Four valid demerits of nationalism

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1. Nationalism played a progressive role in its early stages but in the imperialist stage of capitalism it has assumed a very ugly role. The industrial powers of the world have changed nationalism into an unholy doctrine of hatred and lust for power. It has often degenerated into jingoism.

Nationalism contains within itself the possible source of its own destruction unless carefully guarded against exaggeration. It be­comes exclusive. Extreme nationalism breeds hatred for the nations and is responsible for World Wars.

2. Extreme nationalism gave rise to World Wars I and II which brought unprecedented devastation and human massacre in their wake.

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It is in the name of national rights, national honor, and national policy that millions of lives and billions of treasures have been wasted in recent times.

3. In the words of Prof. Hares, nationalism is a proud and boastful habit of mind about one’s nation accompanied by a hostile attitude towards other nations.

It admits that individual citizens of one’s nation­ality arc always right whereas others are always wrong. It is prejudiced and inhuman. It is mania and an exaggerated egoism.

Rabindranath Tagore, in his book on nationalism, has condemned it as ‘organized self-interest of the whole people and the organization of politics and commerce for selfish ends and an organized power for exploitation’.

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4. An effective world order and lasting peace will never be possible if narrow nationalism is not abandoned. Nationalism is in fact, a stum­bling block in the way of international peace and order.

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