There is a nationalism that divides and there is a nationalism that unites. I am advocating a new kind of nationalism. What do I mean by that? First, what is nationalism? Nationalism is a belief or sentiment that involves citizens feeling attached and devoted to their country. This connection between citizens and their country has led many to participate in national days honouring their country. It has led some to enrol in public service or even in the military. It has seen every time a national flag is waved or a national anthem is sung. Nationalism is always closely tied with appreciation of a country's history and an optimistic view of a country's role in the future of the world.
Nationalism creates warm feelings in the hearts of patriots. However, nationalism has its setbacks too. I am not convinced that nationalism, as it existed in the pre-World War One and the pre- World War Two era, was a positive force. In fact, nationalism was a major cause for both World War One and World War Two as people were willing to fight and kill others for the glory of their nation. This is not the kind of nationalism that I am advocating.
What is the kind of nationalism that we do need? What is the kind of nationalism that I am speaking of? We need a new kind of nationalism that does not see ourselves as superior to other nations but, instead, opposes globalism.
Globalism is a powerful force in our world. It is the idea that our world is benefitted by bringing together, in an ever-increasing way, the political, financial, social and even religious structures of our world into one system. Such a bringing together of our world is not necessarily a good thing. Many fear that the real purpose for globalism is to further empower multi-national corporations and world banking institutions to maximize their profits at the expense of common workers, work safety conditions, compensation standards and labour hiring. Globalism takes power from national legislative authorities and, ultimately, the common people of any nation and puts it into the hands of wealthy international elites. Globalism compromises democratic representation, undermines local decision making and centralizes wealth and power in fewer hands.
Many believe that globalism is bringing about the creation of political conglomerations such as the European Union. Many believe that the European Union is not the last conglomeration of nations to form. We may see an Asian Union, an African Union and an American Union. Some believe that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is part of the beginning steps toward an American Union. What could such a union look like or mean for us living in North America? For an idea, take a look at the European Union.
Let's take a long hard look at the European Union. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty brought into being the European Union. However, a precursor to the EU was the European Economic Community which formed in 1957 and included Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, West Germany and Italy. In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom opted to join this union, now called the EC. Greece joined in 1981 and Spain and Portugal joined in 1986. In 1995, Finland, Austria and Sweden joined the European Union. Since 2007, numerous other European countries have joined the EU. What are some negative consequences for the countries that have joined this union. Eurozone countries lose control over their monetary policy, for example, interest rates. Member countries have working regulations imposed on them by this new government. The free movement of workers throughout the union may result in local workers not having the same job opportunities open to them in the area where they live. The new European government has imposed laws upon member nations. Many nationals feel restricted by these new laws which did not originate within their country. According to Mr. Denis MacShane, a former European minister, nine percent of the United Kingdom's laws have now been made by the European Union government. According to the Lithuanian government, since joining in 2005, it now has thirty percent more laws which came from the government of the EU. In addition to bearing the burden of more laws, member countries also are required to pay the expense of enforcing these laws. This can be a significant expense. The European Union is advantageous to transnational corporations. However, many Europeans feel that it is only the transnational corporations who are benefitting from this arrangement.
What other possible disadvantages could come from political/economic unions like the European Union? A union like this could result in many of the best managerial jobs in a country going to foreigners. Much profit earned by transnational companies ends up leaving the countries in which they are operating and goes back to the home country of that transnational company. Water supplies and electricity may be diverted from its country of origin to another country. The involvement of transnational companies in national countries may, in some cases, cause local inflation. Local domestic companies may close, not being able to compete with larger foreign companies.
We need a new nationalism that is not based on a belief in our superiority over other countries. We need a new nationalism that defends our currency, our charter of rights and, ultimately, our sovereignty from the global ambitions of powerful elites. We need our sovereignty. We need a new nationalism because we need to hold onto the freedoms that we have.
“Nationalism” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism
“Nationalism” Meriam-Webster. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism