69 million page views

In further praise of nationalism

Reader comment on item: Yes to Nationalism, No to Imperialism

Submitted by Jarrow Rogovin (United States), Aug 4, 2019 at 23:30

Quite a number of years ago, I pronounced the EU a sham, covering for the designs of Germany and France, the locomotives driving this "bullet" train. Germany wanted the EU in order to have an untainted, reborn identity, and to regain legitimacy: Homo novo europa. For France, it was ill-disguised ambition: France wants to be powerful, particularly vis-à-vis the U.S. Hence, the political version of genetic engineering, the EU.

Inexorably, Germany became dominant -- again – even while maintaining the mask of Homo ne to legitimate becoming the hegemony -- again. And Homo ne is diminishing under the weight of cradle-to-grave social security and mega bureaucracy. Many an "intellectual" German or Frenchman now says, "I'm a European," whereas the ever evanescent Italian bubbles, "I'm an Italian." And yes, he kind of does hate the French.

The Central Europeans being too experienced as cogs in a bigger machine, simply want to be a Pole, a Czech, a Hungarian -- finally.

But the manufacturing, financial, media, and "intellectual" monoliths are parts of a relentless engine grinding its way toward a dystopian reorder and all-engorging unification. It is a robot hammer and a ptetobyte chip. The sickle was outmoded by technology

If I understand Hazony's critique of the foreign policies of the last four presidents, they stand accused of being the military arm of a pseudo global consensus on how the world should be run and major conflicts resolved: A paradoxical combination of multilateral decision making executed by the gladiatorial champion, the U.S. military, but marching to the tune of "We Are the World."

In contrast, I remain a neocon dedicated to the principle that it is the first order of civilization to civilize, if only in its own self-defense. I am an unapologetic advocate of unilateralism and preemption in times of exigency. My no-regrets example is my preference for a failed Iraqi state dominated by Iran over rogue regime dictator Saddam. It should be obvious to all but the most clueless pece fanatic or Hate America Firster that a failed state is preferable, i.e., less of a threat, than a rogue dictator. The current Iraq may be a (mostly self-made) tragedy, but it has been rendered – and rendered itself—harmless to the region.

I worry less about Iran ruling Iraq than I do who rules Iran. "Consensus" regarding how to deal with Iran should be more a matter of pragmatism rather than not-so-convenient multilateralism or last ditch desperate necessity. If we wish to protect various nationalisms, facilitating a final, salutary disposition of the Iranian regime would be an act of nationalism and not imperialism. At worst, it could be charged with benign -- and hopefully temporary -- colonialism.

From a telescoped historical view, our enlightened civics does owe a debt to Hazony's "Protestant Construction." I would, however, credit the ever-fertile pagan mind and trace "The Reformulation" to a reemergence of the Greek polis and the conventions that created the Roman Republic. Judaism had already bequeathed its ethical monotheism to the process that became G-d-given rights. It was otherwise too insular, non-secular and completely apart from the existing systems being revolutionized to be source material for theorists from Mills and Burke to the Founder Fathers. Catholicism was too otherworldly at the same time that, ironically, its hypocritical church-state symbiosis was too corrupt to be the foundation for modern institutions. The pagan mind wanted to observe the natural world and human relations down to their atomization. There is an inherent meritocracy in this process. The Protestant Reformation was a political, cultural and social anthropological evolution that began in the Mediterranean basin over two thousand years earlier.

I quite agree with Messrs. Hazony and Pipes: Discerning between affirmative civilizing and imperialism can be difficult. But the injunction to teach our children diligently is not merely a family matter and both the process and outcome hopefully justifies the former. Second, yes, the struggle is eternal because the impulse to collectivism and its corollary, imposition and domination, is eternal. The social impulse run amok It is the source of the quintessential, timeless, societal struggle between good and evil.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)