Internationalism vs Nationalism: Case Studies

Essay by BigtimerHigh School, 11th gradeB+, March 2004

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"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind." [Albert Einstein] Nationalism, to a far extent, can eat away and setback mankind, like a disease. When asked should either nationalism or internationalism be promoted in society, the following questions must be answered: How does a nation handle conflict? Are peoples subjugated? What are the consequences of nations being overly dependant on others? The answers to these questions are the driving force behind the ideologies of Internationalism and Nationalism. Internationalism is a focus on betterment of oneself while benefiting the world, and stresses cooperation and teamwork. Positives of internationalism include improved aid and development throughout the world, increased cooperation though collective security as well as increased growth through economic alliances. Conversely, internationalism can include a loss of sovereignty and independence that signals a turning away from self-sufficiency. International agreements may not always be honored, and it may leave a nation without the mutual defense it had counted upon.

On the other side of the continuum lies nationalism, a belief that prioritizes one's nation over others, while other nations may benefit, it is indirect, unlike internationalism. Nationalism creates a unified society with one national identity, and leads to patriotism that can be brought about by a strong military presence. Nationalism stresses the importance of remaining independent and sovereign, but nations that discourage trade with other nations through tariffs can suffer economically. Also nationalistic territorial expansion tends to ignore the cultural needs of other nations, and this can lead to the subjugation of a cultural group. Upon analysis, this remains a complex issue, but the best way to cooperate between nations stems from effective use of internationalism. With internationalism, free trade can directly benefit a nations economy, and diplomatic negotiations before action in conflict mediation ensure that the political independence of a nation...