Nationalism and the power to influence others

Will Wright

Social animals and Nationalism

Human beings are social animals. We are sociable animals. Many other animals are herd animals. Some predators are pack animals. Our closest primate relatives live in small groups of a dozen to twenty. Primitive and remote human beings often live in groups of about one-hundred-and-fifty – every individual knows every other individual. Hence Nationalism is a natural stage in our development.

Modern human beings live in cities and are connected to others across the world, by modern communication tools – if they want to be. We all influence each other. All the time. Whether we intend to or not. We might be genetically programmed to be in touch with a hundred-and-fifty people, our ‘tribe’, but we can be in touch with many more than that – if we want to be.

Christakis and Fowler

social networking and british nationalism

In a 2009 book, Connected – The Amazing Power of Social Networks and How they Shape Our Lives, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler argued that we influence each others’ attitudes and behaviour up to three people away from us, whether we know it or not. When they write of social networks, they are writing about ordinary human contact in the real world.

Isn’t that surprising? We influence people who we either do not know very well, or have never even met. Friends of friends of friends. But if that can, and does, happen unintentionally, then what if we consciously decide to influence others quite deliberately, and for a specific purpose? For a political cause, say.

Modern authoritarian states and Nationalism

Modern states are very powerful. Invariably they tend towards the suppression of genuine Nationalism. They have power over the lives of ordinary citizens. Authoritarian states control what information people have access to. Press and television are in the hands of a few. That elite can, and does, influence people’s opinions.

But it is naïve for anyone to imagine that ‘democratic’ states do not also do that. The internet, email, and social media, changed the possibilities. Things happened so quickly that the authorities did not realise the implications – until it was too late! No one has overall control of the internet. Anyone can influence others. And that includes British Nationalists.

But the emerging global elite is striving to gain the same level of control of the electronic media as it traditionally had over the press, radio, and television.

What is to be done by aspiring political radicals and would-be revolutionaries?

Why talking to each other is essential for Nationalism

If we accept that we all influence each other, then we can very actively and deliberately talk to lots of people. In person, on the telephone, by email and text message, by social media. The authorities, in a supposedly democratic country, cannot completely suppress that.

I suspect that something like this might have been partly responsible for the Brexit referendum result. That result was the opposite of what the Establishment wanted – but it happened. There is hope yet!

Intelligent British Nationalists should give some thought to how things might work out.

When two or more people talk, they might, or might not, be attempting to influence each other. But it seems obvious to me that the person who is better informed, on any subject, will influence the others more than they will influence him. That does not necessarily have to be phrased as “winning the argument”, although it could be.

Whoever is more certain will influence those who are less certain. Not necessarily the person who is actually right. But the one who is most convinced that he is right.

Perhaps that is why someone who is actively very left-wing might drag those who are more moderate left-wingers towards his point of view. Similarly, a committed British Nationalist might influence those who are non-political patriots, and maybe even recruit them to the cause.

But a thought occurs to me. If certainty is a big factor in influencing others, then could a loud-mouthed, but very certain, ignoramus influence those he speaks to? Yes! None of us want to be that ignoramus! We must know what we are talking about. We must know what we believe, and we must know in which direction we want to influence other people.

Two main tasks for British Nationalists

But here is a hopeful thought. If each of us knows a lot of people, and communicates with a lot of people, then we cannot really fail to influence them – to some extent. But we need to maximise that influence, and to steer it to where we want it to go. Learning to do that is an acquired skill.

We are all learning until the day that we die. Those of us who support British Nationalism need to learn two main things. We need to learn ideological information, and we need to learn how to get that information across to many others.

A propagandist has communication skills. But if he does not also know his message, then he is lost. Conversely, someone very knowledgeable about our ideology who cannot, or will not, communicate that information in an easily understood way, to many other people, is isolated and is wasting his time.

The good thing is that once you know what you want to say, and how to say it, then you have cracked the code! Ordinary people talking to other ordinary people has a ripple effect in society. People who you have not yet met will be influenced by you, and often, before you meet them.

My advice: get learning, get talking!

Copyright (c) 2023 Will Wright

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