Does French President Macron understand the Meaning of Nationalism—Patriotism?



By Sigrid Weidenweber

The centennial commemorations of WW I, recently held in Paris, were the stage for French President Emmanuel Macron to publicly condemn nationalism as “the opposite of patriotism.” Well, sitting here in California amid burned out vistas and homes, my mind is still clear enough to discern that the declarations belong to one and the same belief system. The Oxford dictionary defines nationalism as 1. patriotic feeling, principles or efforts. An extreme form of this marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.

  1. advocacy of particular independence for a particular country.

Furthermore, the dictionary describes patriotism only through the word patriot: a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it. It then goes to the root of the word: it stems in Latin and Greek from father: patrios ‘of one’s fathers’ from patris fatherland.

So, as sticklers for accuracy, we can define a nationalist as someone with feelings for his “patris” fatherland. As you can see, both words are interchangeable and Mister Macron, the leader of the globalist elites that have evolved to Postnationalism, cannot even conceive of the feelings nationalists harbor for their father- or motherland.

As we all know, President Donald Trump is the self-proclaimed nationalist, in whose stony façade Macron’s claims were thrown as a challenge.

In a Wall Street Journal article of Tuesday November 13, 2018, Walter Russel Mead, whose thoughtful opinions I like, tried to divine why this European unhappiness with nationalism arises now?

Western states have for many years increasingly grown together in defensive and economic alliances. Now, as China and Russia seek to weaken Europe and the USA, Mr. Mead sees that a stronger alliance is needed but instead the bond dissolves—with Macron, wishing to have like Charles de Gaulle before him, his own, this time European Force de Frappe`. Not long after Macron speaking of this dream, German chancellor Angela Merkel, too, exposed her ignorance of military matters and their reality, by echoing Macron’s pipe dream. The EU countries do not even spend 2% of GDP on defense, a fact remarked on by President Trump often. There is a danger for the Europeans with their loose talk about severance from NATO, for America might hold them to their words and disengage by stopping all funds for their defense.

Let me however, return to the topic of Post-nationalism. I disagree with Mr. Mead, who finds the root cause for post-nationalism way back in WWI. Perhaps some causes still harken back to this time, however, I believe that European elites, having successfully led the peoples of the EU like sheep, are now alarmed that patriotic nationalism is raising its unruly head.

In previous articles I forecast Mrs. Merkel’s loss as German Bundeskanzler because of her unmitigated hubris to flood the country with over a million of Islamic refugees without a plebiscite. The Germans are not the only ones staging a revolt. Prime minister Mrs. Theresa May is facing a vote of no-confidence and the loss for her position, for trying to negotiate Brexit in favor of the EU.

Poland, Hungary and the Czechs chafe under EU regulations depriving them of the national will.

I agree with Mr. Mead on the point that nationalism unifies ethnically and religiously divers people and is, therefore, a good thing. President Trump knows that—viscerally. Without nationalism nations fall apart. Just look at the tribalism tearing African nations apart, or the splitting of the Soviet Union after Glasnost.

Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer.

You can find her books on

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