Monday, 18 January 2010

Views on Nationalism by a Nationalist


British nationalism only makes sense if Britain is considered to be a nation. Most people have been educated (conditioned) to think that it is. There lies the dichotomy in Wales and Welshness, where there appears to be a conflict of identity. Many people say they are both "Welsh" and "British". I would assert that this position is not tenable.

There is another point of view, which I trust Plaid holds, that Wales is a nation, just as Scotland and Ireland are nations. In that case Britain is not a nation but a grouping of nations in a single state. That is the reality and we must work from that, as it is the situation in which we find ourselves.

The point is that these nations, to cement their cultural, social and political identity, require nation status embodied in national institutions: a parliament, courts of law, and so on.
Either Wales is a nation or it is not. British nationalists, by their very belief, would deny that it is. For sure, true nationalists regard Wales (Cymru) as a nation and agree that the obvious course is towards independence and sovereignty within the European Union..

Anything short of this is a "cop-out", an evasion of responsibility. There are no degrees of nationalism. Either one is fully committed to the cause of freedom or one is a unionist, a British nationalist who denies the existence of other nations within its territory and the right of those nations to establish their own independent and sovereign institutions and become a nation within the European family of nations.

John Dixon has left a new comment on the post "Narrow Nationalism":


I think you and I start from two rather different perspectives here.

You seem to believe that each and every person can be a member of one, and only one, nation; and on that basis, the existence of a Welsh nation precludes the existence of a British nation. And you add that anyone who believes otherwise does so because they have been 'conditioned' so to do.

I have a rather more fluid view of nationality in the twenty-first century, based partly on a philosophical viewpoint, and partly on the empirical reality that most of the people who live in Wales are quite happy to believe themselves to be both Welsh and British. I'll leave aside the philosophical for the time being; purely on the empirical basis, there is something to me deeply unsatisfactory about a view of nationality which requires me to disregard the subjective national feelings of the majority of the populace of Wales!

And that word 'subjective' is, for me, the point. People hold the nationality which they feel themselves to hold. Whether I - or you - like it or not, nationality is in very large measure a self-defining attribute. There may be objective factors which make it easier or harder to adopt one or another nationality, but the whole concept is at root a subjective one. (Which, in a sense, is why I am arguing that an axiomatic conclusion that any nation which exists must become independent is unrealistic and unhelpful.) I don't believe that anyone can dictate to anyone else what his or her nationality is.

Certainly, it would be easier for Plaid to achieve its goals if the national psyche was as clear-cut as you would wish, but we surely have to start from where we are.

Reply to Comment
We have to start from where we are, true, as I said "That is the reality and we must work from that, as it is the situation in which we find ourselves.". We need to change the way the Welsh people regard themselves. This is not social engineering. It is making a difference to the way the people of Wales identify with the nation and not with the British state in which they have been brought up and which they believe to be their country. It is a shift in consciousness, from an emotional fixation on Britain as their native land to a realisation that their true nation is, and can be, Wales - and not Wales but Cymru. This is the work which nationalists should set themselves, to convince the youth of the nation that independence is an option which can be realistically achieved.

S Pol Haydon has left a new comment on your post "The State of Society in Britain Today":

Britain is a "sick" society,it has become a CCTV society and infact it has had to become this type of society for the protection of good citizens civil rights. The society is dying from a culture of excessive drinking and drugs. Long gone are the days of culture, the theatre is a word many do not posses in their vocabulary. Society is much more concerned with the latest celebrity trend rather than what is happening with their nation. The term Britain to me is somewhat a meaningless term, in my opinion it does not represent anyone but the English. There is a rich Celtic culture amony the Irish,Scotish and Welsh which the term British does not incorporate. However society has it seems lost the sense of morality and family. 

Independence Cymru says:

Householders should have the right to protect their lives and property.



S Pol Haydon said...

I agree with this post, the term British is insulting to many. I can talk from experience of the situation in Northern Ireland; the hold England has over Northern Ireland is a crime. What happened to every nation has the right to self determination? This was denied to the whole of Ireland. Britain is a term that has been brainwashed into many. England does not share culture or identify with the nations it has placed its grip on. Its about time every member of these nations stood against this travisty. Regardless of any stance it comes down to the right to self determination, this is a God given right to every nation.

kerdasi amaq said...

The so-called "United Kingdom" is founded on coercion: by bought and paid for English mercenaries.

The HQ of the foreign force that oppresses the peoples of these islands is the Bank of England.

kerdasi amaq said...

"Britain is a "sick" society,it has become a CCTV society and in fact it has had to become this type of society for the protection of good citizens civil rights."

The owners(city of London) of the British people, have decided, that they are superfluous to requirements(they think that they have rights), and are to be replaced with(more docile: they hope) half-breed mudpeople.

The CCTV cameras are not there to stop criminals but to track and follow political criminals.

kerdasi amaq said...

Wales cannot be sovereign in Europe. The objective of the European project is the obliteration of the nations of Europe.

subrosa said...

I'm Scottish. I've always been Scottish. Throughout a lifetime of travels I'm a Scot and I object to being called English. Most people this that if you are British you're English - I found that out when young.

So I'm a Scot. Some of my family were born in England through default but they are of Scots parentage and therefore Scots and proud of it.

I don't think many should worry about being Welsh/British, Scots/British or Irish/British. Very soon, and it has already started we'll all be European and our nationalities will be a thing of the past.

alanindyfed said...

I don't agree that we will all lose our nationalities into Europe. We are members of the European community but will keep our separate nationalities.