Is Nationalism Ever a Force for Good? Jared Diamond Weighs In for Big Think
In today’s political climate, nationalism tends to carry negative connotations. But in the latest video from Big Think, historian, geographer, and bestselling author JARED DIAMOND explores how—much like self-confidence for the individual—nationalism is something that countries should have, in healthy doses.
Nationalism isn’t inherently bad—it just depends how much you have of it. Jared Diamond sat down with Big Think to discuss what separates a healthy sense of national identity from unhealthy patriotic obsession. He cites Finland as an example of a country with a “healthy nationalism” based on reality—specifically, their unique language. “Nobody else in the world speaks the Finnish language. It's a beautiful, but very difficult language,” Diamond explains. “It's the root of Finnish national identity.” On the other end of the spectrum lies Germany during WW2, a situation in which grandiose pride compelled them to try and conquer the world. Today, Germany has restored what Diamond deems a much healthier national identity focused on the importance of community.
Diamond is a Pulitzer Prize Winner and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His latest book Upheaval—the conclusion to the epic trilogy that began with Guns, Germs, And Steel—focuses on how nations can recover from crises.
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