National Review editor Rich Lowry rejoins the Remnant to discuss–and debate–the virtues of nationalism, the subject of his new book, The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free.

Shownotes

DonorsTrust.org/DINGO

The Case for Nationalism – Rich Lowry

National Review: Editors podcast 

The last time Rich and Jonah debated nationalism 

The Yoram Hazony episode

Declaration of Independence

Gettysburg Address

I Have A Dream 

Why Liberalism Failed – Patrick Deneen 

Suicide of the West – Jonah Goldberg

Liberal Fascism – Jonah Goldberg

Thanksgiving as a nationalist holiday

FDR’s Third Inaugural 

FDR’s D-Day prayer

Why nationalists should worry that Trump is now self-declared nationalist

Trump’s Poland speech

Greenland should be ours

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There are 6 comments.

  1. kedavis Member

    Could anyone really confuse Fresca and Dr Pepper, even without actually tasting either one? If that wasn’t just some kind of joke (hard to figure), it may be the most definitive evidence yet of Jonah’s decline.

    • #1
    • November 5, 2019, at 7:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. ericB Listener

    @richlowry wants to knock down the claim that “America is an idea”.

    If I emigrated to Japan, I could not become Japanese. But people of foreign ancestry and ethnicity can become Americans precisely because America and American identity are not defined by an ethnic national identity.

    Lowry’s own recent monologue for his book defeats his own claim.

    “this is a country not necessarily for Englishmen, but emphatically by Englishmen…” Not “for Englishmen” because it doesn’t depend on ancestry or ethnicity.

    “…including their notions of liberty…” “Notions” are ideas, which people from different ethnicities and ancestries have embraced.

    He repeatedly points out that other very different ideas from other places would not have given us America. True, but not relevant. No one claims that America is any idea. That doesn’t alter in the least the fact that America is defined by ideas such that our American identity doesn’t depend on a person’s ancestry or ethnicity in the way that most other national identities are defined.

    Some of his arguments seem to point out we don’t nationally affirm every idea (e.g. celebrate every possible holiday). True again, but another straw man. No one claims America is every idea.

    “Culture is seeded with ideas” How does that work against the claim that “America is an idea”?

    It seems that his characterization of the issue creates an artificially weak straw man version that he can dismiss, rather than engage fully with the distinctive basis of American identity.

    • #2
    • November 6, 2019, at 8:55 AM PST
    • 1 like
  3. MISTER BITCOIN Coolidge

    didn’t milton friedman describe ‘nationalism’ as an alien creed to a free society?

     

    • #3
    • November 7, 2019, at 4:04 PM PST
    • Like
  4. Unwoke Caveman Lawyer Coolidge

    ericB (View Comment):

    @richlowry wants to knock down the claim that “America is an idea”.

    . . .

    “Culture is seeded with ideas” How does that work against the claim that “America is an idea”?

    It seems that his characterization of the issue creates an artificially weak straw man version that he can dismiss, rather than engage fully with the distinctive basis of American identity.

    Not to oversimplify, it seems to me that the truth is that America is both a people and an idea—in other words, both sides’ main points are basically true. Hence all the talking past each other in the thousands of words of pro and con nationalism debates of the past couple of years.

    • #4
    • November 29, 2019, at 7:00 AM PST
    • Like
  5. Unwoke Caveman Lawyer Coolidge

    Fascinating debate. I came to this thinking I would agree more with Lowry than with Goldberg—I’m all for classical liberalism and the American idea, but it seems to me inarguable that America is united to some extent by common culture (traditions, language, religion, etc.), and that that matters enormously.

    Yet the first third of their conversation consists of Goldberg asking over and over again, Can’t we address the basic definitional question? You define nationalism as opposed to imperialism, but isn’t “nationalism” just historical imperialism as written by the victors? Or if not, how is nationalism different from imperialism? and Lowry over and over again avoiding answering, offering instead the rhetorical sleight of hand, saying things like What, you want French imperialism to beat our imperialism? You want the South to win the Civil War? Whose side are you on?—Not responsive, changing the subject. Goldberg tries to dig just a little deeper on the initial definitions of terms, and Lowry changes the subject to final normative preferences or moral judgments.

    • #5
    • November 29, 2019, at 7:15 AM PST
    • Like
  6. ericB Listener

    Unwoke Caveman Lawyer (View Comment):
    I came to this thinking I would agree more with Lowry than with Goldberg—I’m all for classical liberalism and the American idea, but it seems to me inarguable that America is united to some extent by common culture (traditions, language, religion, etc.), and that that matters enormously.

    I don’t know if you need the “but”. It seems an “and” is appropriate.

    Every one of our coins proclaims “LIBERTY”, which for America is an affirmation of the central importance of classical liberalism, one of those vital elements that inarguably has shaped our common culture and united Americans since before it was expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is the result and description of shared convictions, not the cause of them.

    “Race and ethnicity have defined every nation on earth. Except one: the United States of America. It is defined by values.

    So, to understand America, you have to understand American values.

    …”

    That’s the leading excerpt from a welcome 5 minute video, which contains plain truth (that Lowry sometimes avoids) that is relevant to the discussion:

    The American Trinity: The Three Values that Make America Great

    Also, even though Lowry makes some good points I appreciate about the value of nations, which is not synonymous with nationalism (hence the importance of definitions), I think you are right to observe that Lowry does play dodge.

    • #6
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:38 PM PST
    • 1 like