Nationalism
#1
Is all about racism or white bigotry?
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#2
Since they have nationalism in countries like China and Japan and Israel, I'd have to say the latter is pretty unlikely.
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#3
There is, in the American context of today, a subset of the populist/nationalist movement that espouses white supremecist ideas. They are a small, but noisy subset, and are used to impugn the motives of the larger movement. I think a lot of the current populist/nationalist movement in the US is misguided, but only a very few are racist.
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#4
Going out on a philosophical limb here, I think nationalism arose in part as a reaction to what we could call tribalism or feudalism (depending on where the nationalist movements began). It was a way for "national" leaders to disempower local leaders including landed nobles, tribal chiefs, and warlords. By instilling a sense of national identity in the common folk these new (often young) leaders were able to create whole new political realities.

At the same time, it was strongly influenced by the economic need to reduce local tarifs and regulations. Strong national governments were able to build up powerful economies by reducing local barriers to trade and investment. Again, a central government became strong at the expense of local governing bodies.

Finally, as communications media developed the ability to keep everyone informed national governments had to work harder to justify their wars against each other and remote countries on the far side of the world. Developing national pride became a standard practice to build support for wars.

All of those reasons continue to exist today, but the "new nationalism" is probably fueled more by bigotry (religious or ethnic) than anything else. The bigotry is fed by irrational fear-mongering, which may represent a new generation of ideologues trying to develop power and influence for themselves. Every generation produces a few people who become passionate enough about some "cause" that they will gather followers and demonize other groups in order to increase their power and influence.
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