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Calls for a ‘national’ Left

July 9th, 2021

A left-wing political scientist thinks that the Left needs to endorse patriotism if it wants to strengthen solidarity and equality.

In Népszava, Attila Tibor Nagy calls on the Left to embrace ‘national thinking’. The left-wing political scientist acknowledges that nationalism has the potential to incite hatred and violence. He also agrees with Marx that nationalism can be used as a tool to oppress and exploit the working class. At the same time, the locus of politics is still the nation-state in today’s world, Nagy remarks. He notes that powerful Western states put their national interest first in international cooperation, while in less developed countries, nationalism is perceived as a parochial attachment to one’s homeland. Nagy agrees with Sarah Wagenknecht, former Parliamentary chairperson of the radical left-wing Linke party in Germany that the Left needs to recognize that strong nation-states are the only countries that can challenge multinational domination and thus tackle economic crises and remedy social injustices. He adds that nation-states are more democratic than transnational models of governance – including the EU. If the Left wants to live up to its core values and strengthen solidarity and equal opportunity, it needs to embrace the nation-state, Nagy concludes.

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