Dialogue and Universalism 29 (1):57-66 (2019)

Abstract
The concern of this paper is to critique the political conception of nationalism as a theory of the nation-state. The basic point of the critique is that when the interests of the nation and the principles of the state coincide there emerges a fierce sense of national identity which endangers moral indifference to outsiders, the people within and outside the national boundary, without remorse. Here the attempt to uphold national identity is something more than nationhood. Besides involving territorial identity, common language, custom and culture essential to the idea of a “nation,” it also upholds the consciousness of these as determining separate rights and allegiances, the idea of attachment to a nation and its interests. Such a consciousness can emerge only on the adoption of certain populist ideas such as racism, ethnicity and even such popular elusive myths as the “greatness” of a nation, the urge for the maintenance of “national character,” etc. Such “nationalist xenophobia” leads to the intensification of the distinction between the “own” and the “other,” “national” and the “alien,” the “citizen” and the “migrant” leading to “ethnic disharmony,” “colour bias,” hatred and suspicion of persons with whom one has lived closely as neighbours for decades. The most popular is the economic discourse of the “migrants” putting the “nationals” out of work. All this has its toll on multi-culturalism and humanitarian concerns. Many affluent nations have become cold to human misery, suffering and deaths from wars, terrorism, acute poverty, political persecution, environmental degradation, etc. This has created an “existential” crisis for millions of people on earth.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  Language and Literature  Social and Political Philosophy  Social Science
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1234-5792
DOI 10.5840/du20192915
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