Saturday, 17 January 2009
Blood is thicker than water - head for the hills
I'm really in two minds about pan-nationalism and civic-nationalism. On the one hand they are usually anti-globalist in nature and should be encouraged purely for the this reason, on the other they are clearly oxymorons.
Let's look at pan-nationalism (stuff like Black-nationalism, White-nationalism, European-nationalism) Clearly, they are based on identity (a good thing) and stand against bland mid-atlanticist monocultural neo-liberalism. But they show an almost imperialistic tendency to ride roughshod over existing cultures, languages, customs etc:
I am White, not English, Polish, French or I am Black, not Hutu, Swahili, or Akai In short their identities are artificial and academic, not natural, organic and historic like ethno-identities.
Small is better - I'm not European, there's no such thing as a European - only Czechs, Slovenians, Welsh and Danish. Europe a Nation? No thanks, Europe has always been too culturally diverse to constitute an authentic nation. The Northern European peoples are too distinct from the romance countries of France, Spain, Italy or Greece. I'm a Northerner - I have more in common with a Swede or the Dutch than with an Aragonese or a Maltese.
As a decentralist I'm interested in breaking things down, going BEYOND 19th and 20th century definitions of nationality in favour of a new regionalism - the smaller the area you take your identity from the harder it is for the globalisers to swallow you up -We've seen this grow over 300 years: You're not English, you're British...You're not British, You're European...You're not European, you're a citizen of the world... It doesn't mean anything, its just the way that our betters have stripped people of their identities, pretending we're all the same and making us buy the same clothes, food, and baubles.
On to civic-nationalism: Now one positive aspect to this current is that it provides a temporary stop-gap against the worst excesses of multiculturalism (witness Labour's 'Britishness' campaign in the wake of 7/7) It seems 'reasonable' and moderate - i.e. it appeals to most people. But civic-nationalism is fascistic - it tells people to assimilate and forget about their ethnicity culture or at least keep it behind the net curtains, no one should be denied who they are. But what happens to ethnic minorities if we just leave them to it? We get ghettoisation and ethno-enclaves. You've only got to look at Northern Ireland to see where this leads. I can't see a suitable solution to this. In our European homelands should nationalists leave their cities to the minorities and liberals and relocate to the rural idyll? Increasingly it seems the best option.