Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NATIONALISM NOT A BAD THING or a Bad Word

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states the following:

The term “nationalism” is generally used to describe two phenomena: (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity, and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination. 
Nationalism is a political, social, and economic system characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining sovereignty (self-governance) over the homeland. The political ideology of nationalism holds that a nation should govern itself, free from outside interference and is linked to the concept of self-determination. Nationalism is further oriented towards developing and maintaining a single national identity based on shared, social characteristics, such as culture and languagereligion and politics, and a belief in a shared and singular history.[1][2] Nationalism, therefore, seeks to build a national cultural identity, by way of pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism, which, in some cases, includes the belief that the nation should control the country's government and the means of production.[3]
Historically, nationalism is a modern concept dating from the 18th century, of an ideological scope greater than a peoples' attachment to family, to local authority, and to the native land.[4] Politically and sociologically, there are three paradigms for understanding the origins and bases of nationalism. The first paradigm is primordialism (perennialism), which proposes nationalism as a natural phenomenon, that nations have always existed. The second paradigm is ethnosymbolism, a complex, historical perspective, which explains nationalism as a dynamic, evolutionary phenomenon imbued with historical meaning, by way of the nation's subjective ties to national symbols. The third paradigm is modernism, which proposes that nationalism is a recent social phenomenon that requires the socio-economic structures of modern society to exist.[5]
There are various definitions for what constitutes a nation, however, which leads to several different strands of nationalism. It can be a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural, religious, or identity group, or that multinationality in a single state should necessarily comprise the right to express and exercise national identity even by minorities.[6] The adoption of national identity in terms of historical development has commonly been the result of a response by influential groups unsatisfied with traditional identities due to inconsistency between their defined social order and the experience of that social order by its members, resulting in a situation of anomie that nationalists seek to resolve.[7] This anomie results in a society or societies reinterpreting identity, retaining elements that are deemed acceptable and removing elements deemed unacceptable, to create a unified community.[7] This development may be the result of internal structural issues or the result of resentment by an existing group or groups towards other communities, especially foreign powers that are or are deemed to be controlling them.[7] National symbols and flagsnational anthemsnational languagesnational myths and other symbols of national identity are highly important in nationalism.[8][9][10][11]
In practice nationalism can be seen as positive or negative depending on context and individual perspective. Nationalism has been an important driver in independence movements around the world, such as the Greek Revolution, the Zionist movement that created modern Israel, and the Irish Revolution. It also was a key factor in the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. More recently, nationalism became an important driver of the controversial annexation of Crimea by Russia.
The word nation was used before 1800 in Europe to refer to the inhabitants of a country as well as to collective identities that could include shared history, law, language, political rights, religion and traditions, in a sense more akin to the modern conception.[12]Nationalism is a newer word; in English the term dates from 1844, although the concept is older.[13] It became important in the 19th century.[14] The term increasingly became negative in its connotations after 1914. Glenda Sluga notes that "The twentieth century, a time of profound disillusionment with nationalism, was also the great age of globalism."[15]

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