Is there a difference between Civic and Ethnic nationalism?


I hate to make this argument, and by no means do I really have a preference for one sort of nationalism over another (Except I do find Racial Nationalism of the "White Ethno-State" variety just pants on head stupid), but I must throw this into the community for the sake of discussion. What is the substantive difference between ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism? I see the distinction made, but I cannot see what the difference actually is per say. The reason for this argument is that civic culture is rarely if ever culturally or ethnically neutral. For example, would any American Civic Nationalist not argue for English as the sole language of the country? English is an ethnic groups language after all, and language is a critical part of a nations ethnic identity. In another sense lets ask, can China really be Chinese sans the Mandarin (And other) languages? Japan without Japanese? Israel without Hebrew? Would a Germany speaking Arabic still be German in any meaningful sense? People rightly give SJW types well deserved grief for seemingly boiling culture down to restaurants one can take food Instagram pictures at and maybe a hairstyle, but culture is a lot more than these very shallow things. After all what is the substantive difference between the French and the Spanish? Language. What is the substantive difference between a Pole and a German? Language. Visually it would be a challenge to tell either group from one another. A random Spaniard and a random Frenchmen will without speaking and dressed in a tshirt and jeans just look like "some European?" maybe? But until they started talking in their respective language you would not know their ethnicity.

To put it another way, David Cullen (Computing Forever) has said that he is a Civic Nationalist who is anti-Identitarian. But logically that position is effectively a view of Pro-Multiculturalism, a thing he is against and most Civic Nationalists on youtube seem to be against. If this is merely an agreement to adhere to a specific legal code, lets say American/English common law and governmental structures or loyalty to a specific institution, then why the fixation on a specific ethnic groups language as the sole language of the people if not to create a singular identity as in Identitarianism sans a racial basis for it? Civics is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government. The emphasis on sharing in a specific ethnic groups language and thus adopting a common cultural sense seems to be, by default, meaning a Civic Nationalist is an Ethnic Nationalist. If American or British civic institutions, legal customs ect are best, why cannot they be translated into another language?

I will also cite American civic custom here for the language/ethnicity issue, the Meyer v. Nebraska case which held that a 1919 Nebraska law restricting foreign-language education violated the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Another such case was the Yu Cong Eng v. Trinidad case, which overturned a language-restrictive legislation in the Philippines (Which America ruled at the time), declaring that piece of legislation to be "violative of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Philippine Autonomy Act of Congress" that case was influenced by the Meyer case, which was a precedent. The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment prevents discrimination based on ethnicity. So while one can perhaps scoff at the academics (Such as myself) who define language and ethnicity as nearly inseparable things, American civic culture has also at least in law recognized this.

But what about the differences with the Alt-Right? The Alt-Right misnames their movement as being for "Ethno-States" which is better termed "Racial States." Spencer and company seem to not necessarily favor ethnic states because me and say Spencer do not share a common ethnicity. In fact for me personally I think Tara McCarthy (Mac Carthaigh) is the closest in that she has a Gaelic last name, but I cannot say I share much affinity with her personally either even if we are linked by our Gaelic ancestry. The Alt-Right misidentifies race for ethnicity, and sees ethnicity as purely a set of physical appearances. Ironically their view of ethnicity is as dumb and shallow as the SJW one in my honest opinion. An ethnic group does not necessitate a common "racial bond" per say but is an entire host of things, primary among them is language.

Is this an argument for Multi-Culturalism? Yes and no. To me the ideal state is something like Switzerland. Both because they keep to themselves and stay out of the Empire business, but also because they have a set of civic institutions but have not also privileged a specific ethnic group over another. Admittedly it is hard to have a State without a specific nation, but the Swiss have done it for centuries. They are a working Multi-Cultural state. The issue of Mutli-Culturalism is that it CAN work but often doesn't because the constituent parts might not be willing to live peacefully. Either because one ethnic group effectively wields a lot of power and then puts primacy of its ethnic culture over others, or decides its ethnic culture is the neutral position of the state and everything else is "Ethnic or different" or a newcomer or specific group aspires to power and is insurgent and insistent in dominating the other group (Islamic culture is a great example). The problem with EU Multi-Culturalism is they have agreed to host this new culture but have not asked nor even tried to make them agree to live cooperatively with the rest. Albanian muslim's ect have been able to agree to the arrangement but the new comers seem unwilling or a significant portion are unwilling to heed to cooperative existence. It is clear Islamists wish to dominate, and do not adhere to say European Law (Instead wishing to replace European legal tradition with their own) and do not respect European governments (seeking to replace them with a more Caliphate based State) and do not respect other ethnic cultures language and custom (It is unlikely a Sweden ruled by Arabic speaking Muslims will allow the Swedes to carry on being Swedes).

So my concluding thought/question; Is Civic Nationalism versus Ethno-Nationalism a distinction without a difference? I think Civic Nationalism CAN be different but in my opinion it is rarely presented as such. Civics and Ethnic Identity are rarely presented as separate entities. The distinction being made is between a non-Racial Nationalism (Roamings) and a Racial Nationalism (Spencers/Nathan Damigos). I think both sides simply have mislabeled themselves.

Also apologies for my first post being a disagreement. XD Love the content <3

Comments (4)
No. 1-4
Michael Kelley
Michael Kelley

Nationalism in other countries has to do with race, but nationalism in America has to do with anyone who believes the Constitution is the greatest authority in the world and is BETTER than any other form of government. As for a national language, English is the language the Constitution is written in and is the worldwide language for commerce. Both practically and constitutionally, English is the national language.


Also I did not say "Mix unrelated cultures" merely just cultures that are willing to live together.


Ideas are neutral but language is not neutral in any cultural sense. Nor would I place "economic efficiency" as being worth trying to homogenize an otherwise peaceful society that would otherwise make good neighbors and fellow countrymen. Why sow the divisions and argue your ethnic language is superior when Spain doing that threatens to splinter the country (In the case of Basque and Catalonia) and say Britain in the case of Wales and less so with Scotland.

     Ethnic Nationalism is by its nature ethnically driven by a single ethnicity. Civic Nationalism is by definition driven by the civilian ideas and ideals of a certain nation. Ethnic nationalism leaves no room for a Natural and Individual subcultures underneath the Main culture. It only allows for a counter culture, because Ethnicity is an all encompassing environment. 
     I can only write about American Civic Nationalism. The Ideals/ideas to me come from a few sources, the non-white Native Americans and the non-white Bible writers, English Common Law, a Greek law and government all on a Sesame seed bun. 
    So a bunch of white guys took all of this and created a bottom up layered government.  Layer 1: Individual government : In this Book written by some ethnic middle easterners they said the greatest thing to govern is oneself.  Because all sins are just ungoverned actions upon others. Now even the Native Americans were already doing this - Self Governing. 
The next layer of government was the family. the only dictatorial layer that is not completely autonomous but still has much power and is influence over its own dominion. 

The next layer would be the City/Township, then County, then State, then Federal. This is done within the layer of rights of the individual topping the Federal Government.
So why would you ever call a country like that singular in ethnic nature? Once you rebuild a country on ideas/ideals that work, there is no longer a need for ethnicity to matter. And a culture can bend and not break when multiple ethnicity make up its subculture. But I am highly suspect with a little digging I can not find either a Main culture in Europe that is not homogeneous across the nationalities that are in Switzerland. I am guessing many Biblical principles would be a good starting part. I would be surprised that it is really multi-cultural and not multi-subcultural. And would like to know if freedom is forsaken for this peace.
And about the same language. Wealth is best created by the passing of ideas to each other at the fastest pace possible. That means if you want a country that creates the most amount of wealth it can, you want a singular language by default. And because most of the people in America speak English, it is less painful and costly to make everyone know and learn English.
You say it can work but you really need to prove this. By waiting hundreds of years. From what I can tell from Switzerland, they have mostly people of European descent that have similar backgrounds in a Christian/Catholic country. When they mix in Completely different ethnic cultures for hundreds of years, then I will believe you. But the Religious foundation connection can create a Main Culture/law that oversees the subcultures of Switzerland. Unless you can prove they live under the country of their origin's laws, I think Switzerland is a Red Herring. Yes laws themselves can create a Main Culture.
You talk about an ethnic group asserting their dominance over others. How about wanting to assert their ideas because they work the best for all involved. Is that a neutral position?