Wednesday, December 16, 2009

week 12


In this week’s reading, Mohammed A. Bamyeh discusses post nationalism. Post nationalism came about to replace nationalism in Europe after it reached its demise, and today, the European Union has the most advanced institution of post nationalism in the world. Bamyeh highlights two major distinctions between nationalism and post nationalism, being their relation to value judgments and multiplicity of forms. Nationalism tends to always be looked at from a moral standpoint (good vs. evil), as its history shaped and continues to shape our perspectives and opinions on it today. Post nationalism, on the other hand, escapes the limit of moral judgment because it has no major history yet, and is just beginning to unfold. Post nationalism also escapes the limit of having to impose a single ethnocentric form upon it, because it offers multiple venues for solidarity. Conversely, nationalism was always singular in character, and spread throughout the world in the form of an exact replica of the model used in Europe. This replication of solidarity resulted in such things as war and ethnic cleansing, and Bamyeh suggests that nationalism is by “far the most destructive ideology ever experienced by humanity.” He argues that today’s form of globalization, post nationalism, is far more promising than nationalism, because it reintroduces alternative modes of conglomeration and solidarity.

Post nationalism is concerned with the way questions of collective identity are reworked and refers to frames of solidarity offering themselves as alternatives to nationalism. Post nationalism is a more specific outcome of globalization; it seeks to find alternatives to modern nations and states and seeks to transcend the limits of defining group identity by nationality and political form by the modern state. Bamyeh says that there are three common features of a post national culture, which include:

1) Post national culture is perspectively fragmented rather than wholistic
2) Post national culture is not congruent with state ideology
3) Post national culture approaches all given identities as restraints and
emphasizes expansive action in the world

Bamyeh also says that there are four types of post national solidarity, and goes one to describe each one. Spiritual solidarities represent the global growth of religious solidarities, and are characterized by religious fervor as a means to accomplish a global mission. The second type, material solidarity, represents the global connections between people, mainly concentrated in society’s professional classes, that foster an interconnected global life. Humanist solidarities represent the idea of human interest as a basis for solidarity. Humanistic solidarities believe that global humanistic causes can be articulated in broader terms than economic interest to the self and beyond national borders, and strive to do so. The last type of post national solidarity is the life-emancipatory solidarity. This type emphasizes liberation and modes of expression that are restricted within a society. Life-emancipatory solidarities encourage movements oriented toward individual freedom to pursue lifestyles or choices that contradict mainstream cultural patterns.

All in all, post nationalism is in the works to replace nationalism. Bamyeh made a statement to help explain why the transition to post nationalism is taking place, and it really helped me understand the way institutions in the world work. He stated that there are “less audible social formations which, in due time, assert themselves because they better correspond to the realities of their age than do established institutions and discourses.” This really made sense to me, because times do change, and it only makes sense that the institutions that govern society change as well.

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