principle must be advanced as the first step toward extricatingnthe nation from the tangle of bad judgment and bad faithnthat has balled up both foreign and domestic policy.nThe first and foremost aspect of nationalism is the healthynrecognition that as individuals we do not belong to somenamorphous mass of “all mankind.” We live, not just innspecific families and communities, but also in nations. Thennation-state as we know it in modern times may be pardy thencreation of the last several centuries, but the nation as suchnwas in existence a good thousand years before the Greeksncreated the polis. Every man, to the extent he is a man,nacknowledges some form of national allegiance, whether it isnhis band, his tribe, his king, or his federal republic. That isnamong the things Aristotle meant by his declaration thatnman was a zoon politikon, an animal designed to live in ansocial and polihcal community. To escape from suchnpolitical ties, he also said, a creature would have to be eitherna god or a beast, and there is little evidence of divinity in thenUN Politburo.nWhat is a nation and what is it for? Whatever thenmembers of our Congress may think, it is not, as Treitschkenobserved, “a debating society.” The German nationalistnwent on to argue that the political apparatus of the nation,nwhat we have come to call the state, exists primarily fornpurposes of offense and defense. Whenever liberal andnhumane goals advance those purposes, they are worthy ofnconsideration, although not necessarily of adoption. Thenhome mortgage deduction, for example, serves to create anstable class of landholding citizen-soldiers vital to thendefense of a nation that cannot afford to depend onnmercenaries or a ragtag volunteer army. What good purposenour other social policies are supposed to serve is anybody’snguess.nThe problem with Treitschke’s formulation is its imperialistnring. As a German preoccupied with German reunion,nhe had a natural concern with expansion, but it is not clearnthat under most circumstances the creation of an empirenactually serves the interest of the imperial nation. One of thenfirst great empires in our history was the creation of thenAssyrians, who strained all their resources in maintaining anlosing cause, and it is not clear that the Persians or thenBritish, as nations, benefited in the long run from theirnconquests. The Romans may be the great exception,nalthough if we can believe the complaints of Juvenal (amongnmany others), the Roman and Italian peoples who creatednthe empire were submerged by the conquered races whonpoured into Rome in search of “economic opportunity.”nAmericans, however, are not made out of the heavynRoman wool or even the cheaper manufactures ofnManchester. Our homespun is a kind of cloth that cannotnendure a change of climate. Subjected to the heat and dampnof the tropics, the national fiber begins to rot. Since there isnno point in making policy that does not suit the warp andnwoof of the national character, we may as well resignnourselves to a policy of armed and militant isolationism andnrevive our ancient symbol of the coiled rattiesnake: “Don’tnTread on Me.”nFinally, all our national policies — whether they arenconcerned with trade, immigration, foreign ownership, ornnuclear disarmament — must be made with both eyes keptn14/CHRONICLESnnnon the main objectives: the security and well-being of thenAmerican nation. This is not always the same as the bottomnline for American business. Time after time, our governmentnhas been dragged into ill-advised foreign adventuresnon the grounds that it is good for business. Trade follows thenflag, we were told, and such a justification was used tondefend our repeated incursions into Nicaragua for thenbenefit of United Fruit. The result was foreseen long ago:nthe countries whose sovereignty we have most often offendednagainst are precisely the countries in which leftistnrevolutions have been most successful — Cuba, Nicaragua,nand Mexico. For those who wish to learn and relearn thenlessons of Vietnam, what was it brought us into collisionnwith the Japanese empire, if not our concern for profits to benmade in Southeast Asia? What else was the justification fornour involvement in what became the Vietnam War? Nonmore Vietnams ought to mean no more.wars undertaken tonpromote the interests of imperial corporations.nAbove all, no more Vietnams should mean no morenglobal crusades to advance democracy, because the more wenfight for democracy abroad, the less of it we seem to have atnhome. This is no paradox. What the great global democratsn— the advisors of Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt, and Kennedy—nreally wanted was a domestic revolution. World WarnI became the pretext for introducing a command economynand economic planning (as both William McNeill andnMurray Rothbard have pointed out); World War II wasnconverted into a crusade for equality, civil rights, and thenWelfare State; and the cancer of imperial government neverngrew as rapidly as it did in the Vietnam years.nEven the best-intentioned crusades go awry. The postwarnanticommunism, around which so many decent conservativesnand liberals rallied, has been turned into a terriblenmachine that exists to raise money and polarize Americansnagainst each other. Mesmerized by the spectre of globalncommunism, we undertook to impose loyalty oaths and tondevise an orthodox ideology of social democracy every bit asnrigid and preposterous as Marxism. One leading conservativenannounced to the Philadelphia Society several years agonthat America needs anticommunism as a force to hold thennation together. This means, in practice, the sort of siegenmentality that can justify almost any abuse of power. Marx,nwho once defined ideology as a set of principles used tondefend the interests of a ruling class, must have been smilingnin his beard.nNow that anticommunism is fading away from the scenenas an integrative ideology, ideologues are floundering aboutnin search of its replacement. Some have hit upon thentemporary expedient of a drug war; others have projected anmore long-range crusade for democratic globalism, whilenstill others have opted for a no-limits-to-growth Utopiannmodel of the global marketplace and economic interdependence.nConservatives of the postwar generation that isncoming to power will have to learn to recognize thatnglobalism is only a dishonest synonym for the old imperialismnthat has almost succeeded in destroying the old republic.nThe old ideals of limited government and free enterprise,ncombined with the statecraft of the rattlesnake, are still thenbest weapons against the banana republicans of both parties.nn