If you look at other forms of fake nationalism, the worst one in the United States is civic nationalism. And what civic nationalism does is it turns the state into an ersatz nation. But it’s fake. You know, Americans like that idea, Americans romanticize that idea, but that idea is mostly imposed upon them… That was not an American concept. If you read the Declaration of Independence, what do they talk about? Who are they declaring independence from? They’re declaring independence from King George, who is the king of Great Britain, and it even discusses “our British brothers” in the Declaration of Independence. They knew that Americans were intrinsically British and that the American nation is not the same as the United States of America.
They’re two different things and so Jeremy puts it correctly: civic nationalism is to nationalism what social justice is to justice. The adjective modifies and transforms the noun, and turns it into something that it is not.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having an emotional attachment to civic nationalism, you know, the whole USA, USA thing, the idea of unity, out of many, one, and so forth. It’s not the worst thing, but it is also not true nationalism, and that’s why it’s so much weaker. This is something that Americans are always going to struggle with, they’re always going to lack true national identity, and that’s why it’s so important, it’s more important in the United States that elsewhere, to build up a sense of nationalism, a sense of extended family, a sense of unified purpose.