Ep 315: Ruining Religious Belief by Nationalizing It, with Alex Nowrasteh

Summary – Ruining Religious Belief by Nationalizing it, with Alex Nowrasteh

In this episode, Doug Stuart talks with Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, about both Nationalism and immigration. Nowrasteh recently debated The National Review’s, Rich Lowry on the topic of Nationalism, with Nowrasteh taking the opposing view. This conversation lends well to arguments against so-called “Christian” nationalism as well. Though Nowrasteh is not himself religious, he makes compelling points about the destructive nature of nationalism to religious belief. Since religious belief is generally good for society, the last thing we should want to do is destroy it through state-sanctioned compulsion. Immigration turns out to be a issue related to nationalism, given the motivations for stricter immigration rules stem from nationalistic tendencies.


Main Points of Discussion

00:00 Introduction
01:20 How did Alex come to take on nationalism?
03:09 Nationalism has historically played out poorly – like the right-wing version of Socialism.
04:33 What is nationalism? A collectivist ideology based on tribe, ethnicity – America is not a nation
08:58 Nationalism is horseshoe theory in action
11:30 Can’t our nationalism be based on libertarian principles and a culture founded on free society?
14:30 Patriotism is not the same as nationalism.
15:35 What are Nationalism advocates accomplishing with their advocacy of nationalism? The right has no ideology.
19:30 What’s wrong with Americans identifying as a group, being that we’re not a proper nation?
23:49 The problem with certain natural instincts is the problem of state involvement.
24:47 The best way to ruin a religion, like Christianity, is to make it state-sanctioned.
26:17 Is Nationalism a bulwark against globalism?
29:25 Hopes for electing Trump against global agenda
30:44 Is there a growing threat from immigration? Perceptions of chaos
34:40 Why don’t conservatives seem to understand the state is part of the problem with immigration?
41:52 Is the United States “full” and cannot take more immigrants?
44:40 Closing comments


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