The death of custom ctd.

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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4 Responses

  1. tom van dyke says:

    “Nationalism” seems to be used pejoratively here. What is the “good” alternative? John Lennon’s “Imagine,” I imagine.

    Again, France was still France under Louis XVI, the National Convention, Napoleon I or III, the Third Republic, whathaveyou. It just depends on whether our better angels or our hearts of darkness are in the ascendancy.

    Of course, that’s France. Mebbe its better angels are never in the ascendancy. The French Revolution was all about demolishing custom, even the names of the days of the week. Then France was as nationalist and warlike under the Directory as under Napoleon himself.

    And there were the tricoteuses. Chilling.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to tom van dyke says:

      Yes nationalism is a pejorative here. Good alternatives would be patriotism, faith, loyalty, community, etc. The French revolution is a good example of a society slaughtering its own customs. The death that followed fits my hypothesis.Report

      • tom van dyke in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        I see.

        That seems to open the door to the whole “culture” thing, a much more loaded and frightening term in the original German.

        Multiculturalism, tolerance, the whole shebang. I did read somewhere today that Muslims in China tend not to hang out with the rest, which is a culture up to its eyebrows in pork and pork products. This is a very tricky world.Report

  2. Kolohe says:

    Maybe this comment belongs on the last thread, but here it goes.

    I’m not sure that ‘nationalism’ is the right prism in which to analyze what is being discussed. Arguably, the problem in Afghanstan (for example) is not too much nationalism, but too little. (There are portions of the insurgency that do not believe the current Kabul government is legitimate, but there are others that do not believe that *any* Kabul government is legitimate)

    The most pervasive, persistant and damaging legacy from colonialism was the semi-arbitrary (and by now, more or less permanent) division of the world by cartographers that lumped together peoples who, at best, had little contact with each other, but more commonly and for the worst, were ancient rivals.Report