Something Better than Nationalism
THE people of every country want to feel that they and their descendants will have a better future. But how will it come? Through the efforts of individual nations?
There are today more nations in existence than ever before. Each one promises its people better times, and requires obedience to its policies. But has any one nation, or even group of nations, led the way to betterment of the entire human family ? Surely they have had the time. Yet our century has been filled with disastrous failures.
We cannot escape the fact that the dividing of the earth into so many different nations has not proved beneficial. A ‘divided house’ is not likely to solve the world’s complex problems.
For instance, Parade magazine says: “One-fourth of the world’s population is almost always hungry and one-tenth on the brink of death because of too little food.” Yet food experts say that it is not the earth that is at fault, since it can produce enough food. They say it is the divided political and economic systems that prevent cooperation and reasonable distribution.
Also, because of national pride—nationalism—the divided nations fear one another. So the nations of the world spend over 300 billion dollars a year now for armaments. Imagine what the human family could accomplish if that money were used for productive purposes!
Really, no nation or ideology can give people what they want and need most. And what most people want is true peace, permanent security, prosperity, health and happiness.
If all people could get along as a loving family, as loyal and trusted brothers, think of the desirable qualities among all national groups that could be enjoyed. Is it not interesting to sample the wide variety of foods that different peoples eat? Many of their styles of dress, and their music, are pleasing. If the present national divisions did not exist, there are many good features of all cultures that could add much to the enjoyment of life.
Does Not Make Sense
Pitting nations or races against one another does not make sense, since we all had common parents.
The late British historian Arnold Toynbee said of nationalism: “It is a state of mind in which we give our paramount political loyalty to one fraction of the human race . . . whatever consequences this may entail for the foreign majority of the human race.”
Because nationalism is so divisive and destructive, Toynbee said of it: “Nationalism is a mental disease.” And former United Nations Secretary-General U Thant observed: “So many of the problems that we face today are due to, or the result of, false attitudes—some of them have been adopted almost unconsciously. Among these is the concept of narrow nationalism—‘my country, right or wrong.’”
The Creator of mankind, Jehovah God, “is not partial,” says his Word. (Acts 10:34) And since “he made out of one man every nation of men,” it is apparent that to man’s Creator maintaining national divisions does not make sense either.—Acts 17:26.
But is there any realistic hope that someday all nations will overcome their national prejudices and unite in an international brotherhood to work for the good of all people?
Unity Under Way Now!
Bible prophecy shows that we now live “in the final part of the days” just before God intervenes in man’s affairs and brings the present divided system of man-rule to an end. But in this very same time, as Isaiah chapter 2 foretells, his true worship would be lifted up on high so that “all the nations must stream” to it.
With what result? God “will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”—Isa. 2:4.
Yes, Almighty God is right now gathering honest-hearted persons together into an international brotherhood and is teaching them how to live in a righteous new order that he will rule from heaven. And after destroying the present wicked system, God will usher the survivors he has ‘set straight’ into his new order of everlasting peace and prosperity.
Revelation chapter 7, verse 9, shows that these survivors are a “great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues.” These are ones who submit to His rule. They appreciate that no matter what benefits any nation may provide, nothing can compare with the hope of life in God’s new order. Only God, not man, can lead willing people to that very desirable goal.