Nationalism in Modern World Politics

English Essay on "Nationalism in Modern World Politics"

Nationalism is the universal order of the day. The ideal pattern of modern state is the nation-state, seeking to express itself through a sovereign political authority. To every conscious human being of our age, whether free or struggling for freedom, nationalism is the most precious possession whose loss nothing else is good enough to compensate, and the highest ideal which no other consideration is great enough to substitute. On the other hand, it is the most fanatical dogma which no logic is strong enough to break through.

Nationalism is the essence of national sovereignty and the only basis of relation between difference States. Since the dawn of civilization it has been the motive-force n world politics and has dictated the course of world history. It has thus secured as well as destroyed human freedom. Under its mighty impact the vast Roman empire crushed, resulting in the freedom of component countries. Again the British empire born of British nationalism, kept half the world under subjugation for about two centuries. The Second World War would have remained ever unsought if the expanding 3man nationalism would not clash with the national interests of Britain in Europe. Even in our own time, the stage of the world politics is held entirely by nationalism. The UNO can justify its existence only in terms of arbitrating and adjusting the conflicting national ambitions of different states.

The idea of nationalism is not easy to define. It is usually said to be a sentiment of Indivisible oneness existing among a group of people. It is thought to be born of some powerful ties, such as, common race, common religion common language, common history, a common homeland and so on. But In practice this sentiment is sound to exist without any or all of them. America has not a common race. Switzerland speaks several tongues. Pakistan and India possess more than one religion, and one language. Yet the bond of national unity in any one of them cannot be said to be less solid than, for instance, what it was in Nazi Germany which was built upon a merciless elimination of divergences. The only factors that seem to count in the making of nation are a common homeland and a common history. But the Jews had no home land till the creation of Israel and were yet considered to form one nation. Could common history ranging over hundreds of years bind the Hindus and Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent into one nation? Considering and these, the idea of nationalism can be explained only as being spiritual in character. It is, in fact, a “sense of special unity,” not traceable to any determinate cause, which marks off those share in it from the rest of mankind.

The psychological foundation of nationalism—the spirit separateness—lies rooted in the gregarious nature of man, expressing through the ancient tribe-life. Tribal groups updating for feeding grounds had to fight against each other in order to conquer and to preserve lands. War solidified their hard-instinct and underlined its necessity for competitive existence. It also enhanced the value of the conquered lands because of the heavy price paid for them. Thus the national homeland—the conquered lands -came to be looked upon with reference by them and their descends. War, indeed, seems to have been the chief factor in laying the foundation of ancient nationalism. Modern nationalism, with its inseparable concomitant of a sovereign politic authority is hardly older than the first partition of a Poland in the middle of the 18th century. It was, however, in the 9th century that European nationalism developed from a mere sentiment to an active political movement. During the closing years of the same century its wave began to reach the shores of Asia and Africa, where many counties were smarting under western tutelage. In less than half a century both these continents developed a tidal nationalist movement which ultimately resulted in the attainment of freedom by all subject countries except a few in Africa where the French colonialists are yet fighting only to lose in the long run.

If freedom is recognized as the birthright of every man, nationalism, embodying national freedom, must also be admitted as the birth-right of every nation. The acceptance of this principle is the first condition of a democratic society. No nation, however civilized, can have any moral right to subjugate another nation, however backward the latter may be, because every nation has equal right to freedom. If democracy stands on the ethical principle of equality between man and man, it cannot he built upon the immoral basis of inequality between nation and nation. Further, every people has its distinctive culture and civilization, languages and literatures and, above all, its economic interests and political ideals. Neither their preservation, much less development, nor their utilization is possible in the absence of national autonomy. If this right of self-determination Is denied the subject peoples are not only debarred from developing their group-personality but also rendered ultimately incapable of making any contribution to the common stock of mankind. Besides, peaceful life on earth is frequently threatened both by nationalist rising and the colonial warfare among rival powers. The ultimate loss on account of all these devolves on world civilization. Nationalism is, therefore, the key to peace and prosperity of the world at large which a few nations can have no right to foil.

Personal Essays

Games and Sports

Events and Imp Days

General Essays