Nationalists, patriots and patriarchs

Mass murderers. They are the army of nationalism and patriotism. Idealists. The idea, or sometimes a great notion, is what counts.

“In the name of the nation, the almighty dollar and the rule of law, you will be rendered subservient.” How does that differ from “Our father, who art in heaven”? The object of worship is depersonalized when the nation is identified as the cause.

Nationalism. People assume it refers to a population in a particular geographic location. It doesn’t. Nation is an artificial category, a figment of the imagination, an idea. Nation is immaterial, immortal, the triumph of the will over the real.

We tell ourselves that the will, the ability to control ourselves is a force for good. Self-control is good. But that is only true, if the self is evil and needs to be restrained. What if the will, looking for something to do, fixes on controlling the environment? Then we end up with animal control, pest control, population control, birth control, traffic control, arms control…………