Tag: Nationalism

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The terms “nationalism” and “patriotism” are often used interchangeably. This is understandable, as they have somewhat overlapping meanings, both of which suffer from a certain amount of vagueness. However, there are a number of key differences between the two that are worth shedding light on. In the final analysis, we believe that the term “nationalism,” […]

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Loving Pain as Given: A Review of Heroes, a Dark Twist on the Grateful Acre


For B, and other youth whose grateful acres host, if not prairies, at least patchy meadows. And for Gary McVey.

It’s been a year since Will Arbery’s play, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, took the conservative Catholic blogosphere – or rather, that part able to see the play or a private script – by storm. Now the script is available to the public. I ordered my copy here. If you can afford to, read it. Theaters remain closed, but the theater of imagination richly rewards reading a play. Reading reveals motifs easy to miss when a play just happens to you in performance and you can’t revisit it. This review addresses unspoken pressures, like the prosperity gospel (which may not influence orthodox Christians’ theology, but can influence their social expectations), behind what conservatives speculate is Heroes’ demonic finale, the “We” who may, or may not be, Legion.

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Either Poles are too dumb to understand what’s ridiculous about a pornographic butter-churning contest, or they’re not. I’d bet they’re not, and they know a parody of eroticism when they see it. Too bad The Imaginative Conservative doesn’t. Apparently, there’s at least one writer out there lacking the imagination to recognize a parody when he […]

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Biden, Trump, and the New Normal


Politicians love fighting the last battle. Every four years, we see a slew of candidates relitigating the last presidential race, often using the same strategy that lost the previous time.

This trend is dominant in 2019 with the rise of Biden’s candidacy and the continuing rear-guard battle by anti-Trump Republicans. Joe’s main message is a return to the supposed normalcy of 2008-2016. “Know what I was most proud of?” Joe said Wednesday, “For eight years, there wasn’t one single hint of a scandal or a lie.”

Hey, there’s a lie right there. Has it never occurred to him that the Obama years are what created Trump?

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This is part of an ongoing series.  You can read the first part here. For a long time people have thought the greatest of all rivals to Nationalism is Imperialism. But was it really? Instead of a being a rival Imperialism for most of history was more of a manager and transformer of Nationalism not […]

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Bibi Was Trump Before Trump


Populist winds took down the Clintons and are now taking down Merkel, Macron, and May. Bibi, who is cruising to reelection (assuming he can stay out of jail) doesn’t have to worry about being taken down by nationalist populist insurgents because he is the nationalist populist insurgent who took down the establishment. He just did it earlier. Bibi was Trump before Trump.

Bibi and Trump have some similarities in style and character.

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Donald Trump said I love my country and if that is what makes me a nationalist, I guess I am. Now it’s the new hate speech talking point of late, a vile, dirty word. I looked up the definition of nationalism, to see if it changed since I was in grade school. If you Google, […]

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My Response to David Brooks


In his Saturday column, David Brooks states, “Donald Trump says he is a nationalist, but you can’t be a nationalist if you despise half the nation.”  Nationalism is a love of your country, its laws, its political and legal system, and its traditions.  Trump loves America and all it stands for.  That is why the whole movement started with, “Make America Great Again.”  You may not like Trump’s methods or personality, but it is obvious that he has sacrificed everything he had–wealth, business, and family–to run for and be elected president.

Recently the New York Times, not known to be a Trump fan, fretted that “for the first time in memory, Democrats are seen as more out of touch with ordinary Americans than the party’s political opponents.” I think David Brooks is wrong: the truth is that half of the nation despises the USA not that Trump despises half the nation.

First Lady Melania Trump has championed cyber-bullying as a cause, but Hoover visiting fellow Markos Kounalakis thinks she should broaden her horizons – to include a little diplomacy in her native Central Europe. It’s a portion of the world that’s drifted into angry nationalism, economic uncertainty and civil unrest, with one country (Poland) displaying troubling anti-Semitic tendencies. Kounalakis talks about all of that, plus he discusses Vladimir Putin’s Russia playing a meddling role around the world.

In Defense of “Half-Baked Nationalism”


To say that I’m not a big fan of Sen. John McCain (R-NYTimes Editorial Board) would be an under-statement.

I’m a huge fan of his military service, but as a senator he has only two speeds: Irrelevant and Obnoxious. When he’s not voting like a pretty traditional Republican and going along with the party, he’s out declaring how much better he is than the party he regularly carries water for.

You think Steve Bannon likes beating the crap out of the GOP? He’s a piker compared to John McCain who, since 2000, has made a fetish of it. During the 2008 presidential primaries, I created the website “MyDearJohnLetter.com” where conservatives could post their break-up messages with the Republican candidate who clearly had such a low opinion of GOP voters.

Richard Epstein uses the recent push for independence in Spain’s Catalonia region to consider the question of when separatist movements are justified in pursuing independent statehood—and how they should go about it.

Identity Politics Is Here to Stay


One of my reactions to the events in Charlottesville was to chide my liberal friends: See, this is what you get when you embrace identity politics. Do you really want to double down on that? At that moment nothing seemed more obvious than the fact that, when you mainstream ethnic identity politics and insist on politicizing “Whiteness”, as the Left has been doing for more than a generation, both reasonable and unreasonable people will choose to organize politically around white identity. Even some Liberals are coming around to the realization that identity politics is no way to run a railroad.

But two minutes of calm reflection were enough to see that I was being a little unfair. Identity politics is not really the problem. Rather, identity politics is the normal mode of political organization in a multi-ethnic democracy that worships the twin gods, “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism”. Identity politics is our politics, and it’s here to stay. Get used to it.

Tevye the Milkman, Libertarianism, and the Open Borders Fantasy


“…Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders…” — Paragraph 3.4 of the 2016 Libertarian Party platform

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 I wanted to write this post because of some of the background articles to this post. Written by @viator . I also wanted to write because people have such a hard time understanding the important differences between different Islamic movements and insurgencies that exist in the world today. It sometimes seems that Americans have a […]

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How Important Is the Nation-State?


Today I’ve been reading over the first issue of American Affairs, a new intellectual journal that appears to have grown out of the (largely Claremont-based) American Greatness movement. American Affairs seems to understand itself as a possible seed-ground for exploring an intellectual foundation to Trumpism.

I should admit forthrightly that I look on this project as a skeptic, and as one who considers that the founders of this project have taken a large (not to say foolhardy) burden on themselves. I’m not, in general, the sort of person who seeks to shut down ambitious intellectual projects. But to my mind, the trouble with American Greatness was always the extent to which it understood itself in rejectionist terms. The spirit of the thing seemed not to be, “The right could use some fresh ideas around now, so let’s explore,” so much as, “The whole conservative movement is intellectually and (probably) morally bankrupt, so we’re starting over. Sign onto our program or be rendered irrelevant.”

That kind of “convert or die” attitude makes it hard to climb aboard, especially if you think (as I do) that there’s quite a lot of good to be found in the conservative movement from Buckley through the dawn of Trump. I’m in favor of exploring new ideas and making needed adjustments, but I’m also quite opposed to chucking free-market economics and neoconservative geopolitics as though they were groceries past their expiration date. Reading the American Greatness blog, I regularly have the same thought: This is all fine, but apart from the overt belligerence, these arguments could easily have been advanced in the conservative movement of yesteryear. What has your blanket excommunication accomplished, except to insulate yourselves from critique that would likely be quite helpful?

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While taking issue with her characterization of the Mexican-American War (you’d think that a self-proclaimed proponent of American exceptionalism would pause before treating one nation’s “land grab” the same as any other’s), I thought that Mona Charen’s essay on patriotism and nationalism was a valuable contribution to what has been a fascinating discussion on that subject […]

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Patriotism Not Nationalism


National Review has sparked an important debate about nationalism. As someone who has been accused throughout her life of excessive love of country (can’t count the number of times I’ve been reproached for arguing that despite slavery, Jim Crow, and the internment of Japanese Americans, our country is eminently lovable), I feel a bit awkward rebutting anything that travels under the name “Love of Country.” Nevertheless, I must join Jonah Goldberg, Yuval Levin, Ben Shapiro, and others in demurring from Rich Lowry’s and Ramesh Ponnuru’s defense of nationalism.

Lowry and Ponnuru are two of the writers I most admire (at a time when that group is shrinking fast). If they make an argument with which I disagree, I’m inclined to question my own judgment. So I remain open to the possibility that they are right. But it seems to me that their willingness to believe that nationalism, as opposed to patriotism, can be benign is not convincing.

Everything they assert about the naturalness of nationalism — it arises out of the same soil as love of family, community, church, etc. – is true of patriotism. It’s true, as Lowry and Ponnuru note, that the left has discredited itself over the years by its hostility to sincere patriotism.

Victor Davis Hanson examines the constituent parts of Donald Trump’s political beliefs and attempts to deduce the animating principles of Trumpism.

Glyphs on Globalism


Flag-map_of_the_worldOne thing about Donald Trump that everyone on Ricochet agrees on — from the most stubborn #NeverTrump to the most enthused Trump supporter — is that Trump is a nationalist, someone who places the well-being, security, and prosperity of the United States above those of other countries. Trump’s nationalism is often among the top reasons his supporters cite in his favor, and (unsurprisingly) they often accuse anti-Trump voices of being globalists, usually in the same tones that were once reserved for heretics, traitors, and people who drive too slow in the passing lane. More recently, Trump’s rise has been likened to the Brexit vote, not only because both represent successful nationalist movements that had been scoffed at by the political establishment, but because both Trump and Nigel Farage have made the connection explicit (H/T @columbo).

But while the comparison between Trump and Brexit is real and significant, it’s only part of the story. How else, for instance, to explain why Daniel Hannan — Farage’s colleague in both the EU Parliament and the Brexit battle — is among the most vociferous anti-Trump voices on the Right? (If you haven’t, listen to Jay Nordlinger’s recent interview with him). The answer, I think, is that nationalism vs. globalism is only one of several political dimensions that deserve our attention.

For example, lost in the talk of late has been the related-but-discrete topic of whether our society should be engaged vs. closed. Both Hannan and Matt Ridley are nationalists who campaigned for Brexit, but their arguments often hinged on how the EU forced Britain to limit its engagement to the Continent rather than giving it the run of the world to seek allies, or to have its people ply their wares, travel, or find bargains.