The idea of nationalism

Chinese nationalism The awakening of nationalism across Asia helped shape the history of the continent. The key episode was the decisive defeat of Russia by Japan indemonstrating the military superiority of non-Europeans in a modern war. The defeat which quickly led to manifestations of a new interest in nationalism in China, as well as Turkey, and Persia.

The idea of nationalism

And aesthetic judgements, especially literary judgements, are often corrupted in the same way as political ones. It would be difficult for an Indian Nationalist to enjoy reading Kipling or for a Conservative to see merit in Mayakovsky, and there is always a temptation to claim that any book whose tendency one disagrees with must be a bad book from a literary point of view.

The idea of nationalism

People of strongly nationalistic outlook often perform this sleight of hand without being conscious of dishonesty. In England, if one simply considers the number of people involved, it is probable that the dominant form of nationalism is old-fashioned British jingoism.

It is certain that this is still widespread, and much more so than most observers would have believed a dozen years ago. However, in this essay I am concerned chiefly with the reactions of the intelligentsia, among whom jingoism and even patriotism of the old kind are almost dead, though they now seem to be reviving among a minority.

A Communist, for my purpose here, is one who looks upon the U. Obviously such people abound in England today, and their direct and indirect influence is very great.

But many other forms of nationalism also flourish, and it is by noticing the points of resemblance between different and even seemingly opposed currents of thought that one can best get the matter into perspective. Ten or twenty years ago, the form of nationalism most closely corresponding to Communism today was political Catholicism.

Its most outstanding exponent — though he was perhaps an extreme case rather than a typical one — was G. Chesterton was a writer of considerable talent who whose to suppress both his sensibilities and his intellectual honesty in the cause of Roman Catholic propaganda.

But Chesterton was not content to think of this superiority as merely intellectual or spiritual: Chesterton had not lived long in France, and his picture of it — as a land of Catholic peasants incessantly singing the Marseillaise over glasses of red wine — had about as much relation to reality as Chu Chin Chow has to everyday life in Baghdad.

And with this went not only an enormous overestimation of French military power both before and after he maintained that France, by itself, was stronger than Germanybut a silly and vulgar glorification of the actual process of war.

The interesting thing is that had the romantic rubbish which he habitually wrote about France and the French army been written by somebody else about Britain and the British army, he would have been the first to jeer.

In home politics he was a Little Englander, a true hater of jingoism and imperialism, and according to his lights a true friend of democracy. Yet when he looked outwards into the international field, he could forsake his principles without even noticing he was doing so.

Thus, his almost mystical belief in the virtues of democracy did not prevent him from admiring Mussolini. Mussolini had destroyed the representative government and the freedom of the press for which Chesterton had struggled so hard at home, but Mussolini was an Italian and had made Italy strong, and that settled the matter.

Nor did Chesterton ever find a word to say about imperialism and the conquest of coloured races when they were practised by Italians or Frenchmen. His hold on reality, his literary taste, and even to some extent his moral sense, were dislocated as soon as his nationalistic loyalties were involved.

Obviously there are considerable resemblances between political Catholicism, as exemplified by Chesterton, and Communism.

The idea of nationalism

So there are between either of these and for instance Scottish nationalism, Zionism, Antisemitism or Trotskyism. It would be an oversimplification to say that all forms of nationalism are the same, even in their mental atmosphere, but there are certain rules that hold good in all cases.

The following are the principal characteristics of nationalist thought: As nearly as possible, no nationalist ever thinks, talks, or writes about anything except the superiority of his own power unit. It is difficult if not impossible for any nationalist to conceal his allegiance.

The smallest slur upon his own unit, or any implied praise of a rival organization, fills him with uneasiness which he can relieve only by making some sharp retort. If the chosen unit is an actual country, such as Ireland or India, he will generally claim superiority for it not only in military power and political virtue, but in art, literature, sport, structure of the language, the physical beauty of the inhabitants, and perhaps even in climate, scenery and cooking.

He will show great sensitiveness about such things as the correct display of flags, relative size of headlines and the order in which different countries are named 4.

Nomenclature plays a very important part in nationalist thought. Countries which have won their independence or gone through a nationalist revolution usually change their names, and any country or other unit round which strong feelings revolve is likely to have several names, each of them carrying a different implication.

The two sides of the Spanish Civil War had between them nine or ten names expressing different degrees of love and hatred. Some of these names e. All nationalists consider it a duty to spread their own language to the detriment of rival languages, and among English-speakers this struggle reappears in subtler forms as a struggle between dialects.

Anglophobe-Americans will refuse to use a slang phrase if they know it to be of British origin, and the conflict between Latinizers and Germanizers often has nationalists motives behind it.

Scottish nationalists insist on the superiority of Lowland Scots, and socialists whose nationalism takes the form of class hatred tirade against the B. The intensity with which they are held does not prevent nationalist loyalties from being transferable.

To begin with, as I have pointed out already, they can be and often are fastened up on some foreign country. One quite commonly finds that great national leaders, or the founders of nationalist movements, do not even belong to the country they have glorified.

Sometimes they are outright foreigners, or more often they come from peripheral areas where nationality is doubtful. For the past fifty or a hundred years, transferred nationalism has been a common phenomenon among literary intellectuals. With Lafcadio Hearne the transference was to Japan, with Carlyle and many others of his time to Germany, and in our own age it is usually to Russia.The Idea of Nationalism comprehensively analyzes the rise of nationalism, the idea's content, and its worldwide implications from the days of Hebrew and Greek antiquity to the eve of the French Revolution.

As Calhoun explains, Kohn was particularly qualified to undertake this lausannecongress2018.coms: 2. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism [Benedict Anderson] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

The world-famous work on the origins and development of nationalism The full magnitude of Benedict Anderson’s intellectual achievement is still being appreciated and debated.

Imagined Communities remains the most influential book on the. But even Farage, the year-old soothsayer with the arsonist’s grin, has no clear idea of what to put in place of that establishment.

The contours he describes (and apparently longs for) cast. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power (popular sovereignty).

Notes on Nationalism, the essay of George Orwell. First published: May by/in Polemic, GB, London. White people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more.

This is a remarkably bad idea.

- The Washington Post