11 thoughts on “Nationalism as the Child of Fear and Grievance

  1. This is a thoughtful and hopeful vision of human nature. Perhaps some day we will get there. Although, it will require much more than simply pointing the way towards an enlightened future. Our children must be taught. Our adult prejudices must be shown to be the destructive forces that they are. Our societies must foster cooperation and minimize conflict. But most of all, our leaders must be held to such high standards by the people they are tasked to serve.

    • Hi Robert. Yes indeed you are right. It is one of the great ironies of education that it is adults with all their prejudices that are the teachers of the young unprejudiced – especially where there is a collective national grievance of some kind. History proves time and again that to just tell people to stop fighting rarely works. It has to come from an understanding that carrying a grievance that originates from years ago (and is often irrelevant in the 21century) in the end only harms us (our thoughts dictate our actions). It is only then that people will choose to change and be brave enough to be the lone voice of dissent.

  2. Rebecca,
    You deserve credit for taking on nationalsm, a tough subject in Europe so close to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). People living in MENA unfortunately were born on lands holding great energy resources and are caught in the crossfire. Mirroring Robert, welcome to the Leaugue of Bloggers and look forward to future posts.

  3. Hi Jerry. Yes imperialism is also a growing problem (did it ever go away?) because of a wealth of resources in some countries and also farm land which Europe and Russia is fast running out of. That of course leads us back to the huge questions around population and resources!
    Thanks both for the welcome – I look forward to participating further. Rebecca

    • Hi Tanya. The post was written in the wake of the general election when the Scottish Nationalist Party increased it’s number of seats in the UK parliament from 6 to 56 (quite legitimately under our antiquated voting system) and are now the third largest party. This particular example has little to do with anti-Muslim feelings but I suggest it’s much more to do with historical grievances between Scotland and England. Nationalism is like a sleeping dog which is awoken by a set of events, in particular economic austerity (as in Germany pre second World War) when the tendency is to look for a scapegoat (someone to blame) and our belief system leads us straight to our former ‘enemies’. We are seeing nationalism waking and vying for attention in right wing parties in Scotland/England, Germany/Jews, France/Muslim and others include Austria and some Scandinavian countries. It is by no means exclusively aimed at Muslims but those from Eastern European counties too. I do think that lasting peace comes only from a change in a belief system when eventually – and sadly often following years of war/pain/trauma – the realisation dawns that our long held and entrenched views no longer serve us but are harming us. We have seen this in Ireland – so it can happen although it is still early days to see if it lasts.

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