Liberal Nationalism against Left and Right Politics in Africa
Over the last year we have been approached by a number of persons outside the UK keen on exploring, even promoting, the ideology of National Liberalism. Given that it first emerged as an active force in continental Europe in the mid 19th century, contacts from there was not surprising. However, we have received interest from further afield in areas with no blatant NL tradition such as Africa.
One person making contact is Tarig Anter, a retired civil engineer based in Khartoum, Sudan. He says his main project is the design of new form of national democracy and system of governance, which he calls “Three Dimensional Democracy”. (XYZ democracy), in contrast to the Western democratic system which he says has corrupted the region’s politicians. He is part of a new breed of African who is trying to understand why his continent is suffering so much. He places much of the blame on the US and the ‘New World Order’ and their quest to control the world’s resources. But, he says he doesn’t “blame the USA or Europe but rather I blame the powers that are controlling them and I feel that Europeans are Americans are either victims or tools, but not the shakers and makers of their systems which are wrongly described as democratic and mistakenly considered models.”
In his/their quest for an alternative, we hope they will turn, not to dictatorship or authoritarianism, but to a creed that seeks to preserve a nation’s meaningful independence and its’ people’s liberties and welfare – National Liberalism. In that spirit he has written a short article about the prospects of National Liberalism (and in particular its’ twin Liberal Nationalism) in Africa.–
Liberal Nationalism against Left and Right Politics in Africa
As a prelude for discussing the needs and prospects of Liberal Nationalism in Africa, this personal opinion is trying to define the ideology of Liberal Nationalism in comparison to other forms of nationalism; and its challenges against right and left social and economic politics. Ironically, Nationalism is systematically accused of being leftist and rightist by the both globalist camps at the same time although many experts have found that placing Nationalism on a conventional left-right political spectrum is difficult and wrong.
The opinions stated here are personal and does not represent the NLP; they might be critical and even controversial; but that is why they are liberal.
First, it is important to note that Liberal Nationalism (one variation is also called Civic Nationalism) is a new advanced form of nationalism; while National Liberalism appeared in the West since the 19th century as a variant of liberalism. Liberal Nationalism is about establishing resilient governance based on social and economic justice and solidarity; while National Liberalism believes in a stronger national presence on the international stage, mainly through economic and cultural liberalism.
A constructive form of liberalism first (originating in about 1650–1700) became a powerful force rejecting several practices of government, such as nobility, established religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings.
On the other hand, classical nationalism is a very ancient collective identification of a multitude of individuals within or without ethnic and tribal groups that are working together to preserve and strengthen their various essential interests.
There are a number of different types of Nationalism and types of Liberalism. Many of these forms and practices are unsustainable and aggressive while the principles of both ideologies contain many positive attributes. The most famous African and Asian examples of liberal nationalism so far, are manifested by the South African National Congress Party (ANC) and the Indian National Congress (INC). The closest form of liberalism to Liberal Nationalism is National Liberalism; which is fundamentally different from Social Liberalism (classical liberalism with a social welfare tone).
Other forms of nationalism are: Ethnocentrism; Social Nationalism; Pan-nationalism. All forms of nationalism are anti-colonialism; anti-imperialism; and anti-corporate-globalism. Opposition to Liberal Nationalism comes from Communism; Ultra-nationalism; Socialism; Capitalism; neo-Liberalism; Liberal International; Africa Liberal Network; and religious brotherhoods, in addition to international secret societies.
To promote the principles of Democracy and Liberties together with Nationalism on continental and global levels, international organizations need to be established. These networks shall strengthen Liberal Nationalism in Africa and around the world. Liberal Democracy and Social Democracy are penetrating the world as a result of their institutional organization and support, yet Liberal Nationalism has all the qualities and reasons to succeed all over the world. Such a much needed federation should be tasked with the following:
Coordinating between Liberal Nationalist groups.
Encouraging solidarity among member groups.
Establishing sharing of information and experiences.
I invite you to read and debate on articles at my Tarig Anter blog; such as:
Why Africa Must Trash Western Liberal Democracy?…..& Their Way of Life Too?
Swindles of Modern Liberal Democracy”Swindles of Modern Liberal Democracy
Three-dimensional Democracy (XYZ Democracy)
Neoliberal Corporations & Sunnite Islamism Attacking Nationalism
The Swadeshi Movement
The current developments in Europe; South America; and the USA – and in different aspects in Africa and Asia – are good signs (on top of the list: debts and social injustices). But these crises call for greater and coordinated actions and expositions.
Liberal Nationalism has two main fields for engagement in Africa; the first is to expose the failures of the conventional democratic system as being hijacked and corrupted by liberal and social democracy for global hegemony. The second goal is to propose and call for different national genuinely democratic governance electoral systems where truly Africans have “As much government as necessary, as little government as possible.”
I assume that it is most important for Liberal Nationalism to make the public very aware of the fundamental differences between the various ideologies and trends of liberalism on social; individual/community; economic; and political domains.
Let me add few words about yet another brilliant spirit in liberal nationalism uncommonly seen and may be ignored in an Indian humble movement called “Swadeshi”:
Let me tell you about the Swadeshi movement:
“Spirit Of Swadeshi; (Source: Mani Bhavan Gandhi)
Swadeshi is that spirit in us which restricts us to the use and service of our immediate surroundings to the exclusion of the more remote. Thus, as for religion, in order to satisfy the requirements of the definition, I must restrict myself to my ancestral religion. That is, the use of my immediate religious surrounding. If I find it defective, I should serve it by purging it of its defects.
In the domain of politics, I should make use of the indigenous institutions and serve them by curing them of their proved defects. In that of economics I should use only things that are produced by my immediate neighbors and serve those industries by making them efficient and complete where they might be found wanting. It is suggested that such Swadeshi, if reduced to practice, will lead to the millennium.. . .”
The hostilities towards any form of nationalism, meek or aggressive, were very strongly coming from financiers and bankers in the USA and their communist twin in Moscow, a deceptive polarity aiming at nationalism from both directions. (Social) liberalism (a vacuum cleaner) and communism were and still are the most racist, anti-human rights and totalitarian systems, despite of all the slogans and pretences.
Tarig Mohamed Mohamed-kheir Anter
Date: January 7, 2012