Notes on Nationalism

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George Orwell

Notes on Nationalism is a weel-kent essay scrieved in Mey 1945 bi George Orwell in the jurnal Polemic, follaeing the Seicont Warld War. In the essay, Orwell gies an description o naitionalism, that he descreives as:

... first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled 'good' or 'bad.' ... [and] the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests.[1]

Here, he links naitionalism to pouer politics an gies ensamples o Positive Nationalism (fae a bodie's ain kintra; e.g., Celtic naitionalism or Zionism), Negative Nationalism (filk is against anither group; e.g., Antisemitism or anti-Soviet Trotskyism), an Transferred Nationalism (identification wi a race, class, or kintra ither than a bodie's ain). He gies a disctinction atween this naitionalism an patriotism forby. "Patriotism is of its nature defensive.... Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power.".[1]

Ae observation makkit bi Orwell, that is that it is anely nationalists fa pit ony amoont o importance ontae the uiss o Scots,[a] haes been criticised bi Scots-leid speakers.[2] Notes on Nationalism haes been uised bi fowk on the richt-weeng o politics (includin umwhile Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson) tae argie agin 'identity politics'.[3][4]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Quote: "All nationalists consider it a duty to spread their own language to the detriment of rival languages, and among English-speakers this struggle reappears in subtler form as a struggle between dialects. Anglophobe Americans will refuse to use a slang phrase if they know it to be of British origin, and the conflict between Latinizers and Germanizers often has nationalist motives behind it. Scottish nationalists insist on the superiority of Lowland Scots, and Socialists whose nationalism takes the form of class hatred tirade against the B.B.C. accent and even the broad A."
  1. a b "What George Orwell Wrote About the Dangers of Nationalism". Literary Hub (in Inglis). 16 November 2017.
  2. Uri, Antonia (22 November 2018). "The Scots leid is for aa, nae jist for nationalists". The National. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  3. Unit, The Constitution (29 Mey 2017). "'Nationalism should not be confused with patriotism' – Ruth Davidson delivers the Orwell Prize Shortlist Lecture". The Constitution Unit Blog (in Inglis).
  4. "If Labour want help with patriotism, they should read Orwell - The Post". UnHerd.

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