India's New Nationalism, and Ours

Most immigrants, even more than many natives, viscerally appreciate America, because they know what it's like to live in an unfree country.


President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda has reignited conservatives' love affair with nationalism, with National Review's Rich Lowry (a onetime NeverTrumper) and Israeli political theorist Yoram Hazony publishing books in the last few years arguing that America needs a nationalist revival to rebuild fraying social cohesion.

The truth is the opposite: Cultural nationalism will dissolve the glue that binds Americans—namely, their commitment to the founding principles of equality, individual rights, and human dignity.

When I came to America 30 years ago, it was obvious to me—as it was to French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville 200 years earlier—that Americans not only love but also like their country. American patriotism, Tocqueville observed, is very different from the Old World variety that regarded the nation as the father and citizens as his offspring. Americans see their country as their offspring and themselves as its creator. It's the result of their actions if not their designs, as the economist F.A. Hayek might have put it.

Americans believe in spontaneous and uncoerced expressions of patriotism, such as displaying the American flag outside their homes and beginning sporting events with a heartfelt rendition of the national anthem. That's not the case in my native India, where Republic Day celebrations involve a massive parade by various military divisions. Four years ago, after India came to blows with Pakistan, the Indian Supreme Court briefly ordered not only that movie theaters play the national anthem but that viewers stand up for it.

That's hard to imagine in America. In fact, precisely because the country exists for the sake of individuals and not vice versa, the First Amendment protects the right to use national symbols for protests, such as taking a knee during the anthem. This makes it more apparent when a course correction by the government is needed, making the country more worthy of affection.

The other striking thing about the American identity is that it does not define itself as against something else. If Pakistan and Islam were to disappear from the face of the Earth, there would be nothing left to sustain Indian nationalism. But America's ideals anchor it. The demise of communism didn't diminish America's self-conception. It vindicated it.

Hazony claims in The Virtue of Nationalism (Basic Books) that America's classical liberalism is fundamentally imperialistic because its political principles are deduced from Lockean notions of universal human nature. He thinks that leads to a crusading moral universalism that denies the validity of alternative principles of national self-determination. But America doesn't have to try to universalize its ideals; the universe embraces them on its own, as the post–Cold War wave of democratization demonstrated.

Pre-Trump America wasn't immune from the "us vs. them" mentality, and Trump isn't the first person to campaign on it. He is, however, the first president in living memory to win America's highest office by characterizing Mexican immigrants as "rapists and criminals" and Mexico's failure to stop unauthorized border crossers as a threat to American sovereignty. Instead of rejecting this kind of nationalism, conservatives are putting a respectable intellectual foundation beneath it, as if borrowing German philosopher Carl Schmitt's notion that the core of political life requires a cultural enemy.

And what is this new enemy? Mass immigration from non-Western countries, primarily. In The Case for Nationalism (Broadside Books), Lowry attempts to sanitize the case for blood-and-soil nativism, arguing that "an exclusively idealistic account of America is a mistake" and "the criterion for citizenship in the United States is not attachment to a set of ideas but birth within our borders." He castigates President George W. Bush's statement that "our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity or soil or blood" as "willful ignorance." He claims it denies "the contribution of geography or land to our identity." Lowry insists that celebrating the "beauty and bounty of our land in the most exalted terms" ought to inform our understanding as Americans, along with the fact that our ancestors are buried here.

The most charitable explanation for Lowry's project is that he is trying to articulate a nonracial, nonreligious criterion in which to anchor a thick understanding of American nationalism. He wants America to remain broadly inclusive of those whose families have been here for a long time but not so inclusive that relative newbies can waltz into the club at will. But if America's principles are not enough to anchor a robust nationalism, and if race and religion are off the table, then ancestry and geography—blood and soil—are the only candidates left. To that end, Lowry wants to radically slash immigration, and National Review writers including Reihan Salam have advocated scrapping birthright citizenship. Meanwhile, Editor Charles C.W. Cooke wants more stringent criteria for judging who is worthy of naturalization.

But that would make America less—not more—patriotic, because it'll sever it from a great source of patriotism: immigrants. Most immigrants, even more than many natives, viscerally appreciate America, because they know what it's like to live in an unfree country.

Lowry's deification of land and ancestry doesn't just work against immigrants. Once a criterion to judge "outsiders" is established, it'll inevitably be applied to "insiders" as well. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities without the very deepest roots might easily be viewed as lesser Americans. Regardless of his intention, Lowry's scheme would establish a test that many citizens of this country simply couldn't pass. By declaring that there is only one way to be an American, he denies many individuals and communities the chance to define their own relationship with the United States and formulate their own reasons to love it.

What's more, if the nationalist project is serious, it will require state aggression. This is precisely what's happening in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is demonstrating what it takes to convert a liberal democracy into a robustly nationalistic one. Hindu extremists have long touted a full-throated blood-and-soil nationalism called "Hindutva," which says the only true Indians are those whose holy sites sit on hallowed Indian soil. This definition includes Hinduism and its offshoots: Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism; it excludes India's 140 million Muslims and 30 million Christians, whose holy lands lie in the Middle East.

Hindutva's goal is to purge India of these "foreign" religions and return to the halcyon days when only true Indians roamed the subcontinent. To that end, Modi's home minister announced plans to create a national registry of citizens, allowing the government to distinguish unauthorized residents in the country. Only those among India's 1.3 billion residents who produce papers showing that they have ancestors dating back to some cutoff year will be included on this list.

This is an impossible task for millions of Indians, especially poor ones: Many of them don't even know their own birth dates, let alone have their grandfathers' birth certificates. So Modi ramrodded through parliament a law that non-Muslims who can't produce documents will be granted expedited citizenship. But paperless Muslims will be out of luck even if they have ancestors going back generations.

The Indian experience shows that a program of nationalism does not enhance "mutual loyalty" among citizens, as Hazony wants. That's because it empowers the state to judge citizens not by their loyalty to each other but by their loyalty to the state's aims and methods. In Modi's India, it is not just Muslims and Christians who are considered less Indian. Hindus who don't dutifully line up behind Hindutva's ideas are attacked as anti-nationals. Predictably, this project has made the population more polarized.

A program of nationalism that empowers the government to slice and dice people into an in-group and an out-group will backfire badly. It will be simultaneously oppressive and divisive, sundering—not soldering—the country.

NEXT: Brickbat: No Good Deed ...

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  1. I fully agree with what was said

    1. Why do Pajeets believe in Indo-Aryan supremacy?

      1. street shit ters should be thrown out. they own most small business and trying to organize and take over. all of them a re lying scheming pricks. as soon as they get money they put it towards electing white hating communists. a snake charming paki financed AOC

        1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…LSd after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

          Here’s what I do…………….new Income Opportunities

  2. What the fuck is up with Dalmia’s obsession with American nationalism? I’ve never actually seen her present a cogent case for why nationalism should be considered a bad thing. She simply relies on its sonic resemblance to national socialism and expects us to draw a sinister conclusion from that.

    Yes, I love my country. Yes, I’m an American nationalism and proud of it. No, I’m not a Nazi. Fuck off, Shikha. And that goes for your dickless excuse for a husband too.

    1. I think she does a pretty good job in this article about outlining how nationalism can be dangerous, especially in context with the right’s phobias of immigrants and other religions. And while the slippery slope argument isn’t always true, it often is. Judging by the nonstop hatred emanating from conservatives on this site, it isn’t too outlandish to imagine them supporting government aggression against “outsiders,” however they are defined.

      1. sarc has finally gone full drunk

        “Judging by the nonstop hatred emanating from conservatives on this site”

        lol you’re so fucking broken

        1. “lol you’re so fucking broken”

          Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

          So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

          Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

          Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

          Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

          At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

          Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to .

          1. so now we know “you’re so fucking broken” are the magic words to summon you and start you shitposting, Shit eater

            1. “you’re so fucking broken” are the magic words to summon Sqrls”
              That or a freshly laid poo.

      2. Rights phobia of other religions…. as compared to the left’s phobia of all religion? Do you actually bother thinking your arguments through?

        I would love what Vox articles you read during your research.

        This is why you’re an idiot. Instead of arguing on a logical basis you immediately based your argument on emotive and moralistic arguments. You do this because you dont actually have a logical depth to your ideas. At no point did you actually argue a logical or coherent argument in your statement. But boy did you claim moral superiority.

        1. Rights phobia of other religions…. as compared to the left’s phobia of all religion? Do you actually bother thinking your arguments through?

          Do you ever read the articles and comment on what they are actually talking about, or do you just get all hostile when people don’t address unrelated topics and staw men?

          1. We need to say the words “Christian terrorist”. Remember that alt-right incel who attacked those poor homosexuals and transgendered people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando?

        2. I guess Ayn Rand was a “leftist” because she disdained all religion?

          The problem with you conservatives is that all of you from Buckley to Fat Rush Limbaugh (Praise Be Unto Him) all say that conservatism is based on Christianity.

          That is why us classical liberals have no use for the right.

          1. “classical liberals”

            You misspelled “pedophile”

          2. See, that’s a wonderfully interesting lie, full of self-serving congratulations.

            However, it is obvious to anyone that you have no use for the “right” because they alone hold up a mirror and show you the century of failure that was your pathetic attempt to curtail the rise of leftism.

            And of course, they remind you that they know you’re lying about your political persuasions as well.

            So while you can claim all you like that it’s the Christianity, it’s the honest criticism of your utter failure and dishonesty that makes you hate them so virulently.

          3. “us classical liberals

            Lol, you’re no liberal, unless you’ve redefined it to mean everyone to the left of Pol Pot.
            At best you’re a classical Stalinist, and share the same tastes in freedom of religion as Calles’ Mexico, Revolutionary France and every Communist state ever.

      3. America isn’t phobic of immigrants. However, many of us are tired of our sovereign borders being treated like a joke. By both foreign interlopers unwilling to actually immigrate, and evil, self serving politicians from within.

        No Americans like immigrants just fine. We admit more than a million of them a year.

      4. You can’t have patriotism without nationalism. They want you to fight illegal belligerent wars in the middle east that have nothing to do with US security and if you don’t, they brand you as unpatriotic, while at the same time the very same blood thursty, war mongering chicken hawks like Bolton denounce nationalism.
        The US has long morphed into a global empire building monster and to do it, it will stamp out any criticism. You are free in this country as long as you agree with the globalist establishment. If you denounce it and organize a counter movement, you will be spied on by the CIA and FBI and they will do anything to discredit you by planting false rumors, make sure no one hires you. And worse, you will be taken out, as John Lenon, King and Malcom X.

    2. “…it empowers the state to judge citizens not by their loyalty to each other but by their loyalty to the state’s aims and methods.”

      1. My loyalty is to my tribe first and America second.

        1. The Boo-Yaa tribe?

    3. Shikha evidently has never seen the definition of government, which includes borders–like the barbed wire sniperfields between India and Pakistan. This is widespread, and results in Collectivism Goood, National Collectivism Baaad, Racial Collectivism Baaad, Non-communist collectivism Baaad…

    4. Most immigrants, even more than many natives, viscerally appreciate America, because they know what it’s like to live in an unfree country.

      Always count of Shikha to say that foreigners are better than Americans. In this case, they’re even better Americans.

  3. “…excludes India’s 140 million Muslims and 30 million Christians, whose holy lands lie in the Middle East.”

    What? Regardless of whether the bill discriminates against Muslims, it explicitly INCLUDES Christians along with the Indic religions as accepted refugees.

    Because, you see, the bill is about accepting actual refugees from India’s neighbours.

    It’s really ironic to see the same people who so frantically support accepting refugees in the West, demonize it in India.

    1. It’s not about accepting refugees – it’s going to be applied to people already living in the country who aren’t in refugee camps. It’s about avoiding deporting Hindus who don’t have papers (because most poor Indians don’t have papers). We’re talking hundreds of millions of affected people – surely you don’t believe there are that many refugees?

      Yes, it does include Christians. I’m pretty sure that’s to avoid immediate condemnation by the US (because we would definitely condemn India for it if Christians were excluded).

      1. I guess the Muslim countries can worry about the Muslims then. They got tons of money.

        1. Muslims have a human right to immigrate to Western countries, other than Israel.

          1. That was funny. You had me for a second there.

  4. This is Shikha’s best essay in quite a while. Yes, American ideals are the source of our national identity and pride. But what she gets wrong is that the new immigrants from shithole countries do not share and admire these principals and that draws them here. Today’s immigrants are largely drawn by economic factors, particularly the free lunch welfare we provide. Like Progs who see a great place like California in the 60’s and 70’s and move there and then install the same stupid socialist policies that made them leave New York, they end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg – individualism. Same in Denver, Austin, etc. Donkeys that promote the import of socialist immigrants are the real traitors to American ideals.

    1. Today’s immigrants are largely drawn by economic factors, particularly the free lunch welfare we provide.

      I used to believe that refrain when I heard it all the time when I listened to talk radio. But when I did some research on my own, instead of relying on Beck and such, I found that that is the exception, not the rule.

      1. “when I did some research on my own”


        1. Is Jason Homo able to conduct research? Just maybe? Try it some time! Actually USE whatever few neurons you might actually have?

          Here’s a good read for those who still have an open mind… Cato…

          1. so now we know “you’re so fucking broken” are the magic words to summon you and start you shitposting, Shit eater

          2. “Jason Homo”

            oh and you’re a gross homophobic bigot too

            lol you’re so fucking broken

          3. “you’re so fucking broken” is an example of the brainless writings of a Homo Erectus who failed the first grade in Homo Erectus school.

            1. lol you’re so fucking broken

            2. Squirrelly, why are you still alive? Just get it over with and kill your self.

              1. Hey Shitsy Shitler…
                If EVERYONE who makes you look bad, by being smarter and better-looking than you, killed themselves, per your wishes, then there would be NO ONE left!
                Who would feed you? Who’s tits would you suck at, to make a living? WHO would change your perpetually-smelly DIAPERS?!!?
                You’d better come up with a better plan, Stan!

                1. You appear to be’i eve you’re smarter than I’m and make me look bad. Untrue. No one here likes or respects you in any way. Anyone honest with themselves hopes you will commit suicide too.

                  Best thing for you really, your comments are going nowhere.

                  1. Plus he admitted he eats shit. Don’t forget that part.

                  2. Shitsy Shitler mixes her yeast-infected twat juice with maggots, then purees it, gargles with it, and spits it out… For R Mac to pour it all over the “smart pills” from underneath the rabbit hutch, to eat it all with great gusto!

                    (The “smart pills”, though, sad to say, are NOT working!)

                    Smart people read stuff like THIS below, to see just HOW utterly greedy, stupid, and selfish their law-breaking “Dear Leader” really is!!!


                    Several weeks ago, a senior official issued a statement saying: “The president got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments. That is why the president has always scoffed at the tax system and said you need to change the tax laws. You can make a large income and not have to pay large amount of taxes.”

    2. +100 on Californians spreading their leftist poison across the country. Fuckers.

      1. Imagine what it is to be a rural Californian. Not only to have to live under the progressive agenda promoted nationally, but also within the state. A very large part of California – in size, not population – is sort of ‘colonized’ by the urban left who consider it to be a place to drive through on vacation and to be preserved as some sort of park with no economic activity beyond ecological tourism.

    3. Please note that the “new” immigrants aren’t any different than the “old” immigrants from centuries past. The new immigrants are poor people from shithole countries coming to America to get rich, just like the old ones were, and the new immigrants don’t have any more or less respect for American ideals and principles than the old ones did. The difference is that the old immigrants had assimilated into American culture after living here for years, while the new ones also assimilate into American culture after living here for years but are constantly replaced by ever more, ever newer immigrants. The idea that immigrants today are somehow fundamentally different than immigrants in the past is kind of silly since humans haven’t fundamentally changed in the last hundred years.

      1. ^this is what imbeciles ACTUALLY BELIEVE!!!

      2. I would gladly trade ten native-born SJWs for each eager, success-striving immigrant.

        1. I would gladly trade ten native-born SJWs for each foreign-born SJW, but unfortunately that’s not an option.

        2. I would gladly run ten native born SJW’s through a woodchipper. For each foreigner accepted into the US.

      3. The arguments used today by those who oppose immigration were used against the Chinese, Italians, Dutch, Germans, Irish, and every other culture that came here. Immigrants haven’t changed, and neither have xenophobes.

        1. Immigrants haven’t changed, and neither have xenophobes.

          Why, it’s almost like xenophobia transcends race, geography, and culture and is practically woven into our psychology or even DNA at a fundamental level.

          It’s almost like from the intellectual level of ants on up, the widespread and unquestioned trust of any/all outsiders has been heavily selected against.

          1. Many countries, like China and Saudi Arabia, embrace diversity of values, cultures, and religion. Stop being bigoted!

          2. Are you also into eugenics and phrenology?

      4. the new immigrants don’t have any more or less respect for American ideals and principles than the old ones did.

        This is true for some – Cuban or E European immigrants – but not for most from Latin America who are escaping violence from governments and warlords and drug cartels. Assimilation among these groups is much less a goal and not as widespread as for prior generations of immigrants. Moreover the second generation are often downright hostile unlike in past days when they were more American than their parents.

        1. And in previous eras being American was considered a good thing. Immigrants wanted to become American, and Americans appreciated assimilation.
          Now it’s all about “multi culturalism” and hatred for America. Even though it should be easier than ever to assimilate, immigrants are constantly told not to do so by the power establishment.

          1. Just because the leftist welcoming committee is ashamed to be American, that doesn’t mean the immigrants themselves don’t want to become Americans. Give them a little credit. They’re not little automatons that do whatever they are told. Think they would have left their homes if they were conformists?

            1. I pity you, Sara.
              It must be tough to be so illiterate and emotional

              1. Project much?

                1. No, he doesn’t. You just can’t admit how fucking idiotic you are.

          2. Nardz : “And in previous eras being American was considered a good thing. Immigrants wanted to become American, and Americans appreciated assimilation”

            Nope. As I noted below, people like you said the exact same thing about all those immigrants of previous eras : They were vermin, thugs, criminals, parasites; they would never become true Americans; they were a danger to the nation.

            That’s what people like you said about the Irish. That’s what people like you said about the Italians. It’s only in retrospect they’re “good” immigrants, while the latest batch is (repeat insults above). And guess what : A hundred years from today they’ll be a person like you saying today’s immigrants were the “good kind”, while that day’s group is scum.

            Because one hundred years from now they’ll still be dupes, and huckster conman politicians who know how to take advantage of them. Some things never change…

            1. That’s just one big dishonest strawman. Which is exactly what we expect out of you.

              1. It’s called history. You know, that thing that repeats when you don’t learn it?

                1. Historically, one of the major eras of immigrant-bashing was during the mid-1850’s, when the dupes were told all their problems came from newly-arrived Irish, Catholics and Chinese. Carnival-barker politicians led massive crowds by the nose until they were stoked into sputtering rage. See? History does repeat itself.

                  They were called the Know-Nothing-Party. Put that on a red cap and I’ll bet Trump’s supporters line up to buy one.

                2. Of course, grb’s lies are ‘history. You’re as big an idiot as he is.

            2. Grb says to the 3rd generation scion of Italian immigrants.
              It’s almost like all people whove immigrated to America have had to go through a bunch of shit and work hard to establish themselves as American.
              But its ok – we realize that nothing is more toxic to you leftists than self determination and perseverance.

              1. What you said refutes nothing that he said. Seriously. This is the same old song and dance that’s been going on since forever. Blame everything on immigrants or whatever because they’re different, blah blah blah. You’re on the wrong side of history, bub.

                1. No, that would be you. You have bad ideas, bad arguments, and you’re a lowlife shitbag.

        2. European immigrants from the previous century were also escaping mob violence and constant warfare. As for today’s second generation, they certainly are more downright hostile to America and everything she stands for, but that’s just as true of their native-born peers.

          What I’m saying is that the problem isn’t immigrants themselves or any particular type of immigrant, the problem is that there’s just too many for us to effectively absorb, leaving a persistent underclass for politicians to exploit, as if by design. Trying to glorify immigrants of the past as being somehow better than today’s only obscures this point.

    4. BigT : “But what she gets wrong is that the new immigrants from shithole countries do not share and admire these principals and that draws them here”

      The same thing was said about every group of immigrants, some examples being Irish, Italians and Jews. In fact, go back in history to previous times when huckster demagogues convinced the mob all their problems were caused by some Other. it’s the same old tired tune, over and over. The Italians were leeches who’d never become American citizens. The Irish were criminals who’d pollute our body political and contaminate our precious bodily fluids.

      There’s nothing new or special about Trump’s sleazy shtick. The world is full of trumps-types right now – in India, Turkey, Hungary and Russia. Our Trump is only unique in being such a ludicrous buffoon. It’s like a pandemic whose root cause is the Great Recession a decade ago. You saw the same thing after the Depression as tragedy.

      At least with our Trump, it’s repeating as farce

      1. You and your kind really need to leave America and never come back. If you know what’s good for you.

        1. Look at the internet tough guy making thinly veiled threats of violence!

          1. Damn, you’re a stupid bitch Sarc. I threatened no one. I can just see what eventually happen to trash like you, and grb (who is probably your sock) when you faggots keep pushing.

            It will in agony, for both of you. And I won’t have to do a thing.

    5. “This is Shikha’s best essay in quite a while. Yes, American ideals are the source of our national identity and pride. But what she gets wrong is that the new immigrants from shithole countries do not share and admire these principals and that draws them here.”

      Best essay in a while, but totally wrong where the rubber meets the road. That probably is the high water mark for a Shikha essay.

  5. It’s not nationalism that’s the problem in India, it’s religion. Just like Europe when the different Christian sects were fighting. The Hindu’s and Muslim’s have been fighting for centuries.

    1. Like most areas with a lot of Muslims the native people were conquered. Islam has been spread through conversion in some places, but not in India. Very much a result of invasion and imposition of Sharia.

      1. When in large numbers, Muslims are unable to get along with their neighbors. Be they ‘infidels’, or other Muslims with slightly different beliefs.

        1. Well, the subject today is India, where the Muslims are the ones facing discrimination, being demonized by huckster politicians trying to rile up the crowds, and are frequently the victim of mob violence.

          So, yeah, I guess that means they’re “unable to get along with their neighbors”, right? I’m currently reading a lot of WWII history and run into the exact same logic there……

    2. It’s not nationalism that’s the problem in India, it’s religion. Just like Europe when the different Christian sects were fighting.

      Yeah, and you know how Europeans resolved that? By partitioning themselves into lots of small countries by religion and culture. Imagine that: people who share a common belief system and values choosing to live together under a common set of laws.

      But socialists and progressives reject that kind of freedom of association and choice; they want everybody forced into a single culture and a single set of values–theirs.

      1. Why can’t Sunni and Cher get along? The Armenians and Turks love each other!

        1. Two for two! Keep up the good work!

    3. Someone will eventually nuke Mecca, and that’ll be that. The thing about the mindless initiation of force in politics is that–like in physics–there is an equal but opposite reaction force. It’s hard to imagine they don’t actually want, worship and strive for death even without reading Atlas Shrugged. To avoid America getting dragged in, keeping out the whack jobs is not a high price to pay.

  6. I’m a little scared when I read such news. I hope that everything will end well, it cannot be otherwise.

    1. I’m beyond hope. The BJP is the political arm of a group (The RSS) that goes back to the 30s and actively praised the Nazis at the time. (Notably, Ghandi was assassinated by a former member of the RSS for building an inclusive India.) And the current rhetoric and policies are starting to look a lot like mid-30s Germany. India is on the cusp of going full-blown national socialism.

      While Modi might seem personally disarming, but his associate (and party leader) Amit Shah is terrifying. I submit their goals are the same.

    2. You guys are making me wish that I could vote for Modi.

  7. Morale of the story…

    No one likes living amongst large Muslim communities except those born into their cult. And most of those, especially women, would quickly leave Islam if they were allowed to think for themselves.

    Maybe not liking islamists doesn’t mean places like America and India are overly nationalistic. Maybe it means weve learned Muslims have caused us more trouble than they’re worth and were tired of dealing with their never ending pissing, moaning, jihad.

    1. Let’s extend this a bit and discuss it as it exists in reality.

      What is the country with the highest level of development that would be considered a “Muslim” state.

      What are the human rights like there? The level of freedom of speech or religion?

      1. What are the human rights like there? The level of freedom of speech or religion?

        Very low to non-existent.

      2. The gulf states bought some advancement, all based on oil and are cruel regimes with leaders trying to hold on to power. There are also several Muslim failed state and some dumps like Pakistan.

      3. The UAE may be the most ‘civilized’. The governments are much more authoritarian than any in the West. Not sure how they stack up on human rights in particular.

      4. It’s likely Indonesia. As to their level of human rights and tolerance for differing political and religious views, I couldn’t tell you. On par with their more secular neighbors, though probably less tolerant than Australia?

  8. The most charitable explanation for Lowry’s project is that he is trying to articulate a nonracial, nonreligious criterion in which to anchor a thick understanding of American nationalism.

    The essence of Trumpism is that only white Christians can be true Americans. That is why Trump and his white trash base had to cast Obama as non-American.

    1. He was just working with Hillary’s research and presentation.

    2. It is pathetic how much you leftists have to strawman.

      1. What else is he to do? He has no real arguments, and he isn’t very intelligent. Other than bile, venom and snark, what else does PB have? Other than the loads he desires to deposit into young boys of course.

    3. The essence of Trumpism is that only white Christians can be true Americans.

      You’re merely projecting your own racist ideology onto others.

      After all, the essence of American progressive ideology is that only white male Christians have agency, and everybody else exists in a world of their creation and is at their mercy.

      1. Exactly, and that is why the bleeding hearts have to take care of these lesser souls. Done voluntarily (as it was pre 1960) it is an admirable, even heroic, exercise. Done at the end of a gun it is violent oppressive paternalism.

      2. Nuttplug fantasizes he ‘bears the white man’s burden’.

    4. What about the Jewish people? Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Stephen Miller look like good Americans to the Don.

  9. “President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda has reignited conservatives’ love affair with nationalism”

    That simply isn’t what “America First” is about. “America First” was a reaction to neoconservatism and progressive ideas about sacrifice.

    During the Bush the Lesser administration, we invaded Iraq, ostensibly because they had WMD programs like the anthrax we were attacked with on 9/11 and were collaborating with Al Qaeda. When that turned out be false, we were told that we had to remain in occupied Iraq because it was in the best interests of the Iraqis. A lot of it had to do with neoconservative ideology, that what’s best for America is to spread democracy at the point of a gun, but Barack Obama’s progressive ideology, which elevates sacrifice by the American people for the benefit of people elsewhere in the world above the interests of America. You could see the latter at work both in the Obama administration’s signing of the Paris Climate Treaty, as well as the Obama administration’s absurd self-immolation with the Iran nuclear treaty–neither treaty, mind you, was ratified by the U.S. senate specifically because neither treaty was in the best interests of America but were both about forcing the United States to make sacrifices for people elsewhere in the world.

    Besides backing us out of those two treaties that were no in America’s interests, Trump’s “America First” police is apparent in another three examples.

    1) Trump’s willingness to work with Putin to defeat ISIS

    If it’s in the best interests of the United States to shake hands and work together with Joseph Stalin, like we did during World War II, then that’s exactly what we should do. Once our U.S./Turkish allies and Russian/Iranian allies stopped fighting each other and started focusing their efforts on defeating ISIS, ISIS was utterly obliterated. If you aren’t willing to work with Putin–not even when it’s in the best interests of the United States–then you’re not putting “America First”.

    2) When President Trump withdrew out troops out of harm’s way in Syria.

    To the extent that is in the best interests of the United States to go to war to protect the Kurds from the Turks, that’s what we should do. Because it was not in the best interests of the United States to go to war to protect the Kurds from the Turks, President Trump withdrew our troops from harm’s way. Regardless of what is in the best interests of the Kurds, President Trump is putting the interests of America first.

    3) Drawing down U.S. troop level s in Germany.

    President Trump has been complaining about Germany’s unwillingness to spend on their own defense at the level agreed to by NATO. Why should they spend money on their own defense when the U.S. taxpayer will continue to shoulder that burden for them. In response to the announcement by Germany that they might start fulfilling their NATO treaty obligation by spending the required amount sometime after the year 2030, President Trump responded, last week, by announcing that he was bringing 3,500 troops home. The Europeans and cheerleaders for an expansive foreign policy have argued that this is wrong because withdrawing troops is bad for our European allies as they confront an increasingly belligerent Russia, but President Trump doesn’t run foreign policy for the best interests of Germany or the Europeans. His primary concern is the interests of the United States. He’s putting America first.

    In conclusion, none of this has anything to do with the suppression of individualism for the benefit of nationalism. It’s simply calibrating foreign policy to be more like it was when Reagan and Bush the Greater won the Cold War. The legitimately libertarian purpose of our foreign policy is to protect our rights from foreign threats. Seeing President Trump put the interests of America first isn’t exactly a libertarian take on foreign policy, but it’s a prerequisite. We can’t move foreign policy to a more libertarian direct without first moving foreign policy out of the realm of neoconservative and progressive ideologues, who put the interests of the rest of the world ahead of our own interests. “America First” isn’t a libertarian foreign policy, but it’s a bridge to get there.

    1. It is sad that you point out the obvious here… and everyone seems to miss it.

      Not suprising… just sad.

    2. In conclusion, none of this has anything to do with the suppression of individualism for the benefit of nationalism.

      While that’s true, it’s only because you’ve cherry-picked the good that Trump has done. And while we should celebrate the good he has done on non-intervention, we must recognize the bad he has done with respect to individualism.

      His immigration policies, being against DACA, the waste of money on a border wall, the theater of “law and order at the border”, are anti-individualist for the benefit of nationalism; ie that we have national property rights, not individual property rights. Not to mention he shows no respect for associative rights with these policies.

      His tariffs and trade policy are anti-individualist for the benefit of his nationalism; ie that countries trade, not individuals.

      In fact, both of these policy positions are quite collectivist in nature.

  10. She even starts with an error. “The founding principle….equality. Wrong. The founding principle….liberty.

    1. Equality Under The Law not equality of outcomes.

  11. Playing the national anthem before every ballgame is not “spontaneous.” It has become mostly a substantial waste of time.

    1. “Ballgame” Lol imagine how much of a decrepit fossil you have to be to use this term in 2020. Tell me about old cap Anson.

      1. Ouch, Sam, very ouch. You dunked all over me.

        It was this bad.

    2. Agreed. Ugh that song is so old the words barely make sense at this point. I’ve said for years that instead of the National Anthem, we should have a 10-minute moment of silence while saluting images of Obama across the big screens. My partner and I already do this on our own when we watch games at home.

  12. Most immigrants, even more than many natives, viscerally appreciate America, because they know what it’s like to live in an unfree country.

    Yes, you’re right. And that’s why immigrants like myself oppose attempts of people like you to destroy America and turn it into the same kind of socialist country you came from. Go to hell, Shikha.

  13. Most immigrants, even more than many natives, viscerally appreciate America, because they know what it’s like to live in an unfree country.

    I presume Shikha is exempting herself from that statement, because she never fails to tell us how awful and racist America and Americans are.

    1. If you stop donating to Reason, she will eventually have to self-deport.

  14. Shiksa, you ignorant slut.

  15. Americans should be fully aware that when you let immigrants come in at large quantities they take over. We as Americans have a history of doing just that. So you can base your arguments that it is wrong to not let them take over and change the laws just has been done in the past, but you can’t really say they are just being xenophobic. Phobias imply an irrational fear of something. The fear of massive groups of immigrants coming into the country and trying to change laws and the culture while pushing the native(or previously there) Americans out isn’t irrational, it’s having a firm grasp of history.

    1. Good point. If you were wrong the term Lingua Franca would never have had to be created. Native tribes would still rule this land. The neighbors of the early Aztec would still exist. Rome would still be a thing. Hellenistic culture would have never spread. The UK would still be pagan. Most of modern day Israel would be Arabic. Spanish would not be spoken in Mexico. Brazil would not speak Portuguese. Cultures wax and wane… but it is always under pressure by other cultures to change. Always. Sometimes it happens peacefully… sometimes not. But it happens.

  16. If you want to have a discussion about nationalism, you can start by writing articles in good faith instead of peddling DNC talking points accusing Trump of characterizing Mexicans as rapists. Do you even realize that when you quote out of context and attack his character that you’re basically calling ~30% of the Hispanic population Uncle Toms? You probably don’t because leftists often lack self awareness and inner monologue, but if your assertion were true, then that means 30% of Hispanics voted for Trump in spite of him characterizing them as rapists. If you were one such Hispanic, can you see how offensive that is?

  17. Many immigrants from Mexico and Central America do not come here for economic opportunity. Many are fleeing violence. That means the push factor is greater than the pull factor. That isn’t to say they do not appreciate the living standard they can get here, they do. But they come here to be Mexicans (I’m using Mexican as a stand in for all of them) in America. That is very different from wanting to come and become American. That doesn’t mean they hate America. But it does mean that they didn’t come here to adopt, support, and promote American ideals. I teach at a mostly Hispanic high school. These first and second and even third generation immigrants are not carrying a strong sense of the importance of liberty. They do, however, like ideas of “free college” and the like. Those are decidedly anti-American ideals. It isn’t out of malice, but that doesn’t make it be any less anti-American. The good news is that once you explain freedom and it’s costs and risks, they get it. But in the education system we have, most immigrants are never going to be exposed to those ideas and instead will be met with progressive ideas and their parents do not understand it since they did not live it.

    This is why Americans worry about immigration. I have never met anyone who is taken serious by any number of people who oppose immigrants because of race. But a number of serious people do worry about culture. Immigrants past and present were proud of their homeland. They were nationalists just as the Americans were. And that is the root of the conflict both then and now. How much can you love America when you would rather wave the Mexican flag, root for Mexico over the US in the World Cup, etc? The truth is you can love America a great deal and do those things. But all humans use shortcuts to explain the things we observe. It is biologically how the brain works. And so you see someone doing patriotic things for a country that is not the one they’re in but for where they are from and it looks more like migratory colonialism rather than assimilation. And the fact that some people can not admit that in some cases it actually is migratory colonialism (even if not done on purpose or with a concerted effort directed by a single force) causes patriotic Americans to bristle. That, sadly, pushes these patriotic Americans closer to nativism and bad nationalism. But it isn’t like that makes their worries unfounded. But it also doesn’t mean that there aren’t immigrants who come here because of freedom. Lots of Eastern European immigrants hate the left in the US for destroying the beacon of freedom that drew them here and for turning America into the Soviet system they left. But immigration from other places aren’t migrating for freedom. They are migrating for safety (parts of Africa and Centeal America mainly) or economics (the Middle East, India, and Asia in large parts). Yes, some Africans come for economics. Some Indians come for safety… but I’m taking in generalities. Those are great reasons to come here… but don’t lie and say they came here because they loved individual liberty soooo much. If their situations at home were either safer or more productive they most likely would have never left.

    Both sides (yeah, I know… it is a Robbyism and that ought to be verboten but it is true here) fail to see that they are neither fully right or fully wrong… “every immigrant is a Jefferson waiting to bloom” on one side and “every immigrant wants to destroy America” on the other.

    Perhaps it’s some from group A and some from group B. And until we admit that we are going nowhere.

  18. Not the cemntral theme, but:
    (Rich Lowry is) “arguing that America needs a nationalist revival to rebuild fraying social cohesion.”

    By “social cohesion”, he means “top down conformity”, and since religions arent’ so effective anymore, let’s wave the flag. We need more mechanisms for the self-proclaimed elite to rule the plebes and groundlings.

    Counter-proposal: let’s let society and culture happen from the ground up, and relegate wanna-be thought leaders like Lowry to the place they desperately want to avoid (so desperate that they’re even willing to let people who obey them take up arms to enforce their views, not unlike Lawrence O’Donnell, Chuck Schumer, and Chuck Todd): irrelevance. You want social cohesion? North Korea does an admirable job of that.

  19. Shikha could write about how the East India Company–an embodiment of corporate, non-State anarcho-capitalism in the mercantilist tradition–began suffering ghastly defeats at the hand of Indian resistance precisely when These Sovereign States rose in revolt to throttle the accursed monarchists. Were it not for the trans-border looting of Persia and the EIC, India could today still be one of the richest nations, struggling desperately to stem the inrushing tide of uninspected paupers, anarchists and terrorists. The book is titled “The Anarchy”

  20. “American nationalism” is an oxymoron. American means freedom-loving, and respect for the equal rights of others to their freedom, as well.

  21. Weird about all those Mexican flags I see though…

  22. It’s a bit strange to see an Indian intellectual dismiss nationalism out of hand considering that Ghandi is widely recognized as a transformative Indian nationalist.

    A nation does not have its own language and culture that are centuries old by having their people act like some “global citizens”. Even when their government or kings abuse them, citizens band together as people in defense of their nation in times of invasion and crisis.

    Ethnocentrism can be dangerous, but that’s hardly unique to nationalism? What would you call the left’s obsession with “diversity”? That’s imposing your culture on others, to the point of eroding someone’s free speech and association.

    How does a market work? It runs on self interested people seeking to benefit themselves. We enter into transactions and trade partnerships because it’s mutually beneficial, not out of some moral obligation. The notion that a company can do whatever it wants for its business model but a nation can’t do the same seems quaint to me.

    What’s the point of voting of our own leaders and government if they’re not ultimately “America first”? If anything we do is less in our interest but in our rivals (or even allies) why can’t the president say “this isn’t fair to us?” Do sports agents not get the best possible deal for their client, even if huge contracts are bad for sports?

    Otherwise we might as well just join the European Union and let the community decided what’s good for the collective.

  23. Cogent and well written, a rarity here on Reason.

    I do not object to immigration, I object to illegal immigration. I recognize that Mexican immigrants including illegal immigrants have made immense contributions to America. That doesn’t make it OK to illegally enter the country.

    Mexican immigrants are hard working, and value hard work and family. They are perhaps the most likely to become Republicans *if only Republicans would stop kicking the shit out them*.

  24. “America” isn’t a country. Next.

  25. They just want the “right sort” of immigrants. Meaning white ones, like Trump’s Norwegian comment. Of course Norwegians are perfectly happy where they are and have no desire to emigrate

  26. india is bitch country no body goes here never

  27. American patriotism, Tocqueville observed, is very different from the Old World variety that regarded the nation as the father and citizens as his offspring. electrician santa clarita

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