Churchill and Patriotism

lextalionis

Old-Salt
One Torygraph writer, Tim Stanley, argued this last week that the funeral of Churchill marked the death of the Britishness that a lot of the world still takes for granted. He defined that Britishness as, "...the rule of law, God, manners, Shakespeare, pink bits on the map, tranquillity, a country lane (“A cottage small/ Beside a field of grain”), honour, enterprise, dignity and a world power governed by people who didn’t like going abroad." The article can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/win...n-Churchill-we-buried-the-British-nation.html

What I argue is that the main force in society, politics, international affairs and history is neither ideology nor religion, but nationalism. Our own confusion about "British values" (which now have to be taught in state schools) reflects the growth of Arab and other nationalisms which are more brutual and bloodier than the colonial regimes they replaced. I also argue that recovering a proper sense of patriotism is necessary for national unity and the success and coherence of our national foreign and defence policy.

Any degree or A-level student in history, English or foreign languages will know the impact that foreign nationalism has had. Whole periods of our history now cry to heaven for liberal vengeance. The naked savage is ennobled once again, making the chattering classes more sympathetic to violent Islamists than the benighted white underclass (their opinion, not mine). We have to lament our entire history in sackcloth and ashes without discerning where real fault and real virtue really lie. There is a cheap moral equivalency that puts ISIS and other Islamist extremists on the same level as the French Resistance. These rather stupid liberals are constantly deceived; what they hate in British or American imperialism, they praise and flatter in foreigners. Nationalism is the main force behind "freedom fighters" and the like.

The best writer on nationalism is probably George Orwell. His essay Notes on Nationalism (http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat) distinguishes between nationalism and patriotism. The former is " the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects" and "the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests". Quite plainly, this was the tactic of Hitler and Stalin used to subjugate their populations and the one increasingly deployed today in China, where dangerous nationalism is on the rise. Patriotism Orwell considers to be a defensive attachment to a certain way of life that is not forced on others. He gives different examples of nationalism such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, but also includes Catholicism. The mental habit it form sis of disparaging all opposition and requiring constant expansion.

The collapse of confidence and belief in our own civilisation is an obvious danger to patriotism. We can hardly be accused of nationalism when belief in national values seems at an all-time low. The rise of parties like UKIP and the BNP are signs more of a sense of crisis than a resurgence of patriotism. The need to recover belief in our civilisation and its good qualities (like those outlined above), as well as seminal events like the Enlightenment, Magna Carta, etc. is made obvious by the constant need to resist the likes of ISIS and Putin's Russia.

Orwell highlights how the nationalist has to acquire ever more power and prestige for his "nation", whether party, church or government. While we may not wish to interfere with any country, this desire will make itself felt very quickly. Russia has already started aggressive operations in Eastern Europe and China is sabre-rattling in the South China Sea.

What do you think, ARRSErs?
 
Pretty much bang on. There's something to be said about socio-political development and maturity too though...
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
What do you think, ARRSErs?

That you've been supping from the big cup of ukip foolishness.

Quoting a chap who, largely, confuses Britishness with Englishness was never a good start and the dig at liberals was needless.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
That you've been supping from the big cup of ukip foolishness.

I go out of my way to have a dig at UKIP, thinking them to be a symptom of a problem rather than a solution.

Orwell has a go at liberals. They are often so self-effacing and contrite (often for reasons they don't really know) that they support causes like the Soviet Union or Islamist mummery.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
Quoting a chap who, largely, confuses Britishness with Englishness was never a good start

I would disagree with Stanley about a lot, not least religion (he's a massive Papist). But he seemed to hit the nail on the head with this article.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
There's now wrong wiv forrinners. I've lived abroad twice and I'm in a confraternity whose head is the King of Spain. :p

I'm simply attacking the dishonest and blind hatred of our own civilisation. Forrinners are luvvly.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
In many ways, yes. I'm happy to say that Britishness is in great part a civic thing. It can hardly be said to be racial given the history of the Home Nations. Antagonism to immigrants is largely a post-1950s things that went hand in hand with the collapse of Empire and national confidence. We went from thinking half the world could confidently call itself British to thinking it is confined to us pasty pink-folk in the North Sea. Ireland was felt very much to be part of the Kingdom and its loss was keenly felt.

Real national confidence would shatter parties like UKIP and the BNP. It would also sever our ties with undemocratic monstrosities like the EU. It is strange but the current crises in the EU are caused not by mean, nasty, backward conservatives but by power hungry liberals unable to see the crimes and injustices of their own project. This is the crime of all nationalists according to Orwell.
 
So, the most British of British is a half American brought up in his formative years in Ireland.
Much as I hate to find myself agreeing with you...

And the Americans did rather well out of WW2 didn't they.
 

alib

LE
A man sometimes starts up a patriot, only by disseminating discontent, and propagating reports of secret influence, of dangerous counsels, of violated rights, and encroaching usurpation. This practice is no certain note of patriotism. To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it. He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion. The fallaciousness of this note of patriotism is particularly apparent, when the clamour continues after the evil is past.

From The Patriot (1774), Dr Samuel Johnson
More famous for referring to patriotism as the last refuge of scoundrels, well he did hang about with a Scot.
 
Churchill was brought up in Dublin from he was two till he was 6-his Grandfather was Viceroy in Ireland during those years-

The keyword being Viceroy**...

Why is Dublin being confused as a foreign capital. It was not when Churchill lived there..

Never read anywhere that his mother's nationality had any great effect on his life...

I did read somewhere once though that even with Victorian morals and standards of the day he was born 8 Months after his parents married..

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viceroy
 
I really hate the conflation of English and British to suit political ends. Just to add to the mix the continentals do it because we speak English and they understand British Politics as much as we understand theirs. But if the saying about Patriotism is true, then you have to be very suspicious. I've never been much for hero worship, nor about tags. Churchill did what he did, he's gone and strangely enough he was just a human, and world is still spinning on it's axis.
 

michaelhenry

Old-Salt
The keyword being Viceroy**...

Why is Dublin being confused as a foreign capital. It was not when Churchill lived there..

Never read anywhere that his mother's nationality had any great effect on his life...

I did read somewhere once though that even with Victorian morals and standards of the day he was born 8 Months after his parents married..

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viceroy
Dublin was a foreign capital in Churchills time - because youse invade does not make it yours-

Victorian morals and standards only worked from their waists up- the same as every other human with red blood-
 
That you've been supping from the big cup of ukip foolishness.

Quoting a chap who, largely, confuses Britishness with Englishness was never a good start and the dig at liberals was needless.

Let ya'self down there Sixty.
 

DannyDiehard

War Hero
One Torygraph writer, Tim Stanley, argued this last week that the funeral of Churchill marked the death of the Britishness that a lot of the world still takes for granted. He defined that Britishness as, "...the rule of law, God, manners, Shakespeare, pink bits on the map, tranquillity, a country lane (“A cottage small/ Beside a field of grain”), honour, enterprise, dignity and a world power governed by people who didn’t like going abroad." The article can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/win...n-Churchill-we-buried-the-British-nation.html

What I argue is that the main force in society, politics, international affairs and history is neither ideology nor religion, but nationalism. Our own confusion about "British values" (which now have to be taught in state schools) reflects the growth of Arab and other nationalisms which are more brutual and bloodier than the colonial regimes they replaced. I also argue that recovering a proper sense of patriotism is necessary for national unity and the success and coherence of our national foreign and defence policy.

Any degree or A-level student in history, English or foreign languages will know the impact that foreign nationalism has had. Whole periods of our history now cry to heaven for liberal vengeance. The naked savage is ennobled once again, making the chattering classes more sympathetic to violent Islamists than the benighted white underclass (their opinion, not mine). We have to lament our entire history in sackcloth and ashes without discerning where real fault and real virtue really lie. There is a cheap moral equivalency that puts ISIS and other Islamist extremists on the same level as the French Resistance. These rather stupid liberals are constantly deceived; what they hate in British or American imperialism, they praise and flatter in foreigners. Nationalism is the main force behind "freedom fighters" and the like.

The best writer on nationalism is probably George Orwell. His essay Notes on Nationalism (http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat) distinguishes between nationalism and patriotism. The former is " the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects" and "the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests". Quite plainly, this was the tactic of Hitler and Stalin used to subjugate their populations and the one increasingly deployed today in China, where dangerous nationalism is on the rise. Patriotism Orwell considers to be a defensive attachment to a certain way of life that is not forced on others. He gives different examples of nationalism such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, but also includes Catholicism. The mental habit it form sis of disparaging all opposition and requiring constant expansion.

The collapse of confidence and belief in our own civilisation is an obvious danger to patriotism. We can hardly be accused of nationalism when belief in national values seems at an all-time low. The rise of parties like UKIP and the BNP are signs more of a sense of crisis than a resurgence of patriotism. The need to recover belief in our civilisation and its good qualities (like those outlined above), as well as seminal events like the Enlightenment, Magna Carta, etc. is made obvious by the constant need to resist the likes of ISIS and Putin's Russia.

Orwell highlights how the nationalist has to acquire ever more power and prestige for his "nation", whether party, church or government. While we may not wish to interfere with any country, this desire will make itself felt very quickly. Russia has already started aggressive operations in Eastern Europe and China is sabre-rattling in the South China Sea.

What do you think, ARRSErs?

Or the death of nostalgia ?
 

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