Krishnamurti on Nationalism

Nationalism always produces war, and the problem is not to be solved by bringing about further nationalism, which is only an avoidance of the fact

Humans all the same. Picture courtesy of J. Krishnamurti.
Humans all the same. Picture courtesy of J. Krishnamurti.
and an extension of the same poison, but by being free of nationalism, of the sense of belonging to a particular group, to a particular class of society.

The separate spirit of nationalism is spreading like fire all over the world. Patriotism is cultivated and cleverly exploited by those who are seeking further expansion, wider powers, greater enrichment; and each one of us takes part in this process, for we desire these things. Conquering other lands and other people provides new markets for goods as well as for political and religious ideologies.

Nationalism, the patriotic spirit, class and race consciousness, are all ways of the self, and therefore separate. After all, what is a nation but a group of individuals living together for economic and self-protective reasons? Out of fear and acquisitive self-defense arises the idea of “my country”, with its boundaries and tariff walls, rendering brotherhood and the unity of man impossible.

It is because we are nationalists, ready to defend our sovereign States, our beliefs and acquisitions, that we must be perpetually be armed. Property and ideas have become more important to us than human life, so there is constant antagonism and violence between ourselves and others. By maintaining the sovereignty of our country, we are destroying our sons; by worshiping the State, which is but a projection of ourselves, we are sacrificing our children to our own gratification. Nationalism and sovereign governments are the causes and instruments of war





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