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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
There is nationalism and then there is nationalism

Terazed
Bree

Sep 21 2013, 5:14am


Views: 141
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There is nationalism and then there is nationalism [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a reason England never went overboard on the nationalism bit. It dates back to 1848. In that year the progressive leftist and the centrists banded together in pro democracy revolutions all across Europe except England, Spain, and Russia. Their common cause was they wanted modern nations with a constitution, popularly elected parliaments, and trial by a jury of peers. England already had most of these things so there was no real push for it there.

In the rest of Europe there was a push among liberals for a concept of civic nationalism. The concept was that if they created a nation with good laws the people would forget their old cultural identity and band together to create a new national identity. This wasn't too hard a concept in someplace like France where they had already been hearing these ideas since the French Revolution and also their national boundaries had been set for centuries.

It turned out to be a disaster in Central Europe. There national boundaries were always shifting. The only constant for the people there was their cultural identity. When the idealists tried out their concepts of civic nationalism everything fell apart. For example when the Hungarians wrested their independence from the rule of the Habsburgs in Austria they claimed Transylvania as part of their new country. They claimed that their laws guarantying equality etc were good enough that the Romanians living in Transylvania would want to learn their language and would be proud to join them. At the same time those same Transylvanians were being being claimed by their southern brethren manning the border garrisons with the Ottoman Empire who were trying to form their own country. Of course the Habsburg court was also claiming them at the same time. Things got even crazier. Serfdom had not been abolished yet in many of these areas so you had areas where say the Polish speakers were the serfs and the German speakers were the overlords near areas where the opposite was the case.

Chaos ensued to say the least which pretty much lasted till the end of WW2. When German was eventually founded in 1872 for example the idealists and liberals were all disappointed. The whole idea of creating Germany for them was to do away with the police states of the time and create a single liberal national government. Instead the exchanged the Austrian Habsburg emperor for the Hohenzollern Prussian emperor. The tables were turned and the idealists and liberals (Wagner among them) turned away from nationalism and the ultraconservative empire builders became the nationalists. I am sure you know the rest of the story.

Perhaps Tolkien was thinking of the old romantic ideal of civic nationalism rather then the conservative brand of nationalism that we think of today. Certainly Tolkien discusses what makes just laws and rulers frequently in his works.


(This post was edited by Terazed on Sep 21 2013, 5:16am)

Subject User Time
Letter #131: In the Beginning Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 17 2013, 4:37pm
    The fall, free will and redemption Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 17 2013, 7:35pm
        The noble can't exist without the simple Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 18 2013, 12:11am
            Do Fall, Mortality and the Machine seem to be related in this work? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 19 2013, 5:49pm
                Perfect summation Furincurunir! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 1:53am
                When machines fall on mortals CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 20 2013, 7:59pm
                    Guilty TV and other Falls Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 10:28pm
                    Machines and mortals noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 12:26pm
                    Missing Mortality? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 21 2013, 4:51pm
                        Interesting question Rem Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 5:40pm
                        More on mortality, Elves and Men... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:24pm
    On religion (and allegory) Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 18 2013, 1:09am
        Fantastic parallels Terazed! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 18 2013, 3:39pm
            great quote which brings me to noumenon vs phenomenon Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 18 2013, 11:40pm
                More excellent points Terazed! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 3:15am
        In support of your Romantic influence Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 6:10pm
            I think you found something important in letter 310, Philosophy and faith Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 21 2013, 1:46am
                More on noumenons Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 5:27pm
                    The Numenons:are those the guys from Numenor? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 6:12pm
                        They are the ones who speak Latin and declined to go... // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 6:14pm
    Thoughts and Random Ramblings..... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 18 2013, 9:26pm
        Thoughts back Rembrethil Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 1:49am
    For England? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 19 2013, 5:03pm
        But that was then, and this is now squire Send a private message to squire Sep 19 2013, 6:29pm
            Why the nostalgia? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 19 2013, 9:00pm
            Hmmm. fascinating Squire. I would second NoWiz's query... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 1:55am
                I can't work it out... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 3:57pm
                    Especially starting with 'But once upon a time...' as he does Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 4:22pm
                        A confusion between literature and rugby union? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 5:42pm
                            Or, as satirised by comedians Flanders and Swan? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 5:59pm
                                Hmmm - Britain vs England Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 6:19pm
                                There is nationalism and then there is nationalism Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 21 2013, 5:14am
                                "It's not that they're wicked, or naturally bad... Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 23 2013, 4:12am
                                    The song nicely lampoons the problem I'm talking about…// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 23 2013, 5:50pm
        What about as ancient history? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 3:20am
            I can imagine... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 4:26pm
                Beren is fundamentally different from Aragorn, in this context squire Send a private message to squire Sep 21 2013, 2:00am
        England or English? Or Europe? Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 20 2013, 8:44pm
            More points about Europe Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 10:49pm
                Yes Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 23 2013, 3:11am
                    The Home of the Mythos... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 23 2013, 3:36am
            An epic for anyone (who likes that kind of thing). noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 11:45am
    Arrrrrrr! CaptainMorgan Send a private message to CaptainMorgan Sep 19 2013, 9:13pm
        One point, Captain... Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Sep 20 2013, 12:17am
            Love your most *Fitting* Avatar Meneldor !!!!! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 2:34am
            Or... Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 20 2013, 3:01pm
        Ye please me mightily with yer celebratory lingo today Cap'n! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 2:24am
    This letter....the bane of Tolkien Studies Bombadil21 Send a private message to Bombadil21 Sep 21 2013, 4:55am
        An interesting debate: are we better or worse off having the Letters? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 12:16pm
            Nah Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 21 2013, 2:29pm
            It is a question...Letters or no Letters? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 7:31pm
        Reply to: This letter.... Art vs Allegory Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 21 2013, 4:27pm
        Hopefully that is what we are doing here Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 5:31pm
        But wait, I thought letter #131 was expressly a manifesto? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 22 2013, 10:23am
            On the other hand, if Tolkien had been asked to write a memo "demonstrating that LOTR and the Silmarillion were interdependent and indivisible", what did Waldman think when +this+ turned up ?!// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 22 2013, 2:01pm
            Good points - it had a purpose...which begs another question about TH... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 5:21pm
                Author journey, reader journey noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 22 2013, 8:19pm
                    TH perceptions and the need for Sil Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 23 2013, 2:31am

 
 
 

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