Imperialism vs Nationalism

You hear the radical left always complaining about American imperialism. I understand what imperialism is in a basic sense, but is imperialism a derivative of nationalism, or vice versa? Or does imperialism have nothing to do with nationalism?

Anyone decent opposes imperialism which has no relations to nationalism.

Yes…but It’s important to remember that not all territorial expansion is imperialist in nature and that it is possible to be nationalist without being imperialist.

Think of it this way:

All Imperialists are Nationalists
Not all Nationalists are Imperialists
Not all Conquerors are Imperialists

You wouldn’t say the Mongols were Imperialist for example.

Therefore, some would claim that nationalism is a modern invention. It’s always existed in some format. You would describe the Romans and the unified Greek states as Nationalist.

False. The Habsburgs were not a nation, the Hohenstaufens were not a nation, etc.


False. As for irredentist “conquest”, it is often ideologically legitimized by the term “reconquest”. Empires however have no clear geographical or/and ethnic limits. In fact you could say no imperial project has succeeded (except the British one perhaps, today not as much based on territorial control than on financial, cultural, and political control), since the universalist ideal within imperialism implies an ideal of global control.

You would, actually, though their imperialism was of a crude, nomadic type, and in a certain sense in its western expansion an indirect expression of Venetian imperialism, who, through its intelligence networks, used the Mongol hordes to erase its competitors in eastern Europe (Budapest for instance) and to maintain a monopoly on trade with China.

Imperialism comes in two forms, the nationalist type (colonial empires) and the pure imperialist type (Habsburg, Hohenstaufen etc.). Both forms have in common however a certain universalist dimension - even in its nationalist variety, imperialism focuses more on expanding the metaphysical values of a nation to the entire world than expanding the physical nation per se (with settler colonies being a notable exception, and even then they were often dumping grounds for undesirable elements so as to both enhance the quality of the metropolitan population and civilize the indigenous population - a win-win exchange.

Non-imperialist, pure nationalism, however, does not “care” about the rest of the world, seeking instead to build and celebrate the physical nation on its home soil. The definition of the extent of the national home can be expandable however, in the case of irredentism.

The term nationalism can be misleading.
In a multi-ethnic and multi-racial country, nationalism may pertain to each individual ethnicity or race.

In Hitler’s Germany, nationalism was promoted across the border to Austria and German-speaking parts of Switzerland while non-German groups such as ■■■■ and Slavs inside Germany pledged allegiance to Hitler because he offered alternatives to Anglo-French imperialism.

Imperialism is generally based on Nationalism but Nationalism in no way equates to imperialism.

You can put your own national interests first, above and beyond all others without imperialism.