Liberal Nationalism

Is that possible? Could it be possible to be liberal AND a nationalist at the same time? Is that even legal? Well, I would say – yes, definitely it is! Well for starters, liberalism and nationalism were closely tied in their founding during the 19th century. When people were introduced to the ideas of individual liberty and that all men are divine, a thought that we need to stand up for even today, they then wanted to adapt this onto nations. If a man ought to rule himself; shouldn’t a people with the same tradition, language and culture also rule itself? It is from this these times that this form of liberal nationalism comes from and the basic idea that all people deserve an own country. We can see that direction certainly alive today in nowadays Iraq, in the northern part of the country we have the Kurds who argue the same way. And of course, as a social libertarian true to liberal beliefs and against all forms of authorial behavior, I am an advocate for the Kurdish right to an own country, a free Kurdistan.

(A logo from Salahaddin University that is situated in the city of Hewler in Kurdistan.)

Nationalism, however, in its broadest sense, is devotion to one nation’s interests over those of all other nations. This definition is not that suitable for what I feel. I am more a proud Scandinavian. After a visit to Sweden, Hans Christian Andersen wrote his poem “I am a Scandinavian” claiming in the same that “we (the inhabitants of the Nordic countries A/N) are one people, and we are called Scandinavians”. I am bound to agree with Andersen on this one. But of course, when I see the colors of BLUE and YELLOW flag free with a background of a light-blue cloud-free sky which is contrasted by a forest of spruces and pines, I feel so proud and happy. This is true freedom for me. It was 6 years ago (this year) I last experienced the Swedish summer, and I miss it so much.

 Liberal Nationalism is a kind of nationalism defended recently by political philosophers who believe that there can be a non-xenophobic form of nationalism compatible with liberal values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights. And that is my definition!

But what is happening today in Sweden is not good. It is OK with immigration but the socialists who ruled my country couldn’t deal with the problems of integration and segregation, so they folded their eyes, hoped for the best and let it all float on. The result is terrible! It is a mess in the suburbs of Stockholm and Malmö and in a lot of other cities as well. People who come to Sweden to work should do that and nothing else, otherwise they can take their bags and leave! But I’m not kicking downwards, I’m kicking upwards on those who enforced this state-allowance policy giving away money for free, paralyzing people who were willing to work and also enforced such a bad socialist labor market policy so that we ended up with a situation that the unemployment rate among our immigrants and young ones are among the highest in Europe! And it is not OK to be able to live in a country for 15 years not learning the language. A language test IS a good thing and ought to be a demand on the immigrants if they want to gain a Swedish citizenship. And if they commit one crime they should be sent back home again. Without any debate about it!

And it NOT OK for Swedish scholars on University and grammar schools to suppress Swedish Nationalism and a sense of feeling that we all ought to be proud of our country. We ARE recognized in the world as a great nation. Let it stay that way! I remember the first term when I was studying history. They did everything they could to minimize the importance of the Viking culture and any form of nationalism and sense of affiliation with the other Nordic countries were resolute oppressed. It is sad. For me, the Nordic culture and its nature is a big sign for freedom and liberty alike!

My ancestors were the Vikings! And I am proud of that!

We must never forget our past. How else could we handle our future and present?

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About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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