This week, we discussed the topic of nationalism. More specifically, we talked about how nationalism ties directly into things such as democracy, education, and war. (Just so we all have the right idea on nationalism, this is not it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJmouowPH5k ) It seems that nationalism and democracy in particular are connected. The rising wave of nationalism coincides exactly with new systems of government or a greatly expanded franchise leading to a large number of first time voters. Many of these voters were not educated and tended to be rural farmers. Through no fault of their own, they tended to not be the most informed on matters of state and government. Therefore, they became easy targets for campaigns based around whipping new voters into a nationalist frenzy, driven to the polls by fear of those who are different and a belief that their nation was better than all others to around it, and they should see their country rise to greatness (or restore former glory, or maintain its strength, etc). This tactic was very, very successful, and led to a string of electoral victories across Europe for right wing nationalists. This led to an upswing of nationalism across the continent, leading to an increased call for (and an increase in) territorial expansion and colonialism. This obviously created a need for an increase in armaments for all nations. The combination of all of these factors, stoked by the nationalist fervor of each populace (which had been, in turn, stirred by government officials as candidates for office) led, inevitably, to armed conflict between nations. This is because, as several sources (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotism#Philosophical_issues_of_patriotism) nationalism, unlike patriotism, implies a hatred (or aggression, at least) towards other countries. At a minimum, it causes rivalries, as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTk26zIQ_gk&feature=related and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs&feature=PlayList&p=BA7EACBC723B5995&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3 and at most it can lead to wars such as the Franco- Prussian War and World War One. Nationalism arose as a tool to win votes and exploit new voters by appealing to their base instincts in order to win elections, and it often led to bloodshed and hatred between countries. I do have a question to pose however. We’ve discussed nationalism and unification and independence, but how do you feel about nationalism and patriotic feelings when not directed at the system governing you (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVjNPNNxySc for an example of nationalism not directed to the nation in charge). Is this still nationalism and patriotism? Is it only one of the two? Is it something else entirely?