On Wednesday, September 14, 2016, I spoke at the Tikvah Fund in New York on the subject “Nationalism and the Future of Western Freedom.” The distinguished historian and commentator on public affairs Walter Russell Mead offered a lively rebuttal, which was followed by an exchange between us moderated by Jonathan Silver.
In my comments, I argue that the question of nationalism has become the most consequential political struggle of our time. As brought vividly to the fore by the Brexit referendum in the UK and by Donald Trump’s candidacy for president in the United States, this is a political battle over whether the national order will continue to be based on a world of independent states—as has been the case in the West for 350 years—or whether liberalism is inaugurating a new era of empire.
This is a debate whose roots extend all the way back to the rejection of the idea of universal empire by the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, with their belief in the idea of an independent Israelite kingdom—a political conception whose enduring virtues would in time profoundly shape the emergence of the modern West.
What does biblical or Protestant nationalism have to do with Trump? With Brexit? With Israel and the Jews? With the Middle East? We go into all of these questions and more.
The video of my lecture is followed by two other videos—one of Mead’s response, and another recording the discussion between us.
Yoram Hazony: The Case for Nationalism
Walter Russell Mead Responds
Yoram Hazony and Walter Russell: A Conversation
Take a look at my essay, “Nationalism and the Future of Western Freedom”.