Democracy, Religion and Nationalism

Discussion in 'Science & History' started by ysabel, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    According to an article I've read recently, these three are the most powerful forces in modern history.

    The author was mostly making an analysis of the Iran situation and the 1989 Easter Europe toppling of regimes. The full article is here:

    Anyway, how true is this statement when you think of major local or world events in history?

  2. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    Does Tribalism fit under Nationalism? If not, it should at least be considered, even if it's not big enough to make the top 3. Ethnicity is also a big factor.

    I'd add military to the list. It's a bit different than the other 3 things on the list, but it still applies, IMO. Democracy, Nationalism, and Religion are often the reasons the military gets employed, but without a powerful enough military to back it up, all of human history would be completely different.
  3. HappyFace

    HappyFace Registered Member

    The military comes from Natrionalism, ethnicity and tribalism are all apart of Nationalism. Nationalism is the feeling of being one with a group, it's why you have segregation and most war because people feel their nation is better then others.

    I think those three things are the most powerful things in modern history.
  4. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    They're all related to nationalism, but I don't think they're the same.

    Many people join the military because of nationalism, but others join because they have to, or for money, or education, or because they want to blow things up.

    As far as ethnicity, just look at America. We're one nationality, but have tons of completely different ethnicities. There are a lot of countries that have a civil war because of differing ethnicities or tribes.
  5. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I'm on the fence right now with whether ethnicity it can be grouped under nationalism, but if it weren't, maybe it wasn't named because while it causes a conflict, it's not forceful enough to bring about a big change like revolution.
  6. Bjarki

    Bjarki Registered Member

    I'd say ethnicity falls under nationalism. A nation is in essence a group of people bound together by a shared language, culture, religion, ethnicity, etc. A nation doesn't necessarily share the same borders as a state. Nationalism tends to exclude minority groups inside a state (like the jews or the Roma); it can also transgress its boundaries (like panslavism).
    Of all the seperate aspects of a 'nation', ethnicity is probably the most important and defining.

    Democracy.. tough one. I'd prefer the term 'massculture'. Not only does that cover the whole entertainment sector of society, but it can also be used to described 'masspolitics', in which the sovereignty is in the hands of the masses: liberalism, communism, fascism.

    Religion is one I disagree with. Ofcourse it depends on what segment of time you're talking about. It's pretty significant in the last 20 years, but not so much during the cold war or before. Modern history in my eyes ranges from about 1880 to present times.
    I'd add the industrial revolution and the free market, as they gave way to imperialism, the rise of the US and the concept of total warfare, a.o.. Religion seems more like a local affair to me, only applicable to countries in the middle east that haven't had the same influence as the west and sovjet Russia. Therefore, negligable.
  7. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Yeah, I thought religion is one of the most commonly used force lately. There are countries where faith is deeply cherished and an attack of that faith would almost be like attacking the country itself. Then there are those driven to wars under religious reasons (God told me in 2003, lol); or religion backed uprisings/revolts like The People Power revolution 1986 (Philippines) and 1979 Iran (with Ayatolla Khomeini).

    Why do you think it wasn't as significant in the past?
  8. Bjarki

    Bjarki Registered Member

    I think the only regimes for which religion holds any importance are those found in Third World Countries (South America, Africa, Asia). None of those has really made an impact on global affairs until ca. the oil crisis of '73. Before that time global politics were dominated by nationalism, the emergence of fascism and the cold war struggle between capitalism and communism. None of those currents is very occupied with religious affairs. Neither are the governments of the most important countries (US, Europe, Russia and China).

    Furthermore, I don't think religions really inspire so many revolts and wars, perhaps long ago in medieval times, but not today. Most of the modernday revolts were sparked by the mismanagement of secular dictators. The religious institutions and doctrines proved to be a natural, and perhaps sole, means of opposition.
    Like the Liberation theologists in Latin America, who support a mixture of marxism and christianity and preach social strife rather than charity. These movements only survive by the blessing of serious discontent with the ruling elites and the deplorable circumstances of the poor. The religious aspect isn't so much what causes them to rebel, but a vehicle through which opposition can be organized and legitimized. :hmm:
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  9. Susano

    Susano Registered Member

    Eh, those can be part of nationalism. But nationalism isnt just that. Theres a good reason democracy and nationalism were always interlinked in the mid-19th century revolutions in Europe.

    Eh, that depends on how you define ethnicity. If you simply define it as "descant", then yes, however - well, if you go back far enough thats true of more or less all nations! So I dont think that to be a good definition of ethnicity...

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