Nationalism = Beliefs

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Nationalism = Beliefs

As a newbie, I searched this voluminous forum for a discussion on that topic, is nationalism the same as irrational beliefs?  Couldn't find any...

 

I somewhat disagree with that and I'd like to write up a short story of the Catholic religion in Quebec, Canada, for discussion.

 

Quebec is where the church, for centuries, actually helped preserve against all odds the French Language, my mother tongue - the French were some of the first to really separate state and church in the 16Th century, a language providing lots of anti-clerical literature -  and how in the early nineteen sixties the church was evacuated quietly and almost totally  (la Révolution Tranquille), to make Quebec one of the most secular societies in North America, and a French-speaking one at that.

 

Anyone interested  ?

 

M.


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Nationalism can most

Nationalism can most certainly be harmful as the LTTE, SSNP, PFLP, PKK,  and of course the FLQ in none other than Quebec demostrate.


 

 

 


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Nationalism and Language

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Nationalism can most certainly be harmful as the LTTE, SSNP, PFLP, PKK,  and of course the FLQ in none other than Quebec demostrate.


 

 

 

 

 

Well, it depends on how important your Language is to you. 

 

Anglos often miss that point because their language is used all over the planet.  And it almost doesn't correspond to any nationality anymore.  If it wasn't for our local nationalism, I'd be unilingual English, and that would be a major loss, as French - from the first nation to promote separation of cult and state, and the first nation to elevate rationalism to almost statehood - provides brilliant litterarure on these matters.

 

And I'm not talking about History, of which every language has a slightly different version...

 

Michel


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mipoiss wrote: Well, it

mipoiss wrote:

 

Well, it depends on how important your Language is to you. 

 

Anglos often miss that point because their language is used all over the planet.  And it almost doesn't correspond to any nationality anymore.  If it wasn't for our local nationalism, I'd be unilingual English, and that would be a major loss, as French - from the first nation to promote separation of cult and state, and the first nation to elevate rationalism to almost statehood - provides brilliant litterarure on these matters.

 

And I'm not talking about History, of which every language has a slightly different version...

 

Michel

 

You're from Quebec I take it?

 

[edit]

 

And while I do support the French love of their language, I can't help but to think Lebanon's French roots, help fuel the nationalist terrorist groups there.

 

The point is not to take it too far.

 

[/edit]

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Far Enough

Far enough to keep the language alive.


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English-speaking Universe

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

.And while I do support the French love of their language, I can't help but to think Lebanon's French roots, help fuel the nationalist terrorist groups th

 

I wonder how that compares with the grand-scale imperialistic stronghold that the British brought upon in Africa, India and Pakistan, South-East Asia, and Quebec for that matter? 

And with all the social upheavals the English language is still currently fuelling in thousands of of cultures that are non-English speaking?

Mmmm....

 

Michel

 

 

 

 


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i wanna get in on this

i wanna get in on this topic, but i dare not say anything more, until some one else opens up the big can'o worms

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The claims you make about

The claims you make about your language are similar to claims I could make about the United States. While the language you know in some ways constrains the thoughts you can think, favoring a language because of history is as irrational as nationalism.

The history of a place such as Quebec may lend it a particular flavor. The observance of secularism due to history is fine, but isn't it better to remain secular because it's the right thing to do? After all, it's not just what you do, but why you do it, that is important. If you are doing it simply to honor tradition or because it's the way it's historically been done, you aren't being rational. And that counts no matter what language you speak.

Plus, French sounds like you're speaking with a mouthful of mud pie.

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French sounds like you're speaking with a mouthful of mud pie

nigelTheBold wrote:

The claims you make about your language are similar to claims I could make about the United States. While the language you know in some ways constrains the thoughts you can think, favoring a language because of history is as irrational as nationalism (1).

The history of a place such as Quebec may lend it a particular flavor. The observance of secularism due to history is fine, but isn't it better to remain secular because it's the right thing to do? (2) After all, it's not just what you do, but why you do it, that is important. If you are doing it simply to honor tradition or because it's the way it's historically been done, you aren't being rational. (3) And that counts no matter what language you speak.

Plus, French sounds like you're speaking with a mouthful of mud pie. (4)

 

1- I did not favor a language, it favored me. It shaped my thinking from the get-go.  History just contributed to French survival (against British invasion) in our neck of the woods.  Too bad that this bit of history involved a cult's agenda of control and manipulation. 

And that's also why, as soon as I could I learned another language - including with it another version of history for the same territory, it does give perspective - a language with which, I hope you'll agree, I'm not too bad at. BTW, one of my sons speaks fluently 9 or 10 languages, it generates great envy in me and his worldview (roughly: humanist, atheist and skeptic) is very interesting to discuss. I suggest you learn more science about language and thinking. 

2- Sometimes you will discover that it was the-right-thing-to-do after the fact, in hindsight. No matter how you get to that point, if you do get there you are right, the real question is to maintain that stance and the reasons you are doing it for.  Thanks to those rational roots implanted in our french brains, we (as a society) were lucky enough to get rid of that cult as fast as we could - in the late 50's.

3- I'm not honoring a tradition or defending the notion that history is the only reason to become secular.  I came to this atheistic rationalist position after about 30 years of personal research into the odd, the extraordinary claims, the strange, the invisible, the spiritual, the religious, the miraculous, the coincidences, the superstitious...name it.  Found no evidence.  Irrational?

4- That is a stupid comment Nigel.  How for that matter does Chinese, Hindi or Spanish sound to your sophisticated ear? I'd like to read your opinion on these too. You should at least remain polite, unless of course you sincerely believe politeness to be irrational.  And I wonder what you English accent's like.

I don't know where you are from (somewhere U.S.A. I presume - didn't do any research on you yet) or how many languages you speak, or how in your particular case, history, genealogy and past cultural influences shaped you (or not) and brought you here, but I hope you at least appreciate the fact that we are discussing in English.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

The point I'm trying to bring forward is: yes nationalism is a belief, based incompletely on the many obvious differences with the neighbors - specially when also conquerors - and tons of built-up prejudices over years - thus the importance of an historical angle.  And that worse, in our Québec case, this situation was maintained for more than 200 years by a rabid-mad cult of greedy missionaries.

But also that ironically this sorry conjuncture involving preservation of a language managed to produce a society that got rid  - I'd say elegantly - of that cult's influence, thus helping bring about an early climate where modern atheism could take roots.

I wanted to examine these ideas and see if something similar happened to other members of RRS.

 

Michel


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mipoiss wrote:nigelTheBold

mipoiss wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:


Plus, French sounds like you're speaking with a mouthful of mud pie. (4)

 4- That is a stupid comment Nigel.  How for that matter does Chinese, Hindi or Spanish sound to your sophisticated ear? I'd like to read your opinion on these too. You should at least remain polite, unless of course you sincerely believe politeness to be irrational.  And I wonder what you English accent's like.

I don't know where you are from (somewhere U.S.A. I presume - didn't do any reasearch on you yet) or how many languages you speak, or how in your particular case, history, genealogy and past cultural influences shaped you (or not) and brought you here, but I hope you at least appreciate the fact that we are discussing in English.

Sorry, man. I thought it was obvious it was a joke, after talking about the whole nationalism / language thing (and admitting from the get-go that a language contributes to the available territories of our thoughts). I meant it as a light-hearted ironic comment designed to illustrate how language and nationalism are tied together. I actually rather enjoy the sound of the French language.

As for other languages: I have learned Russian and German, though I can't say I'd speak them well, through lack of use over the years. I am attempting to learn Thai, as I have business dealings in Thailand, but it's a tough language.

In any case: I apologize. I did not mean it to offend.

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Be my guest, someone already did.

Be my guest, someone already did.

 

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Relax dude, French isn't

Relax dude, French isn't going anywhere

 

http://www.fll.vt.edu/French/francophonie.html

 

Countries where French is a national language:

 

    Belgium
    Benin
    Burkina-Faso
    Burundi
    Cameroon
    Canada
    Central African Republic
    Chad
    Comoros
    Democratic Republic of Congo
    Djibouti
    France
    Gabon
    Guinea
    Haiti
    Ivory Coast
    Luxembourg
    Madagascar
    Mali
    Monaco
    Niger
    Republic of Congo
    Rwanda
    Senegal
    Seychelles
    Switzerland
    Togo
    Vanuatu

Other member states of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF):
    Bulgaria
    Cambodia
    Cape Verde
    Dominica
    Egypt
    Equitorial Guinea
    Guinea-Bissau
    Laos
    Lebanon
    Morocco
    Mauritania
    Mauritius
    Moldova
    Romania
    Saint-Lucia
    Sao-Tomé et Principe
    Tunisia
    Vietnam
Associate states:

 

    Albania
    Andorra
    Greece
    Macedonia

Observer states:

 

Armenia


Austria


Croatia


Czech Republic


Georgia


Hungary


Lithuania


Poland


Slovakia


Slovenia


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French Not Going Anywhere

Oh I'm very relaxed about that since I speak read and write French - so I'm OK, Thanks. 

We fixed that (as well as religion) on a national level, and for now French and secularism are pretty safe in Quebec.

 

I was not defending French, but proposing another perspective on nationalism.à

We'll just forget it.

 

M.

 

 

 


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Personally, I've always

Personally, I've always thought attempts to preserve languages were ridiculous and impossible. No offense, of course, but the fact of the matter is that no language can survive a year without being modified. And that's if it's being used in a single village with a population of 20 or less that has no contact with anyone or anything foreign to it. People make words up, daily. Languages change, daily. Accents change, words are invented, words are put into the grave; daily. English today in Kingston, Ontario, Canada is almost completely incomparable to English 200 years ago in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The same goes for French. In fact, French is an even greater example, as someone speaking Quebec French isn't going to even completely understand someone speaking French French, and vice versa.

Hence, the attempts by Quebec to preserve the French language have always appeared to me to be the absolute dumbest of their reasons for trying to seperate. On a scale that is impossible to compare with anything short of trying to stop something from crossing the event horizon of a black hole after its already crossed the event horizon of a black hole.

And before someone goes off saying crap about English, let me agree ahead of time. It's a pathetic language, and debate on religion as well as other subjects has proven that to me too many times to count. But its a language I know better than most do, and I've little interest in going to the trouble of learning new languages after all the time I put into learning this one (and the 30 years I've put in haven't ended yet, by any stretch).

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French

Vastet wrote:

Personally, I've always thought attempts to preserve languages were ridiculous and impossible. No offense, of course, but the fact of the matter is that no language can survive a year without being modified. And that's if it's being used in a single village with a population of 20 or less that has no contact with anyone or anything foreign to it. People make words up, daily. Languages change, daily. Accents change, words are invented, words are put into the grave; daily. English today in Kingston, Ontario, Canada is almost completely incomparable to English 200 years ago in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The same goes for French. In fact, French is an even greater example, as someone speaking Quebec French isn't going to even completely understand someone speaking French French, and vice versa.

Hence, the attempts by Quebec to preserve the French language have always appeared to me to be the absolute dumbest of their reasons for trying to seperate. On a scale that is impossible to compare with anything short of trying to stop something from crossing the event horizon of a black hole after its already crossed the event horizon of a black hole.

And before someone goes off saying crap about English, let me agree ahead of time. It's a pathetic language, and debate on religion as well as other subjects has proven that to me too many times to count. But its a language I know better than most do, and I've little interest in going to the trouble of learning new languages after all the time I put into learning this one (and the 30 years I've put in haven't ended yet, by any stretch).

 

First, I'm glad you see there are also other reasons to separate.

But let me assure you, language is not as dumb a reason as you think.  Sure languages change, all the time, they are functions of living things - they ought to.  I'm 10th generation here, I'm pretty certain I wouldn't understand more than 30% of what the original Poisson in 1620 would have uttered - and that's because I learned some Medieval French as a student.  But languages encapsulate much more than just prejudices or differences.

Language shapes your thinking.  If you're started in French, you are French, man - there's no other way about it . 

You think in French. If you don't know anything else, you'll learn from French scientists, philosophers and witers.  Which is - and I know because I'm lucky enough to be fluent in both English and French - quite a different worldview from the English one.  Plus all your opinions will be on things of interest that are local first, which in our case happens in French.  How you become a social being will also be with local people first, again, here, only in French.

Language is but one constituent of nationalism - the tendency to hang out with buddies similar to you, that you understand.  How about a whole culture ? I don't think a nation is like a sect, or just a belief.  It has to do with language, culture and territory.  Your language happens to be all over the place, ours is confined to a little region. We have borders close by, you have to walk up to Mexico or Quebec to find one.  You might therefore not see that it counts.

But even though English is quite the bastardised language, it is clearly superior, as it seems to be gaining all over Earth.  Survival of the fittest.  And I must add, for the last 20 years I've only read English writers as I'm a SciFi litt fan and I think the French are lousy at that.  Worse, I like the Brits best.

And as proud a Quebecois as I am, I use English to communicate with the rest of the world. 

Michel

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

 

Countries where French is a national language:

 

    Canada

 

 

Not if you ask most Canadians.

They won't understand the question in French!

 

Michel


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Vastet
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mipoiss wrote:Vastet

mipoiss wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Personally, I've always thought attempts to preserve languages were ridiculous and impossible. No offense, of course, but the fact of the matter is that no language can survive a year without being modified. And that's if it's being used in a single village with a population of 20 or less that has no contact with anyone or anything foreign to it. People make words up, daily. Languages change, daily. Accents change, words are invented, words are put into the grave; daily. English today in Kingston, Ontario, Canada is almost completely incomparable to English 200 years ago in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The same goes for French. In fact, French is an even greater example, as someone speaking Quebec French isn't going to even completely understand someone speaking French French, and vice versa.

Hence, the attempts by Quebec to preserve the French language have always appeared to me to be the absolute dumbest of their reasons for trying to seperate. On a scale that is impossible to compare with anything short of trying to stop something from crossing the event horizon of a black hole after its already crossed the event horizon of a black hole.

And before someone goes off saying crap about English, let me agree ahead of time. It's a pathetic language, and debate on religion as well as other subjects has proven that to me too many times to count. But its a language I know better than most do, and I've little interest in going to the trouble of learning new languages after all the time I put into learning this one (and the 30 years I've put in haven't ended yet, by any stretch).

 

First, I'm glad you see there are also other reasons to separate.

But let me assure you, language is not as dumb a reason as you think.  Sure languages change, all the time, they are functions of living things - they ought to.  I'm 10th generation here, I'm pretty certain I wouldn't understand more than 30% of what the original Poisson in 1620 would have uttered - and that's because I learned some Medieval French as a student.  But languages encapsulate much more than just prejudices or differences.

Language shapes your thinking.  If you're started in French, you are French, man - there's no other way about it . 

You think in French. If you don't know anything else, you'll learn from French scientists, philosophers and witers.  Which is - and I know because I'm lucky enough to be fluent in both English and French - quite a different worldview from the English one.  Plus all your opinions will be on things of interest that are local first, which in our case happens in French.  How you become a social being will also be with local people first, again, here, only in French.

Language is but one constituent of nationalism - the tendency to hang out with buddies similar to you, that you understand.  How about a whole culture ? I don't think a nation is like a sect, or just a belief.  It has to do with language, culture and territory.  Your language happens to be all over the place, ours is confined to a little region. We have borders close by, you have to walk up to Mexico or Quebec to find one.  You might therefore not see that it counts.

But even though English is quite the bastardised language, it is clearly superior, as it seems to be gaining all over Earth.  Survival of the fittest.  And I must add, for the last 20 years I've only read English writers as I'm a SciFi litt fan and I think the French are lousy at that.  Worse, I like the Brits best.

And as proud a Quebecois as I am, I use English to communicate with the rest of the world. 

Michel

I agree with almost all of this, though I'm not sure any language is truly superior to another. A language may be superior to another in a certain context, but can it be superior in general?

The thing that pisses me off the most about Quebec is that they force French on everyone and disallow every other language. That's not preservation, that's oppression. Especially when I look at New Brunswick or Ottawa, places that are truly bilingual.

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Vastet wrote: I agree with

Vastet wrote:

 

I agree with almost all of this, though I'm not sure any language is truly superior to another. A language may be superior to another in a certain context, but can it be superior in general?

The thing that pisses me off the most about Quebec is that they force French on everyone and disallow every other language. That's not preservation, that's oppression. Especially when I look at New Brunswick or Ottawa, places that are truly bilingual.

 

Québec in NOT bilingual, - on paper it is  of course like the rest of Canada - but about 80% of the people don't speak or understand English like the ROC that don't speak a word of french (BTW do you?) .  French is enforced on public signeage, corporate communications, and such.  But English is absolutely not Verboten.

As far as individuals? There is a thriving English cultural scene in Montreal (Simple Plan, The Deers, Leonard Cohen, Mordecai Richler...and big coprporations that operate in English for international trade and internally because many employees are English like Softimage, Autodesk, Ubisoft). Plus everything west of Boul St. Laurent (splits Montreal in two - my favorite bookstores are there) happens in English.... And the last separatist terrorist mentionned above was arrested in the early 70s, and they were all marxists to top it off.

 

I'm sorry that this situation pisses you off. You should come to Montreal one day...

 

And I want to add in the context of the beliefs=nationalism question: YES for a lot of people here there is a Mythical Quebec belief that they want to bring into reality, a dream which does qualify as a kind of faith, a fantasy, so the equation is partially true for some of us.  I'm much more pragmatic than that however, feel  more like a North Anerican than a Canadian, and I think more globally, but I'm fundamentally French, all bilingual that I am.

 

Michel


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Vastet
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mipoiss wrote:Vastet

mipoiss wrote:

Vastet wrote:

 

I agree with almost all of this, though I'm not sure any language is truly superior to another. A language may be superior to another in a certain context, but can it be superior in general?

The thing that pisses me off the most about Quebec is that they force French on everyone and disallow every other language. That's not preservation, that's oppression. Especially when I look at New Brunswick or Ottawa, places that are truly bilingual.

 

Québec in NOT bilingual,

But it should be. Sticking out tongue

mipoiss wrote:

- on paper it is  of course like the rest of Canada - but about 80% of the people don't speak or understand English like the ROC that don't speak a word of french (BTW do you?) .

Je ne parle pas Francais. That's about 30% of my french vocabulary. lol. I used to be better versed in it, but 15 years of no practice at all has eroded it to practically nothing.

mipoiss wrote:
  French is enforced on public signeage, corporate communications, and such.  But English is absolutely not Verboten.

It effectively is forbidden. Anything in English must be smaller than French by a significantly large ratio, and must be accompanied by French. Nowhere else in Canada is such a ridiculous law applied. As an example: China town in Vancouver and Edmonton and Toronto and Halifax are all the same. But in Quebec, it's French China town.

mipoiss wrote:

As far as individuals? There is a thriving English cultural scene in Montreal (Simple Plan, The Deers, Leonard Cohen, Mordecai Richler...and big coprporations that operate in English for international trade and internally because many employees are English like Softimage, Autodesk, Ubisoft).

 Plus everything west of Boul St. Laurent (splits Montreal in two - my favorite bookstores are there) happens in English.... And the last separatist terrorist mentionned above was arrested in the early 70s, and they were all marxists to top it off.

Which is why Quebec should be bilingual. Eye-wink

Incidentally, it wasn't my intention to bring up the FLQ. I don't think of them as Quebecors, I think of them as traitors to both Quebec and Canada.

mipoiss wrote:
 

I'm sorry that this situation pisses you off. You should come to Montreal one day...

Been there a few times. It's a nice city. Crazy drivers, but 10 steps up from those in Toronto. Probably because they aren't all drunk and cracked out like Toronto drivers are. lol.

 

mipoiss wrote:

And I want to add in the context of the beliefs=nationalism question: YES for a lot of people here there is a Mythical Quebec belief that they want to bring into reality, a dream which does qualify as a kind of faith, a fantasy, so the equation is partially true for some of us.  I'm much more pragmatic than that however, feel  more like a North Anerican than a Canadian, and I think more globally, but I'm fundamentally French, all bilingual that I am.

 

Michel

Personally I'd rather we all be friends. If Quebec were ever to leave, Alberta would soon follow, probably Newfoundland as well, and then Canada would simply dissolve. Then the US would absorb all of us. Pity so few in Quebec realize that they have it infinitely better now than they could with what they hope to achieve.

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The only important thing

The only important thing about language (and computer operating systems) is you speak the same one as the people you need to communicate with.

I speak English as do most the people in the country I live in (UK) as do most the people I communicate with on the Internet (which includes most Europeans, North/South America, Australasia, India (middle classes) and even those in the Middle East.

There have been a few occassions when it hasnt been sufficient usually when on holiday or a few times when working abroad but my 1st language is not a major part of who I am.

I know this because culturally and politically  I'm closer to a French, German , Swede etc who may not even speak my language compared to probably the most Americans (even atheist ones)

 


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Many important things

mrjonno wrote:

The only important thing about language (and computer operating systems) is you speak the same one as the people you need to communicate with.

Yes language is used for communication with others, once you have completely integrated it into thoughts and ideas. As far as I'm concerned, I think a lot more than I communicate.

 

 

mrjonno wrote:

 I speak English as do most the people in the country I live in (UK) as do most the people I communicate with on the Internet (which includes most Europeans, North/South America, Australasia, India (middle classes) and even those in the Middle East.

Same here, except I had to learn pretty thoroughly another language to do so.  The reach of English is so planetary while French is limited to a short list of countries (above).  I even exchange with other french-speaking persons in English over the web.

 

 

mrjonno wrote:

There have been a few occassions when it hasnt been sufficient usually when on holiday or a few times when working abroad but my 1st language is not a major part of who I am.

I know this because culturally and politically  I'm closer to a French, German , Swede etc who may not even speak my language compared to probably the most Americans (even atheist ones)

That's something I don't understand, as for me early learning, communicating and thinking in French has made me what I am.  And I am a slightly different person when I use English.  But in a way, like you, I'm culturally closer to the US and even Mexico than I might from a European.  Luckily though I also have my French connection, and my affection for British writers...

 

 

Michel


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Sorry, but if I have to

Sorry, but if I have to learn French until grade 9, then the Quebec students should have to learn English until grade 9.

 

 

 


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Stupid law

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Sorry, but if I have to learn French until grade 9, then the Quebec students should have to learn English until grade 9.

 

Don't need to be sorry because they do learn English, recently from grade 2, I believe. (I started in grade 4 eons ago).  And for us it's a good thing - opens up the world).

Forcing you blokes to learn French , with very little chance to use it afterwards, in a country that's 75% English (counting Quebec of course, about 90% if you don't&nbspEye-wink - is a stupid law, in my opinion.  Spanish would be a better bet.

Very interesting discussion Cpt_pineapple!

Probably a bit too Canadian for a US forum, but hey! we stumbled upon each other so....

 

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nigelTheBold wrote:.Sorry,

nigelTheBold wrote:

.Sorry, man. I thought it was obvious it was a joke, after talking about the whole nationalism / language thing (and admitting from the get-go that a language contributes to the available territories of our thoughts). I meant it as a light-hearted ironic comment designed to illustrate how language and nationalism are tied together. I actually rather enjoy the sound of the French language.

They are tied together with loads of other factors.  I thought it could have been a (not very funny) joke, but as I'm not a gambler even if i think everything is probalistic, I opted to take it seriously.

 

 

nigelTheBold wrote:

As for other languages: I have learned Russian and German, though I can't say I'd speak them well, through lack of use over the years. I am attempting to learn Thai, as I have business dealings in Thailand, but it's a tough language.

 

Thai! - wow, it is like most Asian languages very tough for our type of minds, good luck with it. 

Now I have a question for you Nigel,  what do you make of imagination in your rational stance ?

 

nigelTheBold wrote:

In any case: I apologize. I did not mean it to offend.

 

No problem.

 

Michel


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The point I was trying to

The point I was trying to make out about language is while its important its not important as the rest of the culture you were brought up and your general level of education.

 

The political differences between France, Germany, French speaking  Canada , English speaking Canada, the UK  etc are utterly trivial compared to say that of Canada and the US for most people.

The countries  I've mentioned on that list will have populations that have a 99.9% political support for universal healthcare, doesnt matter if they are 'right wing' ,'left wing', theists , atheists, racists , non-racists. Having universal health care is no more of debating point on whether we have an army or not (people will of course disagree on how much is spent on defence).

Of course you could be way of the main stream but I know for a fact in the UK there is not one political party from the marxist political parties to openly fascist ones that are against universal health care (well the fascists might shoot a few people before they treat them).

 

Come to the conclusion that you can only ever really understand the politics of your own country is by emmigrating

 

 


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I see your point

Yes countries have often a lot cultural and social similarities that go beyond language, universal health-care being a great example. Another issue separating a lot of countries from the USA for example is universal guns... I cannot count the number of Canadians, their next door neighbors, that are appalled at the Americans attitude towards gun ownership, how ingrained it seems to be in their mentality.  Our closeness with them however, permeates our Canadian lives: media, common products, heavy trade, English and all.

But that goes for countries which in most cases supersede languages and nations.  In many countries however closer national concerns tickle people's fancy and these are often linked with language AND religious beliefs, my original question.

Canada, Belgium, Ireland, multiple African countries, the Balkans and the Palestine region, and if you talk to some Scotts or Welshes, the UK, are made up of multiple nations, or at least of people who view themselves as members of a nation.  Have you been to India ? Nations want to become countries while religions (and other even more fantastical beliefs) usually want to take over the world.


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You do actually get national

You do actually get national movements where all parties speak the same language (England Scotland), (most of the former Jugoslavia), Czechslovakia.

I think the problem with independenace movements is when two nations seperate they may appear to have more independance but the reality is they just get more dominated by their large neighbours. I would far rather be part of a large federation with some compromises in soverignty than to be a small nation alone.

That isnt to say I dont agree with the right to self determination but the practical consequences need to be considered. I'm sure the American states have the same problem, does Texas really have that much in common with New York?


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Independance

mrjonno wrote:

You do actually get national movements where all parties speak the same language (England Scotland), (most of the former Jugoslavia), Czechslovakia.

I think the problem with independenace movements is when two nations seperate they may appear to have more independance but the reality is they just get more dominated by their large neighbours. I would far rather be part of a large federation with some compromises in soverignty than to be a small nation alone.

That isnt to say I dont agree with the right to self determination but the practical consequences need to be considered. I'm sure the American states have the same problem, does Texas really have that much in common with New York?

 

Indeed, language is only part of some of these "national" situations - not all nationalims have the problem, as you mention.  And within the English speaking universe, sometimes it is the accent that will separate groups or nations.

And again you are right about appearance of sovereingty, it is not very real in a global context.  Weighing all the parameters is required, but as a member of a minority, I can assure you that local issues add a lot of "mass" to the equation.

Also true for Texas and New-York, but many non-urban folks in both states hold similar views on all sorts of  fundamental topics. 

Oddly, as a Quebecois, I found in Louisiana, specially in N'Awlins and surrounding counties, a lot of similitudes with my own culture...  I'm personally fond of our New Brunswick Acadians, (and they like Louisiana's odd-French-speaking Cajuns, Acadians mostly speak what we call Shiak, a horrendous but very refreshing blend of French and English) and both Cajuns and Acadians share a lot of culture and common history.

 

 

 


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 I think nationalism can be

 I think nationalism can be a good thing, but also a very bad thing.  Of course you get different types of nationalism. You get political nationalism, cultural nationalism, expansionist nationalism, anti colonial nationalism and may more. The problem with it it can cause a Us and them mentality. This can cause problems. However it is a binding force in my view witch can do some very good things. The apartied resistance had a form of nationalism, anti colonial nationalism. However the apartheid government was started by Afrikaaner nationalism. There are to sides to this coin. So it's not so much that nationalism is a bad thing but more a vechile that serves certian intrests. they can be good or bad. The reason aparthied came into existance was because the government wanted to protect there culture. That in it's self wasn't a bad thing, but the method used was bad. But the method wasn't caused by nationalism so I cannot see nationalism as strictly a bad thing. Btw I belive nationalism normally arises up of the desire to protect something, what is irrational about protecting something you care about?

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Diversity is a good thing

Diversity is a good thing however  whatever good intentions people have nationalism in reality always means looking down on others. It ends up being defined by what its against not what its for. Nationalism almost by definition means switching the brain of and supporting your country right or wrong.

I'm lucky to live in a liberal democracy (UK)  it has its flaws but the society in which I live in on balance does more good things than it does bad. However there is nothing unique about the values of the UK nothing unique about the values of any country.

 

I also refuse to be proud (or ashamed) of something I did not create but just happened to be born in. I take pride/shame in my personal actions not in an artifical construct that is a country