I asked ChatGPT to write briefs on how different groups view nationalism. By nationalism, I mean what Marxists would call bourgeois nationalism or chauvinism – that is basically what liberal Americans think of when we say “nationalism”.
I added boldface for emphasis.
Liberals generally view nationalism as a positive force that can promote a sense of unity and shared identity among citizens. However, they also recognize the potential for nationalism to become exclusionary and oppressive, and advocate for a more inclusive and diverse form of nationalism that embraces multiculturalism and global cooperation.
Conservatives generally view nationalism as a positive force that can promote patriotism, pride in one’s country, and a sense of national identity. They often emphasize the importance of preserving cultural traditions and values, and may be skeptical of globalism and international cooperation that they see as a threat to national sovereignty.
Socialists and Anarchists
Both anarchists and socialists reject nationalism as a divisive force that can be used to maintain existing power structures and prevent meaningful social change.
Anarchists strongly oppose nationalism as a form of hierarchy and domination, advocating for a world without borders or nations.
Socialists view nationalism more nuanced, recognizing it can sometimes be useful for mobilizing people around common goals, but they also criticize it as a divisive force that can pit working-class people against each other. They advocate for internationalism that unites working-class people across national boundaries in a shared struggle for economic and social justice.
(I included this because it’s a difference between these two styles of left thought.)
Oppressed Minorities in Colonized Countries
(“Oppressed nationalities” is a Marxist term.)
Socialists view nationalism in colonized countries as a tool for anti-colonial struggle and liberation from imperialist domination. They recognize the importance of national self-determination and may support nationalist movements as part of a broader struggle for social and economic justice. However, socialists also caution against the potential for nationalist movements to become co-opted by elites or to exclude minority groups within their own societies.
(Anarchists generally don’t support nationalism in colonized countries, at least in theory. In fact, they have usually joined in revolutions in Russia, Spain, and recently fought with Kurds, and idolize the Black Panther Party. Anarchism itself isn’t really a strong ideology, and more of a tendency or an organizing strategy. -jk)
Ultranationalists view nationalism as an extreme and aggressive form of patriotism that places the interests of their nation above all else, often at the expense of other nations or minority groups within their own country. They may promote militarism and authoritarianism, and may use violence or other extreme tactics to assert their nationalist beliefs.
I asked it to list some. I’m excluding the Catalan and Kurdish independence movements.
Some recent examples of ultranationalist movements include:
- The rise of far-right and ultranationalist parties in Europe, such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the National Front in France, and the Jobbik party in Hungary.
- The growth of Hindu nationalist movements in India, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its associated organizations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
- The increasing influence of ultranationalist groups in countries like Russia, Turkey, and the Philippines.
- The white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements that have gained prominence in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world in recent years.
The results are kind of shaky to me. So I also asked about “third way” groups, and it’s also shaky, so I won’t include that. Notably, I didn’t see For Britain or Golden Dawn in the list.