Today we will follow up on our earlier discussion about the State. Historicity has states, as defined by Hobbes exist as long as humans has lived in any form of organized tribe.
Today we will tough focus on defining the “modern nation state”. With this term I refer to the unified nations that formed as a result of, and with the explicit help of the rise of European nationalism.
This nationalism can be in part be attributed to the rise of unified nation states in the west. Germany, the UK, France and many more nation went from legalized governance to a more localized form. With this localization came the need for a notion of a complete and uniform national identity. This identity would unify the nations citizens under one banner. This national identity would also legitimize the states rule. This act also help legitimize the states interaction with other states. These interactions includes everything from trade negotiations, to war and colonization.
This nation state is as much defined what it is, as what it inst. What I mean by this statement is the following. When defining who are the citizens of a state (us), one must simultaneously define why is not (them). At the rise of European nationalism this often meant exaggerating some perceived virtue of the nations citizens while exaggerating negative traits of the “others”.
It is true that nationalism has simulair events, discussions etc has evolved in several areas and time frames around the world. The somewhat unfortunate Eurocentric standpoint of the environment this blog is created in, does me that Europe is where our discussion start. With this said, I believe there are some simulates that can be found in most if not al of these events.
The common element that we are going to focus on here is he following: al national identities are by their design, fabricated. What I mean by this is the following:
Al national identities are created by its parent nation, state and most importantly, the people that embody it. Next time we will look closer at what makes up a national identity.