Is Nationalism a Good Thing? That Depends.

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(Lew Rockwell) From the United Kingdom to Spain to the Balkans, it has become common practice in Europe to refer to secessionist groups of various types as “nationalists.” Sometimes the term is employed as a pejorative term, and often not. Scottish nationalists, for example, often refer to themselves as nationalists. On the other hand, sometimes, the term “nationalist,” is employed to disparage separatist groups. It was easy to get this impression during the height of the most recent conflict in Spain over Catalan separatism. When Spanish unionists spoke about Catalan secession, it was fairly clear the term “nationalism” in their minds communicated a certain type of backwardness or illiberalism.
The Left, of course, has long employed the term as a pejorative for nationalists of all types. This was on full display shortly after the assassination of Japanese politician Shinzo Abe. In posthumous articles on Abe’s career, he was described as an “ultra-nationalist” whose nationalism made him “divisive.” The assumed unsavory nature of nationalism when used this way is often made clear in the mainstream press by the fact politicians are rarely—if ever—described by these pundits as “ultra-internationalist” whose internationalism makes him a “divisive” figure. By this way of thinking, one can never be too internationalist. One can only be too nationalist…Read the rest

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