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Anderson - Imagined Communities

Tags: books

Summary

  • All nations are imagined because not everyone will meet every other community
  • Print capitalism has helped shape imagined communities
    • Fall of Latin, and the subsequent accessibility of knowledge allowed citizens to feel in touch with their fellow country members
      • “Hegel observed that newspapers serve modern man as a subsitute for morning prayer” - Page 35
  • Community because the nation is always conecived as a horizontal comradeship
  • Loosening of 3 axioms allowed for the rise of imagined communities:
    • Language was more accessible
    • Homo sacer type soveriegnty, where society was organized around more than elites
    • Unification of the conception of the temporal - We all even agree to see the same history, although with different interpretations
  • Capitalism fueled this expansion
    • Print, once it became capitalized, sought to move to greater consumers
      • Inital educated elites were too small
      • Expanded to working professionals
      • In the two decades 1520-1540 three times as many books were published compared to 1500-1520
  • “Official Nationalism” - Nationalisms sponsered by the state
    • Egypt Iron and Steel Company ?
    • Created directly in response to the European nationalisms of the 1820’s
    • Can be constructed “states in which the ruling classes or leading elements in them felt threatened by the world wide spread of nationally imagined community”
      • Sati' Al husri?
      • Core of the nations in the case of Hungarian, English, and Japanese emerged as instincitvely resistant to foreign rule
  • Bilingualism made the intellgensia powerful in colonized nations
    • “Educational policies pursued by the indochina colonial government gave birth to an indochinese consciousness” - page 124
  • Languages should not be treated as emblems of nationalism like flags or anthems, but rather sources of nationalism
    • Variety of Kurdish languages
    • Differences in Arabic dialects
  • “Nationalism thinks in terms of historical destinies, while racism dreams of eternal contaminations” - p 149
  • Official nationalism often co-opts levers of power - p 160