Monday, December 05, 2016

Ethno-nonsense

I got some pushback on my piece on ethno-nationalism from people who said, "No, an ethnicity must be characterized by a common bloodline!" Oddly, this pushback came both from racists who wanted to exclude non-whites from being "true Americans" and from their critics.

First of all, racists define ethnicity as being identical (almost identical?) to bloodline. So what? We now have to turn to racists for our word definitions?

But more importantly, if we define things that way, there pretty much are no nations for the racial-nationalists to "preserve." Consider England: Far from all being descended from a common bloodline, the English people are descended from Picts, Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Norman French and more. Two of the most prominent Englishmen of the 19th century, Ricardo and Disraeli, were the descendants of Portuguese and Italian Jews, respectively, and yet both were clearly English. James Callaghan was of Irish and Jewish descent and like Disraeli became Prime Minister.
Idris Elba is pretty obviously English, in a way I never could be, despite my being genetically closer to the average resident of England than he is.

Similarly, the Spanish are Iberians, Lusitanians, Celts, Romans, Germans, Moors and more. The Italian people are made up of "bloodlines" of Celts, Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, Lombards, Moors, and so on. The idea that to be ethnically Italian means to be descended from some common ancestor along with all other Italians is stupid, unless we want to run that bloodline back to Adam and Eve.

If racial-nationalists are looking for some "pure bloodline" around which to found a nation, they are in for a long search.


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