Nationalism is a modern political ideology that creates a devotion to one’s culture and is the belief that from acting independent instead of communally will benefit nations which highlight national goals rather than international ones. Nationalism didn’t start till around the 17th, and 18th centuries which is because there was no concept of what a nation was. In the simplest terms, there was a loyalty to the “crown” rather than a loyalty to the country before the French Revolution. There are many varieties of nationalism throughout the world, some of which are beneficial to society and most of which are detrimental.
The main type of nationalism that is detrimental to our international society is ethnocentric nationalism, for it causes people to become judgmental and believe that a certain nation and race is superior over other nations and races. Ethnocentric nationalism is especially dangerous and negative when combined with other types of nationalism such as expansionist nationalism and can even lead to war and genocide. Nationalism began to develop in the 19th century and reached its peak in the 20th century around the time of World War One. Savich 2003) Also the earliest mention of nationalism came from a work by Johann Gottfried Herder in 1774 and according to Benedict Anderson, the term “nationalism, only became popularly used in the late 19th century.
Two distinct types of nationalism where made by Peter Alter, the first being Risorgimento nationalism and the second, integral nationalism. Nations which seek to establish a state are considered nations with Risorgimento nationalism. Some examples of Risorgimento nationalism in the 19th century wee Italy, Poland, Serbia, and Greece. Savich 2003) Opposite of Risorgimento nationalism is integral nationalism which is also known as radical, extreme, right-wing, aggressive-expansionist, and militant nationalism. Most types of negative nationalism derive from integral nationalism. After a state is formed in a nation and independence is attained integral nationalism comes as a result of it, such as Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
Integral states follow a totalitarian system in which the government or the state rules all aspects of the general public. In both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy tyrannical eaders took control, Mussolini was considered correct all the time and in Nazi Germany the slogan of the government was “Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuehrer” which meant “One State, One People, One Leader. ” Most types of nationalism are negative “it can cause division in societies when one nationality classes itself as superior to another. This also generates racism, and can often lead to violent and bloody conflicts. On the personal level, individuals may be persecuted because other individuals or groups believe their nationality to be inferior, or that it poses a threat. (Hughes 2008) One type of nationalism that has a highly negative effect on the world is ethnocentric nationalism, it is a form of nationalism that divided races and cultures, and it also causes preconceived judgments and the belief that a certain nation is superior to others. Along with ethnocentric nationalism, expansionist nationalism is another determent to the international society. Expansionist nationalism encourages the expansion of one nation into new territories, and these new territories are usually smaller and less powerful nations.
When both ethnocentric nationalism and expansionist nationalism combine it becomes very dangerous to other nations, a major example of this was one of Hitler’s major principles of “Lebensraum”, which was the belief that Germans needed more “living space” so that the German nation could grow. Ethnocentric and expansionist nationalism also contributed to the Holocaust, Hitler believed that all other races and nations were below and inferior to the Aryan or German race which relates ethnocentric nationalism and he also believed that Germans needed more space to live which ties back to expansionist nationalism.
In the 1800’s nationalism was a growing belief among people that united them through language, history and culture, these people then began viewing themselves as part of a nation which then helped with the up-rise of nationalism and the creation of two major powers, Germany and Italy. Ethnicity along with race are also very important components for modern nationalism. The concept of nationalism further separated different cultures and nations based on race and ethnicity and created a belief that some nations or races were better than others.
In Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, he said that Jews posed a threat to the German race and their people and were considered inferior. He also believed that the mixing of races through reproduction would ruin the pure blood of Germans and would eventually destroy the German nation. Anti-Semitism is also based in nationalism, Jewish people were seen as “alien” or “foreign exploiters”. (Savich 2003) Ethnocentric nationalism also creates racism which spreads around the nation, some German authors used to write about Jews and their plans for world domination.
Hitler had a future planed without Jewish people and that the Germans would be the main power. Along with Hitler’s plans, modern nationalism calls for ethnic, racial and religious homogeneity therefore modern nationalism also contributed to the Holocaust. Other than the Holocaust modern nationalism also contributed to the crises in Georgia, Chechnya and the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Armenian Genocide is another example of nationalism that causes death and the hatred of another race.
The Armenian Genocide was a organized destruction of the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire during and a just after the first world war. (United Nations 1985) The genocide was carried out through massacres and deportations consisting of forced marches under horrible conditions specially designed to lead to the death of the marchers. The Muslims of the Ottoman empire were nationalist and they believed that citizens of the state should be limited to only one ethnic group and refused to grant other religions and ethnicities equality.
Other than ethnocentric nationalism and expansionist nationalism, ultra-nationalism is also very negative for ones society. Based on the extreme principles of ultra nationalism it can often lead to fascism and authoritarian styles of government which take a very tight hold of the behavior within the nation, due to the belief that more freedom in the nation would eventually cause it to collapse. Ultra nationalism also causes the reduction and in due course a complete end to immigration, it limits trade through high tariffs, and it also has a firm grasp on production of goods and businesses.
Ultra nationalism uses the means of propaganda to instill hatred towards other nations in a “us versus them” state of mind. With its extreme principles and rules, ultra nationalism may eventually cause major conflicts between states or even within its self and will lead to genocide and war. Fascism is yet another negative effect of ultra nationalism; it forms the nation in to a totalitarian ruled nation. [ (Griffin, Roger 1994) ] Ethnic nationalism, cultural nationalism and cultural assimilation of people not from a specific ethnicity are all endorsed by fascism.
Ultra nationalism and fascism both believe in total and indisputable loyalty to the ruler and the nation which can also pose negative effects on nations. [ (Griffin 1995) ] Even if a nation and ruler is wrong in what they are doing, according to fascism and ultra nationalism, the members of the nation are not allowed to question it and must follow orders even if they do not believe in the same cause. Although most types of nationalism are negative and have detrimental effects to our societies there are few positive types of nationalism that have beneficial aspects to them, such as civic nationalism.
Civic nationalism can also be called liberal one of its main principles is that all people of a nation are equal and share equal political rights, it is not based on common ethnic races but rather it is rather a political body whose core is not based on ethnic backgrounds like most other nationalisms. Civic nationalism is also non-xenophobic, unlike some aspects of ethnocentric nationalism, and also values freedom, tolerance, equality and individual rights. Tamir 1993) The principles of Civic nationalism also influenced the development of representative democracy in the United States and France. Nationalism has a few positive aspects to it but mainly all the effects that come from nationalism are negative. Nationalism is a political belief that started during the French Revolution in France in 1789. It is based on a national community drawn together by culture, language, religion, and ethnicity. Nationalism calls for homogeneity in a society, which then causes conflict and war within states and in between states.
Nations that follow extreme forms of nationalism use genocide to follow the plans of societal homogeneity. Hitler’s propaganda against the Jewish community in Germany is a prime example of the negative effects of nationalism. Through an analysis of nationalism and its various forms it is easy to see that although nationalism has a positive side it is mainly consumed by hatred and fear of other nations or ethnicities due to the belief of standardization throughout a society; therefore genocide and war and foreseeable as a consequence of nationalism.
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