Distinguish between nationalism and racialism.

The concepts of nationalism and racialism have commonly being confused, due to right wing exclusive ethnocultural nationalism. However, it can be seen that there are clear differences between the two.

The concepts of nationalism and racialism have commonly being confused, due to right wing exclusive ethnocultural nationalism. However, it can be seen that there are clear differences between the two.

Nationalism argues that the nation is the central principle of organisation. The nation is a collective body of people bound together by shared values, traditions, a common language, religion, history and usually occupying the same geographical area. Nationalism is based upon two assumptions. Firstly, that humankind is naturally divided into discrete nations. Secondly, that the nation is the most appropriate, and perhaps only legitimate, unit of political rule. Nationalism can be divided into political nationalism and ethnocultural nationalism. Political nationalism sees the nation as a natural political community, with the main focus on attaining national self-determination and building a nation-state. Cultural nationalism, seeks to strengthen or defend cultural identity rather than seek overt political demands. They attempt to bring about the regeneration of the nation as a distinctive civilisation. As a result, this can sometimes lead ethnocultural nationalism to become confused with racialism

Racialism believes that political and social conclusions can be drawn from the idea that humankind is divided into biologically distinct ‘races’. Whilst nations are cultural entities, races are biological or genetic entities. Racialism is based upon two assumptions. Firstly, people conform to a specific genetic or species type, meaning that there are differences between people biologically. Secondly, divisions are reflected in cultural, intellectual or moral differences. This implies racial segregation (such as Apartheid) or doctrines of racial superiority/inferiority (such as Nazism and the idea of the ‘white man’s burden’). The idea of a racial hierarchy leads to the systematic subordination of peoples on the basis of their origin. This can sometimes provide a ‘justification’ for conquest and expansion. The subordinated group can also become the scapegoat for all the misfortunes and frustrations suffered by the ‘superior’ group, such as what happened in Nazi Germany.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>