Opinion: The eternal lure of nationalism

In a surprise overtime victory in the finals of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament, the Russians defeated Germany, 4-3.

But the Russians were not permitted to have their national anthem played or flag raised, due to a past doping scandal. So, the team ignored the prohibition and sang out the Russian national anthem over the sounds of the Olympic anthem.

When the combined North-South Korean Olympic team entered the stadium, Vice President Mike Pence remained seated and silent. But tens of thousands of Koreans stood and cheered the unified team.

America may provide a defensive shield for the South, but Koreans on both sides of the DMZ see themselves as one people. And, no fool, Kim Jong Un is exploiting the deep tribal ties he knows are there.

Watching the Russians defiantly belt out their anthem, one recalls also the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City where sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium, black gloved fists thrust skyward in a Black Power salute, asserting their separate racial identity.

Western elites may deplore the return of nationalism. But they had best not dismiss it, for assertions of national and tribal identity appear to be what the future is going to be all about.

Some attendees at the CPAC conclave this past week were appalled that Britain’s Nigel Farage and France’s Marion Le Pen were present.

But Farage was the man most responsible for Brexit, the historic British decision to leave the EU. Le Pen is perhaps the most popular figure in a National Front party that won 35 percent of the vote in the runoff election won by President Emmanuel Macron.

And the most unifying stand of the NF appears to be “Let France be France!” The French people do not want their country invaded by unassimilable millions of migrants from Africa and the Islamic world.

In Hungary and Poland, ethnonationalism, the belief that nation-states are created and best suited to protect and defend a separate and unique people, with its separate and unique history and culture, is already ascendant.

Globalists may see the U.N., EU, NAFTA, TPP as stepping stones to a “universal nation” of all races, tribes, cultures and creeds. But growing numbers in every country, on every continent, reject this vision.

Nationalists like Farage, who seek to pull their countries out of socialist superstates like the EU, and peoples seeking to secede and set up new nations like Scotland, Catalonia, Corsica and Veneto today, and Quebec yesterday, are no more anti-conservative than the American patriots of Lexington and Concord who also wanted a country of their own.

Looking back over this 21st century, the transnational elite that envisions the endless erosion of national sovereignty, and the coming of a new world order of open borders, free trade and global custody of mankind’s destiny, has triggered a counter-revolution.

Consider the largest countries on earth. In China, ethnonationalism, not the ruling Communist Party, unites and inspires 1.4 billion people to displace the Americans as the first power on earth.

Nationalism sustains Vladimir Putin. Nationalism and its unique identity as a Hindu nation unites and powers India.

Here, today, it is “America First” nationalism.

Indeed, now that George W. Bush’s crusade for democracy has ended up like Peter the Hermit’s Children’s Crusade, what is the vision, what is the historic goal our elites offer to inspire and enlist our people?

Writes for Creators Syndicate.

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