The Nationalist Scale

When discussing politics in a constructive and useful way, it is important to have some consistency in terms. One difficult set of terms to grapple with is nationalism and globalism. I want to define a simple scale and use that scale as a basis for describing various groups of people. To define the scale we take the logarithm of the ratio of preference for members of one’s own nation versus preference towards those outside of one’s nation. The base of the logarithm is the willingness to commit violence. That probably sounds a bit confusing now, but I will break down five scores on this scale and it should make sense.

0 on the Nationalist scale represents the libertarian position on nationalism, that no individual should be preferred over any other.

A small positive score (0-1) represents a nationalist position that exhibits a preference towards members of his own nation over others in disputes and in policy, but who does not support aggressive violence in order to benefit his nation.

A large positive score (>1) represents an ultranationalist position where it is acceptable to initiate violence in order to promote the interests of a nation.

A small negative score (-1-0) represents a third-worldist position where people outside of your own nation are preferred over fellow citizens in disputes and policy.

A large negative score (<-1) represents a position, that I don’t currently have a good name for, where you are willing to use violence against members of your own nation for the benefit of people outside of your nation.

I hope that does a good job of describing the potential ranges of Nationalist positions. One important caveat to this is that all of these terms are relative to the nation an individual belongs to. Whether this is intrinsic or self-identified, or whether one can be a member of multiple nations, is left as an exercise for the reader.

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