Nationalism & Psychology

With the rise of public figures like Nigel Farage , The spooky specter of nationalism has returned . It’s detractors call it racist , irrational , and many other things. But is nationalism really as irrational as it’s enemies think? The simple answer is no it is not. But let’s get into why nationalism is sensible by using basic psychology .

You live in the town of Barro and their are a group of strangers in town. You’re protective of your family and by extension the community that you are apart of. So you rightfully tell your children to stay away. These people could be harmless but on the other hand these people could be up to no good.

These people begin to cause trouble and naturally you defend your own . But some make excuses for them by saying that they’re not all like that. While this may be true but those people defending the strangers are ignoring a natural impulse.

Trust begins to erode in the community due to the chaos. What i am talking about is the in group vs out group dynamic . Human beings will naturally put their own first especially in negative situations. This isn’t wrong or irrational it’s natural . What is unnatural is ignoring survival instincts in the name of supporting political dogma.

I personally only have a basic understanding of psychology. But scholars like Robert D. Putnam have also pointed this out.  However putnam still states that he believes that diversity is positive in the long run. Though one can point out that it depends on certain factors like a group’s willingness to integrate .

http://www.u.arizona.edu/~jag/POL596A/Putnam-Immigration-Lecture.pdf

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12802663

Also follow me on wordpress , If you enjoyed this article. I also have a blog on blogger/blogspot that i will post this to at some point.

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2 Comments

  1. In part, what destroyed Europe was its Nationalism. The First World War was a European conflict that can be viewed as a sort of civil war. The same with WWII. European Man slaughtering European Man. For what? The question was which nation would dominate Europe. Rather than uniting under a common banner to hold back the tide of outer forces, Western Man chose to continually go to war with itself. There is nothing wrong, in essence, with a European Union, as long as that union is dedicated to the survival and advancement of European Man. The last thing European Man needs is to return petty Nationalism. There must be a way to ensure the survival and blossoming of the individual European cultures within a larger framework. Just a few thoughts.

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    1. The EU has ruined any chance of a healthy union. You could try to sell Europe on the idea of a confederation similar to what Switzerland has. But i don’t see that getting much support.

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