By Mark Phillips
"At its very worst, nationalism can be the attempted extermination of a minority. So, let’s be aware, let’s be very aware, that this is the power that identity has over us.
...with fascism, the national identity is all too easily mythologized, frozen historically and idealised; it is imagined as being passed on by elders of the community, while in reality, in fascist states it is churned out as indoctrination from government committees sitting on high and charged with maintaining ‘culture’. This is somewhat removed from a real cultural identity, which is by contrast changing, diverse, typically shaped at the grass roots and constantly being challenged from within.
Fascism has the paranoid habit of declaring (violent) war on everything that is not itself.
Racism is the belief in the superiority of one racial, ethnic or cultural grouping above all others. Though few people believe this implicitly, racism nevertheless plays out in overt ways such as the reasoning that indigenous people (usually the majority and usually not the first indigenous group) deserve better protection and service from the state. This kind of racism is always blind to its discrimination, instead arguing, like nationalists and fascists, that their rights of entitlement arise simply from ‘belonging to the family’.
People are generally cognizant of the fact that the competition is a game. Some, however, appear not to have been let in on the act.
Racism as an ideological position chooses to ignore competition and diversity within its own nation’s walls and rather argues that one race, culture or ethnicity is somehow intrinsically better than another. As with fascism and nationalism, identity is considered to be fixed, historical, given and inherently good. It seeks to install one national/ethnic grouping into the permanent role of ‘winners’ in relation to all others, not because they succeed through merit or through citizenship rights, but rather, by right of birth into a very specific family grouping. And such a cultural identity is so strong that in countries where institutional racism is rampant it must nevertheless be constantly maintained, through classroom indoctrination, through controlled or self-censored media, and through a vehement opposition to anyone who would dare to question such natural entitlements.
The links between racism, nationalism, fascism and populism should be obvious. They each feed off each other and the common theme of ‘them and us’, with its various degrees of hostility towards the ‘us’, ranging from mild to severe."
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