Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hmmm. This sounds pretty important, and it maps to what I understand about the thought-processes of Europeans and Israelis (and, notably, which the writer doesn't address, why non-post-nationalist Americans are so much more likely to be pro-Israeli, for that matter).

The writer thinks in terms of Israel vs. the European Union model, but what immediately occurred to me is the collapse of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was a multi-national empire, not a nation-state, but what impressed the European (and American!) by-standers was the racial-nationalist element of the borderline-genocidal fight between the Croats and the Serbs, both against the Bosniak Muslims, and the Serbs against the Kosovar Albanians. Where Americans saw *tribalism*, Europeans saw *nationalism* as the operative evil at work. The American solution was carving out viable nation-states for the various sides to transfer their tribal impulses into adherence to beneficial nation-state patriotism; the European impulse is to "enlarge the problem" by replacing the old multi-national empire of Yugoslavia with a south-eastern extension of the new multi-national imperium, the European Union.


1 comment:

Bill Johnston said...

This, like many other pieces, leaves me not clearly in either camp. I'd ask "can't we have nations without nationalism?", but I don't even know what that would entail. Governments abuse their people, regardless of whether they are national governments or world governments; the world government would be even more likely to abuse because there is no counterbalance to its authority.