TED & Talks

Is nationalism ever a force for good? | Jared Diamond

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– Nationalism isn’t always a bad thing. When a country doesn’t have self-confidence, and a collective sense of identity, that is also a problem.

– The optimal situation, in the case of nationalism, is that a nation’s citizens have a healthy amount of it. For instance, as Jared Diamond points out in this video, Finland seems to have a nationalism based in reality — and largely founded on their unique language. It imbues them with an innate pride but doesn’t compel them to conquer the world.

Also, nationalism that is used to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, can help a nation transcend its darkest moments.

Jared Diamond, a noted polymath, is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among his many awards are the U.S. National Medal of Science, Japan’s Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of the international best-selling books Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; Why Is Sex Fun?; The World Until Yesterday; and The Third Chimpanzee, and is the presenter of TV documentary series based on three of those books. He is the author of “Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis” (http://bit.ly/jardiamond)

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