Outline of Nationalism and Other Ideologies

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The question of whether nationalism qualifies as an ideology is often raised by many political thinkers yet it is never truly answered, this is due to the complex nature of topic and so many variables with in it, that it is difficult to agree on the basic values of nationalism or which definition of an ideology to use. For this essay I will briefly outline nationalism and what an ideology actually is before answering whether nationalism can qualify as an ideology. After this I will demonstrate what views nationalists hold in common, if this is possible. The simplest definition of nationalism is, the belief that all nations have the right to self-government and determine their own destiny. Thus multi-national states are essentially wrong and it is the nation-state therefore that is a legitimate power.1 Thus the nation is the predominant feature and precedes everything, it is celebrated by national holidays remembering great leaders and battle victories, flags or national anthems. The term ideology developed in the Marxist tradition, to talk about how cultures are structured in ways that enable the group holding power to have the maximum control with the minimum of conflict. This is not a matter of groups deliberately planning to oppress people or alter their consciousness, but rather a matter of how the dominant institutions in society work through values, conceptions of the world, and symbol systems, in order to legitimise the current order. Briefly, this legitimisation
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