Kritik an Ideologien, Aufklärung über populäre Irrtümer, Kommentare zum Zeitgeschehen

Ruthless Criticism

Von • Okt 3rd, 2016 • Kategorie: International

Ruthless Criticism


Nationalism: useful for those at the top – idiotic for those below

The belligerent nationalism that curses immigrants as “taking away our neighborhoods and jobs,” as “not belonging here,” that sees foreign powers and peoples “hurting us” – this hostile nationalism assumes that “we” are a we, invokes feelings of community, and shares this same certainty with the highly respected patriotism.

Exclusionary nationalism maintains something that is both untrue and unreasonable. It’s untrue because it is the landlords who increase rents, not the immigrants who have to pay the same rent as native citizens; it’s the business owners who fill their jobs with the cheapest possible people from the international labor market and press down the wage level in general, harming everyone who is dependent on a wage, regardless of their origin. It’s unreasonable because, as tenants, immigrants and natives share a common interest in opposition to the native landlords; as wage earners, immigrants and natives share a common interest that conflicts with the native business owners; as working people, Americans and Mexican, Chinese and all foreign workers have a common interest against the location competition of their employers and against the states in which they all go downhill.

Nationalists, however, think that all natives form a community into which strife and damage is brought only by foreigners.

However, the argument of level-headed patriots against the belligerent nationalists is also neither true nor reasonable: that immigrants “benefit our economy,” thus “us.” This “our” and “us” is false: in a society based on private property, the economy does not belong to all of us, even if everyone has to make a living from it.

The business owners exploit immigrants as well as locals to make their property larger and hence to secure it; while those who are exploited only secure a lot of toil and ever more insecure livelihoods; unemployed wage earners not even that.

Against the inflammatory talk about allegedly parasitic foreigners, pro-immigration patriots are not at all clear about who is really responsible for the benefits and injuries; they imagine a communal benefit that foreigners contribute to (and only in this way is their conditional right to exist approved). And they want to attack the right exactly the same way the right attacks immigrants: as a plague on the nation. They say the right wants to take away the benefits that immigrants provide “all of us” ; the right harms “our economy,” “our image abroad,” “us.”

That’s already nationalism: the idea that all the citizens of a state have a common interest with each other and these citizens have a common interest with “their” state – and that corresponds with the impulse to feel concerned and take sides with this imagined community, thus always with the impulse to treat those who do not belong to it as a threat.

These examples show the need to explain something: the damages that people experience within this nation are certainly pointed out, even the economic and political conflicts between the citizens of one’s own nation – but that apparently doesn’t make nationalists wonder whether their idea of community is true, but only makes them commit even more to their imagined community. Nationalists do not ask: why do I need to make this my concern? What kind of economic and political conflicts am I involved in here? What then is bringing me into into conflict with people, native as well as newcomers? And they don’t want the answer to show them where they really stand in relation to their unity with the state. Their concern and partisanship for the nation stands firm: from this standpoint, they categorize all these nasty experiences as a challenge to their commitment to protect the homeland from strife and discord. While it may be true that nationalists celebrate their unalloyed unity with and in the nation on July 4th or during the national anthem at football games, for the most part nationalistis are a pretty discontent lot: they suspect disturbances and troublemakers within the unity of the nation which make them all the more resolute.

That’s not correct, so we allow ourselves a question that patriots find absurd:

What causes nationalism?

Rule: its interest in the society plus its justified idealization of the nation

The people: the desire to cope and the national delusion of the dependent

Ordinary and extraordinary nationalism

Nationals and aliens




Why are American cops so brutal?

There’s a widespread sense that the police in America are running amok. On the one hand, news about police murders is so routine that it is widely acknowledged as systematic. On the other hand, everyone, including protestors, is quick to deny that this brutality is a requirement of police work; it is said that the police are misusing their badges, taking the law into their own hands, or violating their public responsibilities. (…)


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