zens. Wliile they often, if not always, go too far in their advocacyrnof markets over families and commnnities, libertarians andrnclassical liberals are not vTong to remind us of the dangers ofrngovernments which may speak the language of national interestrnbut more often cater to their richest and most powerful clients.rn”Nationalism” has often been used as a rallying cry for specialrninterests who identify themselves with the nation. There arernbusinessmen who still believe that “what’s good for GeneralrnMotors [or Microsoft] is good for the nation,” and there are nationalistrnpolitical leaders who have divided the Western nationsrnagainst each other and made alliances with the sworn enemiesrnof Western civilization. There is no need to cite France’s supportrnof the Turks against Austria when it is just as easv to bringrnup the series of wars, nationalist revolutions, and nationalist/fascistrnmovements that have set the English and the Germans atrneach other’s throats twice in this centun,- and even divided nationsrnagainst themselves. The fact that nationalisms often sowrnthe dragon’s teeth of discord between a nation’s citizens shouldrnbe of some concern to nationalists who oppose regionalistrnmovements on the grounds they are divisive.rnBut far more significant than the European bloodbaths or thernethnic and religious antagonisms of a divided France (or of a dividedrnAmerica) is the tendency of American nationalism to cutrnus off from [he broader civilization ftiat we are part of, that wernmust be part of, if we are to avoid sinking into barbarism—orrnworse. After all, other barbarian and savage peoples (such as thernancient Germans and tiie American natives) had evoK ed tiieirrnown cultural, moral, and religious traditions over a period ofrnmillennia; we Americans, on the other hand, have only consumerismrnand materialism to fall back on.rnSome nationalists are fond, it is true, of appealing to the solidarit)’rnof people of European ancestr)’, and there are little journalsrnand cliques of Euro-American activists who draw up lists ofrnetiinic slurs against the Irish or die Poles or against white peoplernin general. “Euro-Americans, Unite! You ha’e nothing to losernbut vour chains” —and nothing to gain but the ethnic hyphenrnwhich functions as the “dc” or “von” of the old nobility.rnBefore rushing in to join the chorus of complaining minorities,rnperhaps we sliould pause a moment to reflect on w hatrnthe future may hold in store for us if a Euro-nationalist movementrnsucceeded. To stand up for your family, kinfolk, and peoplernis a natural and wholesome activit)’; to become obsessedrnwith what some out-group has done to you —whether they arernJews, immigrants, or blacks—is to lose part of your humanity.rnPolarization can also be a problem for regionalist movementsrnlike tiic Lega Nord in ftaly, which sometimes manifests a barelyrnconcealed contempt for ftalians from the South. Since thernNortherners conquered Naples and Sicily and forced them tornbecome part of an amalgamated Italian kingdom, the attitude isrnhard to justify What is worse, some North Italians nov’ like tornthink of ftiemselves as Swiss rather than Italian. This is not onlyrnan ethnic fairy tale, but it also tends to alienate Northern Italiansrnfrom the brilliant civilization that all Italians can claim asrnriieir birthright. Some of these Italians-v’ho-would-be-Swiss arernlike the American racialists who watch reruns oiConan the Barbarianrnand despise the Mediterranean peoples who created ourrncivilization. “Better white than right” is their motto.rnrhe Lega’s strongest argument is regional diversity. WlienrnItaly was broken up into hundreds of separate quarreling states,rnit produced the greatest civilization on earth since the ancientrnGreeks, who also lived in warring city-states. Unfortunately, therndivisions in Greece made them prey to the Macedonians andrnthe Romans, and the Italian states were repeatedly invaded andrnsubjugated by Spaniards, Frenchmen, and Austrians. A Lombardrnin 1800 might well desire the unification of Italy on exactlyrnthe same grounds as his descendants today use to justify itsrnbreakup.rnIt is a mistake to be doctrinaire on questions like secession,rntrade, or foreign intervention. Pat Buchanan has gone fromrnfree-trading Cold Warrior to peace-loving protectionist. In reality,rnBuchanan has always been a patriot, neither more nor less.rnWhen most patriotic Americans thought the primary challengernto American freedom came from the expansion of communism,rnhe was a strong interventionist. After the end of the ColdrnWar, when the main threat came from globalization, he hadrnthe insight and agilih’ to turn around and face the new enemy.rnThis is not nationalism per se (as some of his overzealous advisorsrnare claiming), but only a prudent defense of the countryrnthat he loves.rnMany writers have distinguished between nationalism andrnpatriotism, but they do not always make a coherent and convincingrnargument. If we begin with the words, however, somernobvious differences do emerge. Patria is the good old word forrnhomeland—Greek, Latin, and in German as Vaterland. It isrnthe land of one’s fathers and the land whose traditions and customsrnand rules represent a kind of paternal authority’, whetherrnpower is exercised by the king or by a parliament.rnThe Latin natio, derived from the verb nascor (“to be born”),rnoriginally signified birth and then came also to mean peoplernconnected by blood: a tribe or race, li patria is primarily a socialrnand cultural concept, natio is essentially biological andrnracial. As an English synonym for homeland or country, “nation”rnenters rather late in the game. The OED lists the first occurrencernin this sense as late 17th century but adds “rare.”rnWlien “nation” is used to mean country, it almost inevitably impliesrnthe desire to unite the scattered fragments of the nation intorna single state and, by extension, to suppress alien nations withinrnthe nafion-state.rnThe older concept oipatria, while not immune to ethnocentrismrnor territorial ambition, has a different flavor. It was quiternpossible to be a good Czech who loved his country while at thernsame time being loyal to the Hapsburg empire and willing tornget along with his Slovak and German neighbors. A Czech nationalist,rnhowever, would work to unite the Czechs into a singlernstate, expel or subjugate the Germans, and compel the Slovaksrnto adopt the Czech language and Czech culture—which is exactiyrnwhat happened in Czechoslovakia between the two worldrnwars and, to a lesser extent, after the collapse of communism.rnOne nationalism always begets another, and the Slovaks arernnow independent.rnIn die United States during the I850’s, there were patrioticrnYankees who loved New England, were loyal to the Americanrnrepublic, but took a live-and-let-live approach to the South.rnNathaniel Hawthorne was of this type, as was his friend PresidentrnFranklin Pierce. Increasingly, however, as a Yankee-U.S.rnnationalism developed, it spawned venomous anti-Southern,rnanti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, anti-black movements —thernKnow-Nothing and Republican parties—that in turn inspiredrnthe Southern nationalism that made the crack-up of 1860 inevitable.rnEver since, U.S. nationalist politics have suffered fromrnan ugly strain of chauvinism, eugenics, and —more andrnmore—a revanchiste spirit against various minority groups.rnTeddy Roosevelt, the great nationalist, racist, and eugenicistrnJANUARY 2000/11rnrnrn