Nationalism is Glorified Tribalism

As I understand it, the problem with nationalism is that it causes division and separation. Internationalism, on the other hand, recognises that we may speak different languages, have different customs, wear different clothes etc. but that we are fundementally the same. Nationalism can be used for political ends to stoke up suspicion and hatred.

In the First World War around Christmas 1914 the famous Christmas truce took place where French, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. They even sang carols together and played a football match. It must have been difficult for officers to persuade these soldiers to go back to killing each other after this type of contact had taken place.

You can read more about the Christmas Truce of 1914:

Nationalism, racism, patriotism, communism,christianism etc… are all labels we assign to the various examples of me vs you that we call the self.
The self is a survival mechanism, it can mean me, my family, my tribe, my team, my country, those that share the best/correct world view (eg.mine).
The self is separation and conflict - it is not nationalism or any other philosophy that causes the problem, they are just descriptions.

Here is Krishnamurti speaking for 49 seconds about nationalism:

We seem, according to him, unable to see the simple fact that we cannot have peace on earth if we are nationalistically divided.

My self…me…vs your self/you. English vs French, Jew vs Christian. I think you make a valid point, Dan. Will look further into this

I see that someone titled the youtube video : “Nationalism is glorified tribalism”
We could continue that definition : …and tribalism is a league of egos, and the ego is me, me, me.

The only difference between the self and nationalism is that, you vs me becomes us vs them.

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Anything can be used in a bad way. A hammer could be used to break someone’s head but it is invented for a sane purpose. It’s the same with nationalism. It is not necessarily a bad thing.

It’s (Nationalism) divisive no matter how you try to rationalize it. It often leads to war. Have you ever been in a war? It’s no fun unless you are one of the big shots standing back and directing things. And what government isn’t corrupt?

Tribalism grew out of families living together for protection. Tribes of families came together for mutual protection and in time these tribes came together and formed what we now refer to as nations.

In this video clip, Krishnamurti seems to suggest that we human beings, including the politicians, can see the harm of nationalistic division and can stop it. Isn’t the self a psychological illusion and all its attempt at achieving an end are exercises in futility?

We can also say that fear, anger and hatred are not bad either in an absolute sense.
Because bad and good don’t really mean anything in an absolute sense.
But fear, anger and hatred have an effect on us and the world, and they have a source.
We are trying to understand/see what fear is, not judge it.

Correct. It was a natural cultural development in the formation of human societies.

It happened for mutual protection from other families, tribes and nations and leads to war. Why do you constantly allow your idealism to replace your thinking? Are you able to see things in a new, unprogrammed way, without the conditioning? Without immediately forming a conclusion? This makes any kind of discussion very difficult if not impossible.

You seem to be constantly defending your view of what you think is regardless of the subject matter.

I appreciate your criticism and it is valuable to me. The moderator has informed me that robust exchanges between veterans like you and me are not conducive to inquiry in open forum where newcomers are present. Can you take this outside in a private message to me? Thanks.

Yes, and history has shown that nations has been fighting wars since forever. Our country has nuclear weapons and they are not for show. Government, in itself, is not a corrupt structure; it is people, who run government, that are corrupt and it is they who bring about wars.

Are you suggesting that we delve into the nature of fear itself? To me, it is an emotion caused by perceived threat of harm to me, physically and psychologically. The only way to respond to Krishnamurti’s call to stop wars between nations and have peace on Earth is to disband all nations and break up all social coalitions down to its single denominator: the individual. Even then, people can still fight among themselves mano o mano.

Instead of just reacting all the time - the idea is that we might see what that reaction is - and thus through seeing, fulfill our potential as humans - rather than merely puppets, pushed this way and that by our feelings and beliefs.

When we discuss Nationalism, we are not discussing mere political theory, we are being challenged to open our hearts.
Is listening, without fear, without self, possible? What we are doing is trying to see who we are, by seeing how we behave in our relationship to others. For example, are we communicating (listening without fear) or are we posturing (protecting ourselves)?


Nationalism is glorified tribalism.
When an American meets a starving immigrant. Does he react as an American (whose loyalty is to protect his country - whose loyalty is to his fear/security) or is he able to react as a human being faced with a fellow human in need?

There are those who are unhampered by American nationalism and are able to act as human beings faced with fellow humans in need. Sounds good and looks better at the border if starving immigrants are allowed to stream in unhindered and well received. This is one way to fulfill our potential as humans and be who we are.

Seeing as we are discussing Politics and wellbeing - Rutger Bregman’s book Utopia for realists makes an excellent argument for a Universal Income, Abolishing all national borders (progressively) and a 15 hour workweek

And yet, in spite of what the moderator said, you keep on running your endless opinions. Your statement that government, in itself, is not corrupt structure, it is people. That’s all government is, people. Of course it is the people either using the existing structure or ignoring the laws and doing as they please. Trump is the perfect example. For god sake at least try to make sense in your replies.

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