America Needs Nationalism to Survive

By | 2018-11-29T19:45:49+00:00 November 29th, 2018|
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In a speech commemorating the centenary of World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron recently condemned nationalism as “the opposite of patriotism,” which most everyone took as a rebuke to Donald Trump, who was in attendance.

President Trump may be wrong on many issues but he is right on nationalism, as properly understood.

Nationalism is a heterogeneous concept. In the modern sense of national political autonomy and self-determination — an “imagined community” — it arose in reaction to the universalist-cosmopolitanism of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. The attempt by France to impose its political, legal, and cultural hegemony over Europe created a nationalist backlash. While Britain’s sense of national identity predated the rise of Napoleon, the long series of wars against France, especially those fought against Napoleon, strengthened and consolidated British nationalism . . .

Read the rest at the Providence Journal.

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About the Author:

Mackubin Owens
Mackubin Thomas Owens is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, and editor of Orbis, FPRI’s quarterly journal. He recently retired after 29 years as Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Owens was also Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly defense journal Strategic Review and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Boston University. Owens is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Leadership and Democratic Statesmanship in Wartime (2009) and US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain (January 2011) and coauthor of US Foreign and Defense Policy: The Rise of an Incidental Superpower (2015) and The Evolution of the Executive and Executive Power in the American Republic (2014). Before joining the faculty of the War College, Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration. Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, where as an infantry platoon and company commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal. He retired as a Colonel in 1994. Owens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas, a Master of Arts in Economics from Oklahoma University, and his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara.