Ideas, Individuals, and… Nationalism?

04/07/2019

We’ve all heard the saying: “If you don’t love it here, leave!” The irony of those kinds of statements though, usually disseminated online towards ‘leftists’ of various sorts (whether on cultural or economic concerns), is that the people who most often assert them are the ones with gripes over their country’s wellbeing. This inconsistency can reach comical standards at times, and also helps reveal other hypocrisies.

Because YouTube is a thing, I stumbled across a channel (which I have mentioned before) called The Golden One – in brief, imagine if Thor was a ‘right-wing’ fascist and lived in Sweden. Only really worth checking out if watching buff white men flex their ‘alpha’ physique is your kink, or if you really want to explore some of the bizarre views held by that kind of nationalist.

In all seriousness though, the holes in the narrative people like The Golden One (Marcus Follin) try to spin are glaringly obvious with even the slightest touch of critical questioning, and yet his viewers, and indeed anyone who shares similar views in the world, are hooked on it. I should state that Follin does not have all that many followers, less than 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, with most videos lucky to reach 30,000 views. The man himself and his channel are not of any particular significance, but it is the ideas I want to focus on.

Another point to make for the context of this piece is that obviously not all ‘nationalists’ will hold the same views, and people who may hold some of said views are not inherently nationalists themselves. It is, of course, a spectrum (of ideas, the whole ‘left/right’ fallacy only serves to muddy the waters). So it is the ideas that I wish to talk about here.

The first one, as mentioned above, is the contradiction in telling people to leave if they do not love our country. Australia Day, for example, or the push in Parliament to get Adani off the ground (most, except the Greens, voted in support for it in the Senate today, by the way), always brings out the patronising comments telling those sympathetic to Indigenous rights and the environment that they just hate Australia, that they should go elsewhere if they don’t like what is happening. These very people are also the ones who are not afraid to express outrage over the supposed ‘Islamisation’ of ‘Western culture’, or the collapse of masculinity because somehow the Me Too movement will lead to female dominance and feminise boys.

Completely baseless fears, and yet even I know many who would shoot dark looks if Muslims are brought up, or if you insist misogyny still exists today. These are topics that render people silent or defensive because they either lack knowledge on them or are too set in their ways to consider varying perspectives. I have written before that ignorance is a brilliant thing to have a lot of – so long as it is the right kind of ignorance. Simply refusing to accept or listen to an opposing stance will only limit you to the base level of ignorance, which is not where you want to be.

So, if they hate that the ‘West’ is ‘falling to Islam’ or other such nonsense, then why not leave? Is it perhaps because they do, in fact, love their country and only want to see it be the best version of itself? If that is the case, then we all have a common goal, but different perceptions on what this ideal world looks like. Disclosure, the concept of countries, borders, pride in our ‘heritage’ and flag, etc. is baffling to me, and even the bare basic nationalism of loving ‘Australia’ is and alien concept. Of course, however, we all want to see our fellow humans’ lot in life improve, so that is how I’ll refer to it.

Follin does the exact same thing, obviously within the context of Sweden. He loves his country, and Western culture, and yet many of his videos decry the ‘depths’ it has apparently fallen to, the depravity. The second flaw here, beyond the contradiction of ‘love it or leave’, is much more serious. This is where, rather than recognising the real causes of ‘decline’, such as decades of neoliberalism and an oligarchic elite that calls the shots, people like Follin will scapegoat certain demographics.

He uses the buzzword phrase ‘Cultural Marxism’ to describe the ‘degeneracy’ of women who do not conform to the ‘natural caring role’ intended for them – because, god forbid, gender stereotypes are being challenged in the fight for greater independence and autonomy. Transgenderism is a disease we must get rid of, according to him, and the LGBT+ community as a whole is also a degenerate part of the modern world – because LGBT+ people never existed before the 21st Century…

Where he, and others, get into even murkier territory than that, however, is on race. Case in point, the man defends Hitler against accusations of anti-Semitism, instead claiming that what Hitler and the Nazis were fighting against was the ‘international Jewry’, the global conspirators that happened to be all Jewish, and not the individual Jews themselves. Now, I mightn’t know as much about Nazi Germany as I should (enough to be ‘knowledgeable’, I suppose, but always more to learn, and by no means an ‘expert’), but Nazi 101 is they verrrry much hated the Jews. They were then, as they are becoming again now, the scapegoats, the demographic that was alienated and exterminated.

But the argument some, like Follin, use, whether it’s against Jews or, commonly in Australia, Muslims and migrants, is just that. There is no problem, apparently, with individuals who are Jewish or Muslim. The problem is just with the ‘New World Order’ run by the rich elite, all or many of whom are, according to them, Jewish. The problem is just with the Islamisation of Western culture, something that merely happens by virtue of Muslims existing in Western countries. See that hole in this logic?

No, we don’t hate individual Jews – the idea of an international Jewry, however, the collective, is a danger, a threat. Nor do we hate individual Muslims – just the idea of them practising their religion here is detrimental to the security of our nation.

Really makes one wonder why anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are such prominent terms these days, despite all this non-hatred. Makes you think… (yes this is sarcasm).

It is very much a scenario where a collective, a demographic, is chosen as a scapegoat in some fashion and it is the individuals who are targeted. If your idea of Jewry, Islam, LGBT+ causes, etc. is a negative one, and your words and actions oppose or oppress that idea, then yes, you are hurting the individuals that belong to it.

In a piece I wrote earlier this year, I described modern nationalism as an inward display of prejudice. The ‘nation’ is seen through one lens, and everything contrary to that is scorned. Through selective history and modern propaganda, scapegoats are created to guide this prejudice. Instead of seeing the nation as something that needs ‘fixing’ or believing that the ‘other’ is the problem, take some time to reflect on your own knowledge.

What are the real sources of ‘societal collapse’? What do the groups you are prejudiced against actually think and do? Look beyond weird YouTube channels and ill-informed corners of the internet and instead seek out information from proper academia or members of those groups. There are numerous sources out there, if one cares to look, and sad to say, Sky News just doesn’t cut it.

It’s the 4th of July today. I wonder what nationalistic antics Trump will dabble in.

 

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