Monday, March 31, 2014

Pierre Trudeau, against de current

The book of selected writings (between 1939 and 1996) by Pierre Trudeau, the father of Canadian federalism, with the title "Against the Current," provides many lessons for those who think that nationalism should not be opposed. For example (p. 204):
"It is possible that nationalism may still have a role to play in backward societies where the status quo is upheld by irrational and brutal forces; in such circumstances, because there is no other way, perhaps the nationalist passions will still be found useful to unleash revolutions, upset colonialism, and lay the foundations of nation-states; in such cases, the undesirable consequences will have to be accepted along with the good.
But in the advanced societies, where the interplay of social forces can be regulated by law, where the centres of political power can be made responsible to the people, where the economic victories are a function of education and automation, where cultural differentiation is submitted to ruthless competition, and where the road to progress lies in the direction of international integration, nationalism will have to be discarded as a rustic and clumsy tool."

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