I have chosen such a controversial title because the Establishment view usually suggests that nationalism is the cause of many of the world’s troubles. Of course I do not think that all troubles could be solved by nationalism but may be many more than people usually think.
I am interested in history, both the sweep of it in terms of human development and in all the civilisations of the world, but mostly in Western civilisation and especially anything to do with England.
As part of my general reading I have recently read a very interesting book, it is called:-
Churchill's First War: Young Winston and the Fight Against the Taliban
by Con Coughlinhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Churchills-First-War-Winston-Against/dp/0230758517
I would recommend this book to anyone interested not only in Winston Churchill and in military history, but also in current affairs in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.
For the purposes of the title of this article however, the interesting thing that appears in the book is that a significant part of the reason why there has been more or less continuous disorder, wars and bloodshed in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan (and before that North West Frontier of British India), is because of an, all too typical, decision by a British bureaucrat. While a recurring feature of the British administrative mind-set seems to have been, and to continue to be, an almost total disregard of people’s ideas of their own communities. You have only got to think of how a variety of hopelessly unstable African States have been left with parts of tribes in various different States. Of course as part of the imperial plan of “Divide and Rule” it may have been quite useful to have various parts of antagonistic tribunal groups cancelling each other out. It seems to me that it may well be part of this mind-set that has engineered the current divisions of “communities” in England under the doctrine now called multiculturalism.
In this book however what emerges is that a British bureaucrat by the name of Durand arbitrarily decided the boundary between British India and Afghanistan without any real effort to consult anybody who might be affected by his decision. On the contrary he drew a line on maps following only geography, rather than considering the social/societal implications of his decisions. The upshot of this is that Pashtuns, who were a long way towards becoming a Nation with an idea of themselves as a national identity, suddenly found themselves divided in such an arbitrary way that villagers might even have been divided from their own fields between British India, as it then was, and Afghanistan. In many ways all the fighting and bloodshed ever since can be understood as a liberation struggle of a Nation seeking to assert its nationhood against a variety of foreign interferences.
I wonder if instead of dividing the Pashtuns, the British imperial colonial administration had decided to unite them in an independent territory, whether there would have been any of the imperialist adventures described in this book, by Churchill or ever since?
I suggest that if our foreign policy focussed more on supporting the creation of States wherever possible with a clear sense of self as a Community and Nation rather than the administrative mind-set of supporting often deeply unpopular and undemocratic statist structures, whether the world would not already have been a much happier and better place in which people genuinely respected the “diversity” of the world’s Nations.
One of the world’s Nations whose Integrity and Unity needs to be Respected is of course that of the English Nation. We do not need to be broken up under some British imperialist legacy of Divide and Rule!
Here is the Daily Mail take on this book >>>