Nationalism, Migration and Hospitality

What is a nation?

“Two men are of the same nation if and only if they share the same culture, where culture in turn means a system of ideas and signs and associations and ways of behaving and communicating.”

Ernest André Gellner (1925 – 1995)

Sverd i fjell

Fritz Røed
“Sverd i fjell”

(English: Swords in Rock) is a commemorative monument located in the county of Hafrsfjord, in Madla, city of Stavanger, Norway. The monument was created by sculptor Fritz Røed and was unveiled by king Olav V of Norway in 1983. The three swords stand 10 metres tall and are planted into the rock of a small hill next to the fjord. They commemorate the historic Battle of Hafrsfjord that took place there in the year 872, when King Harald Fairhair gathered all of Norway under one crown.

Keep thy eyes about thee when thou enterest
be wary alway, be watchful alway,
for one never knoweth when need will be
to meet hidden foe in the hall.

All hail to the givers! A guest hath come
say where shall he sit?
In haste is he to the hall who cometh
to find a place by the fire.

The warmth seeketh who hath wandered long
and is numb about the knees;
meat and dry clothes the man needeth
over the fells who hath fared.

The Words of Odin the High One
(Lee M. Hollander translation, 1928)


Hospitality, one of the old noble virtues of Åsatru,  is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home. This is not the same as giving out all your worldly possessions to anyone who comes by a begging. It is the concept of sharing, which is reciprocated by all True folk when they have you as a guest in their homes. It is important to establish and reaffirm the bonds of friendship, and kinship that Hospitality is observed. Hospitality is a virtue that all true Asa-folk take very seriously. When a guest comes into your home, offer him or her a drink and something to eat. Work hard to make your guests feel comfortable. The virtue of hospitality was very important in almost every ancient society, and as the Gods of Åsatru are known to go wandering about Midgard in human guise, you will never know who that guest really is…

We rely on the strengths and love that are forged by blood and oath… We must be ready and willing to lend help and assistance where we can, when it is needed.

Hospitality for our ancient ancestors was not just a virtue, but a necessity. Traveling long distances was often dangerous, and to ensure free trade and communications, the Elder Heathens opened their homes not only to friends, but also to strangers. Certain common courtesies bound both guest and host. The host provided a warm place to stay and something to eat, and even loaned dry clothes. The guest was expected not to eat too much, to provide entertainment (in the form of songs, tales, or news), and sometimes he gave small trinkets as gifts.


Fire is needed by the newcomer
Whose knees are frozen numb;
Meat and clean linen a man needs
Who has fared across the fells,

Water, too, that he may wash before eating,
Hand cloth’s and a hearty welcome,
Courteous words, then courteous silence
That he may tell his tale.

A person who is respectful towards his land, civilization and language, attains greatness and he acquires all the happiness of life. His deeds should be such that makes the motherland, the culture and language proud…

Rig Veda


My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country,
not to its institutions or its office-holders.

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
“A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, 1889)”

Romantic nationalism, (organic nationalism, identity nationalism) is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs. This includes, depending on the particular manner of practice, the language, race, culture, religion, and customs of the “nation” in its primal sense of those who were “born” within its culture. This form of nationalism arose in reaction to dynastic or imperial hegemony, which assessed the legitimacy of the state from the “top down”, emanating from a monarch or other authority, which justified its existence. Such downward-radiating power might ultimately derive from a god or gods.

Christian Skredsvig - "Idyll"

Christian Skredsvig (1854 – 1924)

The ideas of Rousseau (1712-1778) and of Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803) inspired much early Romantic nationalism in Europe. In 1784 Herder argued that geography formed the natural economy of a people, and that their customs and society would develop along the lines that their basic environment favored.

From its beginnings in the late 18th century, romantic nationalism has relied upon the existence of a historical ethnic culture which meets the romantic ideal; folklore developed as a romantic nationalist concept.

Romantic nationalism formed a key strand in the philosophy of Hegel (1770-1831), who argued that there was a “spirit of the age” or zeitgeist that inhabited a particular people at a particular time, and that, when that people became the active determiner of history, it was simply because their cultural and political moment had come.

Kristian Krogh - "Hardt le"

Christian Krogh (1852 – 1925)
“Hardt le”

Norwegian romantic nationalism (Nasjonalromantikken) was a movement in Norway between 1840 and 1867 in art, literature, and popular culture that emphasized the aesthetics of Norwegian nature and the uniqueness of the Norwegian national identity. A subject of much study and debate in Norway, it was characterized by nostalgia.

The context and impact of Norwegian romantic nationalism derived from recent history and the political situation. After more than 400 years as a Danish province treated as a cultural backwater by the absentee government in Copenhagen, the only uniquely Norwegian culture was found among the farmers and peasants in rural districts in Norway; Norway had in 1814 gained a partial independence in a personal union with the dominant kingdom of Sweden.

Knud Bergslien - "Birkebeinerne"

Knud Bergslien (1827 – 1908)

The National Anthem of Norway, Ja, vi elsker dette landet (Yes, we love this country) was written by romantic nationalist poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, with the music composed by his cousin Rikard Nordraak. Although Ja, vi elsker has a total of eight verses, only verses one, seven and eight are normally sung. The lyrics speak of the wars, struggles and significant historical events that formed the country from the Viking age until the 19th century. Most people are only expected to know the first and last two verses as they speak less about detailed history and focus more on the Norwegians’ love and devotion to their country. The three most common verses of Ja, vi elsker has also been translated into English and is sung by descendants of Norwegian immigrants in the United States.

Yes, we love with fond devotion
This our land that looms
Rugged, storm-scarred o’er the ocean
With her thousand homes.
Love her, in our love recalling
Those who gave us birth.
And old tales which night, in falling,
Brings as dreams to earth.

Norsemen whatsoe’er thy station,
Thank thy God whose power
willed and wrought the land’s salvation
In her darkest hour.
All our mothers sought with weeping
And our sires in fight,
God has fashioned in His keeping
Till we gained our right.

Yes, we love with fond devotion
This our land that looms
Rugged, storm-scarred o’er the ocean
With her thousand homes.
And, as warrior sires have made her
Wealth and fame increase,
At the call we too will aid her
Armed to guard her peace.

A homeland is the concept of the place (cultural geography) with which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association – the country in which a particular national identity began.

As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one’s origin. When used as a proper noun, the word, as well as its equivalents in other languages, often have ethnic nationalist connotations. A homeland may also be referred to as a fatherland, a motherland, or a mother country, depending on the culture and language of the nationality in question.

Fatherland is the nation of one’s forefathers. It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations. The term fatherland (Vaterland) is used throughout German-speaking Europe, as well as in Dutch.

Because of the use of Vaterland in Nazi-German war propaganda, the term “Fatherland” in English has become associated with domestic British and American anti-Nazi propaganda during World War II. This is not the case in Germany itself, where the word remains used in the usual patriotic contexts.

“What is a Nation?” (Qu’est-ce qu’une nation?) is an 1882 lecture by French historian Ernest Renan (1823–1892). Renan believed that nations developed from the common needs of the people, who consisted of different social groups seeking a “collective identity”. He concludes that a nation is:

“…a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which are really one, constitute this soul and spiritual principle. One is in the past, the other, the present. One is the possession in common of a rich trove of memories; the other is actual consent, the desire to live together, the will to continue to value the undivided, shared heritage….To have had glorious moments in common in the past, a common will in the present, to have done great things together and to wish to do more, those are the essential conditions for a people. We love the nation in proportion to the sacrifices to which we consented, the harms that we suffered.”

In a 1995 book, “For Love of Country: an essay on patriotism and nationalism”, Maurizio Viroli called Renan’s essay “the most influential late nineteenth-century interpretation of the meaning of nation”, because of its focus on the “spiritual principle” as opposed to race, religion or geography.

Ernest André Gellner (1925 – 1995) was one of the most important scholars of nationalism. His book, “Nations and Nationalism” (1983) remains one of the most important books in the field.

Ernest GellnerErnest Gellner defining “nation”:

“Two men are of the same nation if and only if they share the same culture, where culture in turn means a system of ideas and signs and associations and ways of behaving and communicating.”

“Two men are of the same nation if and only if they recognize each other as belonging to the same nation. In other words, nations maketh man; nations are the artefacts of men’s convictions and loyalties and solidarities. A mere category of persons (say, occupants of a given territory, or speakers of a given language, for example) becomes a nation if and when the members of the category firmly recognize certain mutual rights and duties to each other in virtue of their shared membership of it. It is their recognition of each other as fellows of this kind which turns them into a nation, and not the other shared attributes, whatever they might be, which separate that category from non- members.”

Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the “nation” is defined in terms of ethnicity. The central theme of ethnic nationalists is that “nations are defined by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry”. It also includes ideas of a culture shared between members of the group, and with their ancestors, and usually a shared language. Herodotus is the first who stated the main characteristics of ethnicity, with his famous account of what defines Greek identity, where he lists:

  • kinship (Greek: ὅμαιμον, homaimon, “of the same blood”),
  • language (Greek: ὁμόγλωσσον, homoglōsson, “speaking the same language”),
  • cults and customs (Greek: ὁμότροπον, homotropon, “of the same habits or life”)

In scholarly literature, ethnic nationalism is usually contrasted with civic nationalism. Ethnic nationalism bases membership of the nation on descent or heredity, often articulated in terms of common blood or kinship rather than on political membership. Hence, nation-states with strong traditions of ethnic nationalism tend to define nationality or citizenship by “jus sanguinis” (the law of blood, descent from a person of that nationality) while countries with strong traditions of civic nationalism tend to define nationality or citizenship by “jus soli” (the law of soil, birth within the nation-state). Ethnic nationalism is therefore seen as exclusive, while civic nationalism tends to be inclusive. Rather than allegiance to common civic ideals and cultural traditions, then, ethnic nationalism tends to emphasise narratives of common descent.

Ethnic nationalism is also present in many states’ immigration policies in the form of repatriation laws. States such as Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Turkey provide automatic or rapid citizenship to members of diasporas of their own dominant ethnic group, if desired. For example Israel’s Law of Return, grants every Jew the right to settle in Israel and automatically acquire citizenship.

In Germany, citizenship is open to ethnic Germans. According to the Greek nationality law, Greeks born abroad may transmit citizenship to their children from generation to generation indefinitely.

On the other hand, civic nationalism defines membership as an individual’s duty to observe given laws and in turn receive legal privileges.

We won’t save refugees by destroying our own country

Peteer Hitchens“Actually we can’t do what we like with this country. We inherited it from our parents and grandparents and we have a duty to hand it on to our children and grandchildren, preferably improved and certainly undamaged. 

It is one of the heaviest responsibilities we will ever have. We cannot just give it away to complete strangers on an impulse because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Every one of the posturing notables simpering “refugees welcome” should be asked if he or she will take a refugee family into his or her home for an indefinite period, and pay for their food, medical treatment and education. 

If so, they mean it. If not, they are merely demanding that others pay and make room so that they can experience a self-righteous glow. Thanks to a thousand years of uninvaded peace, we have developed astonishing levels of trust, safety and freedom. I am amazed at how relaxed we are about giving this away. Our advantages depend very much on our shared past, our inherited traditions, habits and memories. Newcomers can learn them, but only if they come in small enough numbers. Mass immigration means we adapt to them, when they should be adapting to us.

I am not unmoved by pictures of a dead child on a Turkish beach. But I am not going to pretend to be more upset than anyone else. Nor am I going to suddenly stop thinking, as so many people in the media and politics appear to have done.
The child is not dead because advanced countries have immigration laws. The child is dead because criminal traffickers cynically risked the lives of their victims in pursuit of money. I’ll go further. The use of words such as “desperate” is quite wrong in this case. The child’s family were safe in Turkey. Turkey (for all its many faults) is a member of Nato, officially classified as free and democratic. Many British people actually pay good money to go on holiday to the very beach where the child’s body was washed up.

It may not be ideal, but the definition of a refugee is that he is fleeing from danger, not fleeing towards a higher standard of living. Refugees don’t demand or choose their refuge. They ask and they hope. When we become refugees one day (as we may well do), we will discover this.”

Peter Hitchens (1951 – )
“Mail Online, 06 September 2015”

Hitchens is a frequent critic of political correctness and writes for Britain’s The Mail on Sunday newspaper. He is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington.

William Wallace“We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle, determined to avenge our wrongs and set our country free. Let your masters come and attack us: we are ready to meet them beard to beard.”

Sir William Wallace (c. 1270 – 23 August 1305)



Daniel O'Connell“The altar of liberty totters when it is cemented only with blood”

(Written in his Journal, Dec 1796)”

“Gentlemen, you may soon have the alternative to live as slaves or die as free men” (speaking in Mallow, County Cork)

Daniel O’Connell (1775 – 1847)




Geert Wilders

“The heart of the problem is the fascist Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and Mohammed as it is laid out in the Islamic “Mein Kampf”: the Quran.” 

“Indigenous Dutchmen reproduce at a lower rate than non-Western immigrants. Now the non-Western immigrants, mainly muslims, are primarily based in the big cities. In twenty years time they will be everywhere, from Apeldoorn to Emmen and from Weert to Middelburg. We are selling our country to the devil named Mohammed, and no one is doing anything about it.”

Geert Wilders (1963 – )


Winston Churchill “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

Winston S. Churchill (1874 – 1965)
“The River War”

Lo there do I see my father;
Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers;
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them,
in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.

Michael Crichton (1942 – 2008)
“The 13th Warrior”


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