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Concept of Nation

The main objective of this essay is to provide a meaningful understanding of the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism. Further elaboration of the essay would be made through the illustration of a comparison between nationalism and patriotism. Finally, the essay would conclude through the analysis of the most important things that are involved in the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism in addition to the comparison between nationalism and patriotism.

A nation can be stated as a large group or an abstract collective people having common attributes or characteristics that includes language, traditions, communities, habits and backgrounds related to cultural origin.  The term nation was used before 1800 in Europe that refers to inhabitants based on law, shared history and political rights as deduced by Azar Gat, an Israeli researcher. A nation is a cultural and political community that has particular interests, which has spiritual principle. Nation can also be stated as a large group of people who might not reside in the same place but share the same language, traditions and history. The French historian Joseph Ernest Renan in the 1882 essay “What is a Nation?” stated, “A nation is a daily referendum, based on the mindfulness of people”(Bhabha 2013). The word ‘nation’ has evolved from the Old French term ‘nacion’ that means birth, place of origin. Synonyms for the word nation include State or Country.  The most important aspect of a nation is its approval that is achieved by the virtue of sovereignty. The theories with reference to sovereignty of a nation include constitutive theory and declaratory theory. The constitutive theory of statehood implies that a nation is sovereign only if it is approved so by another nation that is also sovereign. The declaratory theory of statehood implies that a sovereign nation should meet some criteria such as a precise legal boundary, definite population, political governance and being competent to enter into relations with other nations. Political thinkers such as Thomas Hobbs, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Niccolo de Bernardo dei Machiavelli have postulated that a nation is an advent of social contract between the respective rulers and the public (Skyrms 2014). Additionally, philosophers such as Hugo Grotious, Samuel Pufendorf and Immanuel Kant have also  expressed their support for the concept of social contract. Modern supporters of the concept of social contract include John Rawls, David Gauthier and Philip Pettit. A nation located between two conflicting nations is termed as a buffer state. The noted British philosopher Anthony Clifford Grayling opined that a nation is a fake setup whose line is sketched out due to wars.

Theories of Sovereignty in a Nation

Nationalism can be stated as an ideology that is based on an individual’s sense and loyalty towards the nation or also can be said a sense of unity with same identities such as linguistic, cultural and historical matters (Smith 2013). It is a concept that involves extremely strong attachment towards country. Nationalism can also be described as a modern movement. As history states people have been attached to their native soil and to their traditions of their parents. World history has been influenced enormously by nationalism since the state has become the dominant form in nation-state. Nationalism can be further stated as a pathway towards developing and maintaining national identity that is based on the elements of language, culture, race, religion or political objectives. In many instances, nationalism can be deemed as positive or negative. The term nationalism is used for the purpose of identifying political autonomy and self-determination. Several categories of nationalism include liberal nationalism or civic nationalism, religious nationalism, ethnic, left-wing nationalism, territorial nationalism, pan-nationalism, anti-colonial nationalism, racial nationalism, sports nationalism (a sub-category of banal nationalism) and gendered nationalism. Liberal nationalism is the ktypeind of nationalism that promotes tolerance, freedom, equality and rights of an individual person. Nations who value democracy propagate liberal nationalism. Noted philosophers such as Joseph Ernest Renan and John Stuart Mill are ardent supporters of liberal nationalism. Ethnic nationalism is the type of nationalism that is based on the superiority of the language, culture, religion and traditions. The main propounder of the concept of ethnic nationalism is Heredotus, an ancient Greek philosopher who stated that the elements of ethnic nationalism include kinship, language, cults and customs. The noted British theorist Anthony David Stephen Smith stated that ethnic nationalism is based on the pre-existing elements of blood relations, religious and other such kinds of beliefs. Ethnic nationalism results in ethnocentrism and ethnocracy. Religious nationalism is the kind of nationalism that is based on the link of nationalism to a particular kind of religious belief. Aspects of religious nationalism include politicization of religion and the influence of religion on politics. Notable examples of religious nationalism include Hindutva and Pakistan movement (Two Nation Theory). The concept of Hindutva propagates Hindu chauvinism in India which is supported by political outfits such as the Bhartiya Janata Party,the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. Muhammad Ali Jinnah propagated the Two Nation Theory in order to create a separate nation of Pakistan for Muslims in India. The features of liberal nationalism and ethnic nationalism are contrary to each other (Brubaker 2012). Left-wing nationalism is the kind of nationalism that is based on the parameters of social equality, popular sovereignty and political self-determination. Territorial nationalism is the type of nationalism that is based on the loyalty of the population of the respective nation with reference to birth or adoption. Pan-nationalism is the type of nationalism that implies that a nation is one of the most integral aspect of the social life of a human being. Pan-nationalism propagates that a nation is a cluster of traditional groups. Anti-colonial nationalism is the kind of nationalism that mainly centres towards decolonization that was the norm after the Second World War. Examples of anti-colonial nationalism include end of the rule of the Tsar in the United Soviet Socialist Republic (colloquially known as Soviet Union) and the end of the rule of European nations in Africa and Asia. Racial nationalism is the kind of nationalism that is focused toward the banning of immigration and integration of foreigners into the respective nation. Such kind of nationalism is contrary to multiculturalism. Sports nationalism is the kind of nationalism that implies completion between nations in a particular sport (Appadurai 2015). Notable examples of sports nationalism include tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup (football), ICC Cricket World Cup, the hockey world cup and the Olympic Games (Finley and Pleket, 2012) (Ryynänen et al., 2013). The test cricket series between Australia and England (popularly known as the Ashes) is also an example of sports nationalism (Russell 2012). Sports nationalism is a kind of banal nationalism. Banal nationalism also includes unfurling of national flags, composition and recitation of national songs and national anthems and inclusion of national symbols on the currency of the respective nation. Other examples of banal nationalism include formation of patriotic clubs, depiction of a sense of national unity amongst the population of the respective nation by the national press concerned and the inculcation of nationalistic pride during wars, battles, skirmishes and other kinds of armed conflicts between nations. Gendered nationalism is the type of nationalism which is objected towards empowerment of a particular gender. Such kind of nationalism is centred around the dichotomous aspect between ingroups and outgorups (popularly based on the concept of us versus them). Additionally, categories of nationalism can include queer nationalism, romantic nationalism and transnationalism. Queer nationalism implies the liberation of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community. Romantic nationalism implies the birth of language, culture, race, culture, religion and customs in the respective nation. Transnationalism implies the opening of floodgates of a nation in order to promote globalization for economic development and immigration for the purpose creating multicultural societies (Ariely 2012). The term Transnationalism was promoted in the early twentieth century by the noted political writer Randolph Bourne who explained it as a new method of thinking with reference to the establishment of links between cultures.  Nationalism implies love for the nation or the country and promulgates the fact that every nationality has right to have their own state. The word nationalism was used for the first time in English in the year 1844. However, the concept of nationalism is quite older. The parameters that are used to determine the roots of nationalism include Premordialism or Perinialism, Ethnosymbolism and Modernism. The aspect of Premordialism or Perinialism implies that nationalism is a natural concept due to the existence of nations. The aspect of Ethnosymbolism implies that nationalism is linked to history and culture. The aspect of Modernism implies that nationalism is a contemporary concept that is dependent on the existence of modern societies. The entities of national identity in order to highlight the importance of nationalism include national flags, national languages, national anthems, national myths and national symbols. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels have opined that that the people belonging to the working class are stateless people who observe nationalism as a red herring due to their exploitation in a capitalist economy (Engels 2012). The British political thinker Bertrand Russell termed nationalism as a means to undermine the caliber of an individual with reference to making a decision on the policy of the respective nation. The noted scientist Albert Einstein linked nationalism with the disease ‘measles’. The legal status of a person in terms of nationalism is determined by the virtue of citizenship. Black Nationalism is the kind of nationalism that implies the empowerment of Black Africans in the United States and Europe. The noted philosopher Ernest Gellner postulated that nationalism is a political guideline that implies that a national unit should be governed by a common agreement.

Concept of Nationalism

Patriotism can be defined as an attachment to native soil (Kleinig 2015). The feeling of patriotism is important for the freedom of a nation. One of the most prominent example of a patriotic person is someone who sacrifices life in the defense of the country. A person who is patriotic in nature has deep down loyalty for the respective country (Hobsbawm 2012). They always think good for the country and do many things that are always helpful and beneficial for the country. Some are always ready to sacrifice for the good of the country. People who are selfish cannot love their own country even if that person is rich, or born in a noble family also has a big title but they cannot earn respect because they do not have respect and love for the country. Patriotism mainly refers to ones feeling and devotion towards one’s own country (Beavan 2012). The people who are patriotic love their own native land like mother where both are superior to heaven. The term patriot was used for the first time in the English language during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in England (1558-1603). It has been derived from the Late Latin word patriota that means ‘same country’. Subsequently, the term ‘patriotism’ was enshrined into the English language in the early eighteenth century. The noted English writer on 7 April 1775 stated, “Patriotism is the last resort of the rascal”(Konrad and Qari 2012) (Orr 2012). The renowned theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a proponent of the classical view of patriotism that implies that patriotism is a result of loyalty towards the respective nation and not towards the Church.  Communists such as Karl Marx opined with reference to patriotism that people belonging to the working class have no country and the patriotic fervor amongst them is only possible by the virtue of proletarian dictatorship (McLenan 2013). Trotskysts such as Alan Woods supported such kind of view such expressed favour for creating a social commonwealth world. However, communists such as Stalinists and Leninists have supported for social patriotism that is based on the theory of socialism in one country propounded by Joseph Stalin and elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin. Influences with reference to patriotic feeling amongst people include composition of national and patriotic songs and personification of national spirit. Examples of such kinds of influences include the composition of the song Rule, Britannia in 1740 by the English composer Thomas Arne (Llewllyn 2014) and the creation of the character John Bull in 1712 by the Scottish cartoonist John Arbuthnot (Fahey 2015). Such kind of things served as a means to promote British patriotism. Patriotism in an exaggerated manner is known as chauvinism. Such kind of patriotism is quite illogical in nature.

Categories of Nationalism

Nationalism and patriotism are in many ways, are interlinked with each other. For example, personification of nationalism skyrockets patriotic fervour amongst the common public of the nation in question. However, there are many instances where nationalism and patriotism cannot be correlated to each other. For example, the British conservative politician Norman Tebbit has repeatedly stated that the British nationals of Asian origin who support the cricket team of their nation of origin instead of the English cricket team are not truly British thereby being disloyal to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Fletcher 2012). Such kind of an opinion implies that while nationalism can be acquired through the approval of an application for citizenship of a nation, patriotism comes to a person naturally and does in no way, exist on paper. The noted British novelist George Orwell in his discourse Notes on Nationalism distinguished nationalism from patriotism by stating that while nationalism implies being powerful and prestigious, patriotism implies following a particular method in order to maintain a specific kind of lifestyle and having some kind of attachment to a particular place (Hammond 2016). Such kinds of views are popularly known as Orwellian in the contemporary period. The noted American journalist Sydney Justin Harris demarcated nationalism and patriotism by station that patriotism implies being proud of the respective nation on the grounds solely for its actions whereas nationalism implies being proud of the respective nation irrespective of its actions and policies. Therefore, it is observed that while nationalism implies protection and defence of cultures, traditions, customs, values, folkways and mores, patriotism implies defence and protection of the respective motherland from the armed aggression of external forces. Thus, in a nutshell, the basic elements of nationalism and patriotism are in extreme contrast of each other. This explains that the concepts of nationalism and patriotism and patriotism are quite difficult to be entrenched into each other.

Therefore, from the above discourse, it can be concluded by stating that the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism have been discussed, explained and analyzed through examples, groupings or categories and the views expressed by different theorists, philosophers, academicians and politicians. The above discourse also addresses the comparative analysis between the concepts of nationalism and patriotism. Such kind of comparative study has been elaborated through the similarities and demarcations between the concepts of nationalism and patriotism. The views of different from all over elitists with reference to the similarities and demarcations between the concepts of nationalism and patriotism have also been taken into account. Thus, the concepts of nation, nationalism and patriotism are justified and appropriate in addition to the comparison made between nationalism and patriotism. Therefore, it is hereby recommended that nationalism and patriotism should be observed with different perspectives and should not be entwined with each other.

References

Appadurai, A., 2015. Playing with modernity: the decolonization of Indian cricket. Altre Modernità, (14), pp.1-24. 

Ariely, G., 2012. Globalization, immigration and national identity: How the level of globalization affects the relations between nationalism, constructive patriotism and attitudes toward immigrants?. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15(4), pp.539-557. 

Beaven, B., 2012. Visions of empire: patriotism, popular culture and the city, 1870-1939. Manchester University Press. 

Bhabha, H.K. ed., 2013. Nation and narration. Routledge. 

Brubaker, R., 2012. Religion and nationalism: Four approaches. Nations and nationalism, 18(1), pp.2-20. 

Engels, F., 2012. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844-The Original Classic Edition. Emereo Pub.. 

Fahey, D.M., 2015. Temperance and Racism: John Bull, Johnny Reb, and the Good Templars. University Press of Kentucky. 

Finley, M.I. and Pleket, H.W., 2012. The Olympic Games: the first thousand years. Courier Corporation. 

Fletcher, T., 2012. ‘Who do ‘‘they” cheer for?’Cricket, diaspora, hybridity and divided loyalties amongst British Asians. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(5), pp.612-631. 

Hammond, J., 2016. A George Orwell companion: a guide to the novels, documentaries and essays. Springer. 

Hobsbawm, E.J., 2012. Nations and nationalism since 1780: Programme, myth, reality. Cambridge University Press. 

Kleinig, J., 2015. The Virtue in Patriotism. The Ethics of Patriotism: A Debate, p.19. 

Konrad, K.A. and Qari, S., 2012. The last refuge of a scoundrel? Patriotism and tax compliance. Economica, 79(315), pp.516-533. 

Llewellyn, M.P., 2014. Rule Britannia: Nationalism, identity and the modern Olympic games. Routledge. 

McLellan, D., 2013. Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels-The Communist Manifesto. Read Books Ltd. 

Orr, D.W., 2012. The last refuge: patriotism, politics, and the environment in an age of terror. Island Press. 

Russell, D., 2012. ‘Ashes that leave no regrets’. Anglo-Australian cricket and English society, c 1880–1939. Sport in Society, 15(8), pp.1038-1054. 

Ryynänen, J., Junge, A., Dvorak, J., Peterson, L., Kautiainen, H., Karlsson, J. and Börjesson, M., 2013. Foul play is associated with injury incidence: an epidemiological study of three FIFA World Cups (2002–2010). British journal of sports medicine, 47(15), pp.986-991. 

Skyrms, B., 2014. Evolution of the social contract. Cambridge University Press. 

Smith, A., 2013. Nations and nationalism in a global era. John Wiley & Sons. 

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