Reflections on internationalism and historical legacy

Felix Nicol

Though Fascism and far-right Nationalism are often clumped together for their similar ideologies, this week’s readings provided us with nuanced views on the common hypocrisies generated by different regimes. In both his New York Times and Journal articles, David Motadel underlines two sides of the same coin: much as the modern nationalist groups look towards internationalism to offer support for their cause, so too did anti-imperial movements of the 20th century. This offers us a significant insight in the reality of these regimes: their success is dependent on something they fundamentally oppose. Hitler’s remarks vis-à-vis cooperation with other anticolonialists provide us with more proof that even if these movements are inherently national, their success is largely dependent on international support. After all, if one makes an enemy of the whole world outside of the nation, the number of enemies grows exponentially faster than that of allies.

On another note, Hanebrink’s book on Judeo-Bolshevism provides us with a historical similarity to the manipulative use of the Middle Ages by modern far-right nationalists. We see a striking resemblance in the methods used, anecdotal evidence tied with historical legacies of a nation or region used as validation of one’s ideals. Succinctly, Hanebrink explains the key aspect of these mental gymnastics, stating that “Although sometimes they were ­ completely wrong, the stubborn fact remained: Some Jews were ­ Communists” (p. 20). Through this understanding, we need to consider the actions of modern nationalist movements as parts of history, with their methods rooted in their historical legacy. This especially when considering the effects of social media in the matters of propagation of misinformation.

One Reply to “Reflections on internationalism and historical legacy”

  1. Hello Felix,
    Thank you for this response. Did you find that one author provided better insight and had better information suited towards answering this weeks question?

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