New Nationalism: Origins and Effects Essay

January 24, 2022 by Essay Writer

By the end of 19th century, the west embarked on a hasty shift towards industrialization. This resulted to short-term challenges in working conditions, increase in poverty levels, and displacement. The countries had difficulty matching the demands and expectations of industrialization.

Their ability to adapt could not match the quick developments in areas of technology. This resulted to upsurge in revolutionary movements that agitated against various aspects of modern capitalism. Consequently, the term “Fin de siècle” applied in reference to a prevalent cultural movement that spread across Europe. The movement concentrated on issues relating to history of man and the intrigues of civilization.

There was increasing discontent over the idea that history and civilization were indicative of change. The idea that progress was always good came under serious criticism. Critics argued that modern civilization and hasty progress would result to emergence of individuals without a connection to society and its values. They argued that civilization would change the order of things in society.

The “Fin de siècle” proponents were in favour of emotions, subjectivity, and vitality. They viewed civilization as a hurdle that required an elaborate remedy. The movement favoured community ideals over individual and subjective ideals. There was rebellion against liberalism and unprecedented rise of right-wing politics that sought to conserve tradition and fought against change. This turn of events precipitated apathy and heightened tension across most European countries.

The emergence of social Darwinism provided the motivation for more supportive discourse with regard to race. Some proponents of Darwinism viewed human history as a culmination of racial contests. They not only evaluated national success but also individual success based on social, economic, and political parameters. This was vital in ensuring that they generated accurate and acceptable deductions. Positivist scientists viewed race in terms of hereditary factors and transcendence.

They relied on precise scientific procedures as opposed to speculation. This accorded them a chance to achieve accurate and precise inferential data. Scientists proposed a possible genetic connection between individuals in different nations. They argued that such connections supersede any form of physical or social bond between individuals. The findings were remarkable to the world of science.

This interpretation heralded a new meaning regarding the concept of nationalism. This brought a new dimension to understanding of social situations and the required procedure for diffusing upheavals in society. The biological approach to nationalism changed the understanding on nation and other related social context. This resulted to the development of the scientific theory of eugenics.

The concept of racial purity emerged with claims that race precedes culture. It argued that racial synthesis led to chaos and confusion in society. Hygiene among races was an indicator of traditional understanding of public health. Scholars struggled to define the hereditary circumstances of individuals, with emphasis on grouping individuals according to their racial and ethnic roots.

They determined this by analysing various trends such as attitudes, language, dressing, and other characteristic behaviours. States acquired definition as ethnic groupings as opposed to territorial entities.

This concept of nation denoted a communal group whose members shared a common biological identity. Through such identities, members developed a clear system of values that surrounded their racial and ethnic existence. The biological identity influenced the degree of development and advancement in terms of cultural, social, political, and other aspects of a nation.

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