Nationalism is Social Idealism

By National Youth

Nationalism is often conflated with reaction. To be a Nationalist, it is said, that one must be “right-wing” and conform to all the positions therein. This is an insidious lie. Genuine Nationalism—Nationalism that has sought the betterment of the Nation as the highest moral good—is at this present moment, the only political force that can be said to oppose the great injustices of our time. 

In responding to the claim that Nationalism is reactionary, it is important to note where this misconception came from: the Nationalist is the only person to consistently nullify the claim that we must collectively suffer for the supposed crimes of our ancestors. Instead, the Nationalist revels with pride at being the progeny of men and women who explored, conquered and civilised the world. This is often mistaken as being a desire to turn back the clock—nostalgia and reverence are mistaken for backwards and conservative thinking. It is here we find the root of this misconception.

Whilst it is important for any community to be aware of its history—to know where it came from and who their ancestors were. It is also worth noting that the past was never a paradise. Nationalists often look to the formerly healthy communities of South Wales and the North of England as examples of a type of community that we would like to build for the entire country. However, it is important to look at the conditions that forged these communities—the exploitative and dangerous industrial working conditions of 19th Century Britain—without strong bonds between the working people of these communities, life would have been unbearable.

The opposition often use this fact to suppose that we favour a return to such conditions—to return the working class to such economically-debased conditions.

The same can be said of those who criticise our support for the family. It is said that a return to the 1950s is our objective. Many cultural conservatives fall into the trap of answering in the affirmative—that they do wish to see a return to the 1950′s. This is a fatal error. Whilst this period of time looks attractive compared to our current predicament, the 50s was the product of a certain time and place. The lengthy post-war economic boom made it feasible for the wife to stay at home, it alleviated the stress of the Depression years and brought forward a dynamic rise in the average spending power of ordinary families.

It is in these years of economic expansion that the seeds of alienation were sown. The Nuclear family, far from being a historical norm is in-fact partially an aberration. The Nuclear family is insular and compact—it is efficient from an economic perspective—but is an isolated historic occurrence.

Whilst it does contain inherent advantages: the mother remains at home, allowing for the thorough raising of the children; roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and does conform to what is the most basic and organic element of Human organisation. It was thoroughly unnatural in some respects.

A society where the basic family unit is comprised solely of parents and their children and implicitly states that this small group of people are responsible for themselves and themselves alone. It makes permissible an egotistical attitude: my family is all that matters—I’m alright guv’nor. It makes abandoning an elderly grandmother for a job offer on the other side of the country, fine. It cuts the bonds between the extended family. It’s the first step in the dissolution of the community altogether.

What our Nationalism demands is the reestablishment of the community. This in an age where the primacy of the economy absolutely constitutes a revolutionary objective. Of course, there is an economic dimension to life, but there is also Man’s social, cultural and aesthetic needs to consider—needs that must take precedence over mere production and consumption.

The two prevailing ideologies of the 20th Century: Capitalism and Communism best exemplify how politics has been manipulated and a false dichotomy has been created—presenting the illusion of two binary opposites—when, in fact, both possess similar presuppositions and historical contexts. They hold that men are equal: for the Capitalist, one pound is as good as the next, regardless of whomsoever it comes from and the means by which it was created, all are equal before the market; for the Communist, the liberation of the individual is paramount and must be emancipated from all forms of social control. They are materialistic, seeing Man as Homo Economicus—economic man—a man that is self-interested and rational. Putty, to be moulded by economic forces.

Historically, they both arose from the growth of industry at the beginning of the 19th Century, a time where mechanics was in the ascendancy, against all other dispositions. It must be noted that these materialistic dogmas were opposed, even when still at the embryonic form, by British intellectuals such as Thomas Carlyle, who passes a damning condemnation of the philosophers of his time:

“The Philosopher of this age is not a Socrates, a Plato, a Hooker, or Taylor, who inculates on men the necessity and infinite worth of moral goodness, the great truth that our happiness depends on the mind which is within us, and not on the circumstances which are without us; but a Smith, a De Lolme, a Bentham, who chiefly inculates the reverse of this, – that our happiness depends entirely on external circumstances; nay, that the strength and dignity of the mind within us is itself the creature of consequence of these.”

Jonathan Bowden on Thomas Carlyle

We find in Carlyle, a folkish opposition to the prevailing currents of his time and elucidates with immense precision the phenomena that would in our age be fully realised, in all its destructive glory. Perhaps Carlyle is not a figure we can rely upon solely for inspiration; what alienated him from the rest of Victorian England has already taken its course. It is highly implausible that Carlyle would have been able to conceptualise Britain today. But we can understand his diagnoses of the problems he found in Britain at that time and make use of his critique.

It is in Carlyle, we find an understanding that Man is not reducible to a mathematical algorithm and a set of quantifiable data that can be entered into a computer and commanded to run like Chrome or Word. It is from here we can begin a reconstruction.

This begs the question: how does one recreate an organic community? This is where it is crucial to understand that Nationalism is not just a set of policy suggestions—it is not a manifesto in the conventional sense. Nationalism is a geist, a spirit. It is in this sense that before we even change anything formally—anything in the mind—the heart must be won over first.

This is why historically, movements that have reflected a radical Nationalism that we can sympathise with have been extremely visual in their orientation. The understanding has been that Man is not a rational being, but a rationalising one. The mind follows the heart.

Once this fundamental truth is grasped, a practical imperative can be understood: through the strength of our imagery and deeds we will win the hearts and minds of the British people. Those who exuberate power will inspire those around them.

Belief that in order to create, that which was before must be destroyed. Belief in the future, that the people will rise up and regain control of their own destiny. Belief that tomorrow can be better than today. A conviction that the British will not sink into a multiracial quagmire, but affirm themselves in their own ancestral homeland. The belief that a great people can live once again—that is why Nationalism is a Social Idealism.

 1) Thomas Carlyle. (1828). Sign of the Times. Available: Last accessed 19th January, 2014.



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