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There's a number of things that have got me thinking about nationalism recently including discussions about British nationalism with a member of the BNP on facebook and a talk on nationalism in Palestine by the socialists on Tuesday evening. I guess I still just don't get it.

British folk traditions are a big part of my life, as anyone who has read my previous posts would readily pick up, but these aren't threatened by people of other ethnic origins. In fact, if you look at the likes of Boka Halat or Baka Beyond (to focus on music as an example), you see how much other traditions can add to these. Your average IVFDF can demonstrate how much fun UK ceilidh goers can have doing Israeli circle dances in the middle of the night.

In short if you've got a cultural interest and someone comes along with a different one, that doesn't stop you pursuing your original interest so all it can do is add to it. The major benefit of a multi-cultural society is the diversity of things it puts before you be they foods, activities, music, art or whatever and when you start drawing the influences together that's when things become really interesting. What's the point of culture if you can't share it?

So far I'm failing to see any issues demanding the defence of our national identity.

So, what else is there? Well, there's the Poles who are stealing all our jobs. At least that's what people keep telling me. It must be very annoying. I remember when I first graduated and the number of jobs I applied for that were stolen from me. Many of the people who stole them from me were British, which somehow makes it acceptable for them on take the job I wanted entirely on the basis that they were a better candidate for the role.

I was born in this country, but why should that give me more right to my way of life than someone born elsewhere?

When resources like food get scarce, most animals will move to where there is food. Birds take it to the extreme and fly off on holiday in the winter when it gets cold, as do the wealthy. However, for most people when these things get scarce, they can't move to where the resources are, because they're stopped by paper of all things.

Being benevolent souls, we have to do our bit to help these people though, so we send them all the things we don't want and encourage school children to eat overcooked broccoli. Still lost as to how the latter helps, but we'll put that issue to one side. We couldn't possibly share our way of life with them. Although admittedly, most school children would probably be willing to share the overcooked brocccoli.

We live in a society where many people argue for equality by gender, race, sexual orientation, shoe size, tendancy to wear hats and a million other factors. Yet, the world's resources are naturally unequally distributed geographically. The only way you could possibly get equal access to these things is to allow free movement.

Nationalism is therefore about promoting inequalities between the various societies of the world. How could that possibly be a good thing?

I appear to be not the only one who thinks this, given the existence of the No-Borders Network as I discovered last week, who promote freedom of movement and an end to all migration controls. It's a nice idea, but unless they do something to really wake people up, I suspect the most of the population will statisfy their need to do their bit for world poverty by making sure that that soggy broccoli gets eaten up.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
feanelwa
15th Oct, 2009 22:13 (UTC)
Yes! I agree with you. Which doesn't make for very stimulating discussion, but never mind.
hmmm_tea
17th Oct, 2009 07:50 (UTC)
I generally don't object to people agreeing with me ;-)
(Deleted comment)
almostwitty
16th Oct, 2009 13:12 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be more down to simple capitalism than nationality? If someone else came in and said "I'll do that job for £3 per hour", and was equally qualified etc., then the employer would have to be rather benevolent to say "No, I'll give you £10 per hour instead"...
hmmm_tea
17th Oct, 2009 07:50 (UTC)
The fact that employers will naturally want to employ the cheapest skilled workers available rather than making sure workers get fair remuneration for the work they put in is a natural part of the free market.

I agree that this is an issue, but trying to patch it up by limiting foreign workers and promoting inequality is like trying to stick a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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