For the Nation

It’s time for progressives to re-adopt Nationalism

Jade Saab
Jade Saab
Mar 28, 2017 · 9 min read
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Social ills and populism

On the reactionary side, nationalism is neatly summed up with Trump’s “America first”, and in the UK, “taking back our borders”. These movements ultimately want to see decision making centralised, and to happen within the country’s borders. They want to see respect to their country restored, including traditional aspects of the state: police, veterans, and industry.

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The discussion politicians are still not having

This is where progressives have misdiagnosed the problem. They have assumed, to their own detriment, that the rise of xenophobia is directly linked to the notion of nationalism, and not to the sleight of hand that has created this puritan form of nationalism. They pour their energy into countering the nationalist narrative, as if it were an anti-racist narrative. However, by engaging with the fringes of the nationalist movement, progressives are not only missing their mark, they are also alienating everyone around them, because they fail to acknowledge the systemic issues at the root of this sudden rise in “racist nationalism”.

Embracing nationalism

The question of social cohesion remains unanswered. And although the root of the incoherence is economic, it would be naïve to think the solution is in an economic-political movement. This is the same dichotomy discussed throughout: you cannot solve a social consciousness issue with economics. Having said that, such a movement would be integral in avoiding a return to a situation that Right-wing populists could exploit. No, for progressives to get back on track they need more than economic policy, they need to go through the nationalistic sentiment. That is, they need to exploit the weaknesses in the current nationalistic narrative to first, uncover its empty promise, and second, create their own form of nationalism.

Social adhesive

Progressives were wrong to present nationalism and globalism as incompatible entities. In doing so they have lost ability to capitalise what should be their main concern: the social capital of their citizens. They have instead chosen to abandon nationalism as an archaic movement that has come out of fashion. Making them, and their supporters, an easily exploitable target by farcical puritans.

Reformer

An online platform for thought-provoking, critical, and…

Jade Saab

Written by

Jade Saab

Lebanese / Canadian political writer and theorist writing on Liberalism, governance, and Marxism with occasional forays into current affairs.

Reformer

Reformer

An online platform for thought-provoking, critical, and contextual articles on politics, society, and policy.

Jade Saab

Written by

Jade Saab

Lebanese / Canadian political writer and theorist writing on Liberalism, governance, and Marxism with occasional forays into current affairs.

Reformer

Reformer

An online platform for thought-provoking, critical, and contextual articles on politics, society, and policy.

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