America could become a boiling cauldron of rampant nationalism

  Carlton Hayes (1882-1964) is one of the representative scholars of the “New History School” in the United States, the direct disciple of the master of the New History School James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936), and the Chinese historian Mr. Jiang Tingfu. doctoral dissertation advisor. He has been a professor of history at Columbia University since 1929, and was elected president of the American Historical Association in 1945. Many of his works were translated into Chinese during the Republic of China.
  We have to admit that tolerance—the spirit of “live and let others live”—is not a long-term quality and ideal for all.
  Whenever tolerance is apparent, it is associated with the delightful reasonableness of a few elites, or, more often, with the indifference, suspicion, or misgivings displayed by groups.
  Groups may be tolerant of things in which they have lost interest, but this is not to say that they are thus generally tolerant of matters of principle; at the same time they may be extremely intolerant of things in which they have had a major interest. Tolerance derived from indifference is a special kind of tolerance, which has only a distant and weak relation to the general tolerance that arises from rational belief.
  The prevailing idea is that the world is more tolerant today than it has ever been in the past. This idea is the result of a mixture of fact and imagination. The truth is: optimism about tolerance—as with everything—is a characteristic of the modern age; but it is illusory to think that all such optimism is justified.
  It is also probably true that some progress has indeed been made in improving the penalties and sentences imposed on victims of intolerance, and certain types of intolerance have been significantly reduced. Pagans no longer take pleasure in throwing Christians to lions. Catholics no longer burn heretics at the stake. Protestants no longer hang Catholics on the gallows or hang their bloodstained heads on flagpoles at city gates.
  But one assumption is pure fantasy: those who have become more tolerant of pagans or Christians, Protestants or Catholics, have become more tolerant of other things, especially those who have interests and feelings for them today important things are at stake. The object of intolerance has changed, but intolerance itself remains; as a result, while Christians and pagans have made some real strides in tolerance like this, countless others—even Christians and pagans— Little or no progress has been made in areas that are not Christian or pagan.
  In the first half of the twentieth century, nationalism was the vital interest of the vast majority: it was an emotional and moving interest. It is taught in schools, instilled through military training, preached in the media and pulpit, embodied in nation-states, symbolized by flags, and touches modern life—from cradle to grave.
  Nationalism is a creed believed in by the masses, a worship practiced by the masses. It is a novel expression of human idealism. It inspires noble deeds and heroic sacrifices. Sometimes it proves beyond doubt, beyond dissent, what could be more natural than that?
  We have seen that nationalism has spawned many wars—wars of national self-determination, territorial recapture, and imperialist wars—and it has fostered a new and particularly enduring form of militarism. National militarism and nationalist warfare are themselves closely related to intolerance. They are largely caused by the intolerance of one people towards another; with these processes and outcomes, they often consolidate and reinforce international intolerance.
  Taken together, national militarism and nationalism show the desire and impulse of one human group to annihilate another; however rational and ideal, they foreshadow a contemporary, popular intolerance, Essentially not dissimilar to the intolerance of Henry VIII’s time, the time of Torquemada, or the time of Nero.
  There is no doubt that modern international intolerance has far more victims on their account (owing or being owed) than ancient or medieval interreligious intolerance. To the nationalists, the systematic and mass extermination of foreigners is so honorable and beneficial that any reduction in this highest form of international intolerance is bound to provoke the saddest lament.
  As a nationalist professor put it: “War and the right to war are a property of mankind, which should be valued above religion, above industry, and above social welfare; there is a power in war that mankind values, To elevate life above life, to
  be in the grasp of the human spirit, to pursue ideals . As talented philosophers and professors have attested: “A victorious war can bring about a complete rebirth of a nation–moral vigor awakened, evil repressed, lives preserved, education flourished, sanitation spread, the nation rebuilt with science, Prosperity grows, temperance and self-discipline prevail, and family life expands in new abundance.”
  So, if we heed the admonitions of those who are most capable on behalf of nationalism, we should continually strengthen our national militarism, continually Waging a nationalist war and inevitably becoming increasingly intolerant of foreigners. It is almost impossible to pave the way of human progress in this direction, to sled of progress toward the goal of perfect health, happiness, and sanity.
  Yet the intolerance that accompanies international wars and national militarism is only one aspect of nationalist intolerance, albeit perhaps its most important. Other aspects appear to be related to the internal concerns of each nation-state.
  If, in times of international tension, nationalism encourages entire national groups or all citizens of a nation-state to form a united front and to display collective intolerance towards a foreign race or foreign country, then in all times nationalism always drives a Certain individuals or groups within an ethnic group take it for granted that they are the norm, 100 percent patriots of their own nation, and adopt an appropriate degree of targeted intolerance against their less gifted compatriots.
  Specialized internal intolerance of nationalism may not actually be nearly as catastrophic as collective external intolerance, but they are of varying significance and growing in proportion and require some scrutiny.
  There are many different levels and degrees of nationalist intolerance. In times of international wars, in times of modern nationalist “jihad”, the common people of one belligerent nation as a whole compete for intolerance with the populace of another nation-state. In times of “peace”, the educational process of individual nation-states serves to instill in the whole nation a hostility, at least latent, against everything “foreign” or “alien”.
  While most citizens of a nation-state—regardless of their politics, economics, race, and religion—are patriotic, even though they consider themselves “good citizens” and express a willingness to shed the last drop of blood in defense of their country , sometimes showing a collective intolerance to citizens of other nation-states, but there is a certain number of elite citizens who generally declare that they hold a higher level of patriotism, a supreme nationalism.