Whatever evaluated nationalism is from the point of view of morality, most still recognize its great historical role in the development of many nations and states. Many researchers point to the fact that only in the last two centuries, nationalism has consolidated France, united Italy and Germany, restored political independence of Poland, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, won the independence of many nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as the former Soviet republics. It is believed that nationalism undermined and erased from the map of the Earth such great empires as the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russia, and Britain. It should be noted that many of the great advances in science and technology, literature and art were largely caused by nationalism. Even the great religious teachings: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism – although have been internationalized later, in fact, according to many researchers were primarily, started as if not strictly nationalistic, then at least such having the nationalistic goals.
Nationalism was a powerful weapon of the authoritarian regimes in Italy and Germany, Spain and Portugal. Nationalism in the interplay with fascism and racism had a severe impact on many nations of the world.
Many bright minds tried to find the reason for nationalism popularity. There are hundreds of books dedicated to the problem of nationalism, its roots and origins, its nature and essence and yet it is impossible to argue that this mystery is solved.
Reaching the definition of nationalism is not possible, nor necessary, because essentially they are repetitive. However, there are two groups that differ in their approach:
The first focuses on the sensory-emotional side of nationalism and is presented mainly by Western scholars.
The second examines nationalism as an ideology and policy of the classes, and above all, of the bourgeoisie and is mainly from the Marxist school.
Considering the first group, we can find that works of American Scientists in the middle of the 20th century (such as H. Kohn, F. Norton, VA Ebenshteyn, etc.) praised the spirit of freedom, tolerance, and compromise, as typical to Anglo-Saxon or American nationalism. For a number of Western theories, nationalism is the basis for the analysis of the historical process. In them, it comes to the fore as the driving force of history, as opposed to the class struggle, relationships, and the struggle between nations.
From the second point of view, nationalism is a bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology and policy, as well as the psychology of the national question, the opposite of proletarian internationalism. The basis of nationalism is an idea of national superiority and national exclusiveness, the interpretation of the nation, as the highest form of non-historical and supra-class community.
This and more information on the subject can be found in free example essays on nationalism.
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