Globalism vs nationalism vs individualism

If you are anything like me you are constantly amazed at the some of the things written and said on the subject of globalism vs. nationalism. And then when you throw the subject of individualism into the mix, things are certain to get even worse. (To see an example of a wrong-headed approach to this issue, I give you this article).

The good news is people appear to be triggered by the words, but when you actually define the terms involved people of good will seem to agree more than you might think. So, in this post I would like to take a stab at attaching some definitions and moral judgments to the terms “globalism,” “nationalism” and “individualism.” I feel my Christianity supports me in my positions.


“We are all God’s children, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ loves us all equally, regardless of where on the globe we are born.” Strongly agree.

“People should travel and experience other cultures.” Strongly agree

“Other cultures outside of the United States have good things to add to the United States.” Strongly agree.

“People should make voluntary trades with each other, and governments should promote free trading as much as is practical.” Strongly agree.

“Legal immigration is usually good for countries.” Agree.

“There are no such things as national borders.” Disagree.

“Supranational organizations like the U.N. promote international understanding and peace and are worth supporting.” Disagree.

“The laws of supranational organizations should supersede national laws.” Strongly disagree.

“Multi-party free trade agreements like the TPP are good things for all of the parties.” Strongly disagree.

“One of the major political problems across the globe is that there are elites in most countries who look down on and generally dislike working people in these countries. There are differences in values between the global elites and the working people, and this is manifesting itself in many disruptive political movements.” Strongly agree. (Explanation: you cannot understand the Trump phenomenon, the Brexit phenomenon or the current “yellow jacket” uprising in France without considering that many members of the public are rebelling against what they consider the ruling class. Regarding France, which is in the news now, I would recommend this article.)


“It is good to love your country and the symbols of your country and do things like cheer for people from your country in the Olympics and other international competitions.” Agree.

“It is generally polite to stand for the national anthem of a country or to take other measures that promote societal norms regarding the national anthem.” Agree.

“People should be forced by law to stand for a national anthem.” Strongly disagree.

“Standing for the national anthem is something that an employer should be able to have as a condition for hiring or firing an employee.” Agree.

“Burning a country’s flag should be illegal.” Disagree. (Explanation: I would never burn any country’s flag because I consider it impolite, but the First Amendment protects all kinds of impolite speech).

“National laws should be respected, and if you don’t like those laws there are peaceful processes to change those laws.” Agree.

“Some groups of states or provinces may, at some point, want to separate from other groups of states or provinces within a nation, and nations should allow this to happen peacefully.” Agree. (Explanation: if this response triggers you, I would ask you whether you believe the various republics in the former Soviet Union should have been allowed to separate from the Russian conquering power. Someday Tibet, which has a long history of independence, may succeed in separating from China. Are you really opposed to that? If you apply the same principle to the United States, it is theoretically possible that Texas or another state may want to secede from the United States. Do you really want to kill people to prevent this?)

“Believing my country is always right is a good thing.” Disagree.

“Believing my country is always better than other countries is a good thing.” Disagree.

“My country is so good and moral that my country should be able to impose its values on other countries by force.” Strongly disagree.

“My country should be the policeman of the world.” Strongly disagree.

“Race-based nationalism is good.” Strongly, strongly, strongly disagree.


“God sees people as individuals, and they can and should have an individual relationship with God.” Strongly agree.

“God has given individuals free agency to make mistakes and hopefully learn from those mistakes, rather than forcing people to follow His laws.” Strongly agree.

“There are certain rights that are given to individuals by God which are life, liberty and property.” Strongly agree.

“Governments should promote individual freedom and the right of people to govern themselves.” Agree.

“The best governments are those that govern least.” Agree.

“As an individual, I can do anything I want to my body and it won’t affect the people around me.” Disagree.

“Because our society is based on individualism, I should not really care about the conditions of other people in society.” Strongly disagree.

“It is OK to be selfish.” Strongly disagree.

“People should voluntarily give of themselves (time, talents, money) to help others.” Strongly agree.

“It is Ok for me to spend my life partying and doing whatever I want with my body.” Disagree.

“Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Strongly disagree.

If you have any polite comments or questions, please leave them below.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

5 thoughts on “Globalism vs nationalism vs individualism

  1. I pretty much agree with your opinions on these issues. Unfortunately too many people think that if somebody’s up somebody else has to be down. They live in a teeter totter world where your race is more important than your character or actual opportunities. The tragedy taking place in South Africa has been repeated too often as people put race or nationality ahead of our common humanity. As a student of anthropology I was taught not to use the word race, using ‘cline’ instead to indicate inclination.

  2. I once read a comment stating that there is no point in having a discussion with someone unless you first agree on a dictionary. If you cannot even agree on the definition of say “racism” any further discussion will be frustrating and fruitless for both parties.

    Also there is a real difference between talking about difficult things in person and online. In person, you have a better chance of mutual respect and the assumption of good faith on both sides. Online, you will never convince the person you are debating with so your arguments are actually addressed to the audience and convincing the lurkers there.

  3. I am happily married in racially mixed family (though I personally do not believe that my wife and I are separate races). I agree with everything given Geoff and I feel my wife would agree on some as well. I think you could have gotten more conversation with the emphasis on the “privileges” that are constantly thrown around. I had and interesting conversation with my wife when it came to the “white privilege” subject. She has the understanding that there are some privileges that most people are not aware. My wife though stated that all advantages are not as a result of privilege and not all privileges are made to be equal. Since she is ethnically black it takes her greater effort find the beauty products for her (and our two children) in contrast to those that are European, Asian or Latino descent. I have noticed that I have the privilege that I did not have other look down upon me less for marrying her. On the other hand my wife received the grief from her family and random strangers who thought the worst in me or want my wife to be more ethno-centric. A lot of the privileges maybe substantive material things but others is within our state of mind.

  4. Andrew, I guess I would say that “white nationalism” and “white privilege” are completely different issues. As I say in the OP, white nationalism is evil and is in fact against official Church policy. White privilege might be worth discussing in another post, but I don’t see how it relates to the whole “globalism” vs “nationalism” debate.

  5. Mostly agree with your stances stated above.

    I do think there are some issues where it makes sense for nations to cooperate at a global level, but I suppose I see that as a matter of voluntary treaty rather than a global organization forcing itself on individual nations.

    I do agree with the idea of peaceful succession (or amalgamation), but I think there can be times when conflict is an acceptable option.

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