Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Why aren't Liberals Patriotic?

No country has had a more inglorious beginning than Australia. Australia began as a prison, no other country can say that. And it all began on the 26th January 1788 and every year on that date we celebrate Australia Day, our national day. But this Australia Day was like all the others in recent memory, a day for Liberals at all levels to complain about Australia. It's too racist, it's celebrating an invasion and the genocide of the Aboriginal people. And it's not just the Left but also the Government gets in on the act, every year we have the media and the Government complaining that we are not a Republic. Why is modern Liberalism so unpatriotic?

Classic Liberalism was Patriotic, it believed in the Nation-State, it believed that there were things worth fighting for and dying for. It believed in National destiny, that each State should have it's own people and that each were unique and distinct and that they should remain that way. Social-Liberalism was unpatriotic in peacetime but just as Patriotic as Classical Liberalism in wartime, particularly if they were the Government. But from the 1960's it became obvious that was no longer Liberalism's opinion, it had changed.

Liberalism believes in the Autonomous Individual, that every person should be free to be self made. But they believed that that should happen within a man's own society. So Patriotism was quite right and proper, because a man can only be self made within his own society so that society must be protected and defended. The Liberals idea of society also needed protection and those ideas meant that the nation deserved the love of it's people. It was only natural in Liberal eyes that a Liberal nation should be loved by it's Liberal people. They were one people sharing a common heritage, a heritage that was celebrated because it had created a Liberal society and that together they had a common Liberal future.

Of course there were always dissenter's who believed in universal love, that Patriotism meant war and that war was not a Liberal value. But these opinions were normally private. Most Liberals did not see any problem with Patriotism.

The death of Classical Liberalism changed that, in fact it changed it so much that many people even think of Classical Liberalism as Conservative!

The idea that we are one people sharing a common heritage was now regarded as negative instead of as a positive. A common heritage meant that others were excluded, that heritage was bigotry. That Race, Ethnicity and Religious denomination were also bigotry because they were by definition exclusive and anything that is exclusive means that people miss out. Equality came into Liberalism in the 1830's, it wasn't always a popular idea but it became popular mainly because of Democracy. One man one vote was supported because it made all men, regardless of their social class equal. But equality is quite a radical idea, it cannot stop, logically equality means leveling, making everyone the same, removing all distinctions between people. Removing all barriers between people. Only then can we all really be equal, or as Liberals like to put it "become fully Human".

But Patriotism is an obstacle to this, if you love one people than you are being exclusive, you are being a bigot. If everyone is equal than Patriotism is wrong, it might even be evil. All people are equal, all cultures are equal, to love one small part of the world is just small minded.

To the Liberal mind this is logical and to be honest it is logical. It is entirely consistent with Liberalism, If people are to become Autonomous Individuals then all the things that define them must be destroyed, their Race, their Ethnicity, their Religion, their Sex, their Family and their Nation must be done away with. People cannot be allowed to love their country, that would be denying them the ability to become Liberal, to "become fully Human". The problem with this whole idea is that Liberalism itself is illogical. To love your own people, to love your own country, in other words to be Patriotic is entire natural, but Liberalism denied that we have a nature. To deny human nature is surely illogical.

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  1. The relationship between classical liberalism and patriotism is a difficult one. If you look at America, for example, you find a contradictory relationship. On the one hand, classical liberals in the 1800s did identify positively with their own ethny and national tradition. Anglo-American classical liberals saw their own kind as having a manifest destiny to bring the blessings of liberalism/Christianity to the continent. However, and this a big, fatal however, part of their classical liberal belief was an open market, with a free movement of labour. Therefore, even though they saw their own ethno-national tradition as special, the "specialness" rested on open borders, which then brought millions of non-Anglos and ultimately non-Europeans to America. How did they try to resolve their contradictory beliefs? Weirdly. Some of them adopted the belief that when placed within an Anglo culture, those of other races would over time become biologically and genetically Anglo-Saxon (presumably they saw physiology as being environmentally determined).

    And elsewhere? Well, the attitude was similar. A positive self-identity as "liberal and progressive" which then committed liberals to open borders as part of their communal identity. In Britain you could simply buy a passport, and efforts to tighten this system in the early 1900s were rejected. In Australia there was a large migration of Chinese during the gold rush and various debates in the 1800s about bringing in a labouring class from Asia.

  2. Patriotism, comes from the root Patr, Paternal or Father. Since liberalism has gradually circumscribed the role of the father, it has gradually circumscribed the "fatherland".

    And because liberals see government "as the only thing we all belong too", they do not want any conflicting loyalties to the nation. Only to the state.