To understand our world we need to understand Nationalism


Active Member
Back in Medieval times, most people had little contact with the world outside their village. Travel was difficult and rare, and in a world of illiteracy, it was very hard for news to spread. As a result people had little contact with others and therefore felt little connection with them. Villages were mainly self-sufficient, so had little need for the outside world. This isolation also manifested itself in the form of dialects and regional variants of languages. There was no one French, German or even English language, instead there was dozens of minor dialects and regional accents that meant that if even two people spoke the same language, they mightn’t understand each other.

People had loyalty to their tribe, clan or feudal lord, not to the nation. In exchange for land and protection, they would serve their ruler and that was as far as their loyalty went. The nationality of the lord was irrelevant and rarely matched that of their subjects, but no one expected it to, lords were obviously a very different class to peasants.
To give a modern example, most people in Europe don’t have a strong European identity. If you are born and live in Europe then technically you’re European, but most people have little contact with other Europeans. Although there is a clear geographic identity, there is no European nationalism.

Most historians view nations as “imagined communities” and that many of their traditions were “invented”.

What is an imagined community? It is a way to describe the bond between people of the same nation, even if they have never met. This bond extends not only to the living, but also backwards to the past. People form a bond with heroes who died long before they were born. Despite not being alive when it happened, some people feel a link with what happened.

Where did this idea of community form?

It is not an ancient idea that people always had, instead it is a modern notion that came around the time of the Industrial Revolution. The printing press allowed people to communicate and hear about the world outside their village, which laid the seeds for a common identity. There was a flurry of national revivals as interest in traditions grew. Old stories were now written down and reached new audiences. These stories were often changed to better fit modern situations and to conform to modern ideals. New symbols were created like flags and national anthems to unite people. People now had shared experiences based on reading the same news and same stories..........
In general I agree with Nielsen's thesis, that 'nations' are artificial social constructs, the problem being that many 'nationalists' feel justified in reducing this to an ethnic identity construct, including modern day Zionists.

The problem witness now and in the last century plus is a tension that existed since the times of the formation of the first kingdoms (forming out of the new 'urban' cities surrounded by agricultural lands) and then expanding (by definition) empires. This tension is there whether one uses the term 'nation' or not. There are huge benefits to be had from being part of a larger polity, but unfortunately those at the top usually feel entitled to a significantly larger share of the benefits, leaving the lower echelons frequently with less in either real or perceived terms.

As we have learned on other threads, we are currently repeating a very similar cycle of what happened historically between the imperial Roman globalists of the day and the 'nationalist' Jewish Zealots of that time. The nationalists lost out to the more powerful globalists then, while today's white nationalist Christians (whether literal or cultural Xians) are the new Zealots ... being led by a typically false populist, who has mostly served the interests of the very rich. "Same as it ever was".

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