Mudcat Café message #3817170 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #160853   Message #3817170
Posted By: Allan Conn
30-Oct-16 - 03:52 AM
Thread Name: BS: Nationalism - a good or bad thing?
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalism - a good or bad thing?
"Nationalism seeks to promote a nation to the disadvantage of other nations."

But Joe that is surely far too narrow a definition of the word nationalism? My Concise Oxford Dictionary gives two main definitions.

The first definition states that it means having patriotic feelings or principles with an addendum stating that in extreme forms it can turn into chauvinism. As far as Scotland is concerned both sides in the independence debate had patriotic feelings and principles and on both sides a small minority displayed chauvinism.

The second definition is simply believing in national independence. For instance would you really say that in the dying days of the Soviet empire that Estonian or Latvian nationalists wanted to promote their nation to the disadvantage of others? Surely they only wanted to take their place along side other nations?

So nationalism has various meanings but yes the SNP and other members of the Yes movement in Scotland mostly think of themselves as nationalists - but at the same time most would baulk at being compared to chauvinistic nationalists like the BNP etc.

There was a tiny vehemently anti-English grouping within the SNP (Siol nan Gaidheal- Seed of the Gael) but they were expelled from the party in the 1970s and are completely irrelevant within Scotland itself. They try to promote themselves online as a cultural group mostly to the North American diaspora. They are complete nobodies and would probably be hard pressed to fill a few minibuses.

The Yes movement as a whole, and the SNP, like to describe themselves as Civic Nationalists. That is they believe Scotland should be an independent nation but that they should be outward looking and welcoming regardless of people's ethnicity, religion, colour etc. The idea is that being Scottish is not just based on parentage, ethnicity or place of birth. It is also based on residence. So sure some nationalist Scottish people may disagree but when the SNP talk about the people of Scotland they are talking about everyone legally living in Scotland.

This was most recently expressed by the First Minister at the recent opening of the new session of the Scottish Parliament which was shortly after the Brexit vote.