Esprit de Corpse
Lately, I’ve noticed a pattern of the left-wing/establishment media appealing to patriotism. This has come up in various contexts. For example, during the 2018 World Cup, several left-wing media sites published articles linking the success of the English, French and Belgian teams to their high level of “diversity” (mostly black players). This was a cherry-picked interpretation, because the Russian and Croatian teams were also successful, and they were not racially diverse at all. So, it was typical propaganda, of course. But it struck me as odd that they would use success in team sports to promote diversity.
Why should a man of French ancestry support his country’s team, if it consists mostly of people who aren’t French? Why would he identify more with the French team than, say, the Croatian team? The Croatian team was white and Catholic, as France used to be. Why should he care if “his” team wins a competition, when his only connection to it is the social construct of citizenship?
Team sports are competitions between groups. They simulate warfare. The teams competing in the World Cup represent countries. The media simply took for granted that people would support their own country’s team in this competition, and would view success in this competition as good in some way. They appealed to this intuitive value judgment in propaganda that opposes group identity based on race, ethnicity or culture. They used an appeal to nationalism to argue against nationalism.
Another example is the use of “traitor” rhetoric aimed at Trump. Supposedly Trump is a traitor who has “taken the side of Putin against his OWN intelligence community”. This is ridiculous in multiple ways. Of course, it’s ridiculous because of the fake “Russia stole the election” narrative. The phrase “intelligence community” is also absurd. They use the word “community” to make a group seem nice. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Black community” and the “LGBTQ community” but not the “white community” for some reason. It’s also ridiculous because of the appeal to patriotism. I guess they think American national identity should consist of unquestioning loyalty to the CIA.
The left is explicitly opposed to anything that would make citizenship meaningful. They oppose any connection between citizenship and race, religion or ancestry. They even want to eliminate the legal requirements for citizenship. They call illegal immigrants “undocumented”, as if the construct of citizenship is a trivial formality. They want to open the borders to immigrants. They want to make membership in a country meaningless, so that no one is excluded. And yet, when it is convenient for them, they will appeal to patriotism. They will expect those native-born Americans to feel patriotic toward their country, be proud of it, and fight for it (against evil Russia).
The left’s split-brain view of patriotism is an instance of a more general pattern. They don’t seem to understand what they are knocking down. This occurs in much of their rhetoric. For example, they will deny race and then talk about racism, or deny sex and then talk about sexism. Their beliefs and rhetoric have presuppositions that they explicitly reject.
So, it’s not surprising that the left implicitly appeals to patriotism and nationalism, while explicitly rejecting them. But it is an interesting irony and worth pointing out. And it raises some questions about the relationship between identity and society.
We don’t create societies just to cooperate. We also create them to compete. Individuals naturally compete with other individuals, and societies organize this competition at a higher level. Societies don’t eliminate competition between individuals; they just translate it into competition between societies. We have been indoctrinated to believe that humanity is one big loving family, but that’s not true. Life is a competition, and some of that competition takes place between societies. Without being fully aware of it, individuals create societies to represent their collective interests in the global competition for resources.
You might say that we need to end this global competition for resources, by bringing all of humanity into one society. I agree with the goal of a global society, but not if it comes at the expense of my children’s future. Also, we will never eliminate competition between individuals, because competition is built into the nature of life. At most, we can replace violent competition with non-violent competition. Flooding the West with immigrants will not create a peaceful and prosperous global society. It will just create chaos in the West.
If a society represents the interests of its own members relative to other people, then it can expect its members to take its side relative to other societies. The converse holds as well. If a society does not represent the interests of its members relative to other people, then it cannot expect their support in competitions with other societies. The relationship between the individual and society is reciprocal, not altruistic. You can’t expect people to unconditionally support their societies.
If your society doesn’t take your side in the global competition with the rest of humanity, then it isn’t really your society. If it doesn’t represent your interests, there’s no reason to feel patriotic toward it, or to defend it.
There is no reason for an ordinary white man in a Western country to be patriotic. His country always takes the side of non-whites against whites. It brings in millions of immigrants to compete with him and his children economically. Those immigrants sometimes form hostile communities that engage in violent competition as well. His society is actively erasing his culture, his history, and his children’s future. The news and entertainment media are full of anti-white propaganda. He is told every day that his race is uniquely bad, that he should apologize for his privilege, and that his interests should always come last. It shouldn’t be surprising if he stops identifying with his society, and starts to resent it or even hate it.
That’s why the leftist/establishment appeals to patriotism ring hollow. Patriotism makes no sense in their brave new multicultural world. Why should I take my country’s side, if it doesn’t take mine?