Nationalism As I See It
“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” Wrote Albert Einstein in his book The World as I See It. In this source, Einstein presents a perspective of antinationalism. A point of view that apposes nationalism, arguing that it is undesirable or dangerous. Antinationalists are humanitarians who pursue a world community, and self-identity as world citizens. They desire humans to live in peace, rather than constant conflict by rejecting chauvinism, extreme patriotism, and militarism. Albert Einstein was born in Germany, and was visiting USA when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. He never returned home, and in 1940 became an American citizen. In 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Four years later America struck back with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During this time, Hitler was slaughtering millions of Jews in Europe. In the aftermath of all this madness, in 1949, Einstein wrote The World as I See It. The book includes his opinions on politics, society, and the meaning of life. His perspective was shaped by the ultranationalistic horrors of Japan, USA, and Germany. After the end of WWII, Einstein stated, “Often in evolutionary processes a species must adapt to new conditions in order to survive. Today the atomic bomb has altered profoundly the nature of the world as we know it, and the human race consequently finds itself in a new habitat to which it must adapt it’s thinking.” The fundamental question remains, does nationalism benefit mankind? Einstein believed in humanity, individuality, coexistence, and peace. He argued that those possessing power are unable to make great decisions for good or evil; that nationalism will always promote extreme actions when conflicting powers clash. A nationalist perspective today dominates the world. The proponents of nationalism would argue that only through their ideology could the world achieve economic and social success. Nationalism balances global power...
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