Globalism vs. Nationalism

By Team



A person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world.



An ideology based on the belief that people, goods, and information ought to be able to cross national borders unfettered.  A socio-economic system dedicated to free trade and free access to markets.

Globalism can have at least two different and opposing meanings.  One meaning is the attitude or policy of placing the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations. Another is viewing the entire world as a proper sphere for one nation to project political influence.

American political scientist Joseph Nye, the co-founder of the international relations theory of neoliberalism, argues that globalism refers to any description and explanation of a world which is characterized by networks of connections that span multi-continental distances; while globalization refers to the increase or decline in the degree of globalism. In his 2005 book The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World, Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul argued that, far from being an inevitable force, globalization is already breaking up into contradictory pieces — and that citizens are reasserting their national interests in both positive and destructive ways.



 One who loves and supports his or her country.



Love for or devotion to one’s country.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology — and because of his influence on later thinkers.  Rousseau’s own view of philosophy and philosophers was firmly negative, seeing philosophers as the post-hoc rationalizers of self-interest, as apologists for various forms of tyranny, and as playing a role in the alienation of the modern individual from humanity’s natural impulse to compassion.  The concern that dominates Rousseau’s work is to find a way of preserving human freedom in a world where human beings are increasingly dependent on one another for the satisfaction of their needs.

Rousseau’s concern has two dimensions: material and psychological, of which the latter has greater importance.  In the modern world, human beings derive their sense of self from the opinion of others, a fact which Rousseau sees as corrosive of freedom and destructive of individual authenticity.  Rousseau principally explores two routes to achieving and protecting freedom: the first is political, aimed at constructing institutions that allow for the co-existence of free and equal citizens in a community where they themselves are sovereign; the second is a project for child development and education that fosters autonomy and avoids the development of the most destructive forms of self-interest.

However, though Rousseau believed in the co-existence of human beings in relation to equality and freedom, he was consistently and overwhelmingly pessimistic about humanity’s escape from a dystopia of alienation, oppression, and subordination.

Eric Blair told us, “By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people.  Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.”

For the record, patriotism isn’t blind obedience to the state.  In many cases, it is standing up to the state. Nevertheless, is it true that nationalists want their country to succeed (out of a sense of self-interest and patriotism), while globalists would just as soon see other countries succeed?

How does one address this issue in a productive way?

Mustang blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

16 thoughts on “Globalism vs. Nationalism

Add yours

    1. For…

      “It is not difference that dominates the world, but the obliteration of difference by mimetic reciprocity, which itself, being truly universal, shows the relativism of perpetual difference to be an illusion.” more

      Rene Girard


    2. For ultimately, nationalism, globalism, patriotism, et al, are all the problem of “tribalism” and resisting the “pull” of mimetic desire.


  1. I would say a mixture of both patriotism and globalism. The world as a whole has now become dependent on one another to a point it is becoming crippling. The US is enabling so many nations to depend on us, and we in turn went to China. There is no win anymore for the US, this nation has tilted too far.

    I have lost a lot of my patriotism and my belief in any other nation. My feelings are more akin to apathy at this point. I just no longer care to try to figure many things out because I have decided for my mental health to change and affect the things I can, and accept the things I cannot affect or change.


  2. Nice 101 level class on Mimetic Theory in the link below… Here’s a couple of samples.

    “…mimetic desire, [is] this pervasive tendency for humans to imitate others, not deliberately or consciously, but somewhat helplessly.”

    “René Girard developed mimetic theory based on his comparative analysis of great novels and the common finding that characters in these stories, often at a loss to know what to want, end up desiring the same things others around them desire.”

    Here’s the link…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great piece! Thanks!

      These psychological impulses . . . incline national leaders to exaggerate the evil intentions of adversaries, to misjudge how adversaries perceive them, to be overly sanguine when hostilities start, and overly reluctant to make necessary concessions in negotiations. In short, these biases have the effect of making wars more likely to begin and more difficult to end.49


        1. Inside that piece is this gem…

          “… [the] Christian Old Testament, is seen [through Mimetic Theory] as record-ing the long process of this truly transcendent, all-loving, non-violent God breaking through sacrificial religion.”

          Stop for a moment and digest this…

          God was not on the sidelines affirming the Hebrew people, as the “followed him” he was actively battling against their nature to bring about a different “kind” of religion or way of life.

          It is that triumphalism and yes, according to Ellul, violence, that we see ascendant even today in the church.


    1. -FJ commented on what Mustang wrote, quoting Rene Girard, a proponent of mimetic theory. Girard does not believe you choose what you desire, but rather what your culture/nature/experience pulls you to.

      As such, do we really have a option to choose globalism or nationalism, or is that choice made for us, based on our “tribe”, for lack of a better word?

      So I posted some additional articles on mimetic theory…


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