How the world came to love nationalism.
|- Mar 21 2004 20:08:21 -|
How the world came to love nationalismThe other day I was thinking how lots of folks don't follow me when I rant. I then realized that I use lots of ellipsis in my conversation.
Quote from Arnold Toynbees book "Hellenism A history of the Hellenic civilization" 1957 .
"the Hellenic worship of idolized local states is the dominant religion of the world. It is only thinly disguised by a veneer of higher religions. The tragic history of the Hellenic World shows that this Hellenic form of idolatry is a ghost of Hellenism that we harbour at our peril. The Modern World must exorcise this demon resolutely if it is to save itself from meeting with its Hellenic predecessor's fate."
A quote from Geezer
Perhaps in the future I should explain how I get to my conclusions.
Here are bunch of quotes from and commentary on Arnold Toynbee. Follow the links for fuller discussions. Toynbee has many antagonists. From clerics, some clerics groove on him, to those pseudo-intellectual wags in the pay of armament manufacturers and others. The quotes below are from both sides.
"Nationalism is the big enemy of the human race. Technology has made the world one, and nationalism tries to keep it apart."
Toynbee had rather a dim view of the modern nation-state and a disregard for nationalism. To him, the emergence of the modern nation-states, in his words "parochial states", was the sign of the break-down stage of the Western civilisation and nationalism was one of the worst forms of lower religion that mankind has hit upon so far.
Arnold Toynbee argued that the concurrence of two powerful forces, Industrialism and Nationalism, had shaped the recent history of the West. Since the last quarter of the nineteenth century, however, they had entered into destructive contradiction with each other, as the international scale of industry burst the bounds of nationality, yet the contagion of nationalism itself spread downwards into ever smaller and less viable ethnic communities.
Toynbee, writing after a quarter of a century of momentous historical development, feels that now the greatest enemy of all "high religions" is secular, nationalistic, technological man; and he urges them all to stop squabbling over relative claims of superiority and unite in defense of spiritual and personal man
Arnold Toynbee visualised nationalism as "the outcome of a perversion of Industrialism and Democracy through the impact of these new forces upon the old institution of Parochial Sovereignty", and denounced it as "this disastrous corruption poisoning the political life of our modern Western society".
Such a fanaticism indeed heightens in the twentieth century the worship of collective human power. It is a worship proclaimed in Communism and Nationalism. In the first, on a worldwide scale and on an. order reminiscent of that devotion demanded the goddess Rome and the god Caesar. In the second, within regional limits and as a modem, counterpart to the worship of Athens and Sparta and other city-states of the Graeco-Roman world before the foundation of the Roman Empire.
Denuded of the love principle and virtually post-Christian already, this Western culture holds out technology as its chief resource. Such a technology may have overcome the worship of nature; also, it has deepened the propensity of modern man to worship collective human power.
He said, "In the past 4 or 5 thousand years, about 20 civilizations have disintegrated mostly due to militarism....It could make regional countries consisting of one society in conflict and result in destructive dog eats dog."