What Liberal Nationalism Looks Like

The insidious return of McCarthyism has been resurrected by the politically left as evidenced by the return of Red Scare posturing and a desire for strong centralized government.

Liberals and other mainstream leftists have gotten themselves in a pickle. Once the proud domain of progressiveness and community, it is now marked with an alarming tendency towards nationalism. Led by a fear of Russian propaganda, which I do not aim to deny, the liberals have backed themselves into a position of nationalism as a response.

In numerous exchanges I have seen this play out. Non-partisan anti-authoritarians, like myself, are equivocated with Russian trolls or their dupes and dismissed out of hand. This is a logical impropriety known as the Traitorous Critic Fallacy:

“Responding to criticism by attacking a person’s perceived favorability to an out-group or dislike to the in-group as the underlying reason for the criticism rather than addressing the criticism itself, and suggesting that they stay away from the issue and/or leave the in-group. This is usually done by saying something such as, “Well, if you don’t like it, then get out!”

That ‘If you don’t love it leave it!’ attitude is reminiscent of conservative punditry, but it also suggests something else. To view another nation, in this case Russia, as a threat is to view the target of the threat as sacred. In this case the target being the nation of the United States. In the defense of centralized government, which actually oppresses the American people more than Russian propagandists, the roots of nationalism are seen wiggling into the soil of the left.

Not so long ago liberalism was strongly tied to community empowerment. Leftists understood that true power lied in local actions, and that global issues could only be solved by grassroots movements that sprung out of progressive communities. This attitude of decentralization has taken a sharp reversal, and the mainstream left now call for all political action to happen at the federal level. In doing so they have not only disempowered themselves by abandoning a good strategy, they have appropriated conservative narratives derived from nationalist ideology.

Our problems are not Russian propaganda, nor are they partisan posturing and the political spectacle. Those things are merely symptoms of the problem. The problem is the concentration of wealth and power that is made possible by centralized governments and the nation state. If you do not oppose those institutions, and support empowering your own community as an independent force for the benevolent care of those in it, then you are playing right into the narratives and ideologies of the ruling elite. While I can sympathize with the fact that you have been conditioned by the system your entire life to be this way, your smug accusations and sanctimonious posturing really get on my nerves.

You cannot fight the man. Fighting is the man’s game. He will beat you at it every time. This is also where you can find his blind spot. The man doesn’t believe in you. He doesn’t believe that you can change the world by changing your own community. He thinks that his method is the only valid one. And so if you do set the example, if you make his systems obsoletes while he gloats over them, you can beat him. The secret is no secret at all. Opposition is an activity of the hopelessly oppressed, but creativity is the path the of the empowered. Make some shit happen.



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