Encounters With Nationalism by Ernest Gellner

By Ernest Gellner

The forecast dying of nationalism below the recent ethical orders of communism and internationalism has proved illusory. within the current century, to an volume larger possibly than in all others, nationalism has been the dominant strength within the affairs of humankind. Why should still this were? Why is it nationwide id should still remain the aspiration of virtually all peoples with out one and, even as, the justification - within the technique of acquiring, securing and increasing it- for casting apart each hint and culture of civility? In Encounters with Nationalism Ernest Gellner seeks a few answers.His technique is to think about first the tips of the most glossy thinkers at the topic, from Marx, checklist, Malinowski and Carr, to Masaryk, Heidegger, Patocka, Hroch, Havel and stated. He examines the origins, matters and context in their writings, their interactions with tradition and politics, and their effect - either on concept and on occasions. the diversity is broad, protecting japanese, Western and Islamic societies, and comprises huge discussions of the similar topics of civil society, theocracy, communism, imperialism, capitalism and liberalism.Professor Gellner isn't lower than trenchant. he's involved right here not just to appreciate, yet to criticize. He confronts numerous strong and classy notions that gasoline and/or try to clarify modern nationalism - between them postcolonialism. at the one hand he exposes their incoherence and irresponsibility; at the different he locations them along principles of genuine forex. Nor does he ward off the talk surrounding the character of judgement itself: the reader also will locate right here concise and penetrating discussions of relativism, pluralism, objectivity and the opportunity of common values.

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That is,no reason for pretending that the problem does n o t exist,

It is n o t necessarily wrong to display d o u b t rather t h a n conviction. It is not necessarily wicked to be less than clear about the limits of one's responsibility. It is hot always wrong to be realistic about the situation and to refrain from Quixotry. T h e recognition of these difficulties is itself a duty. T h e tacit deploy- 1 m e n t of a model which fails to do justice to the seriousness of these difficulties is itself a kind of intellectual treason. T h e strident denunciation of the treason of-the clerics, which pretends* that our situation is far clearer and unambiguous than in fact it.

T h e rulers a n d citizens of Marxist countries continue to pay lip service to it, for a rather good reason. T h e complex of institutions and ritual affirmation which accompany them, which Marxism h a d engendered at. e. barriers to political-chaos. This chaos would be provoked, above all, by the genuine strength of nationalism. Wishing to avoid'such chaos, they stick to the only language a n d set of institutions available. T h e y w o u l d n ' t now dream of embracing Marxism if only they could go back to the starting point, b u t they canft.

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