist the TPP, but the main beef seems to be the executive branch's attempt at role reversal in the crafting of legislation.
> I will point out that you are talking about economic issues...
All politics are local, and nothing weighs move heavily on the minds of voters than an empty stomach.
NAFTA was negotiated under George H. W. Bush, but passed (by Congress) during (and with the support of and active lobby by) the Clinton administration.
> The GOP has a lot of reasons to resist the TPP, but the main beef seems to be the executive branch's attempt at role reversal in the crafting of legislation.
The GOP (including as recently as this year) has supported what you characterize as this "role reversal", through legislation on fast track negotiating authority and trade promotion authority.
> I'm not sure what kind of cooperation has a more positive impact than economic. It brings peace and prosperity.
I agree that economic cooperation brings peace and prosperity (speaking very generally). My point is that many see globalization not as cooperation but as an economic assault.
There's a long history of it: Back in the 19th century at least, trade "agreements" with weaker countries were often signed under threat of military action. In the early 20th century, the US military protected US corporate investments in the Americas. The U.S. overthrew Iran's government in the 1950s when they threatened to take control of their own oil industry. Many trade deals long have been considered to be one-sided, benefitting only a few narrow interests in the U.S.
I'm not advocating that side, only making the case that they have a strong reason to doubt that globalization is cooperative.
Compassion is a forbidden concept in geopolitics as it is currently practiced, though I wish we'd force room for a little more.
It's better described as separatist.
Nationalism is not part of the political spectrum. You can easily have right and leftist Nationalists.
They're separatists because of the belief of a strong Scottish identity. That is basically the definition of Nationalism.
Thanks; that's a great counter-example. I wonder how the politics works - what draws liberals to support it? Is it the usual xenophobia, or something else?
Incidentally: At the time of the referendum, I watched a debate between leading advocates on both sides. A major priority for both sides was to emphasize how national health care, referred to as a treasured institution, would be preserved if their side won. Apparantly everyone in Scotland loves it.
That's an interesting perspective. I think of that as more libertarian and right-wing. In the U.S., those supporting states rights (over the federal government) are overwhelmingly on the right. The left is stereotyped as wanting a 'nanny state'.
That said, the concept of libertarianism and reduction/elimination of government being right-wing is mostly a (relatively recent) American invention. The long history of Anarchism and individual libertarianism, including in the US with fellows like Benjamin Tucker, was mostly left-wing and anti-capitalist, since Proudhon coined the term.
I believe the Scottish in support of independece are that way because they are sick of being ruled by a succession of governments in Westminster that they feel do not represent them or serve their interests in any way. The Tories have never been successful in Scotland and yet Scotland is currently under the heel of 10 years of seriously right-wing Tory class warfare.
They would be right in my opinion. I'm British (English) and I believe Scotland should have voted Yes. I feel they would be better off without us. At least they would be able to choose.
I don't know if it's right to link all the countries which seem to be heading toward a more nationalistic government together, though. I think each case has its own causes and conditions.
For example, in some parts of Europe, it's the real or perceived threat to national security, and lots of reporting on terrorist attacks, and party leaders knowing how to take advantage of this.
What's the cause in Japan? Could it be that there's fear over what's happening in Europe, or could it be a threat from China, or something else completely?
The question is interesting to me, as I'm a wannabe immigrant. What would life be like if the trend continues? As I said, for my own wellbeing and happiness, I would have hoped we'd be heading toward post-nationalism. It's as if the "us and them" divide in Japan (this is the only country I know of) wasn't strong enough already.
Threat of China, and the sense of angst that comes from 2 decades of economic stagnation, I'd wager...
The majority of the jobs and wealth in Japan is concentrated in its fast aging populace. From what I can tell, it is these interests that are pushing for a return to Japanese ultranationalism, not the people affected the most by Japan's stagnant economy.
If you want real danger, you should want to curb and reverse the mass immigration we're still seeing. History is very clear on this point; if immigration continues unabated, eventually the immigrants will become targets. Hopefully it's just expulsion that they're targeted for, but genocide isn't unheard of in these situations.
Without disputing the definitions, I agree with some aspects of what you say, but I disagree about that there is some inevitable bad ending. Generally, as the U.S. shows, it turns out well.
The U.S. is filled with the descendents of immigrants who think of each other as 'Americans'. Today's nativists are the descendents of immigrants that suffered the same discrimination. A few examples: Ben Franklin (and his peers, AFIAK) openly disparaged German immigrants, Italian and Irish immigrants used to riot against each other ... generations later, does anyone care? I read a study that said by the third generation, 3% of immigrants spoke the language of their former country and 80% married outside their group (I might misremember the stats to a degree).
> The pendulum always swings back toward tribalism because genetics is a powerful force.
I don't think it's tied to genetics. People are tribalistic about all sorts of groups that aren't genetically related to each other, and over time the groupings change. I believe genetic studies show enormous diversity within groups.
Wikipedia would have been helpful: "[Nationalism] can be expressed as a belief or political ideology that involves an individual identifying with or becoming attached to one's nation." "Tribalism is [...] a way of thinking or behaving in which people are more loyal to their tribe than to their friends, their country, or any other social group."
None of these in itself implies that it also has to bear a negative emotional charge of any kind. I think you're confusing nationalism/tribalism with xenophobia.
Could you explain the difference between nationalism and tribalism?
> If you want real danger, you should want to curb and reverse the mass immigration we're still seeing. History is very clear on this point; if immigration continues unabated, eventually the immigrants will become targets. Hopefully it's just expulsion that they're targeted for, but genocide isn't unheard of in these situations.
Are you saying that we should deport the immigrants for their own good?
A tribe could be described as a people of common genetic ancestry. On the occasion they have an ancestral homeland, that's called a Nation. For example, the Germans have Germany, the French have france, etc. If you were to replace the German people with Syrians, for example, the nation of Germany would cease to exist. The Syrians living in Germany have no loyalty to the nation. The loyalty the Germans have for their nation (or their nationalism) is only a function of the fact that Germans live there and they feel that is their home.
> Are you saying that we should deport the immigrants for their own good?
Nothing makes a Tribe feel more fiercely nationalist than a perceived invasion from an outside group. That really triggers the deep seated need we all have to ensure our genes and our race survive. That means expelling the invaders, one way or the other. The Reconquista is a good example of an event that was somewhere in the middle. There were lots of wars, lots of deportations, but not an outright genocide.
I'd agree that they share an ethnicity (depending on how that's defined!) but I think there is no genetic basis, and that studies have shown great genetic diversity within ethnicities.
There is no real rhyme or reason to how humans group themselves. It's not like they carefully review specifications and test solutions before they choose. It's on an emotional level.
I think doesn't always lead to wars might be more accurate. In history you see Germany at war with France more often than Germanic and Francophone tribal groups sparing.
I would say that it is the moderate liberals and moderate conservatives who value freedom most, because (almost by definition) they don't have some ideology that they consider more important than mere freedom.
Indeed, the far left think of freedom (especially freedom of speech) as a false equivalence between liberating and oppressive speech, (we can see this in the "safe spaces" movement), while the far right think of freedom as open season for degenerate, but appealing, ideas.
There's a reason that even members of his own party consider David Cameron to be a) winging it, b) very lucky.
We'd likely have seen the ugly side of the UK state if the vote had gone against them, they were already openly threatening to financially ruin an independent Scotland.
The trick, of course, is convincing the proles. For the most part, people understand tribalism, but not humanism. Perhaps intellectually a small fraction of people will agree that strong moral feelings about their country may lead to brutality, but most will not assent to the idea that any tribe is as vulnerable to committing genocide as any other.
The admission that most people can but won't think for themselves drives my thoughts on this matter. There is a large segment of the population whose media diet consists of middlebrow newspapers, talk radio, and primetime television-- these media will absolutely never divest them of a tribal mindset.
The BNP doesn't have any seats in Parliament.
I assume you might be referring to UKIP?
I'm just a tech geek guy. I write software at work, and I teach sometimes (for CS related topics). I write OSS. I occasionally write a blog, but feel terribly helpless for spreading my view with that. I don't think going to a rally helps the cause that much (because I feel it only pleases the curious media). I'm probably a bit more politically aware than the average people here, but I don't want to devote myself to much political activities.
Probably I should continue to do the small things that I'm currently doing (e.g. occasionally bringing up the topic to friends and advocating more openness of the society, etc.), but what else? Does anyone have any idea?
I don't have any answers myself, I'm learning a lot but here's what I glean:
- Reporters without borders (RWB) is a neutral cause dedicated to investigating freedom of the press in various countries, they explain their methodology on their website.
- RWB has moved Japan down to 61 on the list of nations with the most free press. However, the US is at 49 for comparison, so saying Japan has "Dismantled freedom of the press" because they are 61 seems to be an overstatement
- The piece presents a theory that America is trying to use Japan's military. Time will tell.
- The style comes across as vaguely rambly
If anybody who's not too emotionally involved in the topic has some recommended reading I'd love to hear more.
If it doesn't flex its military muscle (needing the secracy for it) it may find itself in a vulnerable situation against China. Although on the other hand it really doesn't stand a chance against China's nuclear arsenal.
If China used a nuclear warhead would the US riposte in the same manner?
What I don't get is the "Japan to battle in the middle east". Is this a "you scratch my back and I scratch yours"? Or just a cover for not saying "we're preparing for an eventual conflict with China"?
I beg to differ; According to the U.S government, Japan maintains a latent nuclear program. According to their assessment, Japan can go from "Hey, let's build a nuclear weapon stockpile" to actually having that stockpile in as little as a few months. (Source: http://zidbits.com/2012/02/which-country-is-closest-to-build...)
Germany comes in second place and could have nuclear weapons nearly as quick.
> Or just a cover for not saying "we're preparing for an eventual conflict with China"?
Right now, if North Korea launched a missile at California, Japan would have to watch as it sailed over Tokyo. They legally cannot shoot it down in protection of their ally. Japan wants to change that. They want to be able to protect and assist their allies in more than just a minor supporting role. Japan was there in Iraq and Afghanistan, they just weren't in combat roles. They were there providing medical aid and resupplies.
People (incorrectly) think that Japan is trying to become 1935 imperial Japan again. That's not it - they just want to be like everyone else. Right now, they have less freedom (militaristicaly) than everyone else. Significantly less than Germany too.
> Right now, if North Korea launched a missile
> at California, Japan would have to watch as
> it sailed over Tokyo.
If you use the "measure distance" tool on Google Maps you can see that even if North Korea launched an ICBM from the southernmost part of their eastern coast to the southernmost part of California it would only intersect Japanese territory by a few miles, at the point of Rebun Island northwest of Hokkaido, something they could trivially avoid. They'd have a much bigger practical problem with having to fly it over Russia than Japan.
In order for its course to go anywhere near Tokyo they'd have to be aiming said ICBM somewhere midway around Argentina, around a thousand miles south of Buenos Aires or so.
Don't let the Mercator projection interfere with your sense of reality.
Maybe the Overton Window just isn't there yet, though.
The possible cover for not saying "we're preparing for an eventual conflict with China" is even more troubling. It was previously the case that the US would handle Japan's defense and the Self Defense Forces would, of course, provide self-defense. Are they planning for a conflict that is not defensive?
It is indeed a very complicated situation.
To be fair, the U.S has literally been asking Japan to change its constitution since 1968. They've been trying to get them to be actual military allies for 50 years now. Understandably, Japan has been perfectly fine with the status quo. And who can blame them? They had Uncle Sam footing their defense bill -- at least, until recently. Now Japan has to pay the U.S for that protection in a cost sharing agreement. The U.S wanted to close up shop and leave. They also wanted to leave South Korea as well, believe it or not. Both countries now pay the U.S to be there.
Before that, actually. As early as the late 1940s, once it became clear that the Cold War was going to be a thing, the US was leaning on Japan to beef up militarily in the hopes of countering Soviet influence in the area. Savvy politicians in the era were not necessarily pacifist, but they could say "gee, sorry guys, but the Article 9 that you put in our constitution won't let us. Guess you'll have to keep your bases here and help defend us from those darn Soviets yourselves," then throw the money they saved not having to field a military towards economic development instead.
That was 70 years ago - the world has changed a lot in that time.
I mean, if the core issue is natural human flaws, then removing humans from the process altogether, like we do with all our other routine automation, seems to be the inevitable solution.
The problem, of course, is deciding who gets to decide the initial set of rules, and when to patch what...
Basically treat political office as a civic duty, much like jury duty.
Give them a very generous salary and have a maximum term after which they can never be reinstated.
Also ban completely any form of financial lobbying.
Problems are: keeping the random random.
People in general making immature decision, like lowering the taxes.
Here is a graph of Japanese debt to GDP ratio
Here is demographic Changes in Japan's population. It shows a top slope, population starting to fall.
So a retiring Japanese population is going to pay for rising public debt. Sustainable in the long run?
So even if debt is colossal, it has the assets to maintain it for a long time.
But, there are thousands of little things that add up to surprising levels of control.
So, the surprising thing is not that it works, but that nobody thinks of it in terms of free speech. After all, of course news organizations will chase profits so access becomes a useful tool.
PS: Press releases are not just a means of corporations using lazy reporters to spread there message.
Consider, did the Fed have anything to do with the recent housing bubble and burst? Well, bubbles become self sustaining up to a point, but was there anything that caused a huge amount of money to slosh into the housing market?
Now, let's take a step back. Are houses a good investment in the abstract?
I'm assuming you have not studied what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the last American of his level of influence to fundamentally criticize the government.
But there's a difference between government stifling of speech illegally and government stifling of speech legally. At least with the former there are legal avenues that can be pursued to correct the situation.
Yes, you can litigate absurdly expensive court battles (assuming the government allows itself to be sued), have your voice silenced for the years and years your case takes to work its way through the courts, and then, assuming you win, finally get to say what you want a whole decade or more after the fact.
Legal avenues are great like that for people that want to delay, distract, and disrupt.
There's a huge difference between a government being able to send the police in broad daylight to do its bidding and beat you up or jail you for breaking the "subversive speech law" vs having to deal with some bureaucratic agency making you jump through endless hoops trying to get your group's 501c tax status.
That's all before you even think about getting into a courtroom.
> For many years, Washington’s Japan-handlers have pressed Tokyo to introduce repressive legislation to protect secrets concerning the US-Japan security alliance
As mentioned in the article, there already are massive protests around this issue.
What more could they do? Try to take down the government by force? Even if they succeeded, I'm sure the U.S. would be happy to step in to "calm the waters" and impose martial law outright.
The last time they tried that (2009), the different party was literally more of the same. The only thing worth mentioning about the following two elections was their extremely low turnout (the lowest ever in Japan's modern history in the latter).
It is true though that with FPTP, you don't really need a majority to win elections either so it might be a wash.