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Forum LockedMy ancestors had it bigger than your ancestors

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khshayathiya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: My ancestors had it bigger than your ancestors
    Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 15:01
LOL

I've noticed a tendency among forum-posters - here and elsewhere - to extol the deeds of their ancestors. To a certain degree, I can understand that. Connection to ancestry does define our sense of identity.

But the major problem is the assumption that if my ancestors were super-heroes, I would automatically become one as well. This is, I believe, where patriotism turns into nationalism. Whereas patriotism is (at least in my perception) always accompanied by a sense of responsibility and fosters emulation, nationalism is self-sufficient. "I belong to the X people, my ancestors ruled the world. Why try harder?!"

Do you think there are other causes for nationalism? Are there strategies to gently and effectively reason with nationalists (I mean, just shouting louder than them will not help - they have trained lungs LOL)? Should one even bother?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 15:13
I am a parvenu individual, who comes from a parvenu people. I'm loving it.

I do hope if in a couple of thousand years time my descendents find the society they have lived in has fallen on hard times, that they will avert their eyes from a glorious past to think long enough about the necessities and opportunities of the future and present.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 15:24
Originally posted by khshayathiya

But the major problem is the assumption that if my ancestors were super-heroes, I would automatically become one as well.

What curious super-heroes, to need attention and recognition so desperately!!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 15:43
In my case, as a Chilean, I don't forget my ancestors fought each other. I don't forget how savage were Natives and how cruel and brutal were the Spaniards. I don't forget either that the old European immigrants came here escaping hunger and wars, and many times came covered on lices. Dad toll me about a time when workers were killed in the street with lances and people died of hunger -during the big depression. I don't forget, either, the represion that I witness in my own country during the Pinochet age.
 
The past seems to me a brutal nightmare. However, we shouldn't forget there are possitive things as well in the pass. Our ancestors were people like ourselves, living and surviving the struggle. I just try to remember them with some love and comprension.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 15:43
I reckon its part of human nature. If you can't beat someone now, remember that your dad had once beaten their dad.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 15:54
That was what I was wondering.

Is nationalism just a form of escapism? In that case, it would be restricted to those countries that have fallen on rather hard times. But this "condition" seems to be fairly widespread.

Perhaps it is a form of individual escapism - the individual feels for a number of reasons that he as a person fails to raise to a certain standard and is compelled to compensate his personal inferiority complex with a national superiority complex.

Could it be?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Mar-2009 at 16:05

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.
Charles de Gaulle

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
Albert Einstein

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Post Options Post Options   Quote tullyccro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2009 at 04:00
People get addicted to vicarious living, whether that's through celebrity magazines or fantasizing about Nordic Supermen who could read minds and fly. Anything that relieves them of being moral, courageous, or accomplished themselves, seems to fulfill the need. It's the same thing with sports and club rivalries. If there is a way for a person to feel superior that requires little to no thought and little to no effort, most absolutely jump at the chance.


Edited by tullyccro - 10-Mar-2009 at 04:02
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2009 at 04:27
I confess-my ancestors were peasants of many generations, cheerful and well fed but not particularly imaginative, powerful or wealthy.

Hey it worked for them it works for me!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2009 at 13:08
Originally posted by khshayathiya

That was what I was wondering.

Is nationalism just a form of escapism? In that case, it would be restricted to those countries that have fallen on rather hard times. But this "condition" seems to be fairly widespread.
 
I'd agree patriotism/nationalism is a form of escapism, but not for those who's countries have fallen on bad times, rather those individuals who's lives are pretty empoverished.


Edited by Paul - 10-Mar-2009 at 13:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2009 at 23:22
Nationalism is a disease. A monster. It eats your guts and feels your heart with hate and fear. A drug over-dose that can lead you to insanity. Unfortunately, too many people are infected.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2009 at 23:29
Originally posted by Northman

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. Charles de Gaulle


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. Albert Einstein



I can agree this to a degree but if nationalism means standing up for sovereignty or in the words of Michael savage Borders, language and culture then I am a nationalist. Living in Europe I do not think you have heard of this man though-

I can see where America used nationalism say in WWII against the japanese and of course it worked the other way also. I have the world at wars series which I have watched recently.
Well then, brothers and fellow citizens and soldiers, remember this in order that your memorial, your fame and freedom will be eternal.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2009 at 00:19
People feel the need to belong to a wider group. Some use religion (e.g. christians-mulsims), some political views ("free world"-communists), some nation, some skin colour (whites-blacks).

Defeat allows no explanation
Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2009 at 04:05
It's not the main reasoning behind Nationalism. Nationalism is more like an extended tribalism. Nationalism can have some merit, I think, as cultural nationalism.
 
Obviously everybody think they live the "right" way, but I believe people have the right to prefer their way of living. If they don't then neither does anybody else.
It's a matter of shared upbringing, shared culture, shared value, shared language and shared morals. A shared worldview, shared customs, sometimes shared religion, and many other shared things. People want to protect that, because it defines who they are.
 
And often the Nations borders also represent cultural and lingusitic borders, and in nations where that is not the case, it is always problematic. So, there really is a good reason for nationalism.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2009 at 08:16
Nationalism has some sense when a persecuted minority group seek to defend their culture and identity against forced assimilation. As long as they're open to outsiders then I don't see anything wrong with it. Nationalism becomes a problem when it becomes closed-minded and fueld by hate. I get nervous when I see people defending someone or some group to death just because they belong to the same nationality.

Spain is a country where different types of nationalism come into conflict with each other.
On one hand there are the Basque and Catalan nationalists who fight for their autonomy and the preservance of their regional culture, language, and identity (which made perfect sense during Franco's time); on the other hand there are the Spanish nationalists who try to promote a common "Spanish identity".
Both sides can get quite extreme. Basque nationalists often harrass and persecute non-nationalist Basques in the Basque country and going as far as calling them "traitors".
Spanish nationalists, on the other hand, often deny the existence Basque and Catalan language and identity, making comments such as: "Spanish is a natural langauge of Catalans and Basques and I don't see why they should speak their regional dialects...."

Both side to me are stupid, close-minded and just as fascist.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2009 at 11:33
I think de Gaulle's quote in one of the above posts does make sense, making a distinction between patriotism and nationalism.

To put it in the terms of the thread title, patriotism is saying "my ancestors had it big", and I guess that's a perfectly legitimate thing to say. Problems start when people feel the need to go further and argue "my ancestors had it bigger than ..." That's what I feel upset about.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2009 at 20:38
There is no point in arguing with Nationalists except the (often vain) hope that their views are merely born of ignorance rather than set-in-stone prejudice. It's rather like arguing with someone of a diametrically opposite political view than yours: neither person is going to give up an opinion they've invested their life in. The people you really want to reach are the next generation, and the (often silent) moderates. If you feel the need to reach anyone at all.

My ancestors were (variously) brutally warlike killers, prosperous and adventuresome traders and craftsmen, poor and unenlightened peasants, victims, victors, and every other stereotype one could possible come up with.






Edited by TheARRGH - 25-Mar-2009 at 20:40
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 18:59
Originally posted by khshayathiya

LOL

I've noticed a tendency among forum-posters - here and elsewhere - to extol the deeds of their ancestors. To a certain degree, I can understand that. Connection to ancestry does define our sense of identity.

But the major problem is the assumption that if my ancestors were super-heroes, I would automatically become one as well. This is, I believe, where patriotism turns into nationalism. Whereas patriotism is (at least in my perception) always accompanied by a sense of responsibility and fosters emulation, nationalism is self-sufficient. "I belong to the X people, my ancestors ruled the world. Why try harder?!"

Do you think there are other causes for nationalism? Are there strategies to gently and effectively reason with nationalists (I mean, just shouting louder than them will not help - they have trained lungs LOL)? Should one even bother?


My ancestors would kill you for saying such a thing.LOL But, in all seriousness, I think it is one thing to look back at our family histories and another to try to translate their success (or their nation's success) into our own. This happens somewhat in America. While I am proud to be an American, I am not one who says "we" when referring to American history. I was no part of anything at that time, thus I have no reason to act as if I was one of them.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slayertplsko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 19:35
Originally posted by khshayathiya

That was what I was wondering.

Is nationalism just a form of escapism? In that case, it would be restricted to those countries that have fallen on rather hard times. But this "condition" seems to be fairly widespread.

Perhaps it is a form of individual escapism - the individual feels for a number of reasons that he as a person fails to raise to a certain standard and is compelled to compensate his personal inferiority complex with a national superiority complex.

Could it be?

Yes. That's the way I look at it, too. It seems to occur to those individuals who lack satisfaction with their lives, for whatever reasons it be.

As someone above said, it only is worth trying to persuade them otherwise if their nationalism, if we can call it this way in this case, comes from their ignorance. But such types probably wouldn't go to argue their point to death and that's why I'm skeptical to use the term nationalism here. 

On the other hand, there are those who are so stubborn that nothing can persuade them and it is absolutely worthless to even give it a try...and, in fact, I have no idea why I keep trying. I've even noticed in several cases that they not only purposely ignore everything that contradicts their view but seem to be doing so completely unintentionally.

I once got a request in a debate from a Slovak nationalist to comment on a series of articles (of varying reliability, albeit in all cases sufficient) he posted and that were to refute my point. All of them explicitely and absolutely clearly stated the same thing I did, in the case of one of them it was stated so in the headlines, but he really was in it that he had destroyed my point completely. I just stared in a state of disbelief. If this won't communicate a very clear message that it is worthless to engage in any polemics with hard nationalists, then I don't know what will.



Edited by Slayertplsko - 30-May-2009 at 19:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 22:36
Look at it in a different point of view, guys -- half of your ancestors didn't have it at all.
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