final study guide

final study guide - READINGS: PART 3 - NATIONALISM AND...

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READINGS : PART 3 - NATIONALISM AND POST-COLONIALISM, WESTERN AND NON- WESTERN Mazzini: On the Duties of Mankind In Joseph Mazzini’s essay “On the Duties of Man Addressed to Working Men”, Mazzini iterates how people can only be truly free through being a part of a sovereign state, and this idea has relatedness to national self-determination. He also says that we must love and labor for our country of residence for the sake of humanity. Mazzini subsequently shuns any form of caste or inequality, believing congruently that existence of privilege and inequality must be combated at all times. Mazzini also looks at systems like the caste systems as not truly free, meaning that a nation like India (which did fight for independence from British rule) would not be considered a truly free country under Mazzini’s stipulations. His ideas are, all in all, a bit too idealistic however. It can also be said that many of his idea are too out of date for practice, as many of them involve God being at the summit of everything, and people at the base, when in contemporary relations God is usually not the be-all end-all. Despite its moving images and inspiring ideas, Giuseppe Mazzini’s The Duties of Man is little more than a misguided attempt of a naïve and idealistic man to promote the idea of nationalism. The work centers around the idea that the first duties of man are to “embrace the whole human family in [his] affections” and that national unification is the divinely designed means to achieving this end. While Mazzini’s goal is certainly a valid and commendable one, his proposed method toward achieving this goal is completely unrealistic and illogical. When Mazzini writes that the rise of the “countries of the people,” – countries born of the nationalistic efforts of their citizens – will lead to “harmony and fraternity [between all countries],” he fails to realize that nationalism also serves as a powerful exclusionary force. The creation of a nation has never failed to leave certain people feeling displaced and unrepresented – the rise of Hungary left Croatian and Serbian minorities feeling excluded, the nationalistic efforts of Russia crushed the Polish people, and German nationalism came at the expense of the Danish. These frustrated minorities would not have felt inspired to begin efforts aimed at “benefiting all Humanity” after nationalism took its toll; instead, they would likely feel compelled to express their anger through protests and violence. Nationalism is generally not the precursor to unity and peace, as predicted by Mazzini, but instead to war. The “evil governments” Mazzini demands be overthrown in place of countries defined by natural boundaries are themselves a source of nationalism for many of their citizens – their overthrow would only lead those displaced to demand the restoration of their nation (be it an “evil government”), sparking a violent and interminable cycle. Wouldn’t one be better off working to directly help those most in need in their community, be it local or
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2012 for the course GVPT 200S taught by Professor Boyd during the Fall '11 term at Maryland.

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final study guide - READINGS: PART 3 - NATIONALISM AND...

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