Nationalism: good and bad

I define nationalism as a love for one’s country. This is basically a good thing. We should love our country, our homeland. It is a spiritual imperative. It is akin to the love we have for our spouse and family. This doesn’t mean that we always agree with every little action only that we look at them through the eyes of love and goodwill. We are there for them, and for our nation, in times of crisis.

Sometimes however this can be overdone. It is good to love one spouse, but that doesn’t mean that every other woman or man is evil. We love our children and for us they are the best in the world. But that doesn’t mean that other peoples children are evil or second class.

The same holds true for nationalism. Yes, we love our country, we love our way of life but that doesn’t mean that other countries are evil and need to be subjugated or conquered . Citizens of other countries should love their country as well. It is right and proper that this be so. As long as other countries are not threatening us, their love of country is basically a good thing.

True nationalism doesn’t deny that we are citizens of the world as well. There is no contradiction here. Every person is a citizen of their village or city, a citizen of their state or province, a citizen of their country and also a citizen of the earth . We can take this even further, we are not only citizens of the earth but citizens of this solar system, of the galaxy and of the universe itself. None of this is a contradiction.

We saw this perversion of nationalism with the Nazis. They preached love for the Aryan race, which was basically a good thing, but they extended this to the hatred of other races and thus they felt they had a right to subjugate all the other races and countries. Herein lies the pathology.