What exactly is Nationalism? Nationalism is a political concept and movement which holds that the country should be closely connected to its state. As such, as a political concept, nationalism tends to support the interests of a specific nation, most typically with the objective of retaining and gaining the sovereignty over the entire country.
Nationalism can also be used to justify particular actions or reactions to political events and circumstances. Nationalism can appear in various forms. For instance, there can be nationalistic feelings expressed by those who want to annex a specific territory, secede from another or even to fight a perceived external aggressor.
In more modern times, Nationalism can take on many guises. One of these guises is Fascism. Fascists are often associated with Nationalism because they also tend to be highly nationalistic. Nationalism often manifests itself in Fascism as a sense of national pride in the sense that other ideologies (like Communism) are not.
When one hears the word “nationalism” it can mean many different things. However, when most think about it, the more common meaning of the word is “identity” or “folkness.” Often, when someone is told they have a cultural identity, or culture, or even nationality, this is code for claiming cultural or national rights. Nationalism can also be used to justify racism, sexism, and similar behaviors.
Additionally, many Nationalists use Nationalism to justify their desire to separate from England (at least before the famous “Peel Act” made this possible). Nationalism also is used to justify the expulsion of Irish citizens from Britain at the time of the Irish rebellion. Similarly, during World War II many Germans would argue that they were not really German, despite the fact that they had been invaders and subject to German occupation, because they were fighting for their national identity against the German Empire. Nationalism has also played a role in some cultures like the Blood Nation of Native Americans who were fierce fighters for their native tribes and their nation.
Of course, in modern society, one of the most popular expressions of nationalism is Fascism. Many call themselves Fascists simply because of the symbol of the hammer and an iron cross – a classic symbol of the French Resistance. However, there is more to Fascism than just a flag and a hammer and an iron cross. Fascism combines elements of Nationalism, cultural identity, and religious beliefs into a strong ideology which dominates the thoughts of its followers.
The ideology of Nationalism is rooted in ancient hatreds. The idea of Nationalism came from ancient hatreds of other peoples. These people did not think of themselves as “racists” or “fascists.” They simply believed that they were right, that they had a correct set of principles, and that other peoples were wrong, wicked, and should be eliminated. Thus, Nationalism was born, out of hatred and a desire to have power over everyone else. Nationalism today is sometimes confused with collectivism, which often also happens under the same conditions.
Nationalism today has two main types: the cultural and the intellectual. Cultural Nationalism focuses on the culture and social associations of an individual country or race, while intellectual Nationalism concentrates on scientific and technological developments as a form of expression of cultural pride. Intellectualism can sometimes border on racism. The aim of intellectual Nationalism is usually to move human beings to the forefront of progress in all fields, while at the same time, preserving their cultural identity. Cultural Nationalism does not advocate harmful foreign policy towards other countries, leaving them dependent on the United States for protection against harmful acts by other nations.
Nationalism today is also a cause for concern. Certain groups, such as the Italian National Movement, Fascista, and even Hamas, are promoting hatred and violence against the United States. Such nationalism, when it ends up turning violent, can be very dangerous and even deadly. A healthy patriotic feeling is very important for a nation to exist. Without this feeling, there can be no patriotism, no support for ideals, and eventually, no national polity.