The Nationalism FAQ
I. General principles
What is Nationalism?
Nationalism is the political expression of nationality: i.e., the ideology that posits the nation as the primary focus of political identity and loyalty. Basically, it is the belief that each nation should have its own state; more elaborately, it fosters the culture, and promotes the interests, of the nation's members as a community.
Man is, by nature, a social being; accordingly, particular and distinct societies, each with its own ethnocentricity and xenophobia, are "timeless phenomena." Such societies "have been around for a very long time, though they take different shapes at different points in history." The nation-state, as we understand it, is "entirely modern and constructed."
I can speak only for myself, but to me it is obvious that abstract, universal and eternal truths are necessarily applied and adapted to particular times and places. Ethnicity is universal; nationality is specific; each nation is unique.
Nationalism was the most successful political force of the 19th century. It emerged from two main sources: the Romantic exaltation of "feeling" and "identity" ... and the Liberal requirement that a legitimate state be based on a "people" rather than, for example, a dynasty, God, or imperial domination.
Nationalism is rooted in language and history, heredity and geography, but it can and must build on them: it is creative and progressive. It asks both "How did we get here?" and "Where do we go from here?";
and while an individual's membership in a nation is often regarded as involuntary, it is sometimes regarded as voluntary.
People are formed by their inherited nationality, but once grown, they are free to cherish it, preserve it, cultivate it further -- or to repudiate it. Still, they cannot just become whatever they will, or nothing at all: they have to find or create some other particular identity and loyalty, e.g. a foreign country or a would-be cosmopolitan Cloudcuckooland. For Communists around the world, the former USSR was both.
Today, the transnationalists seek, on the one hand, to amalgamate the diverse nations of Europe into a contrived and rootless Union, and on the other, to disintegrate the unitary nation of America into a multicultural "mosaic." In either case, the self-appointed "progressive" elite proposes and disposes with utter contempt for all who stand in their way. Their natural sentiments of ethnocentricity and xenophobia are thus perverted into visceral antagonism towards their "backward" compatriots. Towards those outside our civilization, their attitude wavers between blithe indifference, fawning romanticism, unctuous condescension, and groveling appeasement.
What is distinctive about nationalism as a political view?
Nationalism is a kind of patriotism: all nationalists are patriots, but not all patriots are nationalists. This is because patriotism is loyalty to a country, and not all countries are nations. It is possible (though quixotic) to be a Canadian or Belgian patriot; it is oxymoronic to be a Canadian or Belgian nationalist, because each of those countries incorporates two nationalities: English and French Canadians, French and Dutch Belgians.
The distinction is often made between "civic" and "ethnic" nationalism. To the extent that this is not merely nonsense, it is just another way of distinguishing between patriotism and nationalism. The whole point of nationalism is to unite civitas and eqnoV. (Alternatively, one may distinguish between political and cultural nationalism, differing in emphasis and function, as between form and substance.)
Nationalism is distinct from racism because race is only tangential to nationality, which is a cultural, not biological, fact. A nation can be multiracial (temporarily, at least; nationalists deplore racial divisions within the population, and welcome "race-mixing" -- except, of course, in the form of racially-distinct foreigners being imposed upon a hitherto homogeneous population), and one race can be divided among many nations. Nationalists support the rights of the Israeli nation as they do every other nation's, and also those of Croatia, Bosnia, and the Kosovar Albanians; racists hate the Jews and love the Serbs (presumably because Serbia is the nearest contemporary equivalent to Nazi Germany).
The essential similarity between nationalism and conservatism is a quasi-organic view of society. Unlike liberalism and socialism, which are abstract and critical ideologies, nationalism and conservatism are characterized by fixed allegiance to particular communities. Human nature is not abstracted from society, and society is not abstracted from particular societies. Each particular society is held together by shared beliefs, customs, institutions, language, etc., hallowed by time and evolving (usually) without conscious direction.
The essential difference between nationalism and conservatism is that conservatives champion "tradition" in general, while nationalists champion one very specific tradition: nationality. Nationalism thus offers a positive and coherent alternative to liberalism, which conservatism does not.
The problem facing traditionalists is what to do when their old tradition is finally dead. Historically, conservatism was born as the defense of the late feudal system that was overthrown by the American and French revolutions. For the conservative, society is hierarchical, requiring traditional authorities such as monarchy, aristocracy, and established church to maintain order and continuity. Now that old order is gone beyond recall, and conservatives can only carp at the excesses of the "progressive" party and slow down its "progress."
After the breakup of late-feudal society, however, a more defensible tradition was found in the nation. Nationalism is not tied to any particular, decaying social system; it was a product of democracy, and could flourish in it. Nationalism is not resistance to "progress," but a redirection of it. It is rooted in history, but offers hope and idealism for the future.
The alienating and deracinating ideologies of the Left can only be countered by reminding people of certain basic truths, such as the social nature of humanity. Now, the abstract appeal to "tradition" may be cogent; but can it stir the imagination and emotions? Who (for example) ever wrote a song in praise of tradition? Yet how many have written songs in praise of their countries? A good, rousing song is bound to influence far more people than some footnotes to the incoherent ramblings of Edmund Burke.
Nowadays, most conservatives rely on traditional religion (which is rationally indefensible, and of waning influence) to lend substance to mere tradition; those who don't worship God, usually worship Mammon instead. In their defense of capitalism, they come perilously close to encouraging a sort of anti-social, money-grubbing selfishness that is more libertarian than conservative. If you want to arouse the desire to belong to something bigger than yourself, you sure can't do it that way.
Are nationalists ethnocentric and xenophobic?
By definition, we are "ethnocentric": we hold that "ethnocentricity" -- loyalty to one's own people -- is natural, proper, and necessary. We might or might not be xenophobic. Love of one's own nation need not imply hatred of others, and indeed it may just as easily inspire respect for others who love their own nations as we love ours. We will certainly be hostile to foreigners if they insult us or threaten our nation's well-being or survival. But we will be at least as hostile to traitors and subversives among our own people.
Admittedly, there have been some nationalist movements that deny to other nations the rights they claim for themselves: the IRA and the Serbs are notorious examples. A thorough and consistent nationalist will condemn them unequivocally. He accepts and even celebrates cultural diversity -- but demands that culturally distinct peoples be segregated geographically. Basically, his attitude is that there's nothing wrong with foreigners -- as long as they stay in their own countries.
The notion that ethnocentrism and xenophobia are Bad Things is propagated by traitors and subversives who are motivated by the opposite sentiments: ethnophobia and xenocentricity -- irrational fear and hatred of their own people, and preference for aliens. In foreign policy, they blame Western civilization (especially America) for all the world's problems and take our enemies' side in every conflict; in domestic policy, they favor immigrants and racial minorities against the native white majority. Xenocentric ethnophobes don't oppose aggression by one nation against another -- they oppose any sort of self-assertion and self-defense by the Western nations (especially America) and Israel.
Isn't the nation-state an obsolete institution?
What does it mean to say that any institution is "obsolete"? Those who makes this argument usually point to the rise of "subnational," separatist movements; the increasing integration of the world economy; the porosity of national borders; and the rise of international organizations, especially the European Union. None of this evidence supports the claim being made.
It is singularly perverse to cite nationalist movements as evidence that nationhood is "obsolete." These movements all seek to become nation-states on par with those they seek independence from. Neither are they new phenomena: they are only a continuation of the great projects of nation-building inaugurated in the nineteenth century.
There is no reason to suppose that increasing trade between nations inevitably dissolves national identities and borders. Trade is not a mystical, superhuman force, but an activity of human beings. If human beings are not willing to become homogenized, cosmopolitan mass-men, then they won't, no matter how much they trade with foreigners. The Japanese, in particular, have been spectacularly successful traders while stubbornly retaining their peculiar national character.
Likewise, mass immigration and the creation of international organizations are not inevitable or spontaneous "forces": they are deliberate policies, advocated and enacted by specific, identifiable persons; they can be reversed just as deliberately. Certainly the nation-state as an institution is endangered, but it is ludicrous to assert that bad policies should be followed to the end just because they have already done a lot of harm. The real question to ask is whether this institution is a good one or not.
Historically, the nation-state's importance as a force for both dynamism and stability is to be seen by contrasting the West with China, on the one hand, and the Islamic world, on the other. China was united for millennia in a single bureaucratic empire; consequently it stagnated, otiose and complacent. In the Islamic world, the Caliphate broke up into a kaleidoscopic display of petty states and ephemeral dynasties, and a brief burst of creativity was followed by centuries of cultural sterility. Europe was divided early on into relatively stable and continuous countries whose mutual competition drove them to create the greatest civilization the world has ever seen.
Aren't national boundaries accidental and arbitrary?
Yes, they are; but this isn't necessarily bad -- not as long as political boundaries correspond to cultural (primarily, but not exclusively, linguistic) boundaries. The whole purpose of nationalism, as a political project, is to establish such a correspondence. It is the alternative to what one might call "mapism": the belief that whatever lines currently drawn on maps are somehow sacrosanct.
Nations are indeed accidental and arbitrary, and that's the beauty of them. They are not designed and planned according to universally applicable specifications: they just grow. It is not entirely false to say that a people constitute a nation if they believe they are a nation; but this belief is caused by a complex of cultural, historical, and geographical preconditions.
It is an open question, for example, whether Italy is one nation or two or three. (Somebody once told me that northern Italians call southern Italians Africans, and southern Italians call northern Italians Germans; and neither of them mean it as a compliment. And the Sardinians are a whole different kettle of fish altogether.) No nation is entirely homogeneous, and Italy is particularly heterogeneous. But it is indisputable that Nigeria, for example, is not a nation: not when it is divided by geography, language, and religion, so that no "Nigerians" really have anything more in common with other "Nigerians" than they have with any other Africans -- nothing except subordination to a common government inherited from the British Empire. They even have to use English to communicate with one another.
The nation-state as an institution evolved within a specific cultural context: Western civilization. During the 20th century, the nation-state structure was imposed on every other society, with some success in regions where cultural and political boundaries had been more or less coterminous already, but often-catastrophic failure in regions where colonial empires were converted directly into pseudo-nations with no correspondence to real social units. But that is the fault of the native ideologues and tyrants who took over those empires instead of dismantling them.
Isn't partitioning a state on ethnic lines messy when transfers of population are required?
When are such transfers "required"? It is often the case that border areas have mixed populations; then one must try to draw the borderlines to reflect the ethnic reality as accurately as possible, after which the residue on either side will gradually either assimilate or emigrate. The best examples are the dissolution of the USSR and the "Velvet Divorce" between the Czech Republic and Slovakia; and I'm sure that the ultimate dissolution of Canada and Belgium will be at least as civil.
Of course, human affairs aren't always conducted so tidily, as the division of the former Yugoslavia shows. The Serbs tried to grab as much land as possible by killing or expelling non-Serbs; the result was that they wound up being expelled from Krajina and Kosova, as they deserved, though they still possess their ill-gotten gains in Bosnia (thanks to the outrageous arms embargo that deprived the Bosnians of the means of self-defense. The Eurocrats have a vested interest in trying to frustrate attempts to secede from multinational socialist federations). It only goes to show that right must be backed up with might, as long as one must deal with savages such as the Serbs, or for that matter the Hutus.
One must grant the more general point that different nations will occasionally come into conflict and go to war. But men have always found things to fight over: dynastic wars, religious wars, civil wars -- why single out national wars? (It is worth noting, incidentally, that every one of the Powers involved in both World Wars was a multinational empire -- even we, for we still had the millstone of the Philippines hanging around our neck, as well as the lesser foreign possessions we still haven't gotten rid of.)
Once there are separate ethnic states, what then? Is Sweden really the ideal?
The fact of nationality is prior to national statehood, and provides the justification for such statehood. It is fundamentally a cultural fact: statehood is its expression and defense. Nationalism, therefore, is not just a political project, but a cultural one. It is conservative, in the best sense, but also creative: it aims to reweave the unraveling fabric of culture, by making the people more conscious and assertive of its nationality.
A traditional culture is an integrated whole. Language, costume, cuisine, music, rituals, festivals, etc. unite a distinct people in a distinct style of life. The Enlightenment attacked the traditional cultures of the West in the name of universal reason, a cause that ultimately proved unsatisfying and indefensible. Today, the "multiculturalists" attack what's left of traditional Western culture in the name of all the alien and inferior cultures of the world. To repair the damage is a daunting task; it will be the work of generations; but we can begin by reaffirming who we are and have been, reclaiming past glories and striving for future ones, and counterattacking against our enemies.
The most conspicuous result of a cultural renewal would be a rebirth of art.
Ours is an extremely unnatural situation -- artificial in the worst sense, though we have suffered it so long that most of us take it for granted. Every living culture has its art, which flourishes spontaneously according to its particular genius; art is an efflorescence of human nature, only less urgent than the requirements of physical survival. Yet, despite the unparalleled wealth of modern civilization, we live in a world from which art has been driven into the margins of life. Why?
Who are the enemies of culture in general, and art in particular? The cultural bolsheviks who foisted "modern art" on us, and the liberal ideologues who control the education-news-entertainment complex. Nationalism gives us, quite literally, a flag to rally around as we fight these enemies. And in this war, the enemies are domestic.
Lest I be misunderstood, I must add that I would hate to see a nationalist movement create a government Department of Culture. I want only to strip the modernist/liberal cultural commissars of their power, not to install new commissars. The political side of national culture should be limited to (1) making sure that the public schools give students the understanding of their nation's history and institutions, and the command of their nation's language, that they will need to be good citizens; and (2) having all public architecture built in the national style (e.g., American public architecture should be in the Neoclassical style of the Founders' time).
Does nationalism imply any particular political system?
Nationalism comes with no built-in political program: it can be democratic or authoritarian, radical or reactionary, depending on the history of the particular nation and on the nationalists themselves. As a theory of government, it concerns the constitution of the political community itself, not the constitution of the government: it defines the jurisdiction within which forms of government are to be applied. France was still France under all its successive monarchies and republics. The character of a nation, as shaped by its history, will make it more apt to some forms of government than others; this is a manifestation of each particular nationalist movement. Nationalism in principle is compatible with any political theory or system except anarchism, imperialism, and multinational socialism.
The history of political nationalism can generally be divided into two phases: the radical and the conservative. National-liberation movements are almost always aligned with the political Left (the Lega Nord and Vlaams Blok are conspicuous exceptions). When a nation is united and independent, however, the goal of nationalism is to preserve that unity and independence, which usually means an alignment with the political Right.
The purest form of nationalism is largely pre-political: the intellectual and artistic project of cultivating the Volksgeist, or "folk-spirit," by the study of history, philology, folklore, folk music, etc. This folkish nationalism was an important part of the Romantic movement that dominated the arts of the 19th century, and was inspired by the 18th-century philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder.
Herder's distinction between "mechanical" states (established by force and incorporating different peoples) and "organic" states (established by the common will of a single folk, defined mainly by language) took the revolutionary idea of popular sovereignty while rejecting the "social contract" theory on which it had been based. He believed that diverse nations, once rid of tyrannical overlords and artificial borders, would coexist in peace and freedom. His teaching had its intended effect in southern and eastern Europe with liberal (for their time) and democratic movements. In his native Germany, however, after unification, folkish nationalism was gradually perverted into something very dark and deadly.
Does nationalism imply any particular economic system?
For a nation to be strong, it must be prosperous. Both economic theory and historical experience show that free enterprise is the economic system most conducive to prosperity.
Many nationalists have argued that the nation, as a community, must be directly responsible for the material welfare of its members. But no one has yet answered the question: how do you keep a guaranteed "safety net" from becoming a hammock? The welfare state is an incubus on the economy and a succubus for society. It stifles initiative and wealth-creation, and diverts resources from the central purpose of the national government: defense.
A stronger case can be made that nationalism should try to efface or conciliate class distinctions as much as possible, because they weaken national unity. Classes cut horizontally across nations; nationality unites a people vertically, in distinction from all other peoples. National egalitarianism differs from social egalitarianism in being inspired by love (of country) rather than hate (of "the rich" -- i.e., everyone with more money than oneself), and therefore aims to "empossess" the poor (so to speak) rather than dispossess the rich.
Many nationalists have also argued that national independence must be secured in economics as well as politics, through high tariffs that protect domestic industry from foreign competition, and even the pursuit of complete autarky. While such policies may be feasible for a continental power like America, they are absurd and pernicious for small nations like Slovenia.
"Free trade," on the other hand, is incompatible with nationalism because the very existence of national boundaries, within which distinct peoples speak different languages, obey different laws and customs, and use different currencies, creates barriers to trade even in the absence of tariffs. Absolute free trade can only be obtained through merger into multinational federations like the European Union. As for tariffs, it is obviously preferable to shift the burden of taxation, as much as possible, from domestic incomes to foreign imports.
It is not a matter of principle whether tariffs should be set at 1% or 100% or somewhere in between. It is a matter of principle whether or not tariffs, and the power to regulate (or deregulate) the nation's economy, are determined by the national government, directly responsible to its own citizens, not subject to some multinational organization.
Is nationalism relevant to environmental issues?
Nationalism is a quasi-organic conception of society: a nation has metaphorical roots, in history and in the soil, and it grows and changes while preserving its identity. The special connection of a people to its land, and the analogy between the people and a living organism, have particular significance for environmental issues.
In modern times, there are two rival views on the relation of man to nature. On the one hand there is the materialist view, which regards nature as a mass of resources to be exploited for human benefit. On the other hand there is the eco-radical and pantheist view, which regards nature as sacred and man as an unnatural pest. Both set man apart from and against nature. The alternatives are stark: the world is either to be strip-mined and paved over, or returned to wilderness.
The ugliness of modern civilization, which vividly contrasts with the beauty of nature, perhaps explains some of the revulsion in favor of wilderness; but man cannot live in wilderness. There are not many people, not even the most fanatical devotees of primitivism and animal rights, really willing to sacrifice their own lives to nature. In the end, it is clear that the environmentalist alternative is no alternative at all.
The premodern view of man's relation to nature was quite different. Man was considered part of nature -- the apex of nature. This view is implicit in nationalism.
There is only one way that we can both love nature and live in it: to regard our environment as a garden to be tended. And we should also regard our civilization as a work of art, particularly in its most ubiquitous form: architecture. The International Style of architecture is the greatest blight on the modern landscape, and my most cherished hope is that all these soulless boxes of glass, steel, and concrete will eventually be replaced with an architecture whose beauty will once again equal and complement the beauty of the land.
What are "internal secessionists"?
Secession is (in some circumstances) a legitimate political goal. True secessionists want to separate themselves politically from one country and create a new one. "Internal secessionists," however, want to continue living in the same country, while refusing to give their allegiance to it. They want to have their cake and eat it, too.
Some internal secessionists are natives of a country who transfer their allegiance to a hostile foreign power: e.g., the Communists during the Cold War. Some transfer their allegiance to a friendly, but still foreign state: e.g., Zionists who don't put the rest of their bodies where their mouths are. Some transfer their allegiance to some non-national principle: e.g., racists of various complexions. Some have no allegiance to anywhere or anything, but are just ethnophobic and xenocentric: e.g., "multiculturalists" -- who really ought to be called anti-culturalists, since they only promote alien cultures as a means to subvert their own. Some are immigrants who refuse to transfer their allegiance to their adopted countries: the most dangerous of these are the Mexicans in America, and all-too-many Muslims throughout the Western world.
Internal secessionists guilty of "adhering to their [country's] enemies, giving them aid and comfort" are traitors, plain and simple, and ought to be shot. Immigrants disloyal to their adopted country can (and would, if they weren't coddled by native internal secessionists) be deported back to the countries they came from. The real problem for any nation is the native internal secessionists who do not go quite so far as to be juridically guilty of treason. It would be nice if they could all be deported or shot, too; but that, unfortunately, is not a practical solution.
II. American applications
Isn't the American identity defined by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
Americans ideals -- the ideals summed up in such famous phrases as "all men are created equal" and "liberty and justice for all" -- have often had a problematic relation to American reality. It is true that the American system of government was founded on such ideals; but it is false to say that America is nothing but its system of government.
Our Founding Fathers did not create something out of nothing. They created the Union, but they did not create its constituent states, nor their common language, customs, institutions, and law, nor the generations of history predating their own. America is a nation, and any nation, whatever its weaknesses, is something stronger and more solid than any "proposition."
The American identity is defined by the British colonists who founded this country: white in race, English in language, and Protestant in religion. It was also marked by a certain amount of inherited class-stratification, which was effaced, sooner or later, in the Revolution and its aftermath (to be replaced, of course, by new forms of class-stratification).
American ideals, on the other hand, are universal in scope, and thus inclusive of all classes, and of non-WASPs of all races, cultures, and religions. Indeed, American ideals might someday (maybe a thousand years from now) prevail throughout the world, and then America itself would be distinguished only by being their first and foremost exemplar -- if, that is, America is really nothing but an abstract, normative "proposition".
American nationality and American ideals are not irreconcilable as long as one recalls that the latter, with their formal expressions and embodiments in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, are integral to the distinctive traditions of the American branch of Anglo-Saxondom. Ideals do not exist in any sort of Platonic realm separate from reality: they are both conceived and applied within pre-existent history. The Constitution is our own unique constitution, though it has been imitated many times -- the imitations were always failures.
The American political system is inconceivable without the traditions of parliamentarism, private enterprise, the common law, etc., inherited from England. But then the common experience of the War of Independence, and the common system of government established during and after the war, separated the American branch from the rest. It also made one nation out of thirteen colonies that had each been distinct, to some extent, from all other Anglo-Saxon peoples since their respective foundings.
Now, while Americanism is not sufficient to define America, it is certainly necessary. Struggles to realize American ideals -- the Revolution, the Civil War, the civil-rights movement -- have helped to make us who we are. Consider that the only true grassroots movements on the political Right are dedicated to the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms; both movements routinely invoke historic precedents -- abolitionism and the Revolution, respectively. The political Left, on the other hand, has gotten so far mainly because it claims to champion equal rights. Of course this is only one of the big lies the Left has managed to make stick by sheer force of repetition; but conservatives are usually reluctant to challenge it.
Isn't America a nation of immigrants?
Taken literally, this question is obviously ridiculous: the vast majority of Americans were born and raised in this country. Neither is it true that all native Americans are ultimately descended from immigrants. One must distinguish between immigrants and the original settlers who founded this country in the first place.
The British colonists were the mold into which all latecomers were set. Over time, the original stock has been diluted by influxes of other peoples; but (until recently) the original Americans, the first-comers and nation-builders, maintained their cultural hegemony. The Anglo-Saxons are the solvent of the "melting pot": they provided the language, the system of law and government, and most of the manners and customs that continue to define America as a nation. The newcomers' additions to American culture are trivial in comparison to what they gave up.
It is ludicrous to pretend that Americans, whatever their ancestry, are anything but Anglo-Saxons. While there are still residual ethnic groups that have not yet become completely Americanized, these distinct ethnicities are ultimately bound to disappear through intermarriage (unless the process is impeded by anti-national public policies).
I, for example, am a typical American mongrel. My name may be German, but only 1/4 of my heredity is; the only German I know I learned in school, and I've forgotten most of it; I don't drink beer and wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of Lederhosen. If I'm not an Anglo-Saxon, I'm nothing.
The idea of the "melting pot" and the conception of America as a "nation of immigrants" were conceived in response to the challenge of assimilating the great wave of immigration that began in the late nineteenth century. Their purpose was to promote the integration of these immigrants by redefining and expanding the American nationality to include them. These ideas worked reasonably well (in conjunction with other, less glamorous pressures -- social, economic, and political) in making the newcomers Americans in spirit as well as residence. It also helped that the inflow was finally cut down to a trickle, in the 1920s.
Even so, our experience with mass immigration was never an unmixed blessing: its side effects included slums, political corruption, and organized crime. Moreover, the "melting pot" was detrimental to the precise extent that it worked as advertised -- i.e., diluting American nationality and forming a debased and deracinated mass-culture.
Mass-immigration apologists try to reassure us of the power of this mass-culture as a solvent, both at home and abroad, and in a way they are right: the American culture-industry permeated the world throughout the twentieth century, because it was already aimed at the lowest common denominator of mankind. But universal appeal comes through the sacrifice of what is profound to what is superficial, of what is specifically ours to what is common to all mankind. If the whole world were merged into one Americanoid pop-culture, we would gain the world at the cost of our soul.
Nowadays, in the name of "multiculturalism," the "nation of immigrants" myth is being used deliberately to subvert American patriotism and unity: to prevent the assimilation of the new wave of immigrants and Balkanize our country into a "mosaic" of ethnic enclaves. These minority groups are the political clients of the liberal/Left political/cultural elite, whose aim is to destroy what's left of the native culture and nationality of America.
The idea is that if we're only a "nation of immigrants," then those who came before have no right to expect latecomers to accept our ways or even speak our language ... and moreover, we have to subsidize our own invasion by giving welfare to immigrants and providing them public services (education, ballots, census forms, etc.) in their own languages ... and we are even supposed to censor ourselves vigilantly, so as never to give offense to foreign ethnicities and "undocumented" (i.e., illegal) aliens. To this, any self-respecting and patriotic American has to wonder why we don't just kick out all the immigrants, and the liberal/Left subversives with them.
What about the Indians?
The Indians have the problematic status of being in but not of the USA. They are not Americans, never have been, and should never be. They have their own tribes, customs, languages, and even territories -- severely reduced and attenuated, to be sure, but still holding on precariously. The best thing they could do for themselves, and that we could do for them, is to make their reservations completely and absolutely sovereign nations. Let them regain control of their own destinies.
There are, otherwise, only two alternatives. One, the more tragic, is for them to finally lose their last precarious existence as peoples, and disappear into the general American populace. The other, which is simply pathetic, is for them to remain the objects of liberal solicitude, poster-boys of oppression, dependent on the white man's government. But this alternative really is no alternative, for it reduces them to clients of white liberals, alongside all the other oppressed classes and grievance-mongers, living by the white liberals' standards and expectations. The fašade of tribal existence will remain, but at the sacrifice of any meaningful tribal life and identity.
What about the blacks?
Black Americans, unlike the Indians, have not even a memory of any language other than English, nor any religion other than Christianity. Culturally, they are entirely American, distinguished only by regional and caste variations. How many "African Americans" would really want to become Africans? The experiment was tried: it produced the state of Liberia, which was not much of a success, any way you look at it. I suspect that blacks who play at being Africans -- assuming African names, wearing African garb, celebrating the pseudo-African holiday of "Kwanzaa" -- would change their tune very quickly if faced with the prospect of being deported to the "motherland."
Before 1964, the goal of the civil-rights movement was to repair a violation of American ideals; within ten years, this movement had repudiated American ideals, and continues to do so. There is no room here to discuss the whole sad story of how the movement changed course so abruptly. Suffice it to say that the second Reconstruction, which completed the work of the first, was regarded as an exercise in egalitarian levelling rather than nation-building.
In retrospect, it is astonishing how quickly the ideals of racial equality and integration were jettisoned. In their place, the system of "affirmative action" was set up, which replaced the Jeffersonian "all men are created equal" with the Orwellian "some are more equal than others." Blacks are supposed to remain a separate caste, just as they had been under segregation -- but now they are a specially-protected caste.
The proponents of this social-engineering project never noticed the absurdity of trying to achieve a society free of racism by re-institutionalizing legal discrimination. Supposedly, "affirmative action," with its whole apparatus of quotas and equality-police, would end as soon as blacks achieved statistical parity with whites: i.e., as soon as every neighborhood, school, and workplace in the nation was exactly 12% black (or whatever their exact proportion might be). Of course "affirmative action" could never reach this never-quite-stated goal; and even if it did, the whole coercive machinery would have to stay in place to make sure that no "imbalance" ever reappeared.
The result has been to preserve the distinctiveness of blacks as an ethnic group, indeed reaffirming it. If blacks ever ceased to be recognizably "black" (i.e., by intermarriage and cultural assimilation, which would inevitably accompany each other), then the game would be up.
The blacks (and especially their self-appointed spokesmen in the "civil rights" lobby) stood to gain political and economic advantages through the white-guilt racket. And of course, the white liberals would never dream of losing their most reliable voting bloc and their heartwarming sense of "anti-racist" sanctimony. So the tacit, unholy bargain was made: a separate black minority would be preserved, black "leaders" would benefit from political pull and immunity from public criticism, and white liberals would take black votes and use the bogeyman of "racism" to denounce all non-liberals -- forever and ever.
All this is monstrous, from the point of view of human decency and simple justice. From the nationalist point of view, it artificially separates one part of the nation from the rest, legitimating that separation with racist and anti-American propaganda.
Is the South a distinct nation?
The South's racial caste system was the essential difference, the "peculiar institution," which made it a distinct society. It was to defend and promote this system that the South attempted to secede from the Union. Now this system has been destroyed, and few (if any) Southerners will openly defend it; even apologists for the Confederacy pretend that secession was an end in itself.
Of course this is a lie: the states' declarations of secession made no secret that slavery was the issue, and the Confederate constitution explicitly forbade any "law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves." Moreover, that constitution established a "permanent federal government" -- echoing the "perpetual Union" formed by the Articles of Confederation -- and the Confederacy tried by force to keep the counties of western Virginia from seceding in turn.
The Old South was dedicated to the proposition that natural rights, and government with the consent of the governed, are principles that apply to some men and not others; it claimed the right to deny rights. Southernism was -- and is -- nothing but a perversion of Americanism.
Are the Northeast and the Left Coast still American in any real cultural sense?
America is becoming ever more polarized, both culturally and politically, between Left and Right. Liberals feel no loyalty to America, its traditions, its institutions; they are hostile and contemptuous towards anyone who does remain loyal to America; they are dishonest, dishonorable, and unscrupulous; they enjoy quasi-totalitarian control of most of our cultural institutions, and despite setbacks, they still cling to our political institutions with flagrant disregard for legal and constitutional propriety.
Opposition to liberalism has grown steadily over the past two generations, as more and more Americans have become aware of, and angry at, what the liberals are doing to our country. The rise of conservatism and the Christian Right, the gradual return of the GOP to majority-party status, the proliferation of neo-Nazi groupuscules, sporadic outbursts of domestic terrorism, the mushroom growth of the militia movement, all testify to a stiffening American resistance to liberalism and alienization.
To a large extent, this political and cultural schism is also geographical. But the New Yorkers had enough sanity to elect Rudy Giuliani -- a man who, though liberal to the core, has just enough brains and spine to enact one conservative policy and prove it spectacularly successful. The Californians voted overwhelmingly against illegal immigration, bilingualism, and racial discrimination. And it was Arkansas that gave us Bill "You Can Tell I'm Lying Because My Lips Are Moving" Clinton, and Tennessee that gave us Al "My Mind Is Unbalanced" Gore.
The relative un-Americanism of the Northeast and Left Coast is due to historical accident: our cultural institutions are more thickly clustered in these regions, and these institutions are the Petri dishes of the anti-culture. Here we cannot answer the question of why the educated classes are predominantly liberal; we can only wonder how long a country or civilization can last if its educated classes are as hostile to it as ours are.
Should we annex English Canada?
From the nationalist point of view, Canada is an abomination: two completely separate nations yoked together under a pseudo-nationalist ideology consisting of little more than multiculturalism, anti-Americanism, and socialism. Certainly all nationalists support the independence of Quebec, which will probably result in the disintegration of Canada as a whole.
Of course we couldn't march in and "annex" any of the Canadian provinces unilaterally: they would have to ask for admission as states. The question, then, is whether we should admit them. The English Canadians are Anglo-Saxons, of course, but they are much more socialistic than we are, so admitting them might be politically dangerous. Still, it is natural that those most suited to the privilege of statehood will be those most eager for it: British Columbia and Alberta especially.
Why should we annex the Moon?
The long-delayed development of a space-based defense against ballistic missiles is still crucial to our national security -- Russia is erratic and unpredictable, and China is an increasing threat. More generally, the ever-increasing commercial and strategic importance of satellites makes the militarization of outer space inevitable, and America must act decisively to dominate this new theater of potential conflict. And looking beyond the short range and low orbits, we see a wide-open and endless frontier for American expansion, in which America can and should stake territorial claims as far as is technologically feasible.
The Earth and its resources are finite, and modern industrial civilization is consuming those resources at a rapid rate. This is one thing the environmentalists are right about. But they forget that outer space has infinite resources, waiting for us to go out and get them. The nation that goes out there and lays claim to them will never lack resources for wealth-creation, nor room for an expanding population.
America is the only nation that could seize this opportunity. The Russians have yet to dig themselves out of the rubble of Communism; the countries of Europe are encumbered and demoralized by socialism, and being overrun by Muslims; Japan has a shrinking population, and a hundred years from now will probably be resettled from China; China alone is on a upward course, but has decades to go before it catches up with the West.
America's space program was the only success of 1960s liberalism, but also ultimately its greatest failure. It triumphed by harnessing the wealth, enthusiasm and ingenuity of America -- to a cause that ultimately accomplished nothing. We spent billions of dollars to beat the Russians to the Moon, and enjoyed a moment of national pride; then we gathered a handful of Moon-rocks, left behind a plaque saying "We came in peace for all mankind," and that was the end of it.
The space program was never intended to serve any commercial purpose, and its only strategic purpose was a propaganda victory with no practical results. That plaque says it all. It belied the national and ideological competition that really motivated the project, and surrendered the only solid benefit from it: our rightful annexation of the Moon. Vapid cosmopolitanism is no substitute for the pioneer spirit -- the spirit with which our forefathers cleared forests, ploughed fields, built cities, fought wars, and spread our country from one ocean to the next.
National expansion and private enterprise are the only motives that will make space-colonization feasible. Space has to pay for itself: otherwise the space program is just building pyramids in the sky, and pyramid-building is a hard project to sell to a capitalist democracy. Why should anyone buy it? Only if we make the Moon American, and only if Americans can make profits there, are we going to go back and stay. And if we can make it American, and if we can make profits there, the question is not "Why should we annex the Moon?" -- the question is, "What are we waiting for?"
This FAQ was inspired by, and
uses or paraphrases some questions from,
the Conservatism and alt.revolution.counter FAQs by Jim Kalb.