How To Create National Identity

(The state),”applies itself to loading everybody’s brain with prejudices, and everybody’s heart with sentiments favorable to the spirit of disorder, war, and hatred; so that, when a doctrine of order, peace, and comity presents itself, it is in vain that it has clearness and truth on its side; it cannot gain admittance.”

Frederic Bastiat

It is in the State’s interest, especially when trying to manage a unwieldy and geographically unnatural Republic, to develop in its citizenry a shared animosity towards a common enemy. This is especially true, when, as in America, all the other natural common ground is systematically tilled under. When the common ground of a shared faith, family ties, and local custom are tilled under then the common denominator that serves to hold a people together is their shared animosity towards the State conjured bogey man. During most of my lifetime the State conjured bogey man was the Soviet Union. I say it was State conjured because it was America’s policies that propped up the Soviet Union. All the US ever had to do was cease subsidizing the Russian communists in order to see them whither and die. Today the State conjured bogey man is a third world country like Iran.

It would be interesting if Americans could find enough in common to go on together as a people if they did not have a common enemy to rally against. The State, understanding this, has an interest to create enemies in order to create a shared national identity and purpose. This artificial creation of enemies also serves the State’s ends, because when successful, it is the State that the citizenry must look to in order to protect them from their shared enemy.

Once the State has convinced the citizenry that somebody out there is the enemy then it is nigh unto impossible to dispel that impression. This becomes especially so once Americans start sending their sons and fathers overseas to fight. To take up the argument that some State conjured bogey man is not really a threat to US national interests is to automatically call into question the wisdom and bravery of their soldiers and typically earns all kinds of lack of patriotic ardor opprobrium.

Let me say this as clearly as possible. The greatest threat to America is not the Muslims. The greatest threat to America is not the illegal immigrants. The greatest threat to America is not the Democratic party. The greatest threat to America is not the neo-cons. The greatest threat to America is a centralized government whose chief interests are to increase its size, perpetuate its existence, and create enemies against whom it will spill the blood of the citizenry in order to provide the glue the keeps otherwise disparate people glued together.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Kinist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture . Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “How To Create National Identity”

  1. Do not church leaders use the same tactic to foster ecclesiastic identity? Some say “God hates fags” others “God hates homophobes” yet others say “God so loved the world..”

    Is it possible to forge a common identity with love of King or country?

  2. Hello Robert,

    Just a FYI first….

    I try to respond to whatever comments you leave here if you ever want to pursue a particular conversation.

    If Church leaders use that tactic as the only means to create a covenantal bond between the people there is something severely wrong. Now, naturally, a genuine covenantal bond will find God’s people who share a common faith and have shared delights will also likely be repulsed by the same things and likewise hate the same things BUT their bond and identity is not founded solely on what they hate but more importantly on what and who they together love.

    So yes, I believe it is possible to forge a common identity by means of love. Love for a shared faith, love for family ties, love for local custom and common culture are what should make a people a people.

    Bret

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