Why is nationalism (putting your group first) good in itself? -

Samson Pumpkin Jr.

kiwifarms.net
Note: nationalism is very tricky to define. I define it as having ethnic/racial consciousness, much like class consciousness. It's often defined as putting the interests of your group first. For expediency I will use the more common latter definition.

A common argument against nationalism is that, by putting your group's interests first, you are harming other groups and that's bad because it makes people more unhappy and more poor. Of course, this argument only works if you believe the world is a zero-sum game, which it isn't. If the interest of your group is to make more people become doctors and engineers you aren't taking away from other groups and at the same time you are benefitting your group. Or, at least that's my idea, correct me if I'm wrong.

HOWEVER, we want everyone to become more happy and more wealthy. If intergroup cooperation like the European Union benefits everyone then nationalism is bad because if, for example, the Germans said "screw the rest of Europe, we're going oldschool" then everybody suffers. The argument one may use against that is "Europeans want to cooperate and build a better future for their countries, if the Europeans weren't exclusionary to Muslims, who want to kill every non-Muslim, then Europe would cease to exist as a civilization." But that argument only works so long as there is an outside group that wants to kill you and therefore you have to exclude. We can imagine a hypothetical where there is a world where everybody wants to cooperate. What's the point of nationalism in that world? If the Muslims are suddenly like "ok, we don't want to kill you anymore, our two cultures can peacefully exist in a new Afro-Eurasian union," why not cooperate with the Muslims if cooperation does benefit everyone.

The problem with the aforementioned argument is that it accepts the premise of nationalism being a zero-sum game. The only logical argument for nationalism is therefore we can increase the quality of the individuals in our group without hurting everyone else. But you also have to say "inter-group cooperation is bad." So, essentially, you have just become a protectionist. There are lots and LOTS of arguments between protectionists and free trade people, I don't want to talk about that.

I don't feel comfortable with the only argument in favour of nationalism being an economic one. Enlighten me on this issue, tell me why I'm a moron and these are 100 non economic reasons why nationalism is good, or even make arguments against nationalism.
 

Autopsy

kiwifarms.net
This world is absolutely a zero-sum game, and we're all competing for slices of the same pie. Of course there are going to be winners and losers. What the fuck are you talking about?

(inb4 communist globohomo double-down)
The pie can grow, as it did in the past. If we had never began world trade or developed new agricultural techniques, our current world population would be literally impossible, we'd have starved to death at around 3 billion souls.
I'm not arguing that this is a reason to eschew competition or Nationalism, obviously, but human need has arbitrary limits and we already grow enough food in the US alone that (in a world where it could be reasonably shipped) no one would have to starve ever again. Until the water runs out, which it is right now. Not this instant, obviously, but faster than people think.
In this way, the resource clock is more concerning to me and where I feel it's important to emphasize the "zero-sum game." Human need may have arbitrary limits, but human population doesn't. We got lucky with food and water, and we're losing ground on water even now, and that means that, as opposed to worrying about the distribution problem, we should cut our losses and shore up our nations for what's to come. In hopes we can solve the problem fast enough to suffer everyone else who suffers all the while.

Rather than opposing Nationalism, a series of competing Nationalist states trying to establish new ways of producing food, water, land, etc. without reliance on non-renewables, allowed to take over uncompetitive national states & conducting in fair-enough trade, would best fit that future. Africa needs to hurry up and unionize and the EU needs to stop pretending it isn't a dictatorship in progress.

that is essentially the argument that I made, but a lot longer. Your argument is totally economic in nature. I'm looking for something which is not economic
People are economic, because economics is the tally of human interest.
I don't like the idea of people I know who aren't uniquely competitive suffering as their resources are drained by #2
This is my argument against anti-Nationals and Communists in general. Once you run into a ceiling on your non-renewable resources and innovation halts, a global system would be a meritocratic nightmare, and I don't want any part of it, not for my sake, but for the human suffering it would cause others. Humans suffer right now because they voluntarily do not produce (Africa, some of SA), and/or they do not live in a place with resources to use in meaningful production (elsewhere).

A global state would have to decide which humans are deserving of this suffering, or attempt to elevate everyone to the same minimal level by forcing these people to produce viz tyranny. Worse, it might make no attempt to force these people to produce, and instead the resources are expended failing to drag everyone up to the same QOL with the same labor, leading all mankind into the dark all at once. The policy of the state maximizes the period of time where some humans are comfortable and others are alive but uncomfortable, thereby maximizing the time we have to discover new means of production & resources to expend (see argument further up), so apocalypse by "empathy" is abhorrent to me.
Even before accounting for resource waste, the very real constraints of shipping goods from point A to point B that prevent Capitalism from doing the job for free would require that third world countries in a global society go from being accidentally neglected because their people live in a fucking desert, to intentionally neglected, for "the greater good."
I would not like to live in a world that has the temerity to decide such a thing.
 

Samson Pumpkin Jr.

kiwifarms.net
The pie can grow, as it did in the past. If we had never began world trade or developed new agricultural techniques, our current world population would be literally impossible, we'd have starved to death at around 3 billion souls.
I'm not arguing that this is a reason to eschew competition or Nationalism, obviously, but human need has arbitrary limits and we already grow enough food in the US alone that (in a world where it could be reasonably shipped) no one would have to starve ever again. Until the water runs out, which it is right now. Not this instant, obviously, but faster than people think.
In this way, the resource clock is more concerning to me and where I feel it's important to emphasize the "zero-sum game." Human need may have arbitrary limits, but human population doesn't. We got lucky with food and water, and we're losing ground on water even now, and that means that, as opposed to worrying about the distribution problem, we should cut our losses and shore up our nations for what's to come. In hopes we can solve the problem fast enough to suffer everyone else who suffers all the while.

Rather than opposing Nationalism, a series of competing Nationalist states trying to establish new ways of producing food, water, land, etc. without reliance on non-renewables, allowed to take over uncompetitive national states & conducting in fair-enough trade, would best fit that future. Africa needs to hurry up and unionize and the EU needs to stop pretending it isn't a dictatorship in progress.


People are economic, because economics is the tally of human interest.

This is my argument against anti-Nationals and Communists in general. Once you run into a ceiling on your non-renewable resources and innovation halts, a global system would be a meritocratic nightmare, and I don't want any part of it, not for my sake, but for the human suffering it would cause others. Humans suffer right now because they voluntarily do not produce (Africa, some of SA), and/or they do not live in a place with resources to use in meaningful production (elsewhere).

A global state would have to decide which humans are deserving of this suffering, or attempt to elevate everyone to the same minimal level by forcing these people to produce viz tyranny. Worse, it might make no attempt to force these people to produce, and instead the resources are expended failing to drag everyone up to the same QOL with the same labor, leading all mankind into the dark all at once. The policy of the state maximizes the period of time where some humans are comfortable and others are alive but uncomfortable, thereby maximizing the time we have to discover new means of production & resources to expend (see argument further up), so apocalypse by "empathy" is abhorrent to me.
Even before accounting for resource waste, the very real constraints of shipping goods from point A to point B that prevent Capitalism from doing the job for free would require that third world countries in a global society go from being accidentally neglected because their people live in a fucking desert, to intentionally neglected, for "the greater good."
I would not like to live in a world that has the temerity to decide such a thing.
You make very good points. I don't think it all has to be economic though. For example, the Bretons, a Celtic minority in France, have their own language, culture and history. They are an endangered group. I think it would be a net loss for the world if they went extinct. Nationalism is therefore good because it will ensure the continued existence of the Bretons (if they do become more nationalistic).

I get the idea that a lot of people in this thread think I'm a communist or neo-liberal. To clarify, I am a communist.
 

Autopsy

kiwifarms.net
You make very good points. I don't think it all has to be economic though. For example, the Bretons, a Celtic minority in France, have their own language, culture and history. They are an endangered group. I think it would be a net loss for the world if they went extinct. Nationalism is therefore good because it will ensure the continued existence of the Bretons (if they do become more nationalistic).

I get the idea that a lot of people in this thread think I'm a communist or neo-liberal. To clarify, I am a communist.
Cultural/Ethnic Nationalism is a different line to draw for the same categories, but it still falls approximately within the same understanding. As with most ethnicities, Bretons had and kept a nation. Brittany was independent for centuries, and "Breton Nationalism" would simply be the resumption of Bretons as an independent nation state.
They are unlikely to do this, because the average Breton knows that they have better odds of preserving their culture inside the French nation, than they do as an independent state. Becoming independent would reduce their ability to trade, to assert natural land rights, etc.. and the risk of losing their culture they face inside the French nation is accepted and understood (or simply not a priority for many).
This is because, rather than culture, the economic implications matter more to real human beings. Living and thriving inevitably take priority for all but the most high-minded autistics who actually give a shit about things like that.
This isn't a new feature of humanity, by the way, things have always been this way. We do not keep the writings of the peasantry, and revolts of the starving are only sometimes documented and always vicious.

The only way to reassert Bretons as a unique group within France would be to encourage them to pursue a subversive "Nationalism" within Nationalism. That is to say, they would encourage French superiority on the world stage, but advantage Bretons over non-Bretons within the French state. The behavior is parallel to how underdeveloped nations exploit developed ones.
However, this policy is now no longer about purely economic factors, but instead an ethnic collusion to seize more market share than a meritocratic system within the nation state would allow. The most underlying motivations are economic, but culture and race becomes a tool to identify allies above the plebian masses. This is the difference between Nationalism (almost purely geographically motivated) and ethno-centralism (ethnic borders drawn within nations).

Edit: Oh, and the contrary is possible, to encourage French globalization and "opening" to the world stage, and uniquely advantaging Breton interests within France, so the native French get fucked three ways, while the Bretons gain twice and the world gains once. That accusation should sound familiar. Anyone who dislikes ethnic supremacists and prefers general Nationalism should be attentive to this scenario.
 

mr.moon1488

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Why does nationalism have to be ethnic? Why can't it just be... national? I believe in Americans putting America first, because why shouldn't we? Why should it be our job to spend the money being world policeman and propping up random "refugees" when everybody is going to hate us anyway?

But I honestly don't give a fuck what your melanin content is.
>Why does nationalism have to be ethnic?
Because it doesn't work if it isn't. You bring up the US, but the US is by far the best modern example of this. It's entirely impossible to not have different subgroups place their own interests ahead of the primary group and it only takes a few to actually start causing the primary group to start breaking down. The end result is the self-interested subgroups naturally grow their control over the primary group, and the subgroups who refuse to act in their self-interests just become easy targets.
 

Lord of the Large Pants

Chicks dig giant robots.
kiwifarms.net
>Why does nationalism have to be ethnic?
Because it doesn't work if it isn't. You bring up the US, but the US is by far the best modern example of this. It's entirely impossible to not have different subgroups place their own interests ahead of the primary group and it only takes a few to actually start causing the primary group to start breaking down. The end result is the self-interested subgroups naturally grow their control over the primary group, and the subgroups who refuse to act in their self-interests just become easy targets.
Subgroups are inevitable in any group the size of the US. It's incredibly naive to think that: A.) Subgroups will necessarily break along ethnic lines (rather than geographic, religious, political, etc, as commonly happens with ethnically homogeneous populations) and/or B.) That having an ethnically homogeneous population will somehow prevent the development of such subgroups.
 

mr.moon1488

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Subgroups are inevitable in any group the size of the US. It's incredibly naive to think that: A.) Subgroups will necessarily break along ethnic lines (rather than geographic, religious, political, etc, as commonly happens with ethnically homogeneous populations) and/or B.) That having an ethnically homogeneous population will somehow prevent the development of such subgroups.
No one is arguing that though. You'll still see breakdowns between different subgroups in an ethnostate, but not nearly at the same level, and those breakdowns tend to be temporary. Let's break down the examples you used.

Heated conflict between religious groups:
One group wins out, and the population of the losing group converts.

Political:
A faction eventually becomes dominant and the populations supporting the other factions eventually start to support it.

Geographic:
Over time people move here and there and the conflict dissipates.

Now how do you think ethnic conflicts eventually resolve themselves? I can't convert my race. Aside from this, I'm in favor of theocratic monarchies so the political and religious conflicts are kind of a moot point in the debate for me.
 

lurk_moar

Certified Lab Tech and Fatphobe
kiwifarms.net
Look at my cousins from Norway. They make all the rapeugees...er I mean immigrants wanting a better life for their families take Norweigian culture classes in like not raping the native women. I would still have to take those classes because my passport is not from Norway even though my great-grandma was born in a small village in Nordland county near the Arctic circle. Norway also just deported a bunch of people without surnames ending in Son. Don't you dare tell Sweden to the east just how conservative Norway is. Sweden will be in a tizzy to learn that Norwegians teach the followers of the prophet of peace that just because a woman takes interest in you and invites you to her apartment does not mean she wants it. She wants to only be your friend, bro, and nothing more.

TL;DR: Compare Norway to Sweden. There is a reason why one is doing better than the other.
 

gangweedfan

Anime is the next stage of evoltin. now yuo see...
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Note: nationalism is very tricky to define. I define it as having ethnic/racial consciousness, much like class consciousness. It's often defined as putting the interests of your group first. For expediency I will use the more common latter definition.

A common argument against nationalism is that, by putting your group's interests first, you are harming other groups and that's bad because it makes people more unhappy and more poor. Of course, this argument only works if you believe the world is a zero-sum game, which it isn't. If the interest of your group is to make more people become doctors and engineers you aren't taking away from other groups and at the same time you are benefitting your group. Or, at least that's my idea, correct me if I'm wrong.

HOWEVER, we want everyone to become more happy and more wealthy. If intergroup cooperation like the European Union benefits everyone then nationalism is bad because if, for example, the Germans said "screw the rest of Europe, we're going oldschool" then everybody suffers. The argument one may use against that is "Europeans want to cooperate and build a better future for their countries, if the Europeans weren't exclusionary to Muslims, who want to kill every non-Muslim, then Europe would cease to exist as a civilization." But that argument only works so long as there is an outside group that wants to kill you and therefore you have to exclude. We can imagine a hypothetical where there is a world where everybody wants to cooperate. What's the point of nationalism in that world? If the Muslims are suddenly like "ok, we don't want to kill you anymore, our two cultures can peacefully exist in a new Afro-Eurasian union," why not cooperate with the Muslims if cooperation does benefit everyone.

The problem with the aforementioned argument is that it accepts the premise of nationalism being a zero-sum game. The only logical argument for nationalism is therefore we can increase the quality of the individuals in our group without hurting everyone else. But you also have to say "inter-group cooperation is bad." So, essentially, you have just become a protectionist. There are lots and LOTS of arguments between protectionists and free trade people, I don't want to talk about that.

I don't feel comfortable with the only argument in favour of nationalism being an economic one. Enlighten me on this issue, tell me why I'm a moron and these are 100 non economic reasons why nationalism is good, or even make arguments against nationalism.
Its wrong to say nationalism is or isn't a "zero sum game". Actions taken by groups just like individuals can be good or bad. For example Group A starts a charity called the A foundation to help members of Group A and funds it themselves. This is fine. What isnt fine is when Group A members in the senate pass a bill to use taxes to raise more money for the A foundation at the expense of Groups B C and D who dont benefit from this at all. As long as we have a government people will try to influence it to get what they want at the expense of others.
 

FEETLOAF

kiwifarms.net
the point is that you can get the most food, and the most food in the most bellies, by cooperating with other groups at a big scale
Why would I give a shit about getting the most food in the most bellies? Food in your belly does not benefit me. Food in the belly of my enemies can even harm me.
It's not about benefiting the most people. It's about benefiting the people I care about particularly. All people are not interchangeable in value to me. Feeding my kids and feeding your kids are not the same thing.
Why does nationalism have to be ethnic? Why can't it just be... national?
National literally means ethnic. A nation is a tribe with common culture, language, religion, ancestry, and history.
 
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