But this language is not circumscribed to certain countries, nor can it be reassuringly confined to the ideological sphere of extreme nationalism (Billig, 1978; Carey, 1992/2009; Pick, 1989).
On this occasion I shall track the dissemination of the medico-psychiatric discourse among the ‘critics’, an important number of intellectuals, historians and academics of widely differing political affiliation—conservatives, liberals, socialists, pacifists—who championed the denunciation of nationalism at the end of the First World War.
After the Great War, as we shall see, nationalism was often represented as a form of degeneration, or a barbarous and cruel regression to a prior stage of development, embodied by the masses.
This discourse and rhetoric was to condition the area of study for generations.
Particularly useful for its insights on the American character and its relationships to nationalism. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860–1898.
Presents an economic explanation of the growth of nationalism. This article explores the influence of psychological language and discourses on the contemporary view of nationalism, an issue that has only begun to be studied in recent years (García-García, 2013; Sluga, 2006).On this occasion, the author focuses on two currents or schools that contributed decisively to the new view of nationalism after the Great War: first, degenerationist medicine and psychiatry, highly accepted in the European social and political debate since the late 19th century; second, and no less penetrating, the crowd or mass psychology of Taine, Tarde, Sighele, and, above all, Gustave Le Bon.This article contributes to understanding the spread of fin-de-siècle medical and psychiatric sciences that were to make a powerful impact on different academic disciplines, political factions and ideological currents of the first half of the twentieth century (Burrow, 2000/2001; Hughes, 1958/1979).In fact, the rhetoric of degenerationism and the psychology of the masses has often been attributed to conservative or reactionary elites, or to the ideologists of German or Italian nationalism of the inter-war years (Gentile, 1982; Mosse, 1973; Sternhell, 1999).Even so, not always has sufficient attention been paid to the medico-psychiatric language or rhetoric employed by the critics (see García-García, 2013; Sluga, 2006).In this paper I propose to analyse the presence and provenance of such language.According to these authors, nationalism had inspired “the violent expulsion of people from their homelands, justified campaigns of territorial conquest, signalled danger, restrictions on liberty, and not infrequently a threat to their very survival” (Alter, 1989, pp. From 1918 to 1945, the meaning of the word nationalism was also linked to the harmful effects of prejudice, ignorance and mental narrowness, the painful and deplorable effects of fanaticism, intolerance and the drive to war.Although nearly all critics of the time continued to participate in the legitimization and naturalization of the ideology (e.g., taking for granted the antiquity of nations and the existence of national characters), the primary objective of their work was to denounce nationalism as a threat against world peace (Smith, 1986, p. Philosophers, politicians, educators, moralists, sociologists, even historians—who for decades had spearheaded nationalism—were now quoting Le Bon and Freud to denounce its atrocious and inhuman consequences.Nationalism suffers from confusion both over the meaning of the term and over its role in the modern world. A collection of writings by the founder of American studies in nationalism. Its antecedents may be found in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with the rise of the nation-state under dynastic rule, but its ideology and vitality are no older than the late eighteenth century, the period of the American and French revolutions.