By J. Jeff Toler for Shenandoah Christian Alliance
Nationalism—as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
First published Thursday, November 29, 2001; substantive revision Wednesday, September 2, 2020
The term “nationalism” is generally used to describe two phenomena:
- The attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity, and
- The actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination.
The following is translated from a speech by Giorgia Meloni to the World Congress of Families in 2019. In it, “Meloni hits the high points of current culture war strife, blasting those she says don’t support traditional national, religious, and gender identities, and who want their every whim to be a right, but live in a society with no responsibilities.” (David Covucci)
“Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening? There is a single answer to all these questions. Everything that defines us is now an enemy, so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity. I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother, no. I must be citizen x, gender x, parent 1, parent 2. I must be a number, because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer.”
“That’s the reason why… that’s why we inspire so much fear. That’s why this event inspires so much fear. Because we do not want to be numbers. We will defend the value of the human being; every single human being. Because each of us has a unique genetic code that is unrepeatable. And like it or not, that is sacred, we will defend it. We will defend God, country, and family. Those things that disgust people so much. We will do it to defend our freedom, because we will never be slaves and simple consumers at the mercy of financial speculators.”
“That is our mission. That is why I came here today. Chesterton wrote, more than a century ago. ‘Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in the summer.’ That time has arrived. We are ready.”
Imagine this as a campaign ad for someone in our current mid-term elections.
Already Meloni’s newly resurfaced remarks, and to no less an extent the grudgingly predicted September 25 victory by her party: the Brothers of Italy. (Fratelli d’Italia, FdI) Both the remarks and the win—which almost certainly means she becomes Italy’s next Prime Minister—have galvanized both conservatives and leftists alike as few others have. David Covucci writes, “The party has been accused of being neo-fascist and has a direct lineage to Italy’s former fascist leader during World War 2, Benito Mussolini.” 1. [Sorry David, I think we can take it on faith that Meloni is no Mussolini.]
These past two weeks have been extraordinarily eventful, particularly in Western Europe. A beloved monarch, the longest serving in English history, Queen Elizabeth II, died at age 96. She reigned 70 years, surviving 14 presidents, 15 prime ministers, and countless heads-of-state. Her passing marks the end of an age that straddled two epochs of modern history: the world of the twentieth century—arguably the most turbulent and consequential of the modern era, and the brave new world of this millennium.
She lived just long enough to perform one final act of constitutional necessity: summoning Boris Johnson and Liz Truss (pictured) to Balmoral Castle for the transition of the office of Prime Minister. Truss, who many think will make a competent PM, was not always a Conservative. Still, “The best that Britain’s right-wingers seem able to do is define themselves in opposition to what they are not,” writes Madeleine Kearns. 2.
It’s a cautionary observation that national leaders deserve our special attention now. Significant changes in nations, and the increasing use of the term: “nationalist.” An online search will display any number of frightening definitions of nationalist—most penned by leftist and left leaning media pundits, publications, and petty politicians. One definition reads: a nationalist is “a person who strongly identifies with their own nation and vigorously supports its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.” How is someone who appreciates their birthplace guilty of harming another nation’s interests? Why does that same logic not apply to rabid fans of the Patriots, or the Bengals?
I may not be that much of a philosopher, but I can certainly spot loaded language when I see it. To make matters worse, the leftist has prefixed “Christian” to the offending word, making it a belittling term even many Christians can’t define—but nevertheless find the term contemptible. So, national pride has become a derogation.
It should be obvious, but somehow rarely is for too many people, that nations and nation states are becoming increasingly meaningless in controlling the balance of power. Even now, as we marvel at the rapidity of the moving and removing of heads of state, the greater threat is not poor leadership, or international rogues like North Korea, or Russia; but the dark forces behind the people who control energy, banking, commerce, and information. That’s what Meloni is talking about.
The Great Reset, as envisioned by the World Economic Forum, desires to affect the “state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of a global commons” (from their official website). The 2020 conference drew 3,000 participants from 117 countries, including 53 heads of state.
“Promoters of the Great Reset don’t try to hide the fact that they wish to usher in a new world order based on global control of just about everything. Naturally, this leads to questions about the relationship between the Great Reset and the kingdom of the Antichrist in the end times.” 3.
For now, we must ardently pray… “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2).
Register to vote this November online. Deadline is days away. Check here for instructions… Then vote for candidates, and the party who reflect and represent your biblical values.
Photo composition: Giorgia Meloni and Benito Mussolini
1. Covucci, David. DailyDot.com, The Daily Dot, September 26, 2022, https://www.dailydot.com/debug/giorgia-meloni-resurfaced-speech-italy-far-right/. Accessed Oct. 3, 2022
2. Kearns, Madeleine. “Change and Decay” National Review, vol. LXXIV, no. 18, October 1, 2022, p 15
3. Gotquestions.org, “How should a Christian view the Great Reset by the World Economic Forum?” https://www.gotquestions.org/Great-Reset.html. Accessed Oct. 3, 2022