Friday, 19 November 2010

Some thoughts on Nationalism...

So I've basically spent the last week reading for an essay on nationalism; it's not the first I've done, but it's served very nicely to piss me right off.

I was thinking about my own feelings on the matter- being of mixed ethnic background is interesting at times like this- and was forced to conclude that, despite occasional blips of anger about various admittedly pissy things (like the Falklands being technically British sovereign territory and Scotland essentially being reliant on British taxpayers' cash for solvency) that I just don't give much of a shit. Maybe that's my perogative as somebody who is only half-invested in it all, but I don't think that's it either. After all, it's not like I've ever supported India against England in the cricket.

Rather, I think it's that I'm proud of being English, yes, but not proud specifically of being a part of the English nation; to my mind it doesn't exist anyway. I'm proud of a being a part (however tiny) of the rich cultural heritage of this land, but culture does not equate to either state or nation. As such, I don't especially feel obligated to either, besides the obvious loyalty that I must owe the state as a result of my active citizenship. On my passport, it says 'Great Britain and Northern Ireland'; I don't ever recall putting my nationality on a form as anything other than 'British'- I would certainly never put 'English'- and I would love to see a day when I could put 'European'. When push comes to shove, who gives a fuck, right? As long as you have a democratically representative central government and some kind of accountable authority at a local level, then what fucking difference at all does the nation make to my appreciation of Shakespeare or Dickens? Answer: absolutely none.

So there you are. As Einstein famously said, "Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race."

It just absolutely astounds me that for a couple of hundred years, we've been beholden to such a strange and divisive idea, especially one that functionally was there to remove the ancien regime; with that done, what use was there for nationalism other than mass mobilisation for the purposes of a political elit- oh. Wait.

Diatribes aside, there it is. Breaking news: liberal intellectual doesn't like nationalism. Exactly, right...

In other news, some more live reviews and hopefully a couple of interviews are going to go up on HV soon, and I think I've got a couple of features in the next print issue as well as a New Noise or two. I'm also working on issue #2 of the zine, and already have had people (you know who you are) submit great stuff for it. Also, Saki Bar is now closed, so it's my job to get my shit together and re-arrange the SSD christmas party.

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