Nationalism In Latin America Essay

It does not necessarily mean loyalty to a government or a country, still less to country, and it is not even strictly necessary that the units in which it deals should actually exist.To name a few obvious examples, Jewry, Islam, Christendom, the Proletariat and the White Race are all of them objects of passionate nationalistic feeling: but their existence can be seriously questioned, and there is no definition of any one of them that would be universally accepted. without developing a corresponding loyalty to any other unit.

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Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also – since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself – unshakeably certain of being in the right. In practice, however, the necessary calculations cannot be made, because anyone likely to bother his head about such a question would inevitably see it in terms of competitive prestige.

Now that I have given this lengthy definition, I think it will be admitted that the habit of mind I am talking about is widespread among the English intelligentsia, and more widespread there than among the mass of the people. He would therefore this would begin searching for arguments that seemed to support his case.

It can attach itself to a church or a class, or it may work in a merely negative sense, something or other and without the need for any positive object of loyalty.

By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power.

The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

For those who feel deeply about contemporary politics, certain topics have become so infected by considerations of prestige that a genuinely rational approach to them is almost impossible. And there are whole strings of kindred questions to which you can only get an honest answer from someone who is indifferent to the whole subject involved, and whose opinion on it is probably worthless in any case. Political or military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties.

Out of the hundreds of examples that one might choose, take this question: Which of the three great allies, the U. Hence, partly, the remarkable failure in our time of political and military prediction. And aesthetic judgements, especially literary judgements, are often corrupted in the same way as political ones.

He may be a positive or a negative nationalist – that is, he may use his mental energy either in boosting or in denigrating – but at any rate his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations.

He sees history, especially contemporary history, as the endless rise and decline of great power units, and every event that happens seems to him a demonstration that his own side is on the up-grade and some hated rival is on the down-grade.


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