Árið 1946 skrifaði George Orwell eftirfarandi um þjóðernishyggju:
All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved [in nationalism], the sense of reality becomes unhinged. And, as I have pointed out already, the sense of right and wrong becomes unhinged also. There is no crime, absolutely none, that cannot be condoned when ‘our’ side commits it. Even if one does not deny that the crime has happened, even if one knows that it is exactly the same crime as one has condemned in some other case, even if one admits in an intellectual sense that it is unjustified — still one cannot feel that it is wrong. Loyalty is involved, and so pity ceases to function.
Líkt og Glenn Greenwald þykir mér þetta lýsa bandarísku samtímaumræðunni um Íran afskaplega vel.
Annars er það vel þess virði að lesa allan pistil Orwells, sem er ein fínasta greining á sálarfræði "fótboltliðshyggju" sem ég hef lesið. Athugasemdir Orwells eiga jafn mikið erindi við samtímann og þær áttu við evrópu í lok síðara stríð.
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