Is opposition to nationalism just feel-good imperialism?

Tomorrow, Scotland votes on whether or not to leave the UK. For some reason, I find myself hoping they vote yes.


I’d thought for some time that nations and states were a deleterious force, and we’d all be better off if we could just dissolve all borders and band together as one people for the benefit of all. So why should I hope that the people of Scotland and Catalonia decide to implement new borders, putting down more lines between themselves and England and Spain respectively, rather than the UK and Spain expanding in a process of removing such borders, as has happened to an extent in the EU.

Then I realised that I don’t want to live in the UK.

That’s the thing. People who espouse anti-nationalistic, pro-globalisation sentiments tend to imagine that the resulting society would be more or less their own. Look at the Federation from Star Trek – for a supposed egalitarian, (inter)planetary society, it’s simply America spread across 8,000 light years.

Everyone wants to live in a republic run according to their own principles; ask those who oppose nationalism whether their own country should be absorbed by, say, Russia, or China, or America, or heck even Canada or Australia, and I imagine they’d suddenly reappraise their position. Well, maybe not if the country they would become part of was Sweden.


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