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Nationalism stands on the ideas of loyalty and pride towards a state or country. Furthermore, a common language, history, culture, and religion are the primary issues among nationalists. They can also favor a destined religion or piece of land. Often, people mistake it with patriotism.

There is no direct link between this ideology to capitalism, socialism, or other forms of government. More important are other characteristics. Firstly, the well-being of the nation compared to others. Therefore, they must stand out in several measures. They tend to prioritize their economy and military.

Secondly, nationalists avoid large organizations. They want to stand on their own rather than join organizations like NATO or the EU. Therefore, they tend to oppose the concept of globalism.

The French Revolution, 1789

Nationalism in practice

Nationalists first appeared in the late 18th century. While the French revolution and the American Independence were the first appearances, the movement gained strength in Europe in the 1840s and 1850s. Moreover, nationalism was crucial in the arrangement of Europe after the First world war. These forms were usually linked with unifying nations or forming new countries. 

However, there are also problematical forms. The most infamous movements are Nazism, chauvinism, and Fascism. Hence, it can lead to racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. Today, nationalism is not very common. Nevertheless, Vladimir Putin’s reign is nationalist.

Forms of Nationalism

Civil nationalism defends national identity in the name of the fight for freedom, tolerance, and equality. Thus, rather than culture or language, institutions define the nation.

The economic form advocates for government intervention. The state should focus on local supplies and company ownership. Moreover, it restricts the free movement of labor. For example, Donald Trump has been labeled as a recent figure of this form.

Ethnic nationalism favors a specific race. The idea is that a given ethnicity or race shares some common heritage, language, or culture. For example, the state of Israel automatically grants citizenship to all Jews. An extreme form can lead to racism.