We are still not out of the cave

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views -

THE elec­tronic tech­nol­ogy fi­nally con­trib­uted some­thing to civil­i­sa­tion when Pro­fes­sor Michael San­del of Harvard Uni­ver­sity, one of the most in­tel­li­gent men on the planet, recorded his lec­ture on YouTube, invit­ing all peo­ple to con­sider be­com­ing a ‘Cit­i­zen of the World’.

Nat­u­rally, Theresa May was quick to say that such wis­dom had no mean­ing.

Brexit ap­pears to be an ex­ten­sion of na­tion­al­ism, that no na­tion should ever co-op­er­ate with any other na­tion.

Pro­tec­tion­ism and iso­la­tion­ism are the fu­ture to trust.

The let­ters pub­lished in news­pa­pers are awash with Welsh na­tion­al­ism, which ap­pears to in­sist that Welsh peo­ple, for some un­known and un­stated rea­son, are a su­pe­rior form of the hu­man species. They get an­gry if you do not agree. That ap­pears to be a char­ac­ter­is­tic of all na­tion­al­ists, that they are con­stantly an­gry about some­thing, and that gives the rest of us a valu­able in­sight into a to­tally ir­ra­tional phi­los­o­phy.

It comes from the gut. There is no el­e­ment of think­ing in­volved: it is an emo­tional spasm, all over the world. Ex­actly the same emo­tion flares up in mil­lions of guts in Iran and North Korea, with this slight vari­a­tion, which Welsh adults have over­looked, that they alone, Ira­ni­ans and Kore­ans, are the finest spec­i­mens of hu­man­ity to grace the planet.

Dur­ing the 20th cen­tury, this con­flict of opinion which we call na­tion­al­ism, di­vided into about 190 dif­fer­ent ver­sions, in each country, caused the slaugh­ter of well over 50 mil­lion victims. I had thought that this was a very pow­er­ful ar­gu­ment to coax na­tion­al­ists of all shapes, to learn some an­a­lyt­i­cal self-crit­i­cism. But that would in­volve en­gag­ing the brain and com­ing out of the cave.

Neville Wester­man Brynna

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