Daniel Hannan: no democracy without nationalism

No Democracy Without National Identity
Faced with a choice between democracy and supra-nationalism, the European Union almost always opts for supra-nationalism ...

It is very difficult to have a functioning democracy unless people feel enough in common one with another to accept government from each other’s hands. If you want government for and by the people, you have to have a people that everyone recognises some identity with, some allegiance to.

To put it in another way, democracy needs a ‘demos’, a unit with which we identify when we use the word ‘we’. I am not saying it is simple. People can sustain multiple loyalties, populations can be interspersed, but our prejudice, other things being equal, should be towards national self-determination. If you take the ‘demos’ out of democracy, you are left only with the ‘kratos’, with the power of a system that must compel by law what it dare not ask in the name of civic patriotism.
Lawrence Auster, The Path to National Suicide
Historically, that openness has made it possible for people from many different backgrounds not only to come to these shores, but, far more importantly, to acquire a common national citizenship and identity... But the recent emergence of unaccustomed and bitter divisions over language and culture—particularly the movement to tear down our national heritage in the name of a vaguely defined “multiculturalism”—is beginning to make many Americans realize something that common sense and forethought might have told them years ago: that America’s ability to perform this alchemy of souls is not infinite. To believe that we possess such a limitless capacity is, as the ancient Greeks recognized, to court Nemesis, fate’s punishment for those who think they have become as gods.
File under: democracy needs a ‘demos’.

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