Nationalism - Caleb Jones

Donald Trump’s rise has made nationalism a real thing again in America (and it’s always been reasonably strong in Europe, albeit less so in recent years). Is nationalism good? Bad? Somewhere in-between? Today I will examine the concept of nationalism from a small government perspective.

Nationalism’s Positives

First, I’ll acknowledge the aspects of nationalism that are good for the individual.

1. Rejection of international bodies. International bodies have proven to be an absolutely massive waste of time and money, as well as clever ways to curtail the freedoms of citizens of more prosperous, successful nations.

The United Nations is a globalist, completely corrupt, ridiculously incompetent, and borderline authoritarian organization. They are guilty of numerous bungled mistakes, numerous crimes including rape and child abuse, they waste craploads of taxpayer dollars, and support evil and authoritarian regimes.

On top of all that, the US funds one-fourth of the entire UN budget. That doesn’t sound very fair to me. Isn’t it supposed to be an international body?

I completely agree with nationalists’ criticism of the United Nations. I have been saying for years the US should not only withdraw from the UN, but kick the UN headquarters out of our country and have them relocate to some other nation.

The IMF and World Bank are vast, corporatist mechanisms to further the agenda of the elites, and have nothing to do with your personal freedom.

NATO was once a great alliance of countries, but since the cold war ended 25 years ago, there’s no reason for it anymore. The best quote I’ve heard about NATO is that it forces middle class Americans to defend wealthy Germans against bankrupt Russians.

Don’t even get me started about the EU. Germans have every right to help other Germans, but having some unelected bureaucrat in Brussels force Germans at gunpoint to give their money to lazy Greeks doesn’t make any sense.

I could go on and on with examples of corrupt and unfair international bodies, but hopefully you get the point. As a citizen of a nation, you should be subject to the laws of that nation and no other laws. Trade with other nations is good, temporary treaties with other nations is fine and often necessary, but being forced to pay for international bodies and obey their will over the long-term is simply insane. Nationalism largely rejects the concept of international bodies, and that’s a good thing.

2. Rejection of international law. Thailand has every right to pass laws for Thai citizens. Thai citizens (should) have every right to vote in Thai elections to change those laws. So far, so good.

But Thailand’s citizens have no right to tell Peru what to do. Thai citizens have no right to pass laws that Peruvian citizens must follow.

This is why international laws make no sense. Follow the laws of your nation, and if you hate those laws, move to a different nation with different laws. But you can’t force citizens in some distant nation to behave the way you want them to. That’s anti-freedom and none of your damn business.

Nationalists are right to condemn international laws.

3. Rejection of crazy immigration. I’ve already written about my positions regarding immigration right here, so you can read that to get details on what I think are good and bad ideas regarding immigration. Nationalists are either against mass immigration, illegal immigration, or in many cases, all immigration. We could argue about which of those are acceptable or not, but at least nationalists don’t embrace the suicidal immigration policies currently embraced by Europe (and to a lesser degree, the US), involving the mass migration of millions of people from the third world while giving them of all kinds of services funded by the local taxpayer while defending the violent crimes these immigrants often commit.

Though I don’t completely agree with either, I would easily take a nationalist’s side on the immigration issue over a left-winger’s, every time.

Nationalism’s Negatives

So far, nationalism sounds great! What’s the problem with it then?

Well, the largest problem with nationalism, by far, is summed up by this statement:

Name one nationalist leader, either now or in history, who engaged in mostly small government reforms when he/she took power.

Can you name one?

I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the Wikipedia list of all big nationalist leaders from the last 200 years. Can you find one in this list who enacted mostly small government, freedom-based reforms once he took power?

Tojo? Mussolini? Il-sung? Castro? Nope. How about Alvarado? Milošević? Nope.

Go down that list, and you’ll see one clear pattern: Nationalists are for big government. I’m not talking about what nationalists say. I’m talking about what they do once they’re in power. I like a lot of Pat Buchanan’s ideas. I’ve read several of his books and he talks a good game about small government, but if this guy was actually president, it would be a different story. Same goes for people like Trump.

Nationalism, when actually practiced in the real world, tends to include:

  • Statism
  • Anti-individualism
  • Expansionist militarism
  • Oppression of minorities
  • Fascism and/or socialism (various forms)
  • Crackdowns on free speech
  • Reduction of civil liberties

Which of these represent small government? Which of these represent strong rights for the individual?

Yeah. That’s the problem with nationalism. Regardless of what nationalists say, preach, or promise, just about every time nationalists actually gain power, government power dramatically increases, and the rights of the individual sharply decrease. This is why I cannot support nationalism with any fervor, despite its positives I listed above.

I am sure that there are some folks out there who follow a theoretical small government version of nationalism. I’m sure I’d support such a thing. The problem is, history has shown the exact opposite occurs when nationalists gain power.

25 Comments on “Nationalism

  1. While what you say is true, at least some of the natiolist leaders in your list developed their economies but some did the opposite too. The only guy I see in the list from my country, Peru, is Velasco, a leftist general who took overthrew a democratic president and did an agrarian reform and confiscated a lot of peruvian and foreign industries. He wasn’t violent for a dictator but set our economy back several decades. In Chile, our southern neighboor, they had a capitalist dictator who was much more bloodthirsty but did wonders with the national economy. But yeah, none was a big fan of small governments and individual freedom.

  2. You are absolutely right about nationalism giving rise to fascism. In certain parts Europe. Zazism is on the rise, like In St. Gallen Switzerland recently there was a massive gathering of 5000 (!) neo nazis.
    A lot of liberals were pissed (as they should be). The sad and ironic thing about all this is that while these people have always existed it it’s the leftists like Andrea Merkel who have provided the perfect climate for these movements. Most humans are really irrational and if they don’t like one extreme they will swing to the other. It’s actually really sad.
    With europes history they should know better.

  3. > Name one nationalist leader, either now or in history, who engaged in mostly small government reforms when he/she took power.

    Name one leader of any stripe that engaged in mostly small government reforms, or the restoration of liberty. The cause of that is being in government, not being nationalist. Is it your contention that in the present election that Trump will expand government more than Clinton?

    And FWIW, in just a few moments I can name some nationalist leaders that probably on net increased freedom. Margaret Thatcher is the most obvious recent example, Boris Yeltsin who liberated the Russian people from the yolk of communism. And perhaps peripherally, Nigel Farange of the UKIP, leading Brexit. But more historically, and in America, the obvious examples are Washington and Jefferson. And, although there were plenty of big government programs under Lincoln, the massive release of slaves under the 13th amendment certainly means that his net contribution to liberty was positive.

    These guys were not perfect (hell Washington owned hundreds of slaves) but they were all passionate about nation, and all, on net, reduced government interference in people’s lives.

    So does government grow under nationalist leaders? Yes, as a general rule, but only because government grows under any government. At least the nationalist leader’s ambitions are bounded by the borders. The principles underlying nationalism are human nature, us verses them. In Chicago, where I live, southsiders wept in despair when the Cubs won. Something that is rankly stupid,but is part of the same part of human nature.

  4. I’m not an American, but I remember visiting the US and was sitting at Seaworld San Diego, they told everyone to get up to honour the soldiers in Iraq. I didn’t get up because I’m not an American and don’t really care, the guy behind me kicked my chair. I noticed how patriotic everyone was, as if it were some cult. You don’t choose where you were born, flying your countries flag in your own country doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a circlejerk. I can understand government buildings flying a flag, but the actual people just feels cultish to me.

    I would never sacrifice my life for anyone, let alone a country. The only time I would sacrifice my life is if I truly lived in an amazing country and every other country was shit in comparison, and if we were being invaded and a reason for a war was valid.

    I believe this goes beyond politics, this is group dynamics. In general people who are part of a group tend to brainwash themselves into believing they’re worth more and are more entitled than others. Doesn’t matter if it’s sports group, religious group, a country, a social club, feminists, PUAs, racial group, doesn’t matter. Group dynamics are a whole other topic, and the people are usually delusional and will end up getting themselves killed if they decide to compete due to their delusional self-group worth.

  5. @BD:

    So what you’re saying is that nationalists are awesome for foreign policy. but terrible at domestic policy. I somewhat agree, but see Fraser Orr’s statement that the Founding Fathers of America were nationalists.

    @Fraser Orr:

    George Washington voluntarily freed all his slaves after the revolution.

    @Qlue:

    A nation’s flag is not a symbol of government. It’s a simple of the nation and its people. Government is nothing more than a servant of the people. It makes no sense for government buildings to fly the people’s flag, except as a way to suck up to the people. The people flying the flag as private citizens and in the private sector is the only thing that does make sense. Especially here in America, the flag is a symbol of freedom and liberty and the people are right to honor and celebrate it.. It has just been hijacked and corrupted by the government. You have it exactly backwards.

  6. I don’t really think the Founding Fathers can be called nationalists in the sense that is understood today. When you’re “nationalist” about a nation that is only stepping into existence and that you are founding, then your “nationalism” is merely confidence in the ideals by which you want to found this new nation, and in the feasibility of a new nation on the other side of the Atlantic where pioneer principles can be applied away from the direct influence of the British empire and other European powers. They didn’t think “America is great”, they thought “our ideas for this new nation are great, we’re gonna make it an example for the world”.
    I personally think nationalism is only beneficial below a certain dose (and practically useless for people who see through its fundamentally tribal nature, and have other motivations for being moral in general); as for whether I am “pro-american”, let’s just say that without really liking the US, I’d much prefer it remains the first world power rather than see China overtake it. As rotten as it is, the US has ‘ethical roots’ if you like, that China just doesn’t have, especially regarding individual freedom and privacy. This will change if the power of SJWs increases by a couple orders of magnitude (yes, as bad it is it can get much worse), in which case China will become the lesser of two evils, unfortunately.

  7. @Jack Outside the Box says
    > George Washington voluntarily freed all his slaves after the revolution.

    George Washington freed some of his slaves in his will — he used an abused them throughout his lifetime. Washington was a remarkable man in many ways, but let’s not whitewash this repugnant stain on his character

    @Gil Galad says
    > I don’t really think the Founding Fathers can be called nationalists in the sense that is understood today.

    The record is clear that they very much believed they had created the greatest country on earth, and passionately sought out its best interest irrespective of the impact it had on others. What they sought most of all was the preservation of the culture, institutions and way of life that was uniquely American. Self reliance, independence, pioneerism. Again, this shared culture, and seeking to preserve it is the very essence of nationalism. So I really must disagree with your conclusion.

  8. @Fraser Orr: I’m probably less knowledgeable than you on the subject (US history), and not willing to get into a discussion of the true definition of nationalism today, or the most relevant one. I’ll take your word for it concerning the Founding Fathers.

  9. “NATO was once a great alliance of countries, but since the cold war ended 25 years ago, there’s no reason for it anymore. The best quote I’ve heard about NATO is that it forces middle class Americans to defend wealthy Germans against bankrupt Russians.”

    I don’t disagree with ditching “globalist” entities like the IMF/World Bank and UN or anything that interferes with personal freedoms, but NATO would still seem to be as geo-strategically significant as it was at it’s inception. After all, hasn’t Russia invaded neighboring countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.

    Makes it difficult to argue for ending NATO with this much recent aggression from a so-called “bankrupt state”.

  10. @DC
    “hasn’t Russia invaded neighboring countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.”

    There is no truth in that statement. Much truer is…

    “hasn’t NATO invaded countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.”

  11. Name one leader of any stripe that engaged in mostly small government reforms, or the restoration of liberty.

    One? I’ll give you three just off the top of my head:

    Deng Xiaoping.

    Calvin Coolidge.

    Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

    I could add more if I did some research.

    Regardless, your argument is invalid. Just because all/most world leaders make government bigger doesn’t mean they’re as bad as Hitler and other nationalists. There’s no comparison between Mussolini / Pinochet / Castro and Ronald Reagan, even though Reagan made government bigger too. You’re trying to equate a single apple to an apple orchard. Dumb.

    So what you’re saying is that nationalists are awesome for foreign policy. but terrible at domestic policy.

    Incorrect. I stated the specific items that I agree with nationalists on. I do not agree with nationalists on foreign policy in general, since nationalists are often pro-war (and very stupid, useless, and destructive wars at that). I am strongly anti-war.

    I somewhat agree, but see Fraser Orr’s statement that the Founding Fathers of America were nationalists.

    The Founding Fathers of America were not nationalists. Read his 2nd comment.

    NATO would still seem to be as geo-strategically significant as it was at it’s inception. After all, hasn’t Russia invaded neighboring countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.

    Russia invading Ukraine is Ukraine’s problem, and Europe’s indirect problem. It is not America’s problem.

    If Europe would like to completely reform NATO as an European-only conglomeration of European-only countries as an effort to counter Russia (Putin! Another nationalist!), that would be fine with me. But leave America out of it. We have our own fucking problems.

  12. I’m curious as to whether there is evidence of Pareto law in emigration. E.g. let’s say with animals in nature without social restrictions 20% of strongest males get to mate with 80% of the females, leaving the remaining 80% weaker males without females to mate with. So maybe open borders benefits strong countries (top 20%) who get skilled immigration at the expense of weaker countries (bottom 80%), and then weaker countries cannot develop properly, Just a thought

  13. >>“hasn’t Russia invaded neighboring countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.”

    >There is no truth in that statement.

    Not that I’m on the “someone’s wrong on the internet” standpoint, just wondering what sources make you sure of that?

    As for the main issue, it’s very very simple. It used to make sense for things to merge in the name of efficiency. These days, due to advances in management techniques and industrial advances that are forgiving of mismanagement, smaller entities are more efficient. No politics, just economics.

  14. @BD:
    “The best quote I’ve heard about NATO is that it forces middle class Americans to defend wealthy Germans against bankrupt Russians.”

    That’s typical American societal programming that not even you have escaped from, BD. Americans always think of themselves that they are the savior of the world and protect every other nation. Every time I have visited the US I was amazed by the sheer amount of this propaganda.
    Here in Europe it’s simply seen for what it is: war mongering and imperialism.

    America doesn’t need to protect Europe. There is no military threat that needs to be fought against.
    The immigration crisis is a completely different thing. It’s a cultural threat.

    NATO doesn’t only force middle class Americans to defend wealthy Germans. Also the opposite is true. NATO forces Germany to indulge into the love of war of the US so it doesn’t lose it’s reputation as a good ally and therefor it’s good relationship to America. It would be more accurate to say that the middle class in both countries suffer from NATO and the elites are the only ones who profit from this system.

  15. Caleb Jones
    > One? I’ll give you three just off the top of my head:

    Coolidge is widely considered by historians one of the worst presidents in history, which means he was one of the best. Certainly America would be better off if we had a few more of him in our history.

    However, he did appoint the chairman of the Fed who was directly responsible for the crash of 1929, which lead directly to the great depression and the destruction of limited constitutional government under FDR. Not entirely his fault, but he shares some of the blame.

    However, it would absolutely be fair to call him a nationalist. His election was a direction reactionary rejection of the first real internationalist Woodrow Wilson, and Coolidge’s nationalism was manifest in both his rejection of the League of Nations and his opposition to the United States joining the World Court (even though they did, it was with the proviso that its judgments were non binding.) So really, he is another example supporting the point I am making.

    > Deng Xiaoping.

    Yes indeed, but CERTAINLY a Chinese nationalist, and for sure he brought China back from the depredations of Mao. BTW,, did you know that Mao is still absolutely adulated in China? It is hard to believe that such a monster could still be held in such apotheotic status. Just goes to show what school propaganda will do.

    > Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

    Not familiar with this guy. I’ll look him up.

    > Regardless, your argument is invalid. Just because all/most world leaders make government bigger doesn’t mean they’re as bad as Hitler and other nationalists.

    I made no such claim. Your argument was “no nationalists ever reduced government, therefore nationalism increases government” but that is a classic correlation causality error. Government increases government, not nationalism. And by no means are all nationalists anything like Hitler. Reagan was a passionate nationalist, and he was nothing like Hitler. Thatcher was a flag waving “send in the fleet” nationalist, and she saved Britain from total collapse.

    Of course you can argue with me about what you meant by “nationalist” but that would be entirely unfruitful. The real underlying implication of your post was to suggest that Trump was not going to reduce government. You are probably right. However, he has stated many policies that would do so, and policies that he could actually enact even in face of a hostile congress. I have listed this in another comment, so won’t bore you with a repeat.

    I don’t think Trump will “Make America Great Again”, however, I am pretty sure he will fuck it up less quickly than Hillary Clinton will. She after all runs a criminal enterprise. Were you aware, for example, that while she was secretary of state the government of Qatar gave her husband a one million dollar check for his birthday? And that they did not declare that money on public disclosures? It is like a fucking banana republic.

  16. That’s typical American societal programming that not even you have escaped from, BD. Americans always think of themselves that they are the savior of the world and protect every other nation.

    How have I not escaped from it? I think America shouldn’t be the world’s savoir nor even try.

    America doesn’t need to protect Europe. There is no military threat that needs to be fought against.

    I agree 100%. End NATO now. Or at least remove the US from NATO.

    NATO forces Germany to indulge into the love of war of the US so it doesn’t lose it’s reputation as a good ally and therefor it’s good relationship to America. It would be more accurate to say that the middle class in both countries suffer from NATO and the elites are the only ones who profit from this system.

    I agree.

    Government increases government, not nationalism.

    I know. My point is

    1. Nationalism historically increases the size of government more and faster than many other forms of government we’ve seen.

    2. Activist nationalists are not for small government even if they say they are. Either they’re lying or they’re ignorant.

    The real underlying implication of your post was to suggest that Trump was not going to reduce government. You are probably right.

    That too. My larger point is that next “Trump” the nationalists and alt-right get excited about (and there will be another one) will also not be for small government.

    It’s disappointing to me to see so many libertarians and small government conservatives enthusiastically support Trump and people like him. They are supporting a big government ideology, not a small government one.

    Not that I care. 🙂

  17. @MoChnk
    > Americans always think of themselves that they are the savior of the world and protect every other nation.

    You are mistaken. Most American actions are in their own self interest, or at least that is the ostensible reason for them. There has been a tendency toward “save the world” in the past ten years, but by no means historically so. America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan for two reasons: firstly to protect the world oil supply (which was the primary cause of the first war) and secondly as retribution and to some extent to prevent a occurrence of terrorism in America. Both are purely selfish reasons.

    I’m not by any means saying that these reasons were good reasons to do what they did (they are not) nor that they were successful (they were not) however that is clearly the documented reason why these actions were taken, not out of any save the world motivation.

    In Europe America occupied Germany and other Axis states to restore their economies. Again they did not do so to save Germany, but out of a desire to stabilize Europe so that they would start buying our stuff again. And later they continued to be there to put a damper on the Soviet Union (better to fight them in Berlin than in New York.) Again, both the Marshall plan and the American NATO presence in Europe were both self serving. not to act as the world’s savior. Whether they achieved these goals I’ll leave up to you to judge, however, Western Europe was never invaded, and Germany and Japan are now powerhouses of industry, so in my judgement they were at least somewhat successful.

    Furthermore the Americans are certainly not imperialist in any traditional sense. Britain, Portugal, Spain and Germany actually governed their Empire putting in place governments run by and oppressive over the population, and extracted the wealth of these countries for the benefit of the motherland. America never did anything like that.

    And frankly if you think there is no military threat in Europe you are not paying attention. The plain fact is that Putin DID invade Ukraine and currently occupies the Crimea and large amounts of Eastern Ukraine. The plain fact is that after the second world war they did invade Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Bulgaria, Albania and nearly took Greece too and imposed their imperial ambitions on the residue of their second world war holdings in Poland and the Baltic states. That is the nature of the Bear, and if you think Putin is different than previous Russian leaders, I will tell you you are mistaken. Europe has not been invaded by Russia primarily because the USA made it extremely risky to do so. Ukraine was only invaded because Obama is a testicle-less pussy. If I were Turkey I’d be praying that Clinton doesn’t win, because the Bosporus and Dardanelles are surely next on Putin’s list.

    Personally, I think the USA should leave you to wallow in your own pacifism. At the very least if you want us to defend you, you should at least be paying room, board and gas for our troops. America spends three times as much on military per capita so that Germans, Austrians and Poles don’t have to. “Thank you” would be the appropriate response, or absent that, elect a government that will ask us to leave and then go on to spend ten to twenty percent of your GDP building a military sufficient to contain the belligerence of your neighbors.

    What Western Europe gets (with a few exceptions, such as Britain, France and Switzerland) is military welfare, you know, like food stamps. We should stop doing it immediately and leave you to sort yourself out. We’d be happy to make a profit selling you guns and shit too.

  18. As someone who considers themselves a nationalist and was ready to disagree with you, this was actually pretty fair. The main problem with political nationalism is that it’s always reactionary and goes overboard. If the left and certain (((individuals))) behaved themselves and didn’t try to invite the world in/ subvert their hosts, there wouldn’t be a backlash.

  19. @BD
    “How have I not escaped from it? I think America shouldn’t be the world’s savoir nor even try.”

    I said that by agreeing with the quote in your article and calling it the best NATO quote you’ve ever heard you BELIEVE the idea of America protecting Europe, not that you SUPPORT it. Two different things.

    @Fraser Orr
    “You are mistaken. Most American actions are in their own self interest, or at least that is the ostensible reason for them.”

    We are talking about two different things here.
    You are describing the US government’s motivations behind these actions, which I totally agree with.
    I was talking about what the ordinary people believe. In the sentence you quoted from me I said Americans with an “s” at the end, not America.
    And Americans do indeed believe that they are protecting the rest of the world. George W. Bush didn’t say “Okay guys, here’s the deal. We’re running out of oil, so we need to invade these nations.” He was talking about “the axis of evil”. This is the propaganda and this is what many Americans believe.

    “In Europe America occupied Germany and other Axis states to restore their economies. Again they did not do so to save Germany, but out of a desire to stabilize Europe so that they would start buying our stuff again.”

    Again, I agree with you on the motivations. But the propaganda told a completely different story, and these beliefs are what I was referring to.
    Not only many Americans believe they are protecting the world, also Germans from that generation believe America saved them in an altruistic way. My own dad hates it when I criticize America in any way and always refers to things like the “Luftbrücke” – the airlift, which provided West Berlin with supplies. And I don’t even have a problem with this part of the propaganda, because the Berlin airlift was indeed a great thing, no matter if it was altruistic or not.

    “Furthermore the Americans are certainly not imperialist in any traditional sense.”

    The words “Americans” and “America” shouldn’t be used interchangeably. “Americans” refers to the American people, “America” refers to the government in this context. The American people aren’t a homogenious group. Some are imperialist, some are not. Just like it is the case with every other people on this planet. You can’t define the American people in general.
    You go on talking about Britain, Portugal, Spain and Germany, not Britains, Portuguese, Spaniards and Germans, so I will refer to America as a country.
    Yes, the USA are not an empire in a traditional sense, but DE FACTO the USA are an empire. The same way that the political system of the US is de facto a two party dictatorship, not literally in a traditional sense.
    And NATO is part of the American executive of this empire. I’m not hating on America, because what Caleb said about middle class Americans being exploited is equally true. It’s basically the polititians and elites of both sides (US and EU) who are using their peoples for their own intentions. Kind of an Orwellian scenario.

    “And frankly if you think there is no military threat in Europe you are not paying attention. The plain fact is that Putin DID invade Ukraine and currently occupies the Crimea and large amounts of Eastern Ukraine.”

    The people living in Crimea identify more with Russia than with the Ukraine. So on a political level it was an invasion, because Russia went over Ukraine’s borders, but on a cultural level it was something different.
    Here is a study that shows that the people of Crimea favor Russia over the Ukraine:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/03/06/do-crimeans-actually-want-to-join-russia/
    So this example is a completely different scenario than a Russian invasion of a European country from an entirely different cultural background. You can’t compare the annexation of Crimea into Russia to a hypothetical annexation of a country like Germany or another European country into Russia.

    “The plain fact is that after the second world war they did invade Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Bulgaria, Albania and nearly took Greece too and imposed their imperial ambitions on the residue of their second world war holdings in Poland and the Baltic states.”

    You’re making the same mistake again, just with a different subject. You just described the interventions that the USSR did during the Cold War. Then you go on and talk about Russia. So you’re using the terms “USSR” and “Russia” interchangeably (even though you don’t write USSR, but by describing their actions right after WWII you’re clearly referring to the USSR).
    This is simply not correct. You’re confusing these terms. This is like calling the Federal Republic of Germany the 3rd Reich or the Weimar Republic. They are not the same and you’re just making things complicated and confusing when you throw these terms around.

    The USSR was before Russia and during the times of the Cold War the USSR were indeed a threat for Europe. But the USSR collapsed and now there is Russia and Europe isn’t destroyed anymore but rebuilt.

    “That is the nature of the Bear, and if you think Putin is different than previous Russian leaders, I will tell you you are mistaken.”

    I don’t think Putin is different, but the dynamics have changed.

    “Europe has not been invaded by Russia primarily because the USA made it extremely risky to do so.”

    If you replace the word “Russia” with “USSR” then I agree with you. Otherwise I don’t, because currently Russia isn’t a treat for Europe.

    “If I were Turkey I’d be praying that Clinton doesn’t win, because the Bosporus and Dardanelles are surely next on Putin’s list.”

    But Clinton is more confrontational against Russia than Trump.

    “Personally, I think the USA should leave you to wallow in your own pacifism.”

    If there isn’t any threat whatsoever, pacifism and peace are the greatest things IMO. By using the negative word “wallow” in the context of such positive things, you just revealed that you have fallen victim to the indoctrination that offensive war is good.

    “At the very least if you want us to defend you, you should at least be paying room, board and gas for our troops.”

    You just confirmed exactly what I wrote. I said that Americans think of themselves as the savior of the world. And now you write “…if you want us to defend you,…” and proving my point. To be fair, I should have written “many Americans” and not Americans in general.

    ““Thank you” would be the appropriate response, or absent that, elect a government that will ask us to leave and then go on to spend ten to twenty percent of your GDP building a military sufficient to contain the belligerence of your neighbors.”

    You’re totally conforming to the American societal programming. When I was in America and some Americans asked me which flight route I took, many where stunned when I said I had a layover in Moscow, in evil Russia, or as you say the “belligerent neighbor”

    “We should stop doing it immediately and leave you to sort yourself out. ”

    You should sort out the societal programming in your head.

  20. Ashwin
    “@DC
    “hasn’t Russia invaded neighboring countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.”
    There is no truth in that statement. Much truer is…”
    “hasn’t NATO invaded countries more than once in the last decade, including the illegal seizure of territory and stealth invasion that still goes on today.”

    I think Fraser Orr summed it up quite well with this:

    “And frankly if you think there is no military threat in Europe you are not paying attention. The plain fact is that Putin DID invade Ukraine and currently occupies the Crimea and large amounts of Eastern Ukraine. The plain fact is that after the second world war they did invade Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Bulgaria, Albania and nearly took Greece too and imposed their imperial ambitions on the residue of their second world war holdings in Poland and the Baltic states. That is the nature of the Bear, and if you think Putin is different than previous Russian leaders, I will tell you you are mistaken. Europe has not been invaded by Russia primarily because the USA made it extremely risky to do so. Ukraine was only invaded because Obama is a testicle-less pussy.”

    This is to say nothing of their decades aggressive espionage activities against the West including interference in the US election big time (which alone should suggest it IS America’s problem).

    I am not arguing that NATO is a perfect solution, only that they are still justified given present realities.

    Anon
    “Not that I’m on the “someone’s wrong on the internet” standpoint, just wondering what sources make you sure of that?”

    The evidence is not hard to find if you look for it, but there’s a lot of propaganda too. There are many sources but OK, google Bellingcat and John Schindler. They are both are coming from a pro-West perspective, so take them with a grain of salt, but their information does appears to be factual.

  21. > And Americans do indeed believe that they are protecting the rest of the world.

    But they are largely right. Perhaps the US doesn’t do so with pure reasons but the effect is that a great deal of the world does live under the protection of the American military. To say any different is simply delusional.

    Similarly regarding post war Europe. It may be that the American motivations were selfish but the plain fact is that Germany in particular and Europe in general would have wallowed in the fallout of war for decades without the Marshall plan. In fact, in truth were it not for the British, French and American presence in Germany, it would most likely have fallen on the wrong side of the iron curtain. So the say that America saved Germany after the war is indisputable, even if the reasons were not quite so altruistic as might be commonly believed. So, I agree with your dad.

    > Yes, the USA are not an empire in a traditional sense, but DE FACTO the USA are an empire.

    If America were a defacto empire then an American governor would run Iraq and Kuwait, and all oil profits from that country would go to the American treasury. That is what happened all the other Empires you are alluding too. But on the contrary, America went OUT OF ITS WAY to do exactly the opposite to that, something that is partly responsible for the rise of ISIS.

    > The people living in Crimea identify more with Russia than with the Ukraine.

    I used to run offshore development teams in Ukraine in Kiev, Odessa and Sevastopol so I am fairly familiar with its culture and history. If find your statement on this just appalling. Russia invaded this country because they wanted complete control of the peninsula to dominate the Black Sea. They already had a naval base there, but that wasn’t enough. If the military of nation A takes over the territory of nation B (and the territorial integrity is widely accepted) it is an invasion. If the Russian people in Crimea had wanted the Russians they could have indicated so via the normal political process. Hand waving a invasion of one state by another with any excuse is just dreadful. But it is what you have to do if you don’t have to balls to defend yourself. Peace for land didn’t work on the Franco German border, or on the Palestinian border. It won’t work for you either.

    The argument you have just made was also made to justify Kristallnacht.

    > Then you go on and talk about Russia. So you’re using the terms “USSR” and “Russia”

    Russia and the USSR are quite remarkably similar. Which is strange because politics would seem to make them very different. However, regardless if you are a communist tyrant or just a plain old tyrant you tend to act in the same way when driven by the same culture and principles. Putin is just Brezhnev with better pecs. It is all just the Russian Bear.

    > If there isn’t any threat whatsoever, pacifism and peace are the greatest things IMO.

    I’m sure, and that is why I think you are a fool. Because there is ALWAYS a threat. It is human nature. It is the law of the jungle. And if you don’t see that you are blind.

    > have fallen victim to the indoctrination that offensive war is good.

    Offensive war is sometimes good, though rarely. Germany never attacked the USA during WWII, but aren’t you glad they conducted an offensive war anyway? War is death and destruction, but sometimes capitulation of worse death and destruction.

    > You should sort out the societal programming in your head.

    Thanks, but if you knew much about me you’d know I think for myself. It is you that is lost in a miasma of Lennonist “Imagine”. (Yah, that isn’t a spelling mistake.)

  22. I said that by agreeing with the quote in your article and calling it the best NATO quote you’ve ever heard you BELIEVE the idea of America protecting Europe, not that you SUPPORT it. Two different things.

    Correct. I believe the US is a key factor in the defense of Europe, because it’s factually correct.

    I also believe the US should not be a key factor in defense of Europe, or any other nation(s), except the US. This is where I agree with the nationalists.

  23. @Fraser Orr:
    “But they are largely right. Perhaps the US doesn’t do so with pure reasons but the effect is that a great deal of the world does live under the protection of the American military. To say any different is simply delusional.”

    Your statement would be right before the USSR collapsed, but today America’s military operations are fueling the hatred in all the middle east countries and making the world less safe, not more. You need to differenciate between the times. Today’s America isn’t the savior of the world, and today’s Russia isn’t strong enough to be a threat to Europe, and today’s Germany isn’t the Nazi hell, and today’s white people aren’t slave owners etc. (I’m not alleging that you’re of this opinion about the last two mentioned examples, these were simply examples I wanted to include to substantiate my argument.)

    “Similarly regarding post war Europe. It may be that the American motivations were selfish but the plain fact is that Germany in particular and Europe in general would have wallowed in the fallout of war for decades without the Marshall plan. In fact, in truth were it not for the British, French and American presence in Germany, it would most likely have fallen on the wrong side of the iron curtain. So the say that America saved Germany after the war is indisputable, even if the reasons were not quite so altruistic as might be commonly believed. So, I agree with your dad.”

    I agree with you (except for the last sentence), because IN THE PAST America did indeed protect Europe from the USSR. But when I critcize the America of TODAY this is a completely diffferent thing. And you or my dad simply escape into the glorious past in your reasoning.
    This is a thing I can see with many groups. For example when you criticize Islam many muslims answer with things from the past, like “but Christianity also did terrible crusades / burned witches / prevented progress while Baghdad and the arabic culture were flourishing etc.” All this is totally true, but it is in the past and therefor irrelevant when discussing CURRENT topics. I wouldn’t have a problem with Islam if Sharia law was something that Muslims practiced in the past, but the fact that a huge part of the muslim population wants Sharia law right now in 2016 is unacceptable.
    So I don’t agree with you or my dad that criticizing America for things that are happening right now would be inappropriate.

    “If America were a defacto empire then an American governor would run Iraq and Kuwait, and all oil profits from that country would go to the American treasury.”

    What you’re describing is an empire in its literal sense, this is not what the term “de facto” means.

    “I used to run offshore development teams in Ukraine in Kiev, Odessa and Sevastopol so I am fairly familiar with its culture and history. If find your statement on this just appalling. Russia invaded this country because they wanted complete control of the peninsula to dominate the Black Sea. They already had a naval base there, but that wasn’t enough. If the military of nation A takes over the territory of nation B (and the territorial integrity is widely accepted) it is an invasion. If the Russian people in Crimea had wanted the Russians they could have indicated so via the normal political process. Hand waving a invasion of one state by another with any excuse is just dreadful. But it is what you have to do if you don’t have to balls to defend yourself.”

    I admit, I’m not really knowledgeable in this area so I was simply guessing from what I know. So this point goes to you, since you have first hand knowledge from there.

    “The argument you have just made was also made to justify Kristallnacht.”

    Can you give me more clarification on this statement?

    “Russia and the USSR are quite remarkably similar. Which is strange because politics would seem to make them very different. However, regardless if you are a communist tyrant or just a plain old tyrant you tend to act in the same way when driven by the same culture and principles. Putin is just Brezhnev with better pecs. It is all just the Russian Bear.”

    In reference to the past you are right. The strong USSR was a real threat for Europe. But the parameters have changed. Today’s Russia is way weaker than the USSR, plus today’s Europe is way stronger compared to the defenseless field of rubble that it was after WWII.

    “I’m sure, and that is why I think you are a fool.”

    Debate me with arguments like you do in your other paragraphs, instead of calling me names. This is a sign of weakness and shows that you’re running out of arguments.

    “Because there is ALWAYS a threat. It is human nature. It is the law of the jungle. And if you don’t see that you are blind.”

    The threat is only there if the threatening country/animal is stronger than you. This was clearly the case during the Cold War, but not anymore. France and Britain have nuclear weapons, Germany is one of the biggest arms-exporting-countries, hence it has the ability to build military equipment for its own defense if needed.

    “Offensive war is sometimes good, though rarely. Germany never attacked the USA during WWII, but aren’t you glad they conducted an offensive war anyway? War is death and destruction, but sometimes capitulation of worse death and destruction.”

    Yes, offensive war against a real threat like the 3rd Reich is good. But this is not what the West is doing right now (I’m including European NATO countries, my criticism also goes against Germany, not only the US.) If this would be the case, the West would have already attacked North Korea. But instead the attacks are directed against already weak arabian countries that aren’t a threat at all.
    Instead of protecting ourselves from a phantom threat, we are creating a real threat in the form of terrorists. Let’s leave the arabian countries alone. Their culture is regressive and they’re destroying themselves.
    My opinion is still the same: this “We’re protecting the world”-propaganda is nothing more than SP.

    “Thanks, but if you knew much about me you’d know I think for myself. It is you that is lost in a miasma of Lennonist “Imagine”. (Yah, that isn’t a spelling mistake.)”

    I never stated that I’m of the same opinion as John Lennon. The lyrics of this song are simply naive.
    I’m not against having a military, but against starting offensive wars and telling your people that it’s “for our own safety”.
    I’m also not of the atheist opinion that the world would be better without religion. I’m glad that I have the luxury of living in a prosperous country during a prosperous time. If I were born in a third world country and had to see my own kids die from hunger or having to give them away for child prostitution so I could afford some food for the rest of my family, I would go completely insane and maybe commit suicide if I didn’t have religion. So religion is important for many people in the world and I wouldn’t take it away from them.
    I’m also not of the opinion that no borders would be better. Such a one-world-nation would immediately turn into a totalitarian prison for everyone.

    Your stated opinions seem to be right-wing (therefor I’m debating you) and your assumptions about me seem to be left-wing (so I’m correcting you).
    I’m not generally against you. I’m willing to learn and I’m open-minded to accept the opinions of more knowledgeable people (see the paragraph about Crimea).

    And refrain from name calling. Otherwise I won’t answer you anymore.

  24. I always thought nationalism and globalism were more or less the same, only globalism being obviously on a much bigger scale.

    Also, I wonder if not voting is gonna be seen as a form of civil disobedience soon? I’m a strict anarchist and I have never voted.

  25. Fraser – I missed this the first time, but name calling other commenters is forbidden on my blogs. One more time and you’ll be banned. Thanks in advance.

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