At the very outset, I’d like to dispel any doubts as to whether this ensuing article claims to be expertly opined and painstakingly researched. It’s not. It’s just what came of a dubious thought that wandered through me: Why are nationalists (more often than not, clearly right wing and annoyingly religious) so successful at generating trust and in turn, votes? Especially, in the light of Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in the recently concluded Indian General Elections and Nigel Farage’s (UKIP Head Honcho) growing popularity in Britain, I thought there ought to be a reason, be it subliminal. In my head, there are enough in common between these men and indeed most others of their ilk to warrant looking for an underlying phenomenon/cognitive process behind their electoral success of (In a world that is interestingly and widely described to be progressively liberal).
I definitely abhor or at least hold quite some contempt towards the idea of nationalism defined literally and traditionally: Undying, unfounded and blind loyalty towards and faith in, your country, and worryingly, in most cases, race, language, culture (!!) and religion as an extension. I especially hold qualm with the claim that a given race or believer of a certain religion is inherently superior/ ought to be treated different. In addition, the idea of blindly (To the point of irrationality) loving your “country”, (which is a largely symbolic construct save for how it’s endowed and governed) is to me just plain stupid.
Nevertheless, I mantain that I would gladly pick a nationalist to head my state. First and foremost, because, I think the only people who become/seek to become politicians are those who (at worst, just at face value), believe in the concept/idea of a “nation”. they are people who usual profess blind love for their countries. This, more often than not, means that they take problems plaguing the country seriously and personally. They, more often than not, swoop down on areas of the nation that are in disarray, and sort them out, much like a stern yet loving parent would. They take infrastructure seriously. They take the global economic prestige of the nation seriously. It veritably helps that most of them believe, to large yet varying extents, in the market). Thus, in the most tangible and “concrete” parameters, they are usually brutally effective; They also usually cause large amounts of money to flow into a nation , through Foreign investments, of one sort or the other and rev up internal production. Therefore, to the citizens of a given country, the markers of success and development witness exponential elevation under the aforementioned types of government. Hitler was a staunch nationalist; Much as he is and ought to be hated for his stances, he forged a strong and happy (well, if you were “Aryan”) Germany that did unprecedentedly well in terms of economy, infrastructure and organisation. The Autobahns, Porsche, VW Beetle and Hugo Boss are just some of the big german names that the world has come to strongly associate with ingenuity and top-notch quality. I could list a handful of other examples (both historical and contemporary) but that ,in my opinion, is aside from (and possibly dissuasive) to the point.
However, I do concede that sometimes, when these guys get awfully and quite contradictorily fussed up about their religious, racist and generally discriminatory beliefs, it could get quite intrusive and painful to deal with. Nevertheless, in cases such as in India now, I would always choose the nationalist for the lack of a side with an immaculate stance on both governance and philosophy.