Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The paradox of patriotism

In this age of identity politics, why is national identity so demonised?

We live in an age of identity politics. Today, one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, religious background, immigrant background, is not simply embraced, tolerated, deemed incidental to one’s standing in society – but loudly celebrated, if not sacralised. Under multiculturalism, the melting-pot ideal of a society, in which cultural differences are either deemed unimportant, or the barriers between us are actively broken down, has been thrown out in favour of celebrating the things that separate us. And new legislation relating to gender identity seeks to give official recognition to how one feels about oneself, both in the world and in one’s own body.

And yet, there’s one identity that isn’t celebrated today – that, in fact, is demonised: national identity. In the wake of the Brexit vote, British and English national identities have once again been underlined as nefarious, divisive forces. ‘Nationalism has taken a depressing turn, this past year and a half’, a Guardian columnist writes, bemoaning the ‘suspicion of foreigners’ and hubristic ‘let-Britain-roar, grow-wings-and-fly pap’ that the Leave campaign stirred. Brexit represented a ‘mix of arrogance and ignorance, a very English amalgam’, wrote another, in the New European, dooming us to ‘dull small island life, grey, inward, with shops full of pies and chips and blue passports in our bags’.

Much of this was nakedly political. Linking Brexit, a decision made by a sovereign people to leave a bureaucratic order, with blinkered British nationalism is an easy way to defame it, to present it as something visceral and ugly. You see this in the way that every broadside against Brussels, whether it was May’s pre-election speech standing down the Eurocrats for leaking against her, or the Tory backbench’s reaction to a hinted-at ongoing role for the European Court post-Brexit, are painted as stemming from xenophobia. All the while, it is quite clear that what Brexit voters don’t take kindly to is not being under the thumb of foreigners, but being under the thumb of anyone.

The post-Brexit panic about nationalism taps into a long-standing concern and embarrassment about national identity

Nevertheless, the post-Brexit panic about nationalism taps into a long-standing concern and embarrassment about national identity. Given our history, it’s perfectly understandable. British national identity is for some inseparable from the historic crimes of Empire. The Cross of St George was, until only a few decades ago, associated with skinheads and National Front thugs. Yesterday, as one commentator pointed out on Twitter, marked the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Immigration Act, a deeply racist piece of legislation introduced by Labour to stop Kenyan Asians with British passports from coming to Britain, because they were ‘not nationals of this country in any racial sense’.

But it’s strange that such concern is so potent at a time when British national identity, of the blood and soil sort, exists only on the margins, and what it means to be British is for most people far more benign. Ask someone what it is to be British in the 21st century and they’ll likely talk about customs, foibles and sports – of cheering on Ingurland at Wembley, upholding fair play, and apologising when someone bangs your shins on the bus. Even the popularity of the royal family feels more akin to the popularity of a soap opera than undying fealty to tradition. Nations may well be ‘imagined communities’, as the author Benedict Anderson notably put it. But these imaginings express a human need to belong, rather than to discriminate.

The idea of black Britons, Asian Britons, Middle Eastern Britons is today wholly uncontroversial. What’s more, while some middle-class commentators argue that British identity locks out ethnic minorities, this doesn’t seem to be the experience of most ethnic-minority communities. According to the Office for National Statistics, the vast majority of non-white ethnic groups living in Britain describe their national identity as British, English, Scottish or Welsh, including 85 and 80 per cent of black and Pakistani Brits respectively. Meanwhile, the British Social Attitudes Survey suggests that the number-one criterion most people have for what it means to be ‘truly British’ is simply speaking the language.

Indeed, nations as we know them today have often been conceived as projects in breaking down borders between people, in cultivating fellow feeling among previously separate or antagonistic groups. In his famed 1882 lecture ‘What is a Nation?’, the French historian Ernest Renan remarked that the ‘essence of a nation is that all individuals have many things in common; and also that they have forgotten many things. No French citizen knows whether he is a Burgundian, an Alan, a Taifale, or a Visigoth.’ Since the French Revolution the idea of nation has often been bound up with equality, citizenship and representation. A nation’s ongoing existence, as Renan put it, is a ‘daily plebiscite’.

None of this is to downplay the ethnic chauvinism that ravaged Europe during the 20th century. Nor is it to whitewash the fact that even those nations, like America and France, which were founded on high-minded, universalist principles haven’t always lived up to them. The point is that the pull of national identity is not necessarily a reactionary force. While every nation is steeped in its own history and mythos, it provides a common ground for previously disparate groups to intermingle and forge a new society. In The Lion and the Unicorn, George Orwell argued that patriotism is ‘the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing’.

Nations have often been conceived as projects in breaking down borders between people, cultivating fellow feeling among previously separate or antagonistic groups

National identity and democratic citizenship are not synonymous. Throughout history ethno-nationalists have tried to carve up the public between native citizen and alien. But what constitutes national identity in Britain today stems from both a sense of belonging and shared civic norms and responsibilities. The spectre of nationalism haunts only the nightmares of snobby commentators. And just as the attacks on national sovereignty are today really an attack on the popular sovereignty nations give expression to, it’s hard not to interpret the rage against national identity as a rage against the civic, democratic values that many Britons associate with it, the ‘daily plebiscite’ that elite Remainers loathe.

Does all this mean that national identity is in itself a force for progress, a source of resistance against myriad anti-democratic ‘globalists’? Of course not. When you extricate national identity from civic values it amounts to something fluid, cultural, sentimental. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it can’t help but inform our politics. But that doesn’t mean that you should politicise it. Some Labourites have for years been saying they need to ‘reconnect’ with English identity, but what they really need to do is reconnect with English voters; they need to put identity to one side and appeal to people on the level of ideas and interests; they need to stop sneering at white vans and St George flags, rather than buying some themselves.

All forms of identity politics are limiting, if not self-destructive. Anyone who considers themselves progressive should be interested in fighting for the freedom of all mankind, while recognising that national democracy is the means in which it can be achieved. But to criticise identity politics is not to deny the existence of identity, or to deny some identities have some real content. National identity can offer a platform on which a more expansive (albeit limited) sense of belonging can sit. And that is perhaps why it is so loathed, while other identities are so celebrated. Elite identity politics is explicitly anti-majoritarian and divisive. They prefer us to be in our own separate boxes, because we’re far more dangerous when we’re together.


Southern Poverty Law Center is a Joke


So the Southern Poverty Law Center now says that myself and other women such as Christina Hoff Sommers are enablers of male supremacy. Our crime? Mentioning that maybe men and boys are not treated as well in society as some women, their sycophants and haters like the Southern Poverty law Center think they are.

I mean, how dare women say that the 30,000 or more men who kill themselves each year deserve some sympathy, that the majority of young boys who cannot read should receive help or that men should have due process rights! I mean what nerve we have.

I get emails and letters from men across the US and even other countries who tell me about the difficulties and downright atrocities that they are dealing with on a daily basis. These men are in desperate pain from dealing with being denied jobs, not being able to finish their degrees and being raked over the coals by exes and their whims, while not receiving anything but contempt by society, the courts and miserable, misandric places like the Southern Poverty Law Center.

So a couple of women, so few in fact, that the Southern Poverty Law Center had to dig up people like myself or a few other women like Sommers, who actually think that men are human beings to use as examples. That's just sad. There should be more women than a handful speaking out.

If I am to be labeled as a "male supremacist" because I think that male suicide deserves attention and treatment, that boys should have access to a good education free of bias, and that due process in college is a right, not a privilege, then sign me up! I just hope more fair-minded people will join me.


Segregation at Comic Con: No Straight, White Males Allowed at Parties

The comics industry seems to be doubling down on their policy of completely excluding anyone who is straight, white, male, or conservative. This year's Emerald City Comic Con released its schedule of events on its app recently. Anyone who is male, white and identifies as heterosexual found himself excluded from industry mixers and professional mixers.

A source attending the event who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons spoke to PJM about the blatant discrimination.

"I’m disappointed that they choose to be divisive in an industry that has seen enough divisiveness as it is," the source said. "We are not our race or gender or sexuality. Aren’t we a sum of our parts, or as MLK noted so famously, isn’t it the content of our character that should be what counts?”

But this is not the philosophy that drives the race- and sexuality-obsessed left. If you had the misfortune to watch the Olympics this year, you'd know that the most important people in the games were two guys who like having sex with other guys. The fact that they didn't medal in their individual sports because of their subpar performances had no bearing on the media's desire to elevate them to god-like status for everyone to adore and beatify. They're queer, so they win!

The source contacted Emerald City Comic Con on Facebook to inquire about the lack of diversity in the mixers.

It seems the left is determined to create an alternate universe where discrimination still exists but is only directed at white people. This runs contrary to all the great civil rights leaders who fought for equality. Martin Luther King Jr. didn't march in order to refuse service to white people and yet that's where we are in 2018. And they don't even see how wrong it is! Look at how comfortable Comic Con is admitting they did this!

PJM reached out to Emerald City Comic Con for comment and received no answer.

Lately, there have been way too many of these stories surfacing. Pamela Geller's children are being run out of their jobs because of views their mother holds that the left finds unacceptable. Simply being linked by DNA makes her daughters culpable in the left's eyes and so they must be destroyed and put out of work, unable to support themselves or make a life for themselves because they are assumed to hold doubleplusungood views. Their current apology tour will not save them. They are untouchables because their mother refuses to bow to the politically correct dogma that insists Islam means us no harm (even though its ideological adherents refuse to stop blowing people up or running them over with trucks while screeching "Allahu Akbar!").


Sarah Palin Just Exposed Anti-Christian Joy Behar’s Complete Hypocrisy

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin pounced on “The View” co-host Joy Behar’s double standard when determining whether hearing from God is a “mental illness.”

“So, Joy Behar,” Palin tweeted on Wednesday, “do you consider our friend Oprah Winfrey’s prayer a sign of ‘mental illness,’ too? Double standards, much?”

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee’s question was a clear reference to Behar mocking Vice President Mike Pence for believing he can hear from Jesus Christ in prayer.

“That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices,” said Behar on ABC’s “The View” earlier this month.

In multiple interviews, Winfrey has stated that she is relying on God to tell her if she is meant to run for president.

“I went into prayer,” the television personality told People Magazine in a story published on Wednesday. “‘God, if you think I’m supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it.’ And I haven’t gotten

In the aftermath of Winfrey’s speech about sexual misconduct at the Golden Globes last month, many urged her to run for president.

“I pay attention, and when you have that many people saying something, I thought gee, I never in my life, ever, ever, thought I would be in politics. I’ve always said no no no no no,” she said. “Am I at least supposed to look at that question?”

The Bible, in fact, records in the Gospel of John that Jesus said regarding born-again believers, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

He further described Himself as a good shepherd, “And when (a good shepherd) brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Fox News reported that ABC has received over 30,000 calls in response to what the Media Research Center described as Behar’s “anti-Christian bigotry.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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