Are nations ancient or modern? Are they natural or artificial? Are they a tool of liberation or coercion? Despite many predicting globalisation would make them obsolete, nations are now back in fashion in a world where leaders tout America First, the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese People, and Hindutva. Understanding the nation now seems more important than ever.
Modern nations reflect long existing human communities who display a basic unity over a continuous historical period.
Nations are natural cultural communities
Nations are defined by cultural unity
Nations are natural ethnic communities
Ethnic communities form the basis of nations.
Nations only came in to existence from the late 18th century onward due to massive political, social, and economic changes.
Industrialisation created nations
The emergence of capitalism transformed society by promoting linguistic and cultural standardisation within distinct territorial spheres, ushering in the age of nations.
Enlightenment ideas created nations
The intellectual revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries created a new political ideology of nationalism centred on the creation of nation-states.
Print capitalism created nations
Nations mean self-determination and democracy.
Nations are the best arena for democracy
Modern democracy is inextricably tied to the spread of nations and nationalism.
Nations are a tool for elites to control the population.
The working men have no country
Key Marxist thinkers argue class experience and interests transcend national boundaries, and belief in national differences distracts the working class from their real interests.
All states are tools of coercion
Nations are just another form of state and states are coercive.
Nationalism is illiberalism
Nationalism means illiberal anti-democratic politics.
Nationalism is imperialism
Nationalism is used to justify empires and imperialism. Even after decolonisation, the persistence of the nation as a model of political organisation means imperialism persists.
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 14:20 UTC