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Society & Us: Kinds of Nationalism

It is possible to draw a distinction between two kinds of nationalism. The first is civic, and the second ethnic.

civic-nationalism

Civic nationhood is meant to describe a political identity built around shared citizenship in a liberal-democratic state.

A “civic nation,” in this sense, need not be unified by commonalities of language or culture. It simply requires a disposition on the part of citizens to uphold their political institutions, and to accept the liberal principles on which they are based. Membership is open to anyone who shares these values. In a civic nation, the protection or promotion of one national culture over others is not a goal of the state.

Ethnic nationalists, on the other hand, conceive of the nation as a community of culture and history, with a bond of solidarity that resembles the familial bond.

groupidentity-merl

Here, a myth of common ancestry replaces residence in an historic homeland as the criterion of national membership; genealogy rather than territory defines the ethnic nation. Similarly, vernacular cultures, notably language and customs, are more highly prized than legal equality, and popular mobilization than citizenship. Finally, in place of a civic, mass culture, ethnic nationalists extol native history and a more circumscribed ethnic culture.

Both kinds of nationalism may breed homogenizing policies and exclusive attitudes, but these are more marked in the case of ethnic nationalisms.

Some contrasts between civic & ethnic nationalism:

Civic Nationalists emphasize on: 

Ethnic Nationalists emphasize on:

Law

Common roots

Choice

Inheritance

Rational attachment

Emotional attachment

Unity by consent

Unity by ascription

Democratic pluralism

Ethnic majority rules

Liberty

Fraternity

Individual creates nation

Nation creates individual

Stuti Das, India

Click to access the other articles in the “Society & Us” series: 

Reference:

  • Civic Nationalists Ethnic Nationalists. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2017, from https://msu.edu/user/hillrr/161lec16.htm
  • Stilz, A. (2009). Civic Nationalism and Language Policy. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 37(3), 257-292. doi:10.1111/j.1088-4963.2009.01160.x
  • Smith, A. D. (1994). Ethnic Nationalism and the Plight of Minorities. Journal of Refugee Studies, 7(2-3), 186-198. doi:10.1093/jrs/7.2-3.186

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Word: Autarkic

Autarkic [Adjective]

Sentence: When visioning for best possible future energy systems in a world with growing populations, limited fossil fuel resources, rising energy prices and less energy security -more individuals, communities and cities are looking to utilise autarkic principles to harvest, store and optimise use of local energy resources. Energy autarky can be described as a location that relies on its own energy resources for generating the useful energy required to sustain the society within that region or a situation in which a region does not import substantial amounts of energy resources. Functioning autarkic energy systems typically require a micro-grid, well understood energy demand and supply characteristics, opportunities for energy storage of various types and controls able to manage the harmonisation of system components. (Source: www.researchgate.net)

Meaning: Self-sufficient; Describing non-trade situations

How To Remember?

Autarkic” or “Autarky” should remind you of “Autonomy“-the right or condition of self-government. The idea of autarky may be thought of as an extension of autonomy whereby you not only have your own government, your country/society is self-sufficient and does not need any inputs or call for any intervention from an outside party.

Remember thus!

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autarky

Picture Credit: www.criticalcactus.com

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Word: Agitprop

Agitprop [Noun]

Sentence: At the center of George Orwell’s 1949 classic depiction of a totalitarian, dystopian society in which the masses are controlled through the imposition of an all-seeing system of surveillance and agitprop, 1984, Big Brother is the ubiquitous presence who dominates this society with ruthless efficiency. Big Brother is the leader of the Party, the political collective that presides over Orwell’s fictional society, Oceania, and he is the face of this autocratic system. (Source: www.enotes.com)

Meaning: Political propaganda spread chiefly through literature, drama, music, or art

How To Remember?

Expand “Agit-Prop” as agitating propaganda which is used to incite people to take some action. It may be for winning an election or stirring up a revolution.

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Ágitprop.gif

Gif Credit: knowyourmeme.com

[Agitprop can be funny too, you know!]

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A Brave New World

In the last century, we talked about globalization, global initiatives, more humane and inclusive values. We built up a social agreement to discard xenophobia and embrace our fellow humans.

By the end of the second decade of this century, you have Trump in the USA, May in the UK, an emerging Le Pen in France and we also have our Modi in India. All of them evoking nationalistic sentiments through symbolic actions and, words that seem to put local production and employment in the spotlight. But even while they talk about local sourcing, we saw 170 odd countries signing the Paris Climate Agreement in the UNGA April, last year.

brave-new-world

So while many fear that the grounds gained in the last century would be lost under the new emerging leadership, I think otherwise. We might take a couple of steps back (to course-correct, if I may add) but only to leap higher, to become more globalized, more inclusive.

For every thesis, there comes an anti-thesis. Both are then synthesized over time and become a thesis. Again, there comes an anti-thesis and the process of synthesis. This goes on. This is how progress happens and we evolve.

This is how we afford ourselves a brave, new world every millennium, every time.

Amartya Dey, India

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US Elections: Disrupting & Anti-Establishment

US ELections.jpg

Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th President of the US of A. With most intellectuals and almost the entire media going against Trump, it came as a surprise to many. Not only is Trump is the oldest President elected in the USA, he is also the only one of the 45 Presidents who previously did not hold any public office or served in the military.

So, what went wrong?

  • Did the anti-Trump media crystallize the Trump voter base with their endless stereotyping, degrading and bashing his supporters?
  • Trump is easy to understand. Throughout his campaign, feasible or not, he provided simple solutions to complex problems. Whether they work or not, did the average voter connect more with Trump because the solutions were imaginable or comprehensible easily?
  • Or, were the voters just tired of the liberal rhetoric that has come to dominate the media discourse?

There were specific issues at play too but the issues against one candidate balanced the issues against the other. If Trump has been characterized as sexist and racist, the email controversy and past war experience of Clinton sure left her quite harangued.

Not Understanding the Emerging Right

While the number of guesses as to why the election result is in favor of Trump is endless, one emerging idea is that few have comprehended why the Right is emerging, why people are siding with the Right-winged groups.

First, people are scared. And the world is becoming ever more complex and uncertain. Secondly, most think that they have offered enough concessions to the minorities. Thirdly, many believe that the minority groups should take some responsibilities. And lastly, they are tired. They are tired of the sugar coated words of their liberal and secular leaders when in actuality, war participation has not really gone down in real terms and employment rate has not really gone up.

People want solutions. It does not matter if the solutions are disruptive, if the solutions are against the very establishment which has been them since forever. They are desperate. And so are the times.

Picture Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

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