Positive and Negative Nationalism


Aug 24, 2016

Positive and Negative Nationalism

In my last post we talked about the duality of negative and positive nationalism. A problem with this topic is that people as a whole are fairly black and white about it. They are either all in – “My country right or wrong,” or all out and look with a jaundice eye on any sign of patriotism.

I submit that both extremes are wrong and as usual the seeker must use some good judgment to find points of truth at the middle.

Let us examine the words and DK and our common sense on the subject and ascertain what ingredients of nationalism are on the positive and the negative sides.

The first question we want to ask is this. Which ingredients lead to harm, destruction or may frustrate the plans of the hierarchy? The second question is which ingredients are either harmless or on the constructive side?

DK gives us some good information as to the ingredients of negative nationalism. The prime example he cites is Nazi Germany. Indeed if there is any good that came out of Nazi Germany it is examples of what not to do.

Here were some ingredients of their nationalism that nations should avoid.

(1) Such a state of superiority that other nations must change to conform or be forced to submit to their rule.

(2) The idea that their people were superior physically and mentally to other nations.

(3) All inventions and advancements were for the glory of Germany with little or no thought in aiding the rest of the world.

(4) Within the country minority races and groups were discriminated against and treated as being inferior.

(5) They were aggressive and threatening toward other nations, especially the weak and defenseless.

(6) Extreme materialism

DK tells us that all nations on both sides of the war were guilty in some degree of nationalism that separates and if the negative aspects of this were not so prevalent among the democracies that they could have united their positive energies and prevented the war.

Unfortunately we had to learn the hard way.

He then tells us that a benefit from World War II was that many old forms were destroyed to be replaced by new and better ones.

Humanity has this made a step forward, but the nations still have a long way to go.

We do not want to repeat the nationalistic errors of the past, but neither do we want to go to the other extreme, so let us look at some ingredients of the positive or ideal nationalism, that is acceptable to DK.

Here is he quote again:

There is, needless to say, an ideal nationalism which is the reverse of all this; it exists as yet only in the minds of an enlightened few in every nation, but it is not yet an effective and constructive aspect of any nation anywhere; it remains still a dream, a hope and, let us believe, a fixed intention. This type of nationalism rightly fosters its individual civilization but as a national contribution to the general good of the comity of nations and not as a means of self-glorification; it defends its constitution, its lands and its people through the rectitude of its living expression, the beauty of its mode of life and the selflessness of its attitudes; it does not infringe, for any reason, the rights of other people or nations. It aims to improve and perfect its own mode of life so that all in the world may benefit. It is a living, vital, spiritual organism and not a selfish, material organization.

From: Problems of Humanity, Pages 88-89

Let us list the acceptable ingredients:

(1) “…fosters its individual civilization but as a national contribution to the general good of the comity of nations and not as a means of self-glorification”

(2) “it defends its constitution, its lands and its people through the rectitude of its living expression,”

(3) It aims to improve and perfect its own mode of life so that all in the world may benefit

Then in Externalization of the Hierarchy he adds:

(4) Blocs (of nations) in themselves can be good and proper if they follow lines of natural cleavages, of language differences and of cultural distinctions.

(5) He has repeatedly stressed the prime ingredient of allowing for the freedom of expression and of the human spirit.

There are certain ingredients here, that are often criticized as being wrongfully nationalistic that are approved of by DK so long as done constructively.

He mentions “individual civilization.” Some seekers think that nations will evolve to all be petty much the same, but such is not the case. Nations will all have their individual personalities and cultures for some time to come.

Some purists think that talk of a nation’s constitution, integrity of lands or is people are wrong, but DK approves of a nation defending “its constitution, its lands and its people,” with as much integrity as possible.

A citizen can love his nation’s Constitution, its people, its culture, what its flag represents, the integrity of its lands, the National Anthem, its history, its culture and not be placed in the category of negative nationalism. Such as person (myself included) wants to see all the good things of his own country made available to the whole world. Because he sees good in his country does not mean that he sees all differences in other countries as bad,

It is the separateness and superior attitude above all which some attach to country that causes the negative turn.

Using the Law of Correspondences we could compare a country to a person. Humans are governed by the lower personality until they achieve soul contact and submit to higher will. But when soul infusion is achieved the person still maintains a distinct personality, lives in a separate home protected by law from intruders, and in many ways his life is not that much different from his neighbor of average evolution.

Nations follow the same pattern. They start out in the lower personality mode and advance to the soul, but even in the soul they will still maintain their distinct personality and differences, but will be motivated to share, using good judgment, the benefits they have received with others having no intent to infringe on the free will of others.

Copyright 2016 by J J Dewey

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