[tied] Re: Scientific Nationalism?

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9052
Date: 2001-09-05

The illusion of naturalness and great antiquity as attributes the
concept of "nation" results from the fact that nationalist ideologies
make use of genuinely ancient symbols, ideas and attitudes to foster
a feeling of community and identification with a nation-state. Ethnic
or religious solidarity, classification of humans into Us and Them,
cultural patterns based on tribal myths and traditions -- such things
have always been available as cohesive elements. But nationalist
ethos organises people on a much grander scale than the group
ideologies of the past. Collective aspirations and interests unify
millions, not hundreds or thousands, filling a void left by the
disintegration of local or regional social orders and the
disappearance of clan and tribal loyalty in the modern world.

In the Vedic world there were no "nations" in the modern sense; there
were clans, tribes and unstable federations of tribes, continually at
war with one another. A <ra:jan> (*re:g^-en-, from PIE *re:g^-s) was
a local `king' or chieftain of the kind described by Glen (message
#9000), or even just a member of the ruling class (<ra:janya->). The
term <ra:s.t.ra-> (*re:g^-tro-, cf. Latin rector `ruler, guide')
describes a rather simple unit of tribal and territorial organisation
that definitely does not correspond to the modern idea of nation-
state. The Bharata tribe plays a central role in the Rigveda, but it
would be anachronistic to view it as a nation.


--- In cybalist@..., "S.Kalyanaraman" <kalyan97@...> wrote:
> --- In cybalist@..., "Glen Gordon" <glengordon01@...>
> nationalism has no place in the proper study of> prehistory when
> nations and nationalism did not exist.
> Good point.
> What was the concept of a 'nation' indicated by the following
> used in the R.gveda, which may be a document relatable to pre-
> ra_s.t.ra = a kingdom, realm , empire , dominion , district ,
> country; a people , nation , subjects (Skt.lex.)
> There is also a term, 'bha_ratam janam'; can this denote an
> idea of a 'nation'? Or is it, as Marx called it a primitive
> state?