Nationalism/Talk

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Nationalism is a political ideology developed in 18th and 19th centuries associating the concept of race with the body politic (the state) in a "nation". Since the late 19th century, it has been the dominant paradigm.

What exactly does this mean? Saying that nationalism "associat[es] the concept of race with the body politic in a 'nation'" does not clearly explain what nationalism is. Nationalism per se does not necessarily have anything to do with race, or so I thought--or, if it does, this needs to be explained very clearly. What it means to call nationalism "the dominant paradigm" is also very unclear.

I'd just try to improve the article but, frankly, I don't feel I have a very firm grasp on the concept myself. --LMS

I would rather say that in history, for example in Nazi Germany, the word nationalism has been misused to cover up racism. -- Tsja

You're right; I was conflating civic nationalism (Rousseau) and ethnic nationalism (Johann Herder). However, distinguishing between them may be false as well; see [1] for a counterpoint. Race and nationalism are historically linked concepts that both arose in the late 18th/19th centuries. I've actually had some (minimal) academic involvement in nationalism. If you give me a chance, I'll continue trying to make these entries more clear. I would appreciate it if people stopped just deleting huge swaths of work, though. I'm not trying to advance any extreme ideology. --TheCunctator


I think the current article does not accurately reflect what nationalism is, at least as I understand the term:

Nationalism is a political ideology developed in the 18th and 19th centuries that in which the state derives political legitimacy in some way from its population, as opposed to divine right, for example.

It would follow from this that a democratic world government, which derived its political legitimacy from free elections, would be nationalist. But AFAIK a democratic world state would be the antithesis of nationalism. -- Simon J Kissane


Not at all; the concept of the constitutional democracy is a form of civic nationalism. Nationalism is just the ideology of nations; the United States, France, etc., are nations. Unfortunately ethnic conflict and separatist movements are pretty much inevitable wherever you have nations, unless they're a perfect civic nation, which many argue is impossible--and those problems are known as nationalist problems. Thus the vernacular use of nationalism, with its attendant connotations of ethnic conflict. You're conflating ethnic nationalism with nationalism. See the references, etc. Look up "social contract". A democratic world government would be the ultimate civic nation. In some sense it could also be thought of as the ultimate ethnic nation as well (where the common ethnicity is the human race). --TheCunctator


Yes, I was conflating ethnic nationalism and civil nationalism. I was not aware of civil nationalism before. But I think a world government still wouldn't even be civil nationalism. To quote from the Internet Modern History Sourcebook:

the very nature of nationalism requires that boundaries be drawn. Unless these boundaries are purely civic, successful nationalism, in many cases produced a situation in which substantial groups of outsiders were left within "nation-states".

A world state would entail no boundaries, be they civic or ethnic. There would be no non-citizens. As you say, "nationalism is just the ideology of nations", but a world state would be the end to nations as an independent existence. Hence I still say that the article is wrong where it says "Nationalism is a political ideology developed in the 18th and 19th centuries that in which the state derives political legitimacy in some way from its population, as opposed to divine right, for example" -- a democratic world state would fit that definition, but it would not be nationalist. -- Simon J Kissane

Internationalism? :-)