Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interest of a particular nation especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining a nation’s sovereignty over its homeland.
It encourages nations to govern themselves. It also aims at building and maintaining a single national identity. It is based on shared culture, ethnicity, geographic location, language, and politics.
Pros of Nationalism
- People may have a similar aim to serve their nation
This may make people work hard and support their nation as they may understand that it is a benefit to all of them hence encouraging nationalism.
- It boosts the level of confidence in people
Through the promotion of nationalism, people feel that they are part of the country’s goals and they may have self-worth and confidence since they think they can serve a bigger role in the country.
- It avoids dependence
When a country embraces nationalism, it will be able not to accept dependence on other countries as it makes the country suffer as it will be given unfavorable terms of trade and the country will have to abide by the terms. When there is nationalism the country will be able to reduce the levels of dependence.
- The productivity of workers may increase
Since people will be self-motivated, they can come up with better ways of working and this may lead to an increase in the area of production hence having a lot to consume and also o sell to the neighboring countries.
- Availability of jobs
Local firms will be protected through nationalism and this will enable them to make high profits from the firm hence creating new jobs for the local population.
- Local companies will be protected
Through nationalism, the local firms may be protected hence they will receive the benefit of being protected against the global competition through subsidies and other measures that can make buying of products from local companies to be more attractive.
- Improves the living standards of the local population
Nationalism protects the economy through the introduction of trade barriers and this makes it possible to restrict the number of goods coming into the country hence the local firms can have wider markets for their goods which in turn makes them earn a lot of profit which will make them employ many people hence improving their living standards.
- It protects the country
Nationalism makes it more possible for people to join the army and this makes it possible for the country to defend itself in case of an international conflict.
- Promotes human values
When there is nationalism in a country, it becomes easier to promote senseful human values such as justice and freedom since the values tend to improve the overall quality of human life.
- It promotes similar attitudes in people
When there is nationalism, many will have like minds since all will be proud of their country and their national values. This will enable them to only think of positive things about their country and they will be able to defend their country in case of anything.
- It gives people goals in life
Some people may have lost hope in life due to one reason or another but when there is nationalism, they will be able to look at life differently and they will be able to pursue their goal in life.
- It may promote solidarity
Since nationalism promotes common values in life, it can give the surrounding population hope by people assisting each other when the time comes and this makes people live in solidarity and harmony.
- Feeling of community
The overall relationship of the community may change when there is nationalism as people may be able to interact with each other and share their views rather than just chatting and meeting on social media alone.
- People may identify themselves with their culture
People may benefit from the belief in nationalism and this may make them be identified with their own culture which will eventually make them be identified with their own country.
- It unites a country
Through nationalism, people can unite and work towards a common goal in order to fight things such as economic and social crises in their country. This will make them overcome as they will be working towards a common goal.
- It develops infrastructure
Nationalism enhances the building of infrastructure in a nation and this makes it easier for industries such as trade and transport to be facilitated.
- It encourages patriotism
With nationalism, then the country may be patriotic as every citizen will be talking positively about their own country and they will be ready to defend their country in case of anything.
Cons of Nationalism
- It promotes national values
Nationalism only promotes national values instead of global values. As human beings all evolved from one common ancestor, then they all belong to one big family hence they should have common values rather than each nation having their own.
- It may lead to a decrease in gross domestic product
Protectionism often leads to serious negative effects on the economy of a country. This may make the gross domestic product to suffer in the long run.
- People may become biased
Children may become biased in their own opinion regarding their value system. This may make such children not to be tolerated in the future and this may lead to a society that cannot be tolerated hence the wrong value systems impacted in the society.
- It may affect international trade
When a country is involved in international trade, it will have a lot of benefits. Nationalism discourages international trade and this may make a country lack some important goods and services.
- It may promote blindness
Due to nationalism, people may become blind regarding their true inner beliefs and their value systems. The may result in unpleasant results as people will strongly hold on to their values and it may be difficult to change them.
- Exclusion of immigrants
With nationalism, the immigrants may suffer high levels of exclusion hence experiencing hard times to live in other countries.
- It may promote resentment towards other countries
Due to nationalism, people may have resentment towards other countries and this may make their nation not develop as they may not have any new knowledge and skills coming in hence the production level will not easily improve.
- It may lead to global conflicts
The local population believes that other nations have values that are contrary to there and this may end up causing conflicts between the nations.
- It can be used for radical movements
Nationalism was used to rise radical movements which in turn led to horrible outcomes. Excess levels of nationalism should be avoided in order to curb such horrible outcomes in society.
- It may lead to inhuman behavior
Due to nationalism, people may start behaving in an unhuman way which may make it difficult to be manipulated.
- Foreign countries may be exploited
Politicians believe that in order to secure the wealth of the local population, they have to exploit other countries. The exploitation of other countries may be beneficial to other countries but not to others.
- It may prevent people from learning new languages
For someone to learn other people’s culture, he or she needs to travel to those countries and for him or her to communicate with people in the foreign country he or she also needs to have known the language of those people. Nationalism discourages people from learning other languages and this makes it difficult for them to gather the needed information when they travel to those countries.
- Makes people not to value other cultures
There is no superior culture in the world. When there is nationalism people tend to think that their culture has high value hence despising other people’s culture which may in turn cause conflicts between the groups.
- It may lead to wars
When there is nationalism, each nation will strive to protect their ideas which may, in turn, result in war between other nations as no nation is ready to bend the law.
- Promotes isolation
This makes the nation only revolve around their resources hence it will not be able to mingle with other nations hence it is isolated and this may interfere with its economic development.
There are various benefits of nationalism and at the same time, there are various challenges that come with nationalism. A balance has to be strike so that there can be an equilibrium. With that, a nation may not suffer as a result of nationalism.