Left and Right

The Hijacking of Nationalism (and Populism Too)

Populism, distilled to its most essential, is a pure and ideology-free method of redress for the peasants of any given country.

What is Nationalism then? Well, I would argue that it is simply outwardly-facing Populism. If the problems that a nation faces are internal, then we can call efforts by the peasants to band together and demand redress either peaceably (more or less) or perhaps more … kinetically as a manifestation of Populism. But, if a nation faces outward enemies, then Nationalism is yet another method of banding together to demand redress or to defend oneself.

But if only things were so simple.

Unfortunately there are various kook ideologies that try to hijack the power of Populism and Nationalism and use them for their own ends. This ideological hijacking is particularly visible and pernicious in our day and age when it comes to Nationalism and so has to be intelligently resisted.

The problem is also readily apparent with Nationalism, where, the pure expression of a people’s ethnic solidarity is undermined by spook ideologies like Communism, Liberalism or whatever else. These ideologies use the power of, say, Russian Nationalism to spread Communism across Europe or American Nationalism to spread Liberal Democracy over the world. Both are bastardizations of the purer, simpler, ethnic, peasant solidarity movement that defines Nationalism in its distilled, pristine form.

Ideological hijacking makes Nationalism turn feral.


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