Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

From Imperialism to Globalism to Nationalism and Back

Lately, I’ve been reading about the decline of the Nation-State (eg, GuardianNRC). To my surprise, they use the surge in Nationalism as evidence for this decline. Perhaps, there’s a definition issue as Nationalism should be evidence to the contrary. Federalism, Globalism and Imperialism are evidence of a decline (of the importance of) the Nation-State.

Before the 19th century, several European imperialist countries ruled the international waves for several centuries (eg, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, UK). The 19th and 20th century were largely an ideological fight between Labour (Left) and Capital (Conservatives, Liberalism). Since the 21st century, there is a new ideological fight between Globalism and Nationalism (my blogs).

These ideological fights seem eternal. The duration of these cycles is, however, shortening due to the impact of Technology (Technological Revolution of 1800-2100). The resulting Change is hard for us humans as we prefer a status quo. Unfortunately for many, Change is the default of Life and the sooner we accept this, the easier our life will become.

Perhaps, it’s a coincidence that Nationalism is on the rise in former imperialist countries (eg, China, Hungary, Poland (both Habsburg), Russia, Turkey, UK, USA). I doubt that. The continued decline in (former) Imperialism, and thus international relevance, may well cause this surge in Nationalism, as a kind of psychological compensation. Hidden message: We are still relevant!

Recent history shows several unsuccessful attempts to reclaim imperialism (France 1812, Germany 1914 and 1939).

The 21st century is showing some indications of a willingness to restore old empires (eg, Silk Road, Ottoman). Others may follow their path (eg, Persia, Soviet Union).

The EU may either be torn apart by Nationalism in Eastern Europe (eg, Hungary, Poland), or become a Federation while mimicking imperialist aspirations.

Given the current French-German (!!) axis in Europe, the latter makes more sense than the first.

History feels like repeating itself and that’s what’s genuinely worrying.

History Repeating (1997) by the Propellerheads featuring Shirley Bassey

The word is about, there’s something evolving,
whatever may come, the world keeps revolving
They say the next big thing is here,
that the revolution’s near,
but to me it seems quite clear
that it’s all just a little bit of history repeating

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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