NATIONALISM VS INTERNATIONALISM
Our era is an era of nation-states that have emerged out of the process of struggle against the colonial rule of imperialist powers. The struggle had a global character because war of independence was worldwide to win sovereignty by overthrowing imperialist regimes. The downfall of imperialism began with the Czariat Empire in 1917, during the First World War (1914-18), when Communist Revolution took place in Russia resulting in emancipation of several states that were annexed by Czar in course of time. Thus as an aftermath of the Second World War (1939-45), the Great British Empire crippled and bowing to the national movement affected transfer of power in 1947 in India with which began an era of end of British rule n its colonies in Asia and Africa, one after another. As such, the end of colonialism is marked by rise of nationalism as an international phenomenon. Because of this situation, all other colonial and imperialist power of Europe -France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, – who are confronting national movements in their colonies in Asia and Africa, also had to pull out from their respective colonies thus causing rise of more nation-states, including in Eastern Europe.
Now, let us come to the very concept of nationalism Broadly speaking, it includes identical sentiments over allegiance to the state, traditional cultural heritage unity among the people, territorial integrity and willful assertion of sovereignty of whole the nation. In a nutshell therefore, constituents of the nation are the nationalities that are integrated emotionally, economically and socially and uphold common identity. In this concept it is very important to note that the race, religion, language and culture determine nationalities or group of people but not the natioa Afghans, Iranians and Arabs have a very strong bond of religion – i.e. Islam, but are different nations. Similarly, the entire Europe is overwhelmingly Christian, but splits in different nations. So also is the case of Buddhists who are Chinese; Vietnamese and Koreans. Thais, Cambodians, Sri Lankans and so on.
One thing very important and highly remarkable is that nationalism is itself is not antagonistic to other fellow nations. But under certain circumstances it may assume an aggressive posture against other nations. In such cases it could be termed as ‘aggressive nationalism’ and may prove suicidal also. The Nazi regime headed by Adolf Hitler is an example. Hitler assumed a posture of superior nations in the continent presuming Germans as born to rule over the countries. This led to his downfall and Germany was defeated in war and bifurcated.
In the manner nationalism emerged as a global phenomenon in course of struggle against colonialism, it influenced considerably the ‘shaping’ and norms of internationalism is based on fraternity and cooperation among the nations. However, the accepted norms of internationalism include recognition of the right of all the nations to self -determinations, national sovereignty and security, cultural peace, socioeconomic progress and defend the country’s borders against external aggression. Noninterference into the internal affairs of one another is also included in these norms.
All this goes to show that there is no room for antagonism between nationalism and internationalism. The leader of the Russian Revolution V. I. Lenin had also observed to the effect in the same context that there is no internationalism without nationalism as the later is a constituent of the former.
The present era we have been living in is the era of bloom of internationalism. There were certain very important factors that have richly contributed to this growth. These include Russian Revolution and World Communist Movement, United Nations Organisation (UNO), Non-aligned movement, (NAM), and British Common Wealth of Nations. Recently many other organizations have emerged, though f or economic purposes, yet they are based on the principle of internationalism All these are remarkable for, international brotherhood, economic co-operations, scientific and technological cooperation and cultural exchanges among the nations. Development of tourism as an international phenomenon has also played a very important role in bringing the nations of the world closer to one another.
The recent spate of international terrorism is a danger to the spirit of internationalism. A strong support of all the nations of the world is needed to eliminate this trend of terrorism, so that the patrons of this horrendous evil who are the bitter enemies of humanity be isolated and punished.