Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

American Nationalism Is Not Facism: A Vindication of Trump Voters

Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Nationalism can be used to usurp smaller regions but American nationalism stands against the ideal of a globalist superstate.

I have great respect for Representative Justin Amash, but I am going to disagree with the way he applies the thinking of the great economist F. A. Hayek to American nationalism in this election. He tweeted,

Hayek was writing about the European turmoil of his day. The fascism of Italy and Germany was a fusion of nationalism and socialism (as was FDR’s New Deal). Nationalism was an ideology that justified the state’s dominance over towns, cities, families, and other organizations.

Since Amash is tweeting this at a time when Donald Trump has won a victory over the other Republican candidates, it is safe to infer that he thinks these words by Hayek apply to Trump.

But Libertarian Justin Raimondo challenges this:

If we place Hayek’s discussion in the present context, then it becomes clear that nationalism is not the enemy but a (potential) friend of liberty. For the modern trend is toward supra-national entities, like the European Union, the UN, and the North American “Free Trade” Agreement, which are engaged in erecting precisely that “society which is consciously organized from the top” so abhorred by Hayek. When nationalism is arrayed against globalism, i.e. against the concept of a regional super-state, or even a World State, libertarians must clearly take sides with the former.

In the case of Donald Trump, I have no idea how much thought he has given to the Tenth Amendment. We rarely get a candidate who is right on everything. Nevertheless, Trump’s popularity is not derived from any real connection to what Hayek was writing about. It is based on resistance to the New World Order.

In this country, a nationalist necessarily upholds the American tradition of limited government, the rule of law, and – yes – “isolationism” (“She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy”). No wonder John Kerry preaches the virtues of a “borderless world,” and warns graduating students of the dangers of “looking inward”! Empires aspiring to world hegemony don’t recognize the legitimacy of borders, and as for looking inward – why do that when we have a whole world to conquer?

In a world where supranational bureaucracies – who want to centralize economic and political decision-making and put it in the hands of a trans-national elite – are actively subverting the very idea of national sovereignty, nationalists are on the right side of the barricades. Should Catalonia be forced to be a part of Spain? Should England be dragooned into the European Union? Should the American economy be ruled by a World Central Bank? What “libertarian” can answer yes?

Back when Arizona tried to enforce the law and deal with people illegally crossing the border, the White House and the mainstream media attacked the state in every way possible. They portrayed the state as guilty of a hate crime. So the movement that launched Donald Trump’s candidacy shows more respect for Federalism and the authority of state governments than do the champions of a borderless world.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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