Patrick Buchanan on Ethnonationalism
“Ethnonationalism: The Wars of Tribe and Faith Return”
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Vdare.com, March 18, 2010
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, most Americans likely had never heard of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.
There swiftly followed the collapse of Yugoslavia.
Yet, if one knew nothing of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires or the First and Second Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, one would likely have been surprised by the sudden emergence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo on the map of Europe.
What the splintering of the Soviet Union and of a Yugoslavia whose baptismal certificate dated to the Paris peace conference of 1919 revealed was the accuracy of Arthur Schlesinger’s insight in his 1991 Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society:
“Nationalism remains after two centuries the most vital political emotion in the world — far more vital than social ideologies such a communism or fascism or even democracy. … Within nation-states, nationalism takes the form of ethnicity or tribalism.”
Ethnic ties, Schlesinger wrote, might prove more powerful and historically important than the forces of globalism and democratism, which then seemed ascendant. He only neglected to mention religious faith as often a “far more vital” emotion than ideology.
. . .
Globalization is no longer on the march, but on the defensive. Economic nationalism is rising. Across the Third World, we see an upsurge of ethnonationalism and fundamentalism, especially among the Islamic peoples. From Nigeria to Sudan to Mindanao, Muslims battle Christians, as Christians are persecuted in Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan.
In India and Thailand, Muslims battle Hindu and Buddhists. In the Northern Caucasus, they fight Russians.
Ethnonationalism, that relentless drive of peoples to secede and dwell apart, to establish their own nation-state, where their faith is predominant, their language spoken, their heroes and history revered, and they rule to the exclusion of all others, is rampant.
In China, Tibetans fight assimilation and the mass migration of Han Chinese into what was their country, as do the Uighurs in the west who dream of an East Turkestan breaking away and taking its place among the nations of the world.
In speaking of the rising tribalism abroad, Schlesinger added, “The ethnic upsurge in America, far from being unique, partakes of the global fever.”
Indeed, separatism and secessionism seem to be in the air.