Last night I was planning on releasing a video to YouTube talking about the 4th of July and our country’s addiction to nationalism. However after doing two takes of the video I soon realized that it was turning out to be rather hateful and kind of missing the point. While I normally do not mind being hateful and missing the point (especially on YouTube where this is truly what the audience craves) I just could not get into being that way once again.
So instead I figure I will just throw some words in my blog to see how that makes me feel.
As we all go to celebrate the birth of our now fairly old nation please keep in mind some of the lessons we learned from history. Over the past year many people have been bringing up socialism due to Bernie Sanders and his campaign to be president of our country. Obviously much of the talk about socialism comes from the type of people who have never read a book before but since they are a majority of our country it is still something that needs to be addressed (as opposed to my normal reaction to people who choose to be ignorant, which is to ignore them.)
The talk I am referring to was people expressing how Hitler was a socialist so therefore socialism must be evil. Clearly this is a bad argument to begin with but also very perplexing as we live in a socialist country ourselves.
Somehow a large group of people in our country have totally missed the lesson they were supposed to learn about World War II. Instead they have come to the conclusion that Hitler’s desire to build roads and provide welfare to his people (his CHOSEN people to be more specific) was somehow the thing that he did that was evil. The thing I took away from studying World War II was that committing genocide was the thing he did that was evil.
Do people think that Hitler’s desire for social programs was what fueled his genocidal fervor? Is it not much more likely it was the other thing he was known for, his nationalism?
Nationalism at its core is the idea that a group of people will band together to have pride in themselves, specifically a nation of people. Usually this results in that group of people also thinking they are better than those not included in that group. In Nazi Germany it was the German people feeling nationalist pride that led them to believe that the Jewish population was the enemy that had to be eliminated. Nationalism was the tool that Hitler used to convince an entire country to comply with his insane machinations.
So the thing I think we all should have taken away from that is that nationalism is something to be avoided in order to stop ourselves from falling into that pitfall again. As a country we have unfortunately fallen victim to our pride too many times. Whether it be burning witches, lynching people, rounding up a large ethnic group and putting them into concentration camps, eliminating an indigenous population or just jailing those with differing political beliefs we have a record of letting nationalism convince us to hurt those that live within our own country. That is not even mentioning how pride in america has convinced so many that killing children overseas is something we should definitely be doing.
When you are out today eating your hot dogs, drinking your beer and blowing shit up. Just try to remember the danger of inflating a nation’s ego.