Nationalism is not enough
Nationalism is a strong feeling that a person has for his motherland. According to Earnest Barker, nationalism is liable to disease and the afflicted may conceivably die of it.
At times, nationalism degenerates into chauvinism or militant nationalism. This is a belief in a bellicose foreign policy; a policy that tries to get its own way by force or threat of war, rather than by persuasion and argument. Jingoism is based on national arrogance, greed for power and prestige and the law of might. Later on, it came to be known as ‘imperialism’.
During the Second World War, Hitler and Mussolini fully exploited the national feelings of their people to build up their empires in the world. Later they were joined by the rulers of Japan. Hitler told the Germans that they were destined to rule the world. He hated the Jews. Six million-of them were killed in gas chambers. He introduced conscription. There was only one political party and it was his own party, the National Socialist Party (Nazi). By terrorism and propaganda, the German State was converted into a powerful machine for aggression. To quote Winston Churchill, Hitler indulged in “indiscriminate slaughter and destruction”. Mussolini of Italy too became imperialistic and organized Fascism into a political party. He extolled war and joined Hitler. National feelings were inflamed by the rulers of Japan and they joined the war in 1941. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese made a devastating raid on the US naval base at Pearl Harbour. Soon the US joined the war and bombed the cities of Hiroshima (6th August 1945) and Nagasaki (9th August, 1945). A large number of Japanese were killed by these atomic bombs. Thus the Japanese imperialism was crushed by the US and they surrendered in September 1945. Mussolini resigned in 1943 after the invasion of Italy by the Allies. His attempt to escape to Switzerland proved futile and he was shot dead by partisans (1945). Hitler committed suicide when the Russian troops closed in on Berlin (April 1945). Thus the nationalistic passions incited by Hitler, Mussolini and the rulers of Japan unleashed terrible devastation and sufferings to mankind. Pugnacious nationalism is a bane to mankind.
Dr. Radhakrishnan considers nationalism as a collective form of selfishness. He Says, “Each race, each creed, each nation regards itself as the chosen of god…. National arrogance is a characteristic of all nations in -the East as well as in the West. The ancient Greeks destroyed the great civilization they developed by their passionate and violent attachment to their States”. Gandhiji to had warned us against the reactionary character of nationalism.
Nationalism is not enough. In this age of nuclear weapons and internecine wars, what is required is internationalism and world government. These are indispensable to the survival of man on this planet. To Asoka goes the credit and glory of being the ideal of international understanding and unity. He strongly felt that he had a duty to perform not only to his subjects, but also to the whole world. In one of his edicts, he said, “All men are my offspring.” In another edict he said, “There is not higher duty than the welfare of the whole world.” Eminent men like Bertrand Russell, H. G. Wells, Einstein and Arnold Toynbee felt the imperative necessity of a world government to save mankind from devastation wars. Einstein was very unhappy when he found that the process to form a world government was terribly slow. In an interview with Michael Amrine of the New York Times he said, “Many leaders express well the need for world authority and an eventual world government, but actual planning and action have been appallingly slow.”