Riot and Insurrection: The Many Faces of Nationalism

Edward Burt at Online

Thu, Feb 11 at 8 p.m.   |   75
Olios: Drop-in classes led by professors

While it has most recently found expression among far right movements, nationalism has also been a principle tool for revolutionaries ranging from Gandhi to Malcolm X. In this Olio we’ll take a look at how nationalist ideologies are structured and what they are supposed to produce. With those structures in mind, we’ll work to identify some differences between conservative and anti-colonialist nationalisms.


When you ask a nationalist how long their nation has existed, you will probably hear about a legacy that stretches far into prehistory. But from a historian, you are likely to discover why nations are anything but expressions of human nature. Instead, nations are cultural constructs, less the results of historical fact than the products of our imaginations. And yet, from the rise of Nazism, to the liberation of Algeria and other European colonies, all the way to the storming of the US Capitol building, nationalist ideologies have been central to the shape of political power through the 20th century and today.
 
Over the last five years, nationalist power in the US has predictably found coherence along racial lines, inspired by fears of Islamist terrorism (the Muslim Ban), economic security (the Border Wall), and crime (American Carnage). But it also gained momentum in the context of an increasingly powerful resurgence of the fight for equity in the form of the Movement for Black Lives. To my understanding, the Movement is not only not-nationalist, but is anathema to the white nationalist imagination.
 
While it has most recently found expression among far right movements, nationalism has also been a principle tool for revolutionaries ranging from Gandhi to Malcolm X. In this Olio we’ll take a look at how nationalist ideologies are structured and what they are supposed to produce. With those structures in mind, we’ll work to identify some differences between conservative and anti-colonialist nationalisms. In the second half of our conversation, we will use some of that history to reflect on current events. Should we have expected the insurrection on January 6th? Beyond that, the Movement for Black Lives has quite clearly served as a foil to Trump’s nationalist uprising. What is it about BLM — its constitution, its tactics, and its objectives — that threatens to undermine white nationalism?
Teacher: Edward Burt

Edward Burt lives in Kingston, NY, where he teaches, writes, and has the pleasure of working on a seed farm in the summertime. He is a student of philosophy with special loves for secret facts, science fictions, and all things SF.


Venue: Online

Zoom link will be sent upon signup.


Add to Calendar Feb. 11, 20218 p.m. Feb. 11, 2021 America/New_York Think Olio | Riot and Insurrection: The Many Faces of Nationalism While it has most recently found expression among far right movements, nationalism has also been a principle tool for revolutionaries ranging from Gandhi to Malcolm X. In this Olio we’ll take a look at how nationalist ideologies are structured and what they are supposed to produce. With those structures in mind, we’ll work to identify some differences between conservative and anti-colonialist nationalisms. Online

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