Nationalistic Epidemic Essay

1036 WordsSep 19, 20135 Pages
The Nationalistic Epidemic Herbert A. Miller THE purpose of this paper is to show that the nationalism of Europe has been in part induced by the reaction in Asia to European imperialism, and also to indicate that its course in Asia will be modified by the varied cultural structures of the several countries there. Although I omit much of the discussions usually involved in nationalism, I would not exclude their validity. NATIONALISM DESCRIBED I have said elsewhere: There is no concrete and permanent definition of a nation. It usually has some geographical relations, but may exist without them; it may inhere in a consciousness of blood relationship, but aliens may be adopted into it; it may turn on tradition and history, but myth may be just as effective; it may claim high moral justification and purpose, but an analysis of its history may show that it came into existence by ruthless injustice. A nation is merely a psychological union for political and economic administration that also satisfies the yearning of the individual to belong to a group that will give him social dignity. Patriotism is not slavish acquiescence to the dictates of policy and sentimentality, but the virtue of loyalty to administrative and moral purposes. It is under the guise of patriotism that nationalism reaches a degree of emotional exaggeration that throws out of focus all ultimate values, distorting to its own purposes social, political, and economic relations. Nationalism appeared first where national freedom had been curtailed, but it is now taking the same form among peoples whose national sovereignty is well established. In Europe it is the boomerang sent out by imperialism, returning to strike a deadlier blow at the sender. It is a fine example of sins coming home a hundredfold. Germany adds a year to military service to keep the Poles in their place; France, frightened,

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