Answering lolwut on my "strong desire to save the West despite being Sri Lankan"

Some irrelevant personal details

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This article is a response to a comment lolwut. I thought I would address the comment given that I have been asked similar questions by people when they find out my racial background. Here is his comment:

One thing about you which interests me is your strong desire to save the West despite being Sri Lankan yourself; I remember reading on other articles on your site that you are even critical of your home country. Do you consider yourself more of a Westerner? Do you not care anymore about your Sri Lankan or Southeast Asian blood?

A Little Bit of Foreplay

I cannot remember who came up with this idea, but nationalism can be divided into three categories. In no particular order these are: Blood, Soil, and Creed. Ideally you would have all three, loyalty based on love of a certain people, love of a certain place, and really love of a certain ideal of a place and people. I don't like the word nationalism, due to the connotations with populist movements for the plebs like MAGA (Make America Great Again), or UKIP (United Kingdom Indipendence Party), but I can't think of a better word. When Orwell spoke of Nationalism, he said that by this he meant  "the emotion I am speaking about does not always attach itself to what is called a nation — that is, a single race or a geographical area. It can attach itself to a church or a class, or it may work in a merely negative sense, against something or other and without the need for any positive object of loyalty." He also made a silly distinction without a difference between Patriotism  and Nationalism because Orwell was an English nationalist and leftwing, and nationalism is a bad word in leftwing circles, so he clinged on to the label of just being patriotic.  The point is that by this definition, and like Orwell I use the term "nationalism" for lack of a better term, is that things like Marxism, the Catholic Church, even Libertarianism, or Randian "Objectivism", are not too unlike nationalism. It's just a different in-group. It is not like you can't have a nation of people without some actual land, the Jews were like that for a wee while as are the Kurds. People who are rabidly anti-nationalistic sometimes have more nationalistic tendencies than nationalists themselves - even though it may manifest itself as nationalism for another country which is not their own. For example, in Orwell's time he pointed out that the loyalty British Marxists showed towards the Soviet Union was effectively nationalistic, as a nationalist may look away from the fault of his nation because it is his own so too did many, many Anglo-Marxists look away from what was going wrong in the Soviet Union. As with faith, or a Creed if you will, then the question is usually not whether you have this nationalistic tendency but rather towards what and whom you will direct it towards it to. Very often it is not a choice, as Orwell couldn't help but be nationalistic towards England and towards the Left simultaneously, and so he ended up undermining both - because he couldn't really place one unequivocally over the other. In fact, a lot of leftism can be summed up as nationalism but for other peoples who are not your own. In other words, I have done the same as those Marxists just for different reasons and ends.

To quote Orwell's definition in full "By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad'(1). But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests." The first half of the definition is clearly pandering to his leftwing friends so that they won't call him a fascist (spoilers: they will think of him as basically one anyway, and they will try to prevent him publishing his books for his anti-soviet remarks). The second part is more like it, though I wouldn't say that nationalists place their nation (i.e. their in-group) beyond good and evil but rather squarely in the quadrant of good. To be honest though, it doesn't even need to be an in-group preference, it can also be an out-group preference, so it really is just a group preference.

What is the Blood?

The blood really is the racial aspect of natioalism, after all you are more familialy related to other people of your race, and so due to these extended familial connections it is natural that your interests would line up with theirs to an extent. Or in other words an appeal to blood is an appeal both to self-interest as well as the interest of those immediately next to you, your kin. But it is not unknown for people to place values above themselves and above those around themselves too. However you cannot build your society around these exceptions, most people (except a lot of white Europeans, for reasons I will explain below) are going to be loyal to their blood just because it is in their own personal and often familial interest to be so.

What is the Soil?

"Sri Lanka," or as I prefer to call it, Ceylon, hasn't been a nation-state even for even a hundred years. I know I am going to piss off many a Sri Lankan nationalist but for thousands of years it was just a bunch of warring kingdoms only briefly united. The current nation-state was united and created by the British. What is the land? Is it the land where I was born? Of course not, for if that were the case then I would be an Italian just because I was born there. No, the land really is an abstraction for the land of your ancestors. Having said that there is such a thing as love and loyalty for a place, however what I subjectively feel about it is not enough. I am not arguing for some kind of ever expanding definition of civic nationalism, otherwise the west will end up being ruled by foreigners. Perhaps it was a mistake due to mass migration that I was born here in Europe. No scratch perhaps but I can no more change the past than I can change what I feel on this matter. I am not a good writer, so I am not going to try and say anything poetic but suffice to say I find Europe more aesthetically speaking. When I hear the noise of Buddhist temples I just find it annoying. I have been to see all the ancient ruins and great temples and processions and none of it moved me at all like anything I had seen growing up in the beautiful and pleasant architecture and landscapes of Italy. The only problem with Italy as a place, I think, is that it is a bit too warm for me. In Sri Lanka of course I was obviously melting in a permanent state of sweat and swelling from mosquito bites which kept which both kept me indoors.

In the end the soil is not the land separated from the people who inhabit it, but it is both, because even most "natural" landscapes have been shaped by the people. In other words I can't escape from the judgement of the people by just talking about the land, the place as opposed to the people living in it. Like when people say hell is not a place but other people.

What is the Creed?

I am a Roman Catholic, a minority of 6% in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, not a deeply religious country but at levels of faith I would say the United States was in the 1940s, still Article 9 of the constitution clearly states the state ought to ensure the supremacy of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. I know that the country is on it's way to being secularised but it was very clear to me that in effect I was part of what remained of European colonialism in that country by virtue of my religion. It doesn't help that on my father's side I do have some Scottish ancestry. Basically in my father's family tree, from my grandfather onwards they all have British names. In fact even my family's surname was changed from an English to a Sri Lankan one by my grandfather because after "Sri Lanka" got independence from the British, it was harder to get work if people could see you were connected to the previous British regime.

I moved to Sri Lanka from Italy at the age of 8 and I was immediately put into an English language school where the British syllabus was taught, in fact everything was taught in English, so rather than Sri Lankan history and literature I was taught British literature and history. In fact I had to teach myself how to read and write the Sinhalese language because I didn't really need it. Even now my vocabulary is limited to that of a child when I speak in Sinhala (the native language, there's also Tamil but as I said this isn't surprising for a nation that was recently created). Now you might say that it was wrong that I and thousands of other Sri Lankan students effectively learn nothing of their own history, literature and language but the truth is that any Sri Lankan parent who could afford it would give their children an English education. To be honest I can't really blame them.

Soil & Creed

Blood and Soil in the end are subsets of Creed, after, all for example most anti-British activists are English, Scottish and Welsh (let's not pretend Northern Ireland belongs to the UK after the "Good Friday" agreement), many anti-Italians are Italians, most anti-Germans are Germans (*hint* *wink* *nudge* *cough* denazification *cough*) then this means that Creed is more powerful than Blood plus soil.

If I can recall correctly, my criticisms about my "home country" which lolwut refers to amounted to my pointing out how the perceived moral superiority of my fellow countrymen over the west is compensating for material inferiority towards the west 98% of the time. And how the revealed preference for moving to the west in droves when given the opportunity to, proves this. But it not just their revealed preference but also mine, for I may wax lyrical about "The Greatness of the West" but the fact I would most likely live in an inflation riddled socialist hell-hole if I stayed in Ceylon certainly did factor into my choice of moving here. Some may say that I should have stayed back and fixed a country I never felt any loyalty to but only ever felt disgust at first and understanding now, that I ought to feel loyal to this failure because it is mine, or rather because I belong to it, but I am going to pull an Ayn Rand and say that the West is better than the East and like her I won't settle for anything but the best, though unlike her I would say Britain is superior to America culturally speaking even though America is economically richer - so materialism is not all I care about but I would be lying if I said I would like to work for $32 a month, I know that's a lot more when you account for purchasing disparity but trust me it is still shite, and as strange as it sounds I felt much of foreigner there than I ever did in Italy, England or Scotland. In fact I would go as far as to say I was treated more like a foreigner in Sri Lanka because they could immediately sense maybe because of the simplistic way I speak Sinhalese that I did not really belong there, then again I don't think I can fool anyone about belonging here either - I don't know in general I have found that Europeans do not care about that because they do not suffer an inferiority complex towards South Asians feel towards westerners because why would they when their countries are relatively richer. According to victimilogy, I guess I would be a victim of multiculturism, but that would  be a lie, for one I do not feel sorry for myself (don't press X to doubt) and secondly the true victims of multi-culturism are those whose communities and ways of life have been destroyed by what is euphemistically called "the free movement of labour."

In conclusion

I think the comment which I left to him as a reply back then answers the question he asked better than any of the bloviating I have been doing in this post, so I will quote it in full:

I might write a blog about my specific circumstances but long story short, I don't think a man can serve two masters or cheer for two teams in the same match, or be loyal to all sides in a conflict, so I made a choice to place my loyalty (whatever little that counts) to the west. I would say that all people of mixed heritage who live in the west should be made to pledge their undivided loyalty to the west or should be made to leave the west. I have chosen to stay in the west so it is only natural that I should wish to save the west above all else and to be loyal to western civilisation perhaps even more than actual westerners because just because I was born here I do not have the birth right to live here as they do, I have to earn it.

Orwells Footnotes:

1) Nations, and even vaguer entities such as Catholic Church or the proleteriat, are commonly thought of as individuals and often referred to as ‘she’. Patently absurd remarks such as ‘Germany is naturally treacherous’ are to be found in any newspaper one opens and reckless generalization about national character (‘The Spaniard is a natural aristocrat’ or ‘Every Englishman is a hypocrite’) are uttered by almost everyone. Intermittently these generalizations are seen to be unfounded, but the habit of making them persists, and people of professedly international outlook, e.g., Tolstoy or Bernard Shaw, are often guilty of them.

By Otaking, or The Good Student