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Nationalism is Essential to Liberalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 195 times Debate No: 97343
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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I am choosing to debate whether Nationalism (that is, pride in one's home country and concern for one's own countrymen) is essential to the survival of Liberalism (the belief that the individual should be free so long as they do not cause direct harm to others, free from religious and social restraints). This is to be taken in opposition to the modern "Liberal"'s support for globalism.

1) Acceptance & Opening Statements (NO SOURCES)
2) Elaborate Opening Statements
3) Refutations
4) Rebuttals
5) Closing Statements (NO SOURCES)


Nationalism is essential to Liberalism because it guarantees the liberty of the individual member of the Nation. This has been seen in both the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency as well as the Brexit Referendum. By rejecting globalism both the United States and the United Kingdom are now able to concentrate more on improving their own countries, and not having to limit themselves in accordance with the will and demands of foreign entities who have their own agendas. Although it gets treated as a dirty sentiment nowadays, taking pride in one's Nation is how one preserves Liberty because the people take pride in themselves and the laws upon which their National government was founded, which in countries like Britain, the United States, and France was the Classical Liberalism of the Enlightenment and 18th Century.

I do mean to say that a person could (and should) believe that their culture and Nation are superior to foreign ones. This does not imply that any culture should be imposed upon another, which is a Neo-Conservative and Progressive point of view. Unlike those ideologies, which have led to migrant crises in both Europe and the US, promoted instability in the Middle East, and helped to fund slave labor in East Asia under the banner of Globalism, the true Liberal understands that Nationalism is necessary to preserving his/her own freedoms.

Looking forward to debating.


I oppose to the statement that Nationalism is needed in order to be a Liberal who supports global ism. The reason for this being that your nationality is not a choice, you are born with it as it is about your family history, it was not something that you yourself created or had any say about, therefore it should not define you nor your character, lifestyle, morals, ethics values etc. Furthermore to stay quiet and not speak up against unjust, or unfair rules because your government has put them into place, and you will say that you will not object or will not take a stand against because you state that you have nationalism is nothing less of foolishness. Also to have only a regard for Nationalism and not for Globalism is being ignorant, as you are ignoring the world around you, which although you may be able to concentrate on yourself right now, later on if something were to happen and you needed help, very few countries, if any any, would come to your aid, because of your selfishness of nationalism being more important than globalism. To add on to that if other countries do need help, but you only concentrate on your country, when those countries do recover from whatever struggle or issue they have been through they will still continue to remember what you had done to them, which may just provoke wars, and a halt to necessary resources as well.
Debate Round No. 1


So, Nationalism....
Let us define it as succinctly as possible. According to the University of Stanford's online library of philosophy, Nationalism has two definitions: 1: "the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity," and 2: "the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination".[1] Let us combine them for our purposes here. Nationalism is the attitude members of a nation take when they take pride in their national identity and self-determination.

However, my argument is not just to defend Nationalism, but to explain why it is essential to Liberalism.
So, we must define Liberalism.
Again, I must refer the reader to Stanford's library for more detail (as that it is far superior to Wikipedia).[2] The Liberal has but one interest: to ensure the maximum amount of Liberty for each individual within the possible confines of a Society. So Liberalism is an ideology primarily interested in the freedoms granted to the Individual within the bounds of a given Society. This should not be misconstrued with Libertarianism, which is (as I understand) to be a philosophy both striving for the greatest amount of Liberty (sometimes even outside the boundaries of a given Society) and which places great emphasis on self-reliance. [3] Whereas some Libertarians would argue that the duties of the State (such as defense and law enforcement) would be better left to businesses or even the individuals themselves, the Liberal recognizes the necessity of the State. The Liberal also allows for some dependency within a Society (for example, the concept of Welfare which many Libertarians are against, as that they say some facsimile of "Taxation is Theft"). It should also be understood that Liberalism covers a wide array of philosophies, some of which contradict each other. For example, I am a Liberal who fully support the Right to Bear Arms, and this does include assault rifles and automatic weapons, on the grounds that this is a Natural Right and is even implied in the Declaration of the Rights of Man in Article 2, as "Resistance to Oppression" [4] (I cite the French Rights of Man because throughout this debate I will refer to it quite a bit). There are other Liberals who disagree with me on this, saying that the possession of a firearm allows for the possessor to oppress others and thus infringe upon their rights. I am not going to go into more detail, but this should demonstrate that there are various (and often competing) Liberal ideologies.

So, how exactly is Nationalism essential to Liberalism??

As stated above, there are many different philosophies running through the veins of Liberalism. This is true within my country, the United States, and I am sure that it is also true within other countries. If, within a single Nation, there are Liberals competing with each other over what guarantees individual Liberty best, there will surely be even greater contention should Liberals from different Nations meet. For example, an Islamic Liberal from Iran will surely disagree on many points with a Western Secular Liberal. To give an example of this, according to (yes, yes, a comedy site), Iran is quite accepting of transsexuality, even going so far as to have the government help pay for an individual's sex change operation. [5] Although they briefly mention the Iranian prohibition on homosexuality (as that homosexuality is banned by the Quran), they neglect to mention that homosexuals are forced to undergo gender reassignment surgeries.[6] The Islamic Liberal, who may tolerate other religions and freedom of speech, would see nothing amiss with this policy as that it conforms to both guaranteeing Liberty and stays within the confines of an Islamic Society. The Western Secular Liberal would find this practice to be appalling, and it would never gain favor in Nations like the United States, France, or the UK.

So, what this means is that if a Liberal is to abandon Nationalism in favor of Globalism, and with it accept a borderless world and the multiculturalism that goes with it. [7] There would naturally be contention between the cultures, both from Nationals and from the migrants, even among the most Liberal elements of the two. This would of course be brought to the State reigning over the Nation which was migrated to. And this brings us to the second point of why Liberalism requires Nationalism.

The Corporate Interests, which should very much be considered the businesses which have the capital and ability to influence members of the State's governing body, are very much in favor of Globalization. Those Corporate interests will support whichever side the cheap labor comes from, and thus it follows that the politicians who are under the influence of corporate entities and those who are simply lobbied enough will support the side of cheap labor. So, in countries like the United States, Great Britain, and other European/Western Nations, where laws exist which protect the worker and guarantee rights such as a set minimum wage, the Corporate Interests will lobby the government to support immigration. The United States, for example, has a government that has encouraged illegal immigration with promises of amnesty and the establishment of Sanctuary Cities. Although this is decorated as sympathetic to the plight of people fleeing chaotic or impoverished Nations, it is actually an attempt to supply corporate interests (read: donors) with a source of cheap labor. [8] Even when we do not count for illegal immigration, either ignoring it expecting the government to enforce/legislate immigration laws or write it off as desperate people doing jobs "Americans don't want to do" (a sentiment which is wholly untrue), we can still see corporate interests and Globalism in the form of guest worker programs, otherwise called "insourcing". In the US, this is in the form of work visas, most notoriously the H1B visa program. [9]

This practice is staunchly anti-Liberal. This forces a Nation's citizens out of the job market, whether that be through outsourcing or insourcing. Of course there is, in most Western Nations, a Welfare System which is meant to provide aide to the disadvantaged. However, depending on such a system to provide for the multitude of victims of foreign labor will only strain such a system and lead to higher taxes in order to help provide funds for this system. In addition, this prevents individuals from taking control of their own lives. People who are on welfare usually receive a small stipend, enough really to survive (in the United States, this check is about $200 per person).[10] Such a small amount is hardly enough to allow a person to take control of their own life, and thus prevents them from the self-determination necessary for the individual to have in order truly be free. Hence, the rise in Nationalist Populism seen in the Western World is a Liberal event. The idea of a Globalist economy only benefits a select few.

A final point is that Globalism still requires some sort of governing body to provide oversight. Such examples include the United Nations or the European Union's Commission. In almost all cases, representatives to these institutions are not elected but appointed, albeit by elected officials. However, these governing bodies often impose their wills and agendas upon individual States; for example, in 2012 Romania held a referendum on impeaching what they saw as a corrupt president, with an approval rating of 17%. The overwhelming majority of voters supported the impeachment, but the EU interfered and forced Romanian courts to annul the referendum. [11] This is an example of Globalist bodies interfering with the affairs of a single state in order to preserve the status quo. This means that unelected officials could (and most certainly would) interfere with the goings on in any given State. Imagine it, entire elections overturned because the results do not benefit the corporate and political interests in foreign countries. Globalist allies would support one another without regard for the well-being of any nation's citizenry. It would be Hapsburg Dynasty all over again!

By being Nationalists, Liberals reject the morals of foreign lands which fundamentally run contrary to their own National values. By being Nationalists, Liberals reject the exploitation and outright abandonment of their fellow citizens. By being Nationalists, Liberals force their elected officials to answer to the citizens, and not to foreign or corporate interests.


As you have said you are living in the U.S so this puts you in a position to say that we do not have out help other countries, and should instead only concentrate on perfecting on our own, but no country no matter how much you try can ever be perfect, because "Being human, we need each other. That's why we need each other. To encourage each other when we lose heart. Some may lead; others may follow; but none of us can go it alone." (Hillary Clinton) This is being selfish, not putting one's self first after all " A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbours." (Richard Whately). Syria is facing a major crisis, right now and it too like U.S was once a beautiful and flourishing country, but they are facing difficulties, and that could easily happen to the Us as well, and if that were to happen not just Syria but other countries as well would also remember how the Us treated Syria when they needed help, and how they only concentrated on themselves. Then the U.S will realize how they had treated those who needed their help, and why people are not helping them now.
Furthermore please do let me ask you these questions based on your statement above for round one:
You say that " an Islamic Liberal from Iran will surely disagree on many points with a Western Secular Liberal.", although you are not completely wrong as everyone does have their own way of thinking, this does not mean that any or every Islamic liberal from Iran will disagree with many point of a Western liberal,so my question to you is what makes you think that just because a person is from a particular place that they will surely disagree with the majority of what a Western liberal has to say? This statement of yours pushes those from Iran who follow and practice Islam in a very particular group, which is inexcusable as everyone one does not have the same mindset or the way of thinking, just because they are from a certain nationality.
Also you say this statement based on a comedy website "Cracked .com" and use the information that you have found from this website as an example for you argument. As well as mentioning the Qur'an, have you ever read the Qur'an? And if you have not how can take the name of the Qur'an in your argument and use it as part of your example, how can you trust that a comedy website is quoting the correct thing from the Qur'an?
In the same paragraph you also say "that it conforms to both guaranteeing Liberty and stays within the confines of an Islamic Society. The Western Secular Liberal would find this practice to be appalling, and it would never gain favor in Nations like the United States, France, or the UK.", but this is not matter of nationalism as it does not have to do with your nationality, it has to do with your religion and the reason that Iran would do this is to keep the LGBT community within the bounds of Islam, but in places such as United States, France and the UK, the main religion is Christianity. And there is a huge difference between nationality, which would be where you are from, your culture and your religion, what you practice.
We together are a global nation, and we cannot turn our backs on those who need us around the globe, that does not mean that we do nit look after our own selves, it simply means that we need to not only work on bettering our own selves, but also to be humane and help those who need it the most, because fate is a very fickle thing and it can change sides at any given time, and while we are thinking that we are superior by ignoring those who need us, we do not realize that all we are doing is digging our own grave, for tomorrow. And we are already abandoning and exploiting our fellow humans, is that what being a nationalist is?
Debate Round No. 2


So, the first question I must ask is how does living in the US put in me in a position to be a Nationalist any more than some one living in Brazil, or Uganda, or India? Do they not have the right to be proud of their Nation, and to Nationalists and look out for their own people as much as I have it?

The second thing that must be pointed out is that quote from defeated Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Let us not forget that her defeat was mainly due to corruption and corporate cronyism.[1] One could try to make the same accusation of President-Elect Trump, but between the media cover-ups of Clinton's scandals[2], accepting donations from Saudi Arabia for both her Foundation and Campaign[3], or her direct role in destabilizing Libya[4]. Is this the face you want to use in order to support your side?

Now, my example of an Iranian Islamic Liberal was chosen because out of the Middle East, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are the only three countries that are not either unstable or puppet states. Turkey has had a crackdown on free speech following a recent attempted coup, Saudi Arabia is a dystopia of epic proportions, and, despite that propaganda shown to people in the West, Iran is the more Liberal of those three countries. Iran has a great deal to be proud of, from overthrowing a puppet state (i.e. the Shah) to resisting the impositions of outside nations and being Saudi Arabia's major regional rival. This is the reason I chose the example of an Iranian Islamic Liberal.

Islam's rejection of homosexuality is well documented, forbidden in Qur'an 7:80-81 as such: "We also sent Lut : He said to his people : "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds."[5] However, the Iranians were chosen as that their method of enforcing this is far more tolerant than their rival's, as that the Saudis have are pushing harder to impose the death penalty upon homosexuals.[6]

So, concentrating upon Iran's practice of providing sex change operations to homosexuals, this is something that should make any Western Liberal's stomach churn. However, in perspective of the region alone, it is quite Liberal of them. This is the difference I refer to between Nations and Nationalities. The culture of the US and the UK are far more accepting of homosexuals than Iran is, and all three are far more accepting than Saudi Arabia or the Islamic State.

Now we come to the notion of research and why research is important. In my argument you will see numbers in brackets, "[#]". I put my sources in the comments in order for people to see where my information comes from. Although you are correct in stating that Christianity is dominant in the US, making up 3/4ths of the population.[7] The same is true in France, although slightly lower with about 66% being Christians.[8] However, Christianity is NOT the dominant religion in the UK, with 53% saying they are not religious. [9] Compare any of these numbers to Iran's 99% Muslim majority. [10] So, in fact, the UK is not dominantly Christian, but non-religious, with most claiming to be either apatheists or agnostics.

However, in the US, where the majority are Christian, LGBT communities are not forced to be within the bounds of Christianity, as opposed to Iran, where Homosexuals are kept within the boundaries of Islam. In fact, the government opposes the oppression of homosexuals on the basis of religion, the most famous example being Kim Davis, who was punished for trying to interject her religion into the affairs of state as an excuse not to do her job.[11] This is the difference between the Western Secular Liberal and the Iranian Islamic Liberal I described above. In Iran, defending the rights of gays is synonymous with forcing them to undergo surgery. In the US, it means granting them the same rights as everybody else.

You say "there is a huge difference between nationality, which would be where you are from, your culture and your religion, what you practice." This is fundamentally flawed, as that Nation is tied to culture. It is a people connected with strong bonds of identity[12]. So the culture of Norway will be fundamentally different than that of the US or France, for example. This is something one should take great pride in, as the accomplishments of one's forbears (for example, American Revolutionaries, General Sherman, and US technological advancements) is something to be admired and inspired by. Something to strive to contribute to.

Now, your argument in favor of Globalism.

You cite Syria as a place where the US needs to get involved. Why? Russia and Iran are already involved there, and the last two places the US got involved in are now failed, with Libya being cited above and Iraq being embroiled in its own Civil War between the puppet state and the Islamic State. The US is currently bogged down in Afghanistan trying to support the puppet government there while dealing with various issues at home. In order to avoid becoming like that, the US should avoid meddling in Syria. The US currently has an immigration crisis which is far more complicated than either side makes it out to be. It has just come off of a recession, but is currently so restricted with government regulations and corporatism that a second one could be looming in the future (and certainly would come if Crooked Hillary had won).

As for "abandoning and exploiting our fellow humans", let us not forget that is exactly what Globalism demands. Global trade agreements, while they export jobs from the US do create opportunities for slave labor in East Asia. The Governments allowing for such conditions are propped up and kept secure by Globalist corporations who seek to profit from both exploiting these people and abandoning their own.

Sources in comments.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by canis 1 week ago
Cogito ergo sum est..Est ergo sum cogito. Ergo sum. Sum est.
Posted by LuciferWept 1 week ago
3) *
10) **
11) ***

* I know in my argument I described the more extreme forms of Libertarianism, those kinds bordering on Anarchism.
** I did not account for Section 8 Housing or Foodstamps....still $200 dollars a month plus a small pittance for food will not help anybody determine their own life.
*** I understand that there was a quora mandated of at least "50% + 1", but there is also the fact that the law dictating that was waived by an emergency measure.

For further reading I recommend John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" and "Considerations on a Representative Government". As always, JJ Rousseau's "The Social Contract". Marquis de Sade's "Juliette" for a description of the Hapsburgs and how Elites support other Elites. I also recommend Robespierre's Speech "On the War" and F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom".
Posted by Tree_of_Death 2 weeks ago
...I don't see why nationalism and globalism have to be mutually exclusive.
Posted by canis 2 weeks ago
Globalisation is you watching your wife getting the "world"..Your reaction ?.... Is to loose your job at the same time....Well that is only true if you are actually producing "struff"..Fore the rest, (60% ?) it just means cheaper cars and...of course self-destruction in a near future.
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