Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Derbyshire on Brexit and its implications for the Trumpening

Brexit keeps echoing. Despite efforts to separate Brexit from the American election, it's clearly true that the motivation of Brits to vote Brexit is very much like the motivation of Americans to support Trump. And nationalism is at the core of it.

Speaking of nationalism, I've been trying very hard on this blog to explain that, given the alternatives to it, nationalism is a good thing. That is, if you don't have a nation to be a part of, you end up being the subject of an empire, or, worse, some kind of globalist world government. But that's too abstract. John Derbyshire gets it exactly right, by contrasting nationalism with despotic nationalism. He goes further than what's on the quibcag, but there wasn't room for it all. It's all in his essay below. Speaking of the despotic nationalism of the WW II era, it's also important to remember that the oppostion to the despotic nationalism of the Axis was itself pure nationalism — the nationalism of the United States, Britain, France, and many others, including the Soviet Union, which turned to Russian nationalism to inspire itself for the fight. So I'm using the term "nationalism" as it ought to be used, to signify the idea that a nation — a group of people related by blood who share a culture, language, history, ethnicity, etc. — should have a common government and sovereignty, and is a good and proper way to sort people out. Without the nation, there is no reasonable category for an individual to belong to greater than the family, and the family is too small and powerless to defend the individual from imperialism or globalism. And when you fully comprehend the shared blood, culture, history, etc. definition of nation, it leads you to think about immigration in a different way, and to have a different idea about the characteristics that an immigrant should have.

Enough from me. Here's John Derbyshire's piece, which you can find in its entirety at the Unz Review [link] or VDare [link]:

Rule Britannia! On Brexit, the Immigrant and Geezer Votes, and…Donald J. Trump


  1. I disagree with Derb's definition of 'despotic' nationalism. It's almost signalling a kind of relativistic view of nation and culture. Taking over inferior cultures and replacing it with a superior one is the better option than letting it alone to squabble and war with rivaling tribes creating refugees that then invade anyway. Better to do what the Russians did with Central Asia and move pops around to create stable regions and enforce Russian law

  2. I can't find an actual definition of it in this essay, but it he puts it that way, you're right and he's wrong. You're right about the inferior cultures, certainly. But the important thing abut Derb's essay is that he clarifies what nationalism is and declares it a good thing.