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Why Nationalism And Strong Borders Protect Liberty

For all of modern history, good countries were always expected to govern in the best interests of their citizens.  Maintaining a border policy in accordance with the country’s needs and long term planning was never an issue.  So what’s changed?

The pressure for countries to ignore their borders is based in political correctness – a modern tool of the left which is designed to help them win policy arguments by appealing to emotion rather than reason, thus denying their opponents a meaningful opportunity to respond.  In the case of border policy, the argument always boils down to a false appeal to emotion via an allegation of racism.  As the argument goes, any country that restricts the indiscriminate entry of foreigners from countries populated by people of a different primary race, religion or culture is deemed to be xenophobic.  The argument, illogical and nonsensical as it is, either goes unchallenged or is actually advanced by the leftist national media.  Any reply, no matter how rational and well-grounded in history, is deemed duplicitous and unworthy.

Partly in response to this nonsense, we’ve seen a resurgence of nationalism advanced by those who appreciate the history of global national and cultural development over the course of centuries.  This shouldn’t be a surprise.  The attack on borders is in fact an attack on national sovereignty.  A surge in nationalism is a natural response.  But this response isn’t born out of any presupposition that the world is perfect as it is.  Instead, it results from the common sense understanding that it isn’t smart to irreversibly disregard hundreds of years of experience.  Forcing cultures to permanently meld in hopes that it’ll all work out for the best isn’t smart.  It’s reckless.

In typical fashion, leftists and globalists, with the help of their allies in the national media, have sought to conflate nationalism with Nazism and radical national racism.  Words can and often do mean different things to different people in different contexts.  The brand of nationalism being advanced by sensible people across the globe right now is not grounded in racism.  It is grounded in a sound respect for history and experience.  It is no more racist than it has ever been for a nation to seek to protect its sovereignty while defending and advancing the interests of its citizens.  In the current context, nationalism most importantly implies a rejection of the globalist agenda.

There are two leftist perspectives for supporting open borders.  First, many leftist including those in America, likely support open borders for the immediate impact they perceive open borders will have on electoral politics.  Being statists, leftists seek to perpetually control the government.  In a self-governing society such as ours, that requires constantly winning elections.  Leftists in America perceive that open borders will give them a long term, if not permanent, advantage in electoral politics.

From a much longer term perspective, the most committed leftists recognize that the centralization of government authority has always been a key component to their successes. Whereas decentralized government under more localized control is the hallmark of individualism and real honest to goodness self-government, the centralization of governmental authority is the hallmark of advancing statism.  The American experience offers just one example.  When the U.S still enjoyed meaningful federalism, various states strewn over the swath of a continent constituted a system which exhibited much more fidelity to America’s first principles – and a vastly more decentralized government – than has come to exist since federalism was effectively eliminated.  The U.S. is now governed primarily from Washington D.C.  The defeat of federalism and the concomitant centralization of power in Washington D.C. was a key component to the growth of statism in America.

Similarly, in the global context, scores of countries strewn over the planet are far more decentralized than a world government or regional global governments would be.  With global or regional governments would come much more centralization and a much more efficient route to the implementation of the grand societal and economic planning that statists seek to impose.  Defeating or ignoring national borders over a long period of time would undermine the national sovereignty which today’s nationalists are trying to protect.  Thus, countries without effective border control would open the world to a possibility of more centralization of government on a global scale.

Controlling national borders is essential to maintaining national sovereignty.  In turn, maintaining national sovereignty is essential to combating leftist forces seeking to strengthen and further centralize their political power.  Together, the conflation of traditional nationalism with xenophobia and the attempt to eradicate national boundaries constitute just one more effort to accomplish what is always the left’s overarching goal – to reinforce and intensify statism and leftest authority at the expense of liberty and individualism.

Nationalism in the context of border policy is a good thing for human liberty because it helps to maintain national sovereignty and, by extension, ward off the further centralization of governmental power.


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