The sameness. But the mean of Nationalism for

The power of Nationalism


Nationalism is an ideology which is quite hard to
define it, because its definition and the factors are always changing during
the time, situation and country. But the basic definition of Nationalism is “Refers
to the feeling of political unity or of identity and patriotic sympathy that a
people usually focuses on its own language or culture or on a land that it
regards as its own. It also refers to that component of various political
ideologies according to which this feeling is held to be essential to the
existence of a state or to a political movement’s aspirations to statehood” (Bulliet) to simplify this term, Nationalism unifies and
bonds people in one group based on sameness. But the mean of Nationalism for
unification changed many time during the history: Language, religion, ethnic
and state. It is a powerful ideology because Nationalism can be easily mixed up
with other ideology and it has affected many nations and it also brings many
tragic histories too.

Nationalism first appeared at British Puritan
Revolution, and it spread to the global. It brought many other historical big
events in the world especially during 20 centuries. French Revolution and
American War of Independence were also affected by Nationalism. French people
unified by 3 ideas: liberty, equality and philanthropy. Americans unified by
State. The Nationalism made them to bond and unify all citizens and it brought
huge power for changing their country or resist from foreign nations. If they
didn’t bond to each other by this notion, then they couldn’t come together as a
nation. This is an essential characteristic of Nationalism, also it is good
example to show how nationalism affects people and country. However,
Nationalism brings many side effects because it brings exclusive attitudes from
different groups. Those exclusiveness made many victims in world history
especially when it became extreme.

Japan was a country
which used nationalism as an ideology with imperialism. According to Sakai
Naoki, after industrialization of Japan, they became a rapidly developed, and
the most powerful country in early 20 centuries in East Asia. However, at that
time, Imperialism and nationalism were big paradigm ideologies in the western
world and it became big paradigm ideology in Japan.  Then, those ideologies justify and encourage
nations to invade other countries and colonize them. So eventually Japan
attacked Korea, China and Philippines for making Greater East Asia
Co-Prosperity sphere. Japan’s nationalism is combined with imperialism and it brought
many hurtful histories in East Asia. (On Japanese Imperial Nationalism, 14.3/4 (2000))

Japan followed western countries. Imperialism and Nationalism
justified their conquest and colonized other countries until Japan became
extreme. Japanese believed that their king is god, and Japanese are superior
ethnic more than any other Asian people. This was a big reason how Japan
dreamed to conquer Asia, and started the war against America. When extreme
nationalism is permeated to one society, that society’s notions are paralyzed,
easy to instigate public and shows harsh actions. During World War II, Japan was
united by ethnic and religion. But they became ultra-nationalists, and
attempted many war-crimes: Nanjing Massacre, human experiment, comfort women.

In world history, the 20 centuries were violent and cataclysmic
era. Industrialized countries started to colonize other countries and they
justified their actions by nationalism. Especially, Nazism and Passim gave huge
big changes and tragic especially in Europe. Hitler started to make the German
empire based on pure Arian race, Mussolini tried to build Roman Empire again.
German and Italian citizens believed that their actions were right and fair.
Without any critical sight, Nationalism can be easy to become extreme and it is
easier to instigate the public.  Nationalism make that people be more
patriotic, but sometimes, it is paralyzing people’s notions and makes them to
do wrong thing like German, Japan and any other country which colonized any
other country.  

Even though Nationalism gave hurtful history in the
world during 20 centuries, but still Nationalism strongly permeated with many
countries, especially Asia, Middle East, and Africa. After World War II, many
colonized countries greeted independence. One similar thing in those countries
is that they choose nationalism as their ideology. Colonized countries have
hatred to foreign power because they have history about invasion by foreign
country, plundered, colonized and lost their country. So, they want to become

In Middle East, Nationalism is easy to find and
strongly permeated. According to Altuntas and Nezaha, religion can be factor of
nationalism. In Middle East countries like Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria,
Saudi-Arabia, sharing same religion culture even they have different
denomination. Those countries are bonded strongly to deal with Western power in
Middle East. (418-435) Islam has a unique feature compare with other
religion: Many Muslims are nationalists because many of Islam countries are
theocracy. Their countries represent their religion, so attack of Islam
countries also means attack of Islam religion and Muslim’s belief. Besides, it
is easy to become extreme when people are unified by religion. Terrorism in
Islam countries maybe symptom of Ultra-Nationalism like Al-Qaeda, Hamas; those
groups attempted many terrors. The appearance of those terrorist groups is
because of foreign interference like Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and Gulf
War. Although Islam countries and cultures are showing that they have a strong
nationalism ideology, but Islam countries have different denomination like
Sunni and Shia, so they conflict each other and it blocks to unify all of Islam
country and cause civil wars.    

During and after the 20 centuries, Asia countries were
colonized by Western Power. I guess because of that, we can find many
nationalistic ideologies in Asia society. Especially China is the most powerful
Ultra-nationalistic country in the world. According to Tang Wenfang and
Benjamin Darr, China has identified many types of nationalism, such as ethnic
nationalism, liberal nationalism, state nationalism, pragmatic nationalism,
elite nationalism, mass nationalism. Ethnic is strongest factor of their
nationalism. China’s nationalism is mixed with Maxims. Their communist
government’s stability and legitimacy is increased because of nationalism
ideology. China’s nationalism is using to sustain their communist government
and to justify their legitimacy (811-826).  For thousands of years, China controlled many near
countries and sustained tribute-relationship with them. Chinese people have had
a middle kingdom; China is only one kingdom in the world, and every other country
are barbarian, and nowadays, Many Chinese still think that China is powerful,
greatest country in the world, and also China shows exclusive attitude in
diplomatic relationship. China is a communist country, and for sustaining their
political power, they keep encouraging nationalism because it helps to suppress
people’s freedom and independence movement in Tibet or Xinjiang.

Last week, American
ambassador was attacked by Kim Gi Zong. It was really shocking thing to Korea
and United State both. After he stabbed ambassador, he claimed that South Korea
need to stop the military training and pull out US forces from South Korea.
Because of United States, we can’t unify with North Korea (Yonhap). After Korea
War, Korea divided by North and South. Actually, Korea already divided by
Soviet Union and United States after de-colonization. Even though both
countries had different ideology, they were one ethnic group, and also, they
were victims of Cold War, but after North Korea attacked South Korea, it is
hard to claim North and South Korea should unify by one ethnic, which means,
Nationalism has weakened after Korean War in South Korea’s society.

Nationalism is still great strategy for North Korea. They always assert one
slogan ‘among our ethnic’. Ultra-nationalists in South Korea think that we are
United States colony and we can’t make United Korea until South Korea removes the
United States from their territory. Nationalism gave powers in Korea after
de-colonization from Japan, but nowadays in South Korea, it brings conflictions
and chaos just like that terror: According to Yonhap, Police found few evidence
from Kim Gi Zong’s house which he worshiped North Korea. Of course, most people
in South Korea disagree with him, and they really concern about damaging
relationship with America.  Actually,
Korea could exist because of United States because United States gave many
helps to overcome hardships like become independent from Japan and Korea War.
Now, Korea and United States are economically global partner and also military
alliance. However North Korea uses nationalism to encouraging public opinions
about Anti-Americanism. 

Nationalism ideology have strong power especially
when it uses as a good mean. It helps to unify people for one objective, also
make faithful citizens who love their country. However, if people lose their
control, Nationalism easily changed to Ultra-Nationalism, and it brings
exclusive, and extremeness in their society. During the history Nationalism is
two edge swords; it brings different effects to stronger and weaker
countries.  For stronger countries, it
justified their actions even it’s not moral but for weaker, Nationalism give
hope for independence for themselves. It is hard to define that Nationalism is
good or bad, but one thing I can say is that Nationalism without any control,
it paralyzes your thinking and make you just follow public like puppet what
Germany did in Hitler’s government. So, people should take strict precaution
when Nationalism permeated to their country. People will whisper to you that
whatever they are doing is for your great country, but, without any critical
sight, you might become one of the many puppets who are just following the
public, which is already allured by madness.