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Interpretations of nations, their identities and nationalism can be carried out from several different perspectives. The basic theories of nations that have been studied from the 19th century to the present day are primordialism, perennialism,
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  THEORIES OF NATIONS AND NATIONALISM: A COMPARATIVE OUTLINE Blagoj Conev, PhD Abstract Interpretations of nations, their identities and nationalism can be carried out from several different perspectives. The basic theories of nations that have been studied from the 19th century to the present day are primordialism, perennialism, ethno-symbolism and modernism. This article will present contemporary theories in interpreting and defining of nations and nationalism. In this article, only one hypothesis will be elaborated: “ The different theoretical interpretation  of the nation contributes to the development of nationalism in some nations .” This hypothesis is operationalized as follows: The descriptive method will explain the essence of the basic theories that define the nation as human, natural, or divine creation. Then, through a comparative analysis of those same theories, I will try to prove that certain theoretical views of nations lead to the creation of a phenomenon called “nationalism”. Keywords : nation, nation-state, nationalism, political theory, culture, identity 1. Theories that explain the srcin and existence of nations To understand the idea of the existence of nations, a detailed historical research into the existence of the states, cultures, traditions and language of each community, or nation, must be made. Most of this paper will deal with a comparative analysis of the above theories, and their impact on the creation of nationalism in certain (human) groups, so that no historical research on the existence of nations will be made in this context, but only the existing theories about the nations will be explained. The earliest conceptions of the existence of nations as unified groups are that they are the  primordial 1  and natural or blood-biological subgroups of humanity, and thus nationalism was 1 Primordial (adj.)existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval In the interpretation of nations and nationalism, primordialism is first encountered in the ideas of the German  philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder, who because of his ideas in the late 18th century that nation is synonymous with language group, is considered the father of cultural nationalism. Namely, Herder was a great  understood as natural and important behavior, or feeling. For proponents of primordialism, the  basis of the nation is in the natural and organic srcin of the groups, meaning it is not only ethnic  but also a genetically related human group that is different from all other human groups. Primordially, nations can be explained in several ways all related to one another.  Namely, nations are natural and/or divine creations, not a fruit of the historical development. As such, nations are a source of power, will, and legal regulation for themselves, because nations themselves are as natural organisms and are part of the nature itself. As such natural creations, nations may be at rest for a certain period of their existence, but there is always a moment of awakening or revival. This interpretation goes on to say that nations as natural creations are the fruit of the historical and gender-blood relation of the humans themselves, and that their srcin is in the very creation of the world, when a particular blood-related group of people begins to form separate clans, that is, hordes, which later spread naturally, turn into tribes, and eventually into separate biological genetic groups known as nations. Finally, the primordial understanding of the nation continues with theories and ideas that, when to the created as such, unified genetic groups, would be added attributes, such as their own particular language, culture, traditions, territory, and even religion, a modern nation will be created. There are two modern streams in primordialism, the idea of Pierre van den Berghe's sociobiological  connection, and the idea of Clifford Geertz's cultural  connection, which builds his theory on the Edward Shils’ theory of the connection between primordiality and the political setting. Van den Berghe sees nations, along with ethnic groups and races, as related phenomena that, through historical development, from the extended family communities such as the hordes and tribes, have succeeded through bloodlines, and with the help of various genetic clusters, to create a community that is biologically connected and much larger than the extended family. In this way, in his view, ethnicities and nations are created  2 . As an anthropologist, Clifford Gertz perceives nations as cultural, or ethnic, creations. Namely, he builds on the Max Weber's theory that the human population has animal instincts at its core, and that animal behavior is at the heart of human behavior, while adding to that theory the opponent of the Enlightenment, defining the nation as "an organic group whose features are special language, culture and spirit." Later, the idea of primordialism is also found in the ideas of the German philosopher and theologian Johann Gottlieb Fichte, who is considered the father of German nationalism. 2 van den Berghe, P.L. 1987. The ethnic phenomenon. Westport: Praeger Publishers.    cultural aspects of humanity, that is, it associates culture with the natural state of groups, thereby  building on Edward Shilds’ previously elaborated theory that “nations are communities of organic and organic-developmental nature” 3 , complemented the ideas that that organic nature of nations is contributing to the creation of a homogeneous group, which is different from the rest. Gertz explains that the most normal phenomenon in any newly formed state, that is, a nation-state, is to enter into a research for a substance called "identity" and begin a quest for that own (national) identity. So Clifford Gertz tries to answer or explain Issaiah Berlin’s idea that the pursuit of identity is actually the fruit of the desire of all nations to explain to themselves that “they are somebody (that exists) in the world” 4 , by making it clear that this discovery proves itself to the world that they too are part of it, that is, it creates a connection within the very population that is part of the state, and that population must find itself, through the common connecting elements, such as  blood connectivity, race, culture, traditions, religion and more. Thus, the group homogenizes itself and on the particular territory in which it lives, creates a nation and a nation-state. A bit later than primordialism, the interpretation of nations is also accessed through  perennialism 5 . In contrast to primordial theory, the supporters of perennialism claim that nations, although they exist for an infinite long time, ie since there is both written and unwritten history of mankind, cannot be classified as natural or biological creatures. Thus, the Perennialists claim that all nations that existed or still exist, starting with Sumerians, Babylonians, Jews, or modern Germans, Russians, or Macedonians, are historical creations that have existed, evolved or assimilated throughout history, but cannot be defined as natural, biological and primordial groups. There are two interpretations of the nations according to the perinatalists. The first is continuous or constant. This includes nations that exist all the time while there is written history, such as the Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, and others. These nations are called by the perennialists as  permanent  . The second group of nations, according to the perinatalism, includes all other 3 Shilds, E. 1957. Primordial, Personal, Sacred and Civil Ties. British Journal of Sociology, vol. 7, pp. 13-45. 4 Berlin, I. 1958. Two Concepts of Liberty in Berlin, I. 1969. Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 42. 5 Perennial philosophy (Latin: philosophia perennis), also referred to as perennialism  and perennial wisdom, is a  perspective in spirituality that views all of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or srcin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.  nations. This type of nations, which are unstable, is described by the perinatalists as periodic or nations that appear at different time periods in history, have some development and growth, and then disappear again, until the period of reappearance, that is, until the change of the historical cycle (Macedonians). The second group in perennialism is called repetitive, cyclic, or periodic group of nations. Marxism, as an ideology, comes at a time when nations and nation-states have already been created, so Marx and his followers do not give any importance to the nation. Moreover, they reject the theory of the existence of nations and focus on the world revolution that would suppress nation states. Marxist theory of the nation was created mainly in the first half of the 20th century, and is embodied in the ideas of the Austrian social democrat from the period  between the two world wars, Otto Bauer  6 ,who defines the nation as follows: “The nation is a set of people who share a common destiny and common communication whose primary mediator is the language and thus they are linked in a cultural community called the nation.” However, Bauer's defining of the nation, although general and broad, nevertheless provides the basis for a Marxist idea of the nation, which later evolves into a modernist approach to nationalism. In Bauer's writings, it can be noted that he himself believed that European nations were made up of communities of the same ethnic srcin, which over time became ethno-cultural communities whose basis is historical and political. These views of Bauer on the nation, in Macedonian history, are embodied in the ideas of Pavel Shatev, who held that: “... the nation is, above all, unity, a certain human community. That union is neither racial nor tribal, but a historically formed human community. There are four basic and main elements in each nation: the unity of language, that is, the nation is created as a result of long and regular communication in one language; common territory, since common life would be impossible without common territory; the historical continuity, that is, the common life of several generations; and unity in economic life, that is, the economic connection.” Bauer’s social-democratic definition, which largely overlaps with Shatev’s definition of the nation, was later supplemented by Stalin, with his thoughts on the nation, which he defined as follows: “The nation is historically created a stable community of people, created on the basis of a community 6 One of the ideological fathers of social democracy. Austrian Foreign Minister (1918-1919). Together with Victor Adler, Max Adler and Carl Renner, he creates the Austro-Marxist current in Marxism, which later becomes the ideological basis of  Eurocommunism  in Continental Europe and the  New Left wing in the United States and Great Britain, a movement that tried to create the so called democratic socialism.    of language, territory, economic life and political situation, manifested in a community of culture.” Modernism, as a theory of the nation, draws its existence from the theories of Marxism. The modernist view of the nations contrasts with the previous two ideas. Namely, modernists, unlike Primordialists and Perenialists, believe that nations are not only natural and biological creations,  but that they do not exist for an infinite amount of time, as Perenialism claims. For most modernists, nations are nothing but the fruits of modernization of states. According to the modernists, the turning point in the creation of nations comes with the Great French Revolution, when nationalism is presented as a basic connecting element of the population of the state, rather than the sovereign as God’s messenger on the Earth. Moreover, modernists consider that nations and nationalism are a modern phenomenon, and that ancient and feudal societies and cultures did not use the term at all, nor there were nations at that time in history. Like primordialism and perennialism, modernism has several different views of nations and nationalism. The socio-economic way of interpreting nations has interpreted nations as the  product of capitalism and the industrial revolution. This stream of modernism is based on Marxism in that its followers believe that nations and nationalism are invented as a response to the imperialism and colonialism. Contemporary modernists point out that the formation of nations is the result of the development of industrial production and the migration of the population from rural to urban areas. In this way, the linguistic link between the population itself is strengthened, and with the introduction of a centralized education system in the states for greater economic development, the nations are created. Thus, modernists consider the nation as a functional community whose only link is language and economic and industrial development. Modernists develop the thesis that nationalism must be understood exclusively as a modern and politically economic phenomenon, and when interpreted it must not be viewed from a cultural, sentimental or historical point of view. According to some supporters of this theory, the nation is nothing more than an imaginary  political community, which uses a unified language, centralized education system, and legal- political framework, with the sole purpose of enhancing economic and industrial development in order to provide better living conditions to the population belonging to that nation.
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