What is your definition of nationalism


Nationalism is defined as an ideology that exaggerates or sets absolutely the characteristics of one's own ethnic community (e.g. language, culture, history). This ideology culminates in the exaggerated desire for the unity of people and space. Nationalists raise their own nation above others and define it as the highest goal to which the individual has to subordinate all other goals. Those who allegedly do not belong to the German nation are marginalized, viewed as inferior or even persecuted.

The history of nationalism is closely linked to the emergence of nation states. In the Middle Ages, the term “nation” primarily referred to a community of people. It was not until the 18th and 19th centuries that the modern understanding of the nation state emerged. This included different license plates depending on the country. In territorially consolidated France, an understanding of the nation developed after the revolution, which was based primarily on community and the commitment to the French nation and its values. In contrast, there was no German state of its own for a long time. Therefore different criteria for national identity than in France developed. German thinkers saw themselves more as a linguistically determined cultural nation. They counted everyone who spoke German to the German nation. It was only with the establishment of the German Empire in 1871 that the German nation dreamed of by many was also given a state structure. A nationalism of its own developed from the existing nation-state, which was closely linked to territorial claims, e.g. relating to Austria and Alsace.

“Blood and Soil” ideology

In the Third Reich, nationalism achieved a state-supporting function and showed its most aggressive side. In the “blood and soil” ideology and the striving for “living space” in the east, both the racial components and the will to expand became clear.

The postulate of unity between the racially defined people and their settlement area can also be found in the concept of ethnopluralism represented by the Identitarian Movement (IB). The IB propagates a European ethnopluralism, according to which only the spatial and cultural separation of different ethnic groups can guarantee the identity and the continued existence of peoples and cultures.

The ethnopluralist notion of peoples tied to certain territories corresponds to the right-wing extremist "blood and soil" ideology, with the term "race" being replaced by an alleged "ethno-cultural identity".

Aggressive xenophobia

Nationalism also plays a decisive role in today's right-wing extremism. Thus one's own nation is seen as the engine for all action. It is often associated with biological ancestry. Right-wing extremists see the nation threatened by many influences today, in particular by immigration and the allegedly related extinction of the German people, the so-called “people's death”. Nationalism here goes hand in hand with aggressive xenophobia.