Debate Rounds (3)
Nationalism is a widely debated and hot topic. There have been many proponents, and opponents of Nationalism. Personally, I think that a nationalist majority in a nation is healthy. I believe the benefits that Nationalism has to offer outweigh the disadvantages that many people say include "xenophobia", "racism", "intolerance", and "imperialism". Note, I am not supporting a fascist regime, but merely citing the large benefits that Nationalism has to offer.
For one thing, nationalism enhances teamwork and productivity in the workforce. For the own sake of their nation, and because of the emphasis of nationalism on collective identity, people will work together. Not only for their own personal benefit, but to enhance the nation as a whole. Under nationalism, people are encouraged to work hard together. Nationalism encourages the idea that workers have similar interests with the other workers in their company, and in a bigger picture, their country. Because of this, workers have a better sense of value, boosting their motivation. Therefore, nationalism results in improved productivity. Nationalism also unites people of all different classes, creating a rare harmony between them.
The negatives of Nationalism can not be ignored, but I believe that they are easily disassociated directly with nationalism. These include racism, and the thought of superiority over other nations. When talking about nationalism, these are often the most stressed problems. Racism is often expected to increase with nationalism, as nationalism promotes a certain group of people. However, there are different types of nationalism. There is ethnic nationalism, cultural nationalism, and there is civic nationalism. In my opinion, cultural nationalism has the least amount of racism. This is because it doesn't celebrate a nation's ethnicity; it celebrates it's culture. Anyone can embrace a nation's culture. Reiterating the superiority problem, nationalism can cause wars if it promotes imperialism. In WWI, nationalism is widely blamed as the cause, as Germany felt superior, and they felt the best. But this was only a contributing factor. In fact, the real cause was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This instigated a war between Austria and Serbia. The military alliances dragged all the other nations that were allied with either Austria or Serbia into the war. But it must be said that the assassins themselves were from the nationalist group Mlada Bosna. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Nationalism has a lot of merit, but is often discouraged because of some of the racial obstacles it has faced. I personally believe nationalism is healthy because it improves productivity and teamwork, and eases tensions between the working class, the middle class, and the wealthy. People should take care to note that Nationalism isn't fascism or intolerance, but a love of one's country. I do not like that people constantly associate the word with racism, but that is their opinion.
Nationalism has it's benefit's i'll give you that, but, like just about anything, it's bound to have it's drawbacks, and in nationalism's case, i feel the cons far outweigh the pro.
Nationalism tends to flare up in times of crisis, be it war or economic, and it tends to target a minority population. In Hitler's Germany for example, all of that nationalism was put against the Jewish minority for no reason. They were a group that he could target in order to fuel unity. Nationalism by nature fuels conflict. It is the idea that one's nation is superior or better, and tends to aggravate tensions. Also, as you mentioned above, Nationalism sparked the first world war powder keg of Europe. Why? Because people where drawn into the idea of supremacy of others. It's an infectious mindset.
In the united states, especially now, racism is still very prevalent. Why you may ask. Because the economy has been in decline for a while and people want a reason. The easiest is to target the minority for our problems. It's a natural reaction.
Conclusion. Nationalism sparks conflict and disharmony by unfairly targeting those who are not strong enough to speak out.
Good points, and I feel nothing bad, in fact I am grateful that you responded, rather than forfeiting. To say racism is gone is stupid, and there are still plenty of people who carry racist ideologies. And you're right; Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat, as a blame for all the problems in Germany. Why they believed him without question I cannot understand. But to the point:
Although in WW2 Germany this was the case, scapegoats aren't entirely related to Nationalism. For example, blaming the problems on the minority groups in America is not to promote nationalism, but to make it seem like the government hasn't done anything wrong, when in reality it is the one to blame. For the people, blaming the minorities is out of sheer blindness. Like I said, nationalism in an ideal case is the love of one's country, and the mindset of being proud to be from that country. You love it's culture, and you love it's history: it doesn't mean you agree with everything the country does. In an ideal case, nationalism does not include racism and the persecution of minorities. Rather, it promotes unity of the people, under a unified cause. I'm not saying that everyone needs to be nationalistic: in no way should the government force nationalism on an individual. I'm simply saying that in an ideal case, one will find increased productivity, harmony, and low tension between the classes. In an authoritarian state, and a hardcore nationalistic one, the ones who can't speak out are indeed persecuted.
Conclusion: In the ideal case, nationalism doesn't promote racial superiority, but love of your country.
I'v e found throughout history, two forces tend to balance out in a nation. Patriotism, and Nationalism, and of the two, Nationalism is the more violent. Nationalism inspires people and draws them together to a common goal, as does patriotism. But Nationalism does this by an us first mentality. It is the mindset of the people that their Nation is in fact superior to other's. It is in a sense a transformation of loving one's own country, to resenting other nations. The reason Nationalism works is because it can draw people together by the belief we are the greatest. It's an infectious mindset. A destructive mindset. Many wars in the course of history were fought, solely based upon the Nationalism in one country. The first World War, The Second World War, Serbo-Croatian conflict, Yugoslav War, and many others. Patriotism ion the other hand is the peaceful love of the country. It promotes mutual cooperation on the international scale, and encourages peaceful relations rather than war.
Conclusion: Nationalism ideally should be peaceful, but if that is the case, it would cease to be Nationalsim, and turn into patriotism.
I would like to thank the Pro for such thought provoking arguments.
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