Nationalism & Human Nature

Liberal and anti/postcolonial nationalists hold a positive perspective on human nature, believing that government should be founded on the consent of the people, a notion rooted in rational interpretation according to Rousseau. They advocate for an inclusive vision of the nation and a positive outlook on human nature, emphasizing the potential for individuals to coexist harmoniously based on shared values. This perspective, influenced by Mazzini, romanticizes human nature and underscores national sentiment as being rooted in love and fellowship. Furthermore, liberal nationalists' optimism about human nature leads them to support supranational cooperation among nations through entities like the EU or NATO, while anti/postcolonialists like Garvey champion pan-Africanism.

Conservative and expansionist nationalists have an emotive view of human nature. The racism inherent in expansionist nationalism is not rational. This belief is based on chauvinism and the feeling of superiority that some nations have over others. This exaggerated form of nationalism is exclusive and associated with the idea of Maurras

Expansionist nationalism is associated with militarism, conquest, and suppression of ‘lesser’ nations. The belief in racial superiority leads expansionist nationalists to the conclusion that they are entitled to the territory currently held by other racial groups. Expansionist nationalism is based on both imperialism and racial conquest whereby the interests of one nation justify it dominating others. Militarism and conquest is used to create a sense of national unity

Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate;

“To every man upon this earth

Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his Gods.”

 Thomas Babington Macauley