Wednesday, October 24, 2018

For the Record: A Little Joke

Via somebody's Pinterest.

Gunga Dinesh leapt to the defense of Emperor Trump for calling himself a nationalist:
It's a question, I guess, of "nationalist" as opposed to what? Ho was a nationalist for Vietnam as opposed to imperialist water-carrier for the French or the Americans, or the Chinese for that matter (who had fought to control Vietnam for a thousand years, from the Han dynasty through the Song, before they finally conceded defeat). Gunga Dinesh is an imperialist water-carrier for the British, that's why I like to call him that, when he talks about the Raj or East Africa. Dinesh isn't a nationalist with respect to India, though he may be a nationalist with respect to his adopted USA.

Ho, and Castro, also sometimes called themselves "nationalists" in opposition to "communists", when they were explaining their positions to a certain type of friendly Westerner at certain points in their careers. "No, no, he's just a nationalist. Go away, Mr. Quiet American." In this, I'm sorry to say, they were lying, though not without some justification.

Another way of putting it is in historical terms: nationalist in opposition to what previous condition? The classic nationalisms of the 19th century, Germany and Italy gathering themselves out of the statelets into which they had been divided ever since the collapse of the Roman Empire, Greece and Serbia pulling themselves out of the Ottoman state, are maybe something more than simple anti-colonialism, while the ethnic nationalists in France during the Dreyfus affair, or in England in the League of British Fascists, or in the Afrikaner communities of South Africa, were something less. The former are responses to lively and noble, if not necessary very logical, sentiment; the latter to fear, of Jews and intellectuals, workers, indigenous peoples.

Lincoln was what is now called a "civic nationalist", which isn't in opposition to anything that isn't a nationalist, but rather to "ethnic nationalist" or "blood-and-soil nationalist" like the anti-Dreyfusards and the Voortrekkers; that is, he believed his nation, the Union, was created by its contract, in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and not by its borders, or the history of its population—conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition, while the ideologues of the Confederacy were blood-and-soil nationalists with the respect to the individual states, their boundaries, and their white people. Another term for "blood-and-soil nationalist" is "nationalist", and in that sense Trump's term is the opposite of Lincoln's, in the same way as Nationalsozialist is the opposite of socialist: schematically,
civic nationalist is to nationalist as national socialist is to socialist, or.
Lincoln is to Calhoun (or Trump) as Hitler is to Atlee
I hope that's clarifying.

D'Souza came back later in response to Ambassador McFaul:

That kind of set me off in all directions.

With some assistance from a friend:

That's right: Nationalism murdered Ghandhi. In his heart, D'Souza is OK with that. He hates South Asia with every fiber.

As for Trump, what he said in Houston:

We Can't Have That
by Donald J. Trump
Radical Democrats want to turn back
the clock to the world of the corrupt,
power-hungry globalists. You know
what a globalist is, right? A globalist is
a person who wants the globe to do well,
frankly, not caring about our country so much.
And you know what? We can't have that.
You know, they have a word, it sort of
became old-fashioned. It's called a "nationalist",
and I say really, we’re not supposed to use
that word, but you know what I am? A nationalist.
It's in opposition to "globalist", or, as I like to call it, (((globalist))), to distinguish it from the other kind of globalism which was a huge thing in ancient times three or four years ago, referring to the power of transnational corporations to dictate to national governments and something we all wanted (and still want, if Trump ever goes away and allows us to think about important things again) to combat. People like Stephen Bannon appropriated it from the left because he wanted to attach the smell of illegitimacy to the thing he was the enemy of, international cooperation, "a person who wants the globe to do well."

A Trumpian nationalist is someone who's happy if the globe is doing badly, as long as he's doing better than others: who'd rather live in a hovel with a homeless man sleeping out on the sidewalk than share a palace with him. Most recently Trump decided to wreck the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987, or liberated Putin from it, depending on how you look at it; Peskov says it's "very dangerous" but Putin can't stop smiling, and invited Trump on a date in Paris on Veterans' Day, the Washington observance of which Trump will be skipping (in a grudge, I believe, because the military refused to give him his own parade) in favor of celebrating the centenary of the end of the Great War. I asked Twitter to tell me why "we're not supposed to use the word" or why Trump said that, but I didn't get a coherent answer:

I guess there's a point in there somewhere, that he knows it will get the libs all upset and calling him a Nazi, and he likes that. A "little joke". Maybe, as D'Souza suggests (unconsciously?) in the top tweet, he wants to be called a fascist, or Bannon wants it. Not necessarily that Trump believes in it or anything but because he thinks it sounds Butch. I'm sure getting hungry for that last laugh.

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