Saturday, 2 January 2016

THE LIMITS OF COMPASSION AND THE MORALITY OF NATIONALISM



In my last post, I used an image from a humorous meme called "Islamic Rage Boy," which uses well-timed photos to regale us with hilarious facial expressions. As funny as the pictures are, the man behind the meme, Kashmiri activist Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, has lived a rather harrowing life. It's no wonder he's so angry. If I were illiterate, crippled on account of being tortured, and had watched my sister get thrown out of a window, I too would be enraged; and to top it all off, the poor man is now an object of international ridicule.

The reason why I bring up someone like Islamic Rage Boy is because he made me ponder immigration, nationalism, and the supposed obligation that Western countries have to allow destitute people like Bhat to emigrate and seek a better life. Obviously, the nationalistic alt right would prefer that the likes of Bhat stay put in their home countries. But in my opinion, for nationalism to function as a truly powerful force, it requires more than a defensive fear about immigration and shifting demographics – as rational as such fear may be.

Nationalism also requires a moral component, which it most certainly possesses. At least for me, being a nationalist entails more than supporting white interests at home; it also involves respecting the nationalism and sovereignty of other groups. Therefore, while I consider people like Shakeel Ahmad Bhat barbarians, I do not believe that it is the White Man's Burden to meddle in the affairs of said barbarians. Meddling tends to inspire rage and the potential for retaliation, and India's meddling in Bhat's Kashmir is no exception. That's why I join conservative thinkers such as Pat Buchanan – among many others –  in firmly opposing imperial wars of aggression. As culturally backward as much of the non-Western world is (except on certain issues), such backwardness does not concern me, provided that the wretched of the earth don't bring their primitiveness to our backyard. A truly moral nationalism supports self-determination for all nations around the world.

What real violence and extremism looks like
I would even go so far as to argue that the nationalistic right shows far greater care for non-white lives than "respectable" mainstream elites. Just take the repugnant Hillary Clinton, who recently claimed that ISIS would make use of Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric for recruitment purposes. Keep in mind, this is the same Hillary Clinton who voted for the Iraq war; the same Hillary Clinton who advocated intervention in Libya; the same Hillary Clinton who now supports a "no-fly" zone over Syria. Needless to say, hawks like Hillary have done far more to engender radicalism and violence among Muslims – ultimately culminating in the rise of ISIS – than any of Trump's inflammatory statements. Far-left site Counterpunch seems to agree.

Sadly, in today's idiotic and amoral America, people like Hillary – whose favored policies have resulted in the deaths and displacement of millions of brown people around the world – and her supporters get a pass, while alt righters like us who respect the Global South's sovereignty are branded hateful extremists. But of course, our beliefs are neither extreme nor unreasonable; it's perfectly sane to be wary about your group's dwindling numbers and declining status, and only a traitor or delusional fool would support the large-scale importation of culturally disparate populations.

With that said, what I want to make abundantly clear is that I do not bear any ill will towards non-whites or would-be immigrants. I also don't hate immigrants for wanting to pursue their interests and improve their lives. As already mentioned, I likewise support a humane foreign policy that does not inflict harm on the non-white world. I don't hate different human beings; I abhor the elites who import them and who support white dispossession.

My compassion does, however, have limits. Just because I support other people's independence does not mean that I (or other people) have a duty to bend over backwards to accommodate their every need and whim; Western nations are not giant soup kitchens for the world's penurious masses to flock to. That's why I embrace a moral nationalism that respects the 3rd world's boundaries – while simultaneously maintaining our own. I'm sure someone like Islamic Rage Boy couldn't possibly object.

"Gee, Alt-Right, I love you guys (and so does Allah)"




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