Democratic and Non-Fascist Nationalism
For many parts of the world, discussing national unity and protecting national values has been seen as outdated for a long time, and in universities and intellectual circles, nationalism is often viewed as an antiquated political movement. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century, when two world wars revealed the sinister side of extreme nationalism, that a general consensus was reached on the dangers of nationalism. The League of Nations and then the United Nations were the collective response of many nations and societies to the menace of extreme nationalism or fascism, which brought the world to the brink of collective destruction. Companies and governments that sought to divide the world’s wealth utilized cultural, geographic and racial differences as a tool to rally people and as an excuse to justify killing and destruction. Media outlets, artists, politicians and missionaries in numerous countries who wanted a larger share of the world’s wealth and land were mobilized to create stories of superiority and division, making people cruel, hateful and violent due to the color of their skin, country of origin, culture and ideology. Enemies and allies were divided into categories of good and bad, foe and friend.
The United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were the official declarations of the countries’ purgation of any fascist tendencies. Seeking gender, ethnic, cultural, national, racial and ideological supremacy was officially condemned as inhumane, and the equality of people’s rights was emphasized. Since then, some societies have been able to gradually increase literacy and prosperity, providing an environment for educating people who are freed from narrow local and national interests and can look at issues from a global perspective. Now, cosmopolitans have become a great and growing force. In developed countries, people’s emotional attachments to what is called the nation have decreased and hundreds of millions of people are busy living in different corners of the world and sometimes changing their homeland without feeling a fanatical belonging to the nation and the land. At the bottom, billions of people are trapped in the borders of hunger, deprivation and ignorance and cannot easily overcome the limits of their suffering and disabilities.
Now we have two distinct worlds. In one, a small number of cosmopolitan individuals are able to travel to any part of the world, invest in any location, interact with people from all over the world, contemplate the future of the planet, and discuss global events. A culture and literature has been created around their wealth and influence, and a large group of authors and educators extol their lifestyle as a model and attempt to replicate it in the minds of others.
In the other, those who are confined by national boundaries and restrictions exist, lacking both the material means to live in the world and the opportunity to contemplate such a world. Certainly, the utopian musings of the cosmopolitans have been disseminated to a group of our intellectuals living in the lower realm through libraries, media, and universities, and we also have compatriots who view nationalism as an antiquated and destructive movement.
The people of Afghanistan have been living in a land with borders, flags, and passports since the end of the 19th century, when the presence of world powers in the region was imposed upon them. Powerful waves were launched in the first half of the 20th century to build and overthrow the national government, and debates about our nationhood continue to this day. We are currently stuck at the lowest step of the lower world, and nationalism is a progressive and effective political tool to save us from this situation, provided it is not contaminated with chauvinism and supremacy. Nationalism, whose goal is to save the country from statelessness and take the land from smugglers, looters, terrorists, and mercenary fighters, is much more effective for the people of Afghanistan than the struggle for liberal, Islamic, or labor patriotism. Nationalism that draws a democratic vision for the country’s residents and reduces the evil of religion, nation, and culture traders will take Afghanistan down the same path as the thinkers who support cosmopolitan internationalism.