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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

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… if from Deirdre McCloskey’s article – “Nationalism and Socialism Are Very Bad Ideas [2]” – in the February 2017 issue of Reason (original emphasis):

imagesThe two bad ideas of 1755–1848 were nationalism and socialism.  If you like them, perhaps you will enjoy their combination, introduced in 1922 and still for sale in Europe and implied by Donald Trump’s popularity: national socialism.

Nationalism, when first theorized in the early 19th century, was entwined with the Romantic movement, though of course in England it was already hundreds of years old.  It inspired reactive nationalisms in France, Scotland, and eventually Ireland.  In Italy, in the form of campanilismo, or pride in your city, it was older still.  (Italians will reply when asked where they are from, even if speaking to foreigners, “Florence” or “Rome” or at the most “Sicily.”  Never “Italy.”)

What is bad about nationalism, aside from its intrinsic collective coercion, is that it inspires conflict.  The 800 U.S. military bases around the world keep the peace by waging endless war, bombing civilians to protect Americans from non-threats on the other side of the world.  In July 2016, we of the Anglosphere “celebrated,” if that is quite the word, the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, a fruit of nationalism, which by its conclusion three and a half months later had cost the Allies and the Central Powers combined over a million casualties, most of them dismembered by artillery.  Thank you for your service.

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