Articles

The Virtue of Nationalism, by Yoram Hazony – A Review by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz

In The Virtue of Nationalism (New York: Basic Books, 2018), Israel’s leading right-Zionist intellectual Yoram Hazony has taken a forerunner of modern liberalism, John Locke (1632-1704), to task for the latter’s insufficiently commodious idea of a social contract. Individual freedom and voluntarism that aim to guarantee prosperity and private property are not the only formula for a sound political system. Loyalty trumps all that.

This is plain when we look at a basic social unit: the family. Despite the fact that we do not choose it voluntarily, and, instead, are born or adopted into it, every family is predicated on loyalty. One does not maintain family loyalty to gain economically, but, rather, to maintain our intergenerational and transgenerational solidarity. A set of families creates a clan, a tribe, and, ultimately, a nation. We exercise our solidarity within this framework. This happens not because we get paid, but because we are loyal to them.

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