Bias and nationalism

Bias and nationalism

Just a quick post about a hilariously bias passage in my A level poltitics text book

You should all know by now that me, like many other anarchists, believe that the supposed political neutrality of our education system is a an outright lie, well, if you have been reading my blog at least. Until now, both my teacher and textbook however have been doing a pretty good job at not being too bias, recognising alternative opinions, and well, perhaps their primary function, getting me to pass my exams. But yesterday, having spent all my easter holiday not doing any work or revising like I should be doing, I finally looked at my planner to see what homework I had. One of them, to my genuine delight, is the essay question, "Nationalism is inherently expansionist and agressive. Discuss".

Straight away, I knew I could have some fun with this one, and with some work, I reckon I could absolutely piss on the opposing view, that only some types of nationalism are expansionist and agressive. I am excited I have the oppurtunity to expose these false dichotomies that some of our course seems to be riddled with. I have not started it yet, but I know I am going to be mainly using this article by the Anarchist Federation, aka AFed to refresh my memory.

But hell, I had a short amount of time to kill and see what my politics textbook has to say. I went to the index and low and behold, I find a page at the end of the chapter on nationalism which has a heading posing the same question. It says, in its opening paragraph, almost arrogantly so, that

"Any reading of the previous sections of this chapter will clearly reveal that the answer to this is emphatically no".

I literally laughed out loud. It then goes on to patronisingly list some of the reasons why some people must be making this amateur error in judgement which include nazism, some wars in the 19th century that god forbid, had "some nations attempting to spread their hegemony, or defend their existing spheres of influence and other nations trying to thwart them".

But the enlightened author saves the day as it makes a bigger list on why that is apparently wrong in their totally neutral, un bias, not an opinion but fact, opinion. It states proudly its innocence.

"Liberal nationalists are not concerned with national superiority but simply with ensuring that their people are free and can preserve self determination"

"Although some cultural nationalists have been expansionist and agressive, notably nazism, on the whole this kind of nationalism is defensive and pacifist by nature"

Now Im not going to go in to how stupid and ahistoric this is like its common knowledge (though it should be), I think that would be patronising and as if I was a member of some anarchist theoretical intelligentsia preaching to the 'sheeple'. I would direct the people that may not know why anarchists would refute these claims to the article linked above.

Finally, I would welcome any further links that might be relevant to my trying to answer this question from an anarchist perspective.

Posted By

Apr 15 2012 17:09



  • Any reading of the previous sections of this chapter will clearly reveal that the answer to this is emphatically no.

    Neil McNaughton

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