Re: foundations of the nations

John Pastore (venture-out@MAIL.INTERACCES.COM.MX)
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 23:51:38 +0000

On 13 Aug 96 at 9:16, John H. Stevens, Jr. wrote:

> According to some authors, the current tension between ethnicity
> and
> nationalism is the result of a larger clash between tradition and
> modernity. There is a view common among scholars of nationalism
> "that modern nations are based on ethnic identities that are in some
> sense ancient, primordial, possibly even natural or at least prior
> to any political mobilization" (Calhoun 1993:214), thus the reliance
> on *an* ethnie. Calhoun himself posits a different reason for
> nationalism's rise as "the preeeminent discourse form for modern
> claims to political autonomy and self-determination" (Calhoun
> 1993:213). He suggests rather that nationalism is the latest
> expression of collective identity rather than something completely
> opposite to ethnicity or something that has sprung progressively
> from ethnicity's chest. He links it to the rise of the state and
> the need for states to have a distinct international identity
> (Calhoun 1993b:23, 27). Nationalism in this sense often tries to
> build on ethnicity for authority to its claim as a distinctive
> political identity.

Hi John,

Having followed the border tensions in Mexico for years, especially
regarding the obvious dissimilarities which the tensions have along
its southern border with Guatemala (which can be considered 'ethnic':
Latin Mexcio vs. Ethnic Maya) and its northern border with the US
(which can be considered 'racial': Mexico [and its collective
ethnicism] vs. the US), I don't think it is enough for Calhoun to
merely observe that nationalism "tries to build on ethniticity for
the authority to claim political identity" (which Mexico does when
veiwing its northern neighbor, but not its southern neighbor) rather
than any and all pretexts which can be invented or used, in any
combination, to consolidate and maintain power for the few elite who
wield it.

Everywhere, so-called 'patriotism' (contrived by elite) seems to have
become a new 'opiate' for the massses.

John Pastore
Hotel Parador
Av. Tulum, No. 26, SM, 5
Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mx