September 3, 2018

Who is my nation that I may love them?

A comment on When Liberty Gets Leprosy: The Libertarian Lure

Okay, with all that granted, and with nobody wanting to do any of that, do you love your country? […] Christians have a duty to love their families, to love their people, and to love their nation.

Were the Christians of Ephesus meant to love Rome? Certainly they were to honor the Emperor and to pray for those in authority over them. But, were they to love the Empire ruling their people and country as if the whole Empire were their people, their country? In the vast, multinational empire that has inherited the name “USA”, I can honor Trump and pray for Pelosi. But, the USA is not a nation in any sense but the most contemporary and colloquial.

As a deracinated Millennial, I don’t know which of a half-dozen provinces of the Empire is my country. I can point to a family out to first cousins, but who are my people? Apart from the image of God and a temporary accident of geography, what have I in common with the thousands who surround me in this city? I’m sure they’re wonderful people, but we have neither common heritage, nor worldview, nor even language in many cases. The only people I can point to as my people are the Church, but the Church, as the Church, is not a country or a nation.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” I am not the only rootless one in this American Empire. This rootlessness is behind the draw to Libertarianism. How can a man love a country when he has never been and doesn’t even know the way. The Libertarian believes his nation is an abstraction because he has not ever met them, only fellow subjects of an empire keen to maintain the subjects’ atomization.

But, Libertarianism is unsatisfying. It lacks that center, that “chest”. Among libertarians unwilling to fill, or tired of filling, that center with sex and drugs, there has become something of a pipeline to the alternative right. The alt-right is, in large part, a rebellion against the atomization brought on by Globalism and Empire. Alt-righters are looking for their people, for the nation which nature tells them they should love, and the alt-right will tell them who their nation is and/or who took it from them.

The move from Libertarian to Conservative is not plausible. Conservatives are just the Left 10 years ago, holding yesteryear’s defeats as sacred principle. As a group or a movement, whether through fecklessness or cowardice, they have failed to conserve even the women’s restroom, much less any plausible notion of an American nation.

The 5th Commandment requires me to love my nation. Who is my nation, brother, that I might love them?

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