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The Contender
Con (against)

Is nationalism positive or negative for the state and people who have such ideology in power?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/24/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 632 times Debate No: 106112
Debate Rounds (4)
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Nationalism by definition is loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups. Of course there are different types of nationalism but for argument's sake let's say that we argue about nationalism based on country,culture and ethnicity. We are not arguing about the state of government as I believe that would be a back and forth as to if all nationalist are authoritarian and if democracy is really to be preferred over authoritarianism i.e. getting off topic. I am exited to have this debate and to see what the people should decide. Good luck to my opponent.

1st round- Points of view and explaining those points of view.

2nd and 3rd round- Arguments about the issue and replying to each other.

4th round- final conclusion and explanation(if possible) on why your case is better and the people should vote for you.


A crucial observation - nobody chooses where they are born. According to nationalism, an individual must exalt THEIR nation above all others, with one simple reason: they were born in that nation. This, to me, is not a fair justification of nationalism. Conflicting interests will nonetheless exist and different countries with different ideologies and cultures will still exist. However, rather than proclaiming the superiority of their own nation and consequently proclaiming the inferiority of others, one must allow every nation to work together to eventually create a better world despite their conflicting interests. A nationalist would refuse such progress to further their own nation's interests - this may lead to terrible consequences such as war and destruction and will harm their nation more than international harmony ever will.
Cultures are subject to change, and for good reason - some cultures simply aren't modern. A person living in a nation with an inferior culture (such as Saudi Arabia) must note the flaws of their culture and change it rather than blindly promote it. Those living in nations where their culture is good by modern standards - A fair example would be Australia - must allow for multiculturalism.

Nationalism on the basis of ethnicity is just wrong and strong views as such lead to the worst possible cases of ethnic cleansing and genocide. We all know what Adolf Hitler's nationalism and promotion of the Aryans leads to, and what the apparent superiority of the Hutu ethnic group over the Tutsi in Rwanda leads to. Division on the basis of ethnicity is unacceptable in a modern world where racialism has been proven false - all 7.5+ billion humans living on this planet are Homo Sapiens and anyone can live with any other human. Ethnic promotion is nonsensical.

To be a nationalist, one must blindly ignore the bad that their nation has done in history, one must blindly ignore the drawbacks of their culture, blindly promote their nation's interests while not realising the harmful effects they may have on other nations and consequently even their own and love something out of coercion that doesn't necessarily deserve love. And if it does, then promote those values, those things that make your country great - and spread it so that all of humanity may benefit.

It is therefore evident that nationalism brings harm to a state as it halts progress and positive change for a useless sense of pride. It is the primary cause of war and destruction which is always a lose-lose situation. Finally, it is negative for those who have such ideology in power - as it limits their thinking and they end up being more narrow-minded and causes them to devote themselves to something which fosters division.

'National consciousness' should be replaced in its entirety by 'Global consciousness' - the era of nationalism is coming to an end and a united world is due.
Debate Round No. 1


An interesting argument, nonetheless a flawed one.

1.You wrote that I quote "A crucial observation - nobody chooses where they are born" yet is that even a valid argument? Because you call it an observation yet nobody has observed what happens to somebody before they are born, this might of course vary from different ideas of what birth is and what the religious belief is for a particular person yet nobody has observed to tell you with 100% accuracy that you don't choose where you are born thus making the argument invalid. Also in continuing your point you wrote that "rather than proclaiming the superiority of their own nation and consequently proclaiming the inferiority of others, one must allow every nation to work together to eventually create a better world despite their conflicting interests" well to that I have to reply with, its not the definition of nationalism. Nationalism means to be proud of your ethnicity and culture built throughout the millennia by your ancestors before you and to defend it against rivals wishing to destroy all that has been built in the name of something else be it a foreign culture, an ambitious but nonetheless dangerous, destructive and impossible to the fullest extent idea(communism,anarchy,globalism) or your nation itself thus making that argument weak at best. Then you continue on to say that nationalism will hurt the world and the country more than "international harmony"(by which you meant progressivism) ever will, well then I am sorry but the one state solution to the world will require many atrocities done to be possible including; genocide of some people that do not accept the ideals of a world spanning state,destruction of everything that makes people unique including their religion culture ethnicity national monuments, the stop of human rights as you really need to silence so many people to achieve that its kind of funny actually and so on which you might argue that it is simply not apart of your argument but the goal of " international harmony" is just that and that will hurt world prosperity way more than nationalism ever will, as for example your so desperately desired psychological and philosophical progress requires different ideas,opinions and points of view which multiculturalism does not allow and in fact the exact opposite it destroys those things in the name of "we are all the same with the same ideals and if you do not agree you have no place in our society". And as you said that it also harms the nation I ask you what harms a nation more the embracing of its values goals and your support of said values and people or the destruction of those values and peoples while replacing it all with an artificial way of life in order to satisfy everyone and not allow for the accurate exchange of ideas as certain ones are the only ones deemed acceptable (an example for that right now is political correctness which poisons politics now more than ever)? Then you start talking about culture and how some cultures are better than others and the countries with the better cultures should allow for multiculturalism. Why? So that immigrants can reap the benefits of your culture while at the same time pushing their own as the superior one? Really people like you are the reason for Europe's fast worsening situation and its whole crisis. People like you with the same mindset turned the EU into what it is today; a bearocratic undemocratic freedom hating( the worst kind of authoritarian) progressive regime that is now anything but positive for the progress of the European continent as a whole!

2. So your best argument against nationalism based on ethnicity is that its "just wrong"? So allegiance/loyalty to one's state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition is "just wrong" because of basically tensions between ethnicities? That is a bit ironic from someone supporting multiculturalism don't you think? Because multiculturalism opposes division but funnily enough by moving immigrants in large numbers to certain countries you are only increasing divisions and tensions between different ethnic groups so in all respect don't talk to me against ethno nationalism based on ethnicity if you are going to mention racial tensions. And funny how you should say that racialism has been disproven when the reality is anything but. Want a few examples? Here;

and those are just a few cited sources.

3. I absolutely 100%... disagree. One must not forget the bad that they have done to their own people but one must also not forget the subsequent good they have done which is, provided they have survived through all of known human history up to today most likely more than the bad meaning its better to focus on the majority first minority second but don't forget about the minority nonetheless. Then you go on to say that if my values are worth loving and defending that I should share them with the world for which I agree but I don't agree pushing my values into other people's throats and screwing up my country and peoples while doing so. By that I mean basically that I am to share the values with a distinct political entity i.e. another country or people without a country not invite people to immigrate here just because my culture is supperior, not to mention that through immigration my people, my ideals, my integrity, my position, my stability, my economy will only suffer. If I am to accept immigrants then I would chose only a small number of educated ones whose numbers aren't a threat to the current native majority and who can immediately find work here.

4. Your exact words are "It is therefore evident that nationalism brings harm to a state as it halts progress and positive change for a useless sense of pride". I can easily refute that statement by asking you one simple question. If nationalism brings harm to the state as it halts progress and positive change then how has progress been made through pretty much 99.999% of human history? Because really if anything nationalism inspires innovation for the goal of improving the situation in your state and being in a better situation than your rivals which globalism in and of itself does not. In a globalist united world society the only progress moving the world forward would be that of companies who rival with each other but this time not for the betterment of the community and the betterment of the world as a whole no its only driving factor is greed and when the most important thing is if "i will get more money" then that can be prone to extremely sociopathic, greed motivated and reckless behaviour leading more to a stagnation than a new age of innovation. The leaders have to care for the people, their opinion, international opinion, rival opinion, rival progress and so on. One example would be the moon landing, do you think that the americans would have launched a man to the moon that fast and poured in so much money into NASA if the USSR hadn't launched the first satellite, man, women, and dog into space? Because once a few moon landings had been made and the Americans could proudly say that they won the space race suddenly all attention went elsewhere and space programmes became a in shell of their former self with the US not having sent another man to the moon and its funding going extremely down because I can tell you with upmost certainty that if the USSR also made a space feat in that time and the space race continued then we would have long ago established human colonies on Mars and advanced space travel technology by a lot more than we have today. Also how is Nationalism narrow minded? It really does not matter whether you are a globalist or a nationalist to see outside the box, and even so to decide to be a nationalist in present society even takes more thinking outside the box as the box is created by globalists to explain to you why nationalism is negative in the present time, so to look outside this multicultural box that progressives have created means to be less narrow minded. Or if you mean by that thinking more globally then i trully am not against it but i must ensure the survival of my people, my ethnicity and my culture and only then will i focus on the problems of the world as first i have to fix the issues of the people closer to me and then the people further away from me.

As for your closing statement i would have 100% agreed with you if my people weren't ever so low in numbers, ever so divided, ever so desperate ever so, without hope. For as long as my people are endangered in any way i will care for them first. This whole global consciousness idea is flawed in its basis not just by the fact that its completion requires sacrifices some of which too inhumane, or the fact that it will just create more division than unison,the main reason that its flawed is the fact that its downright evil to destroy what makes people different and unique just so you could create your own world spanning tamed state. There is a word for what you want to create and that word my friend is dystopia nothing less!


I stand by the statement 'Nobody chooses where they are born'. Just because some religious beliefs say otherwise, does not make the argument invalid. Reproduction in humans has been observed over decades using extremely advanced technology and one's birth is quite clearly the caused by sexual intercourse - it would be quite ridiculous to claim that you chose your parents and thus your country. True, we do not know exactly when we gain consciousness, but we must ignore strange beliefs such as the "before-life" which really are incompatible with modern science and basic logic. "Nobody has observed with 100% accuracy that you don't choose where you are born" - Any beliefs to the contrary are not valid in formal debate.

Moving on, it seems like you have confused nationalism with patriotism - to be simply proud is patriotism and nationalism is of a more extreme form. Nationalism isn't, as you claim, about self-defence. What is motivating rivals to destroy a nation's culture? That's right, nationalism.

This debate isn't about how a one state world would look like - what I meant by a united world isn't the need for one single government right now - I meant global unity among people of different ethnicities and cultures. A one state world does seem quite plausible for a time far ahead when the need for unity to save the human race is there, but not now. That brings me to another point - in the future, if an apocalypse or something of the kind were to happen, humans would drop nationalism on a whole - proving its uselessness. And the "genocide of people who don't support a world spanning state" will not happen! Disagreements will be tolerated and if a large number of people revolt then the world will not be prepared for a single state. Uniqueness of different geographical regions will be maintained - this has nothing to do with international harmony. The hypothetical single state world will be federal allowing different governments with different ideologies and different cultures around the world - but there will be free movement, and the world will have the properties of a sovereign state. I maintain that if there is large dissent, then such a state would not be plausible.

If some of a nation's values/goals are bad, they must be destroyed. It's simple. And I never did mention replacing it with an artificial way of life without exchange of ideas, that's a straw man - all ideas, whether deemed acceptable or not, must be allowed to be propagated - and the ideas that are enforced must be selected from those by determining their validity, testing it with things such as morality and economic viability - NOT because it fulfills the values or goals of a nation. The concept of political correctness is indeed rubbish.

By multiculturalism, one must accept the beliefs of others and their traditions to be introduced, of course, if their culture is barbaric, then they should not be able to enforce those barbaric things.

Ad hominem attack follows in your argument. There are many varying positions concerning the EU. I will note that the EU is largely flawed and has many administrative drawbacks and some countries are better off without it. However, it has also done considerable progress in uniting Europe and sharing democracy all around. With free trade zones and free movement of people, the EU has potential to bring great prosperity. Maybe the EU has not functioned to its best but as a concept it shows how powerful supranational organisations are - and the peace that can be brought if nationalism is discarded.

About ethnicity - no, my best argument is not that it's "just wrong" - that was an opening statement - my arguments were ahead. Today, practically no nations of a single ethnic group exist. For argument's sake, even if I were to become a nationalist, I would most certainly not care about the ethnicity of the person I'm dealing with. I would not feel more loyal if he/she were of the same ethnic group. And no, loyalty is not wrong because of tensions, but it is indeed loyalty that CAUSES these tensions in the first place. It is wrong because there is no (zero) moral basis for loyalty towards an ethnicity. "Common traditions" are no grounds for loyalty - having people of different traditions with unity is a moral landmark. As for multiculturalism, it doesn't increase divisions, rather leads to minimised tensions between ethnicities. What you are referring to is inter-ethnic relations as different ethnic groups are introduced within a society. This causes people to look past ethnicity and those who don't will exist and there will be incidents but the overall recognition that ethnicity doesn't matter will increase. As for the part about racialism, the links you sent did specifically state that there are trends among races, but in practice the variation is minimal and all humans of all races are subject to the same requirements - or ever so slightly different (it was even stated that the differences between two races was less than that of two different PEOPLE in a race) - not enough to amount to racialism. Most importantly, all Homo Sapiens can interbreed.
Cartmill 1998: "Like other social constructs, races are real cultural entities. For many people, membership in a racial group constitutes an important part of their social identity and self-image. But social facts are not necessarily part of the biological landscape. In multiethnic regional populations, races are merely ethnic groups linked to vague, inconsistent, and stereotypical ideal phenotypes. Growing awareness of the meaninglessness of racial taxonomy is currently leading increasing numbers of U.S. citizens to refuse to classify themselves racially, or to allow themselves to be so classified by others (Fish 1995). In the long run, we would probably be better off if we all followed their example."

Point three is rubbish, one cannot say that the good outweighs the bad if a nation has survived human history. The good and bad history should be taught no matter what - and due to nationalism, the bad is NEVER or almost never taught.

"Pushing values down other people's throat" is far different from engaging in dialogue and promoting certain values. As always, there are many ways of determining whether ideas should be enforced/ values be accepted - and how will this screw up your own country? As for immigration (not large scale) that has actually usually a good idea that in the long run helps the country. Among immigrants, new jobs are formed [NOT replacement of jobs as widely thought], new taxpayers, cheap(er) labour. Accepting a huge number of immigrants obviously isn't a great idea and 'promoting immigration' is not the case as immigrants are automatically attracted to places with superior values - which brings me to the point that large scale immigration will be reduced as people won't feel the need to move to your country if the values in their country are good.

Progress has been regularly slowed down, sometimes halted, due to nationalism. Saying that it exists doesn't mean that nationalism is a causal factor or that nationalism has not slowed progress. This competition was mainly responsible for the arms race pre-WW1, in the Cold War, these being huge threats to human society as a whole. To 'make a country better than its rival' has almost exclusively been in the matter of defence and NOT other things such as internal progress, economic stability, better education, etc. A notable exception is the space race but in all honesty a united space agency would have worked wonders and this is proved by the European Space Agency - such an agency wouldn't have been formed with Britain waving to be better than France. Innovation is a product of need for progress, be it internalised or global, and not competition.

Nationalism is narrow minded in one sense, by that I didn't mean that all nationalists are narrow minded, indeed some globalists can be narrow minded, but nationalism has in itself the narrow minded philosophy of devotion to something carved out of imaginary borders made by humans.

Once again, division into geographic regions is a necessity - and you will obviously not fix the problems of someone far away rather than your own for reasons of geography and man-made borders - but one must recognise that everybody's problem must be fixed and every person has equal dignity - regardless of where they live and which group they belong to.

Your people are endangered? Now, imagine if 'your people' did not exist and 'your people' were part of one race called 'Homo Sapiens'. Nothing to endanger your people, no special identity for your people. They can still have their own way of life, believe differently and be unique - but your people are part of something larger which does not divide itself as nationalism does.

Caring for them first - once again not nationalism, but just how federal society works.

I have already refuted the last argument about sacrifice and uniqueness so I will not dive into that again. International harmony has nothing to do with dystopia.

I would also like to ask for your opinion on the following question: Should citizens of Saudi Arabia be nationalists? Their regime is quite barbaric and have committed atrocities, their law is based on religion and is very harsh - values are not good by modern standards of morality. Should citizens promote such a culture and the values of the country? If not, then isn't your argument on nationalism selective to subjectively 'good' states?

Having refuted the points made by Pro, sticking to the original defining of nationalism by Pro, I conclude this round.
Debate Round No. 2


1. Everyone knows reproduction has been thoroughly observed by scientists, but how and where consciousness forms has not at all. Though let's say for the sake of argument that you are correct and we don't chose where we are born, then that still doesn't disprove the theory that our consciousness has a deep connection to that of our ancestors and an example of that is the many psychological similarities that a child has to their parents without possibly being learned like for example a tendency to get emotional, thinking the same way, making the same mistakes, having the same reasoning and so on and that would in turn mean that you as in your consciousness will 100% be born to a specific mother and father in turn meaning that you have a lot in common with your ancestors and nothing in common with foreign migrants thus my argument is correct nonetheless.

2. No it just shows that you don't know the correct definitions for distinct political ideologies such as nationalism which I coincidentally wrote in my first text which you might want to reread as I will not repeat myself. And as for your second point it just seems that you forget what I write quite commonly as I explained in my last text what can threaten nations and cultures and its not only rival nations. I believe in the concept of an ethnostate meaning that wherever people of a specific nationality are the majority should be united into one country, so that way there are no ethnic tensions, more stability and prosperity as well as NOT destroying anyone's culture or ethnicity just making sure the borders are politically as well as historically accurate to prevent more wars not start them.

3. And I I am noticing a trend here that you very clearly once again forgot what I wrote.
As I already refuted your statement even before you made it- "you might argue that it is simply not apart of your argument but the goal of "international harmony" is just that" i have nothing more to add to that the words speak for themselves. As for your second point I have to respectfully say that what you just said is either pure ignorance or deliberate falsification because that is completely . As a start if an apocalypse is to happen on the earth then nationalism would be more prevalent than ever, i am truly sorry if you get your idea of earth after an apocalypse from the walking dead but its simply not the case. Then you say that "the genocide of people with different ideas will not happen" yet if you want a united society you will need to assimilate everyone through immigration that is not at all beneficial for the people or society and you would need to commit several human rights violations as the world spanning government requires it to function, there is simply no way around that however much you try to spin the argument.

4. I agree that ideas like Islamic Wahhabism should be destroyed but I also presume you deem nationalism as one of those bad ideas and I would have to disagree there. And once again I repeat myself that without censorship of people who want their country to exist a world spanning state is impossible.

5. But why should i want to accept peoples of different ethnicity in large numbers if they only bring division, instability political and economic, possibly high birthrates which may threaten the existence of my people, foreign culture which might threaten to forcibly change the states ideals, people who instead of working leech of state benefits that my country provided to them creating no stimuli to even search for a job and honestly these reasons are just those at the top of my head as there simply a giant lot of downsides and zero benefits to accept refugees.

6. Even if it is its not a lie. The EU brings tons of migrants permanently to to Europe for no good reason what so ever. It is undemocratic as no one that is in an important position there is democratically elected by the people and the only democratically elected force the European parliament has no power to change anything regarding the union unless given consent by the higher ups( progressives who don't accept anything outside their agenda). It messes into the affairs of states without the authority or people giving any consent whatsoever. They always say that they represent European values yet I don't think they have any idea what those values are. They push their progressive agenda down everyone's throats like people are too dumb to decide the future of their nations themselves. I agree that there are some positive sides to the EU and the concept of a European union in and of itself isn't bad, but so many things have to be changed that it will probably be easier to scrap the organisation entirely and start over from scratch.

7. OK so first of all multiple ethnicities in a single country do create tension and division. Literally every country that is "multicultural" is experiencing it: from all the countries in Europe supporting multiculturalism to Asian states such as Turkey, China, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Russian Siberia,Burma as for the Americas the countries suffering from this "cultural enrichment" are Brazil, USA, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Argentina from Africa I haven't researched but I do know south Africa is and I am somehow sure (as this is Africa we're talking about) that there are more countries suffering because of that problem. I can also point out Australia and New Zealand are also having problems with this issue. If you want more examples or evidence of their suffering as countries and societies just ask for a specific country and I will show you why. Bottom line you are wrong, the thing that causes ethnic tension is multiculturalism, nationalism only goes to the extremes if ethnic borders are not respected which multiculturalism does not. As for your next point I believe common traditions signify historical connection, common ancestry, common history, common culture, common beliefs, common ideals, common hardships of ancestors and hopefully future children and grandchildren for the good of the nation so i believe it does deserve loyalty and respect at the least. And it seems like you only saw the parts of my sources that you wanted to see since it explicably said there that the definition of race has changed since 1998 or whatever now more than ever so that speaks for itself.

8. Are you ignoring what I wrote again? Because I wrote that there needs to be focus on the good and bad things a nation did it in its history, but if they did a majority of bad things for their or other's people chances are they would not exist today so provided the good are more than the bad you should simply focus more on them. So please stop taking things out of context.

10. Well at least we both agree that large scale immigration is bad and that small scale immigration is acceptable I suppose, however if their is a problem in your country then you should try and fix it not flee to a already nice country where everything is easy. Because see everyone can flee a problem but not everyone can fix it and so I can respect those people who stay but I don't respect as much the people who flee in regards to that particular case.

11. Nationalism has contributed way more to progress than it has deducted. One example is that nationalism started all industrial revolutions as European Kings wanted their country to be better and more efficient than others and rivalries even based on weapons have contributed a lot more than you think. One example is how ww1 and ww2 and the competition for better arnaments there led to giant breakthroughs on medicine(antibiotics) and technology(the first computers) and those are just 2 examples. As we can see even today the the giant amount of progress that we once had when nationalism was more prevalent has significantly declined and with the further distancing from nationalism I expect progress to decline even more.

12. It is not narrow minded and the borders are not imaginary as I have stated before there is a good reason for both state's borders and nationalism.

13. I agree that everyone's problems must be fixed, but there are other people of different nations responsible for those people who are more far away from me. And even so i can help the people further away from me but first I must solve the problems of my people for the simple reason that i as a member of a particular ethnic, cultural and ancestral group so have more a sense of duty towards them than foreigners. Its all really about facilitating the most important necessities first and the least important needs last.

14. Except I believe that people should have different political states based on their ethnic, ideological and cultural beliefs. I very well know that we are all of one species but that does not mean that we are the same nor that we need a single world spanning country.

16. Except dystopia has everything to do with international harmony as I have already pointed out so I propose you either agree with my statement or argue otherwise it just seems like you have nothing to say on the matter.

17. It seems you forgot what I wrote in my explanation of this debate. As I specifically said we are arguing about nationalism based on country, culture and ethnicity not about nationalism based on religion, although I do think its good to have a common religion in a nation i do not support your nationalist sentiment to be explicitly about religion. As that has made them torture and kill people of other beliefs as they think without a doubt that Allah exists and Islam is the only believable religion which honestly makes me pity those people yet we know ethnicity culture and country exist and there are differences between different cultures or ethnicities so there are good reasons for their establishment and they do benefit humanity as I have hopefully succeeded in proving and refuting my opponent's points during this debate.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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