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Monday, October 29, 2018

David Brooks is a Nationalist?

David Brooks is a Nationalist? He said so in a recent article. But he also described what he meant.

He meant that his main claim of reference and where he most finds the characteristics that define himself and his interests is not in neighborhood or village or city, though all these are important. Nor in the international or global realm, but in his country--the US of America. Thus he calls himself a nationalist, not a globalist or a statist or regionalist.

I guess that's okay.  If it is descriptive.  But not if prescriptive.

I am not a nationalist and I don't want to be.

My problem with nationalism (e.g. America Firstism) is that it easily turns to fascism. (Merriam Webster:  a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.) 

I am an American. But not a patriot, right or wrong, as in "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundral" (Sam Johnson). I identify with humanity, not only in America. I especially identify with those who aspire to, but are left out of, the opportunity for human fulfillment or full actualization. As an American, I work hard to practice my citizenship, to make America a place of opportunity for human fulfillment, i.e. public and private happiness. I also oppose my country and my government when I discover it denying the human rights of people in or out of my country.

Go be a nationalist, David Brooks. Your decision.  But not mine.