The cultural wars of the sixties are over. I've reconciled with those who were my critics and opponents years ago. I was at odds with some those who were Black nationalists. Yet when feminists attempted to end my career and leave me as literary road kill, it was the Black nationalists who came to my rescue.
Every time a colony wants independence, the questions on the agenda are: a) how do you get the imperialists out, and b) what kind of society do you build? There are usually the bourgeois nationalists who say, 'Let's just change the flag and keep everything as it was.' Then there are the revolutionaries who say, 'Let's change the property laws.' It's always a critical moment.
Many Canadian nationalists harbour the bizarre fear that should we ever reject royalty, we would instantly mutate into Americans, as though the Canadian sense of self is so frail and delicate a bud, that the only thing stopping it from being swallowed whole by the US is an English lady in a funny hat.
World War III will be triggered off not by suppressed nationalists seeking political independence, as happened the first time around when the Serbs at Sarajevo shot the heir to the Austrian throne, but by some semiliterate, whacked-out "loner" who lobs a rocket into a nuclear arsenal in order to impress Brooke Shields.
Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism at the expense of another race. . . Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never. Let us love our country, but pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora and fauna and human life that it supports - one planet indivisible, with clean air,... soil and water; with liberty, justice and peace for all.
William Sloane Coffin
Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with the man. If the late President Kennedy could get together with Khrushchev and exchange some wheat, we certainly have more in common with each other than Kennedy and Khrushchev had with each other.
CLENCHED FISTS OF PROUD NATIONALISTS KEEP YOUR PREJUDICED CONSCIENCE BLIND THE PARANOID DREAMS OF FASCIST REGIMES RUNNING WILD IN YOUR MIND ON THEIR KNEES MINORITIES START TO CRAWL SINGLE OUT MEN, HUMILIATE THEM, BRINGING DOWN EVERYONE SPIT IN MY FACE, SHIT ON MY RACE, LORD WHAT HAVE YOU DONE I AM NOT YOUR ENEMY ANOTHER RACE, ANOTHER COLOR IT'S A DISGRACE THAT WE FIGHT EACH OTHE
The Soviet Union was brought down by a strange global coalition of Western European conservatives, Eastern European nationalists, Russian liberals, Chinese communists, and Afghan Islamic reactionaries, to name only a few. Many of these discordant groups disliked the United States intensely. But Americans were able to mobilize them to direct their ire at the Soviet Union first.
If Slumdog Millionaire projects India as a Third World, dirty-underbelly, developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations. It's just that the Slumdog Millionaire idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative Golden Globe recognition. The other would perhaps not.
Nationalism as a thesis confuses (almost always deliberately) certain legitimate desires with illegitimate ones. People like to run their own affairs, and most people value the culture they were raised in, are proud of its achievements and wish it well; a significant degree of their sense of personal and group identity derives from it. All this is unexceptionable. But nationalists try to persuade their fellows that the existence of other groups and cultures somehow represents a challenge, and sometimes a threat, to what the natives of the home culture value. (From: Toward the Light of Liberty)
Arab nationalism in its traditional form was the way in which secular Arab Christians like Edward had found and kept a place for themselves, while simultaneously avoiding the charge of being too 'Western.' It was very noticeable among the Palestinians that the most demonstrably 'extreme' nationalists-and Marxists-were often from Christian backgrounds. George Habash and Nayef Hawatmeh used to be celebrated examples of this phenomenon, long before anyone had heard of the cadres of Hamas, or Islamic Jihad. There was an element of overcompensation involved, or so I came to suspect.
[The haggadah] was made to teach, and it will continue to teach. And it might teach a lot more than just the Exodus story." What do you mean?" Well, from what you've told me, the book has survived the same human disaster over and over again. Think about it. You've got a society where people tolerate difference, like Spain in the Convivencia, and everything's humming along: creative, prosperous. Then somehow this fear, this hate, this need to demonize 'the other' - it just sort of rears up and smashes the whole society. Inquisition, Nazis, extremist Serb nationalists... same old, same old. It seems to me that the book, at this point, bears witness to all that.
Indira Gandhi had been this very powerful, dominating, ambiguous mother figure. Ambiguous because she was tyrannical, she had imposed...she had suspended Indian democracy for a few years but she also was the woman who had defeated Pakistan in war at a time when most male politicians in India had secretly feared fighting that war, so that here in India even today Indira Gandhi is called by Indian nationalists the only man ever to have governed India.
All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage - torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians - which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them
Without exception all political parties promise their supporters a higher real income. There is no difference in this respect between nationalists and internationalists and between the supporters of a market economy and the advocates of either socialism or interventionism. If a party asks its supporters to make sacrifices for its cause, it always explains these sacrifices as the necessary temporary means for the attainment of the ultimate goal, the improvement of the material well-being of its members. Each party considers it as an insidious plot against its prestige and its survival if somebody ventures to question the capacity of its projects to make the group members more prosperous. Each party regards with a deadly hatred the economists embarking upon such a critique.
Ludwig von Mises
But are his needs any more shocking than the needs of any other animals and men? Are his deeds more outrageous than the deeds of the parent who drained the spirit from his child? The vampire may foster quickened heartbeats and levitated hair. But is he worse than the parent who gave to society a neurotic child who became a politician? Is he worse than the manufacturer who set up belated foundations with the money he made by handing bombs and guns to suicidal nationalists? Is he worse than the distiller who gave bastardized grain juice to stultify further the brains of those who, sober, were incapable of progressive thought? (Nay, I apologize for this calumny; I nip the brew that feeds me.) Is he worse, then, than the publisher who filled ubiquitous racks with lust and death wishes? Really, no, search your soul, lovie-is the vampire so bad?
Consider the great Samuel Clemens. Huckleberry Finn is one of the few books that all American children are mandated to read: Jonathan Arac, in his brilliant new study of the teaching of Huck, is quite right to term it 'hyper-canonical.' And Twain is a figure in American history as well as in American letters. The only objectors to his presence in the schoolroom are mediocre or fanatical racial nationalists or 'inclusivists, ' like Julius Lester or the Chicago-based Dr John Wallace, who object to Twain's use-in or out of 'context'-of the expression 'nigger.' An empty and formal 'debate' on this has dragged on for decades and flares up every now and again to bore us. But what if Twain were taught as a whole? He served briefly as a Confederate soldier, and wrote a hilarious and melancholy account, The Private History of a Campaign That Failed. He went on to make a fortune by publishing the memoirs of Ulysses Grant. He composed a caustic and brilliant report on the treatment of the Congolese by King Leopold of the Belgians. With William Dean Howells he led the Anti-Imperialist League, to oppose McKinley's and Roosevelt's pious and sanguinary war in the Philippines. Some of the pamphlets he wrote for the league can be set alongside those of Swift and Defoe for their sheer polemical artistry. In 1900 he had a public exchange with Winston Churchill in New York City, in which he attacked American support for the British war in South Africa and British support for the American war in Cuba. Does this count as history? Just try and find any reference to it, not just in textbooks but in more general histories and biographies. The Anti-Imperialist League has gone down the Orwellian memory hole, taking with it a great swirl of truly American passion and intellect, and the grand figure of Twain has become reduced-in part because he upended the vials of ridicule over the national tendency to religious and spiritual quackery, where he discerned what Tocqueville had missed and far anticipated Mencken-to that of a drawling, avuncular fabulist.