The Welcome Rebirth of Nationalism

The Italian elections of March 4 carry a theme that has become increasingly familiar among those nations in the European Union. Britain, Germany, France, and Holland have all had elections that swung strongly toward nationalism and the resuscitation of national identity through new political movements that reject the centralization of European government and open borders.

Nationalism has gotten a bad name because the left has falsely associated it with Nazism. The Nazis, in fact, were imperialist invaders of other nations, and it was the nationalism of nations in the path of the Nazis – British, Swiss, Spanish, and Turkish – that blocked Nazism and confined that evil to continental Europe. Nationalism, when that means that the people in a nation with a distinctive language and culture ask only to be left in peace, is the solution to many of our world’s problems.