9 thoughts on “The World Today: Imagined Communities – On British Nationalism

  1. FYI, if folks are confused… the video is cut off at 12:48 where Anderson is describing the idea of "religious time" and then cuts instantly to him talking about a different concept of "secular time" at 12:49… unfortunate that the editor missed this.

  2. Feel there could be more discussion on the materiality of these communities; how they are not merely 'imagined' entities but actually assume a physical form. Anderson talks about how elites and regimes can stir up and manufacture nationalist sentiment, and utilise it is when it's politically salient, but he also betrays the non-constructedness of this phenomenon and its material reality when he acknowledges the real, 'menacing' threat that Nazism posed to Europe. In the case of uniting against a common threat (which really does mean you harm), the imagined community is surely replaced by more of a functional one, in which relations are not merely visualised but actualised. The binding factor of such a community is that you are all targets of the same threat, and must cooperate to ensure your survival, not the fact that you all imagine each other to be comrades.

  3. It's extraordinary just how clueless Marxists are regarding the most basic human behaviors. Nationalism is just a word meaning tribalism on a larger scale. The idea that the "nation" is a 90th century phenomenon is hopelessly naïve. And nationalism/tribalism is not the result of reading newspapers, although it's hilariously fitting that a Marxist would think that.

    "Nations" have existed since the dawn of humanity. Clueless Marxists don't understand why humans with shared characteristics, cultures, customs, languages, faiths, and traditions would group together and form strong social bonds. It is the most natural human behavior and something that a tenured Marxist professor cannot teach you.

    Most Marxists labour under the false impression that nationalism is merely flag waving and patriotism to the state. Thus they believe that if only they could seize control of the state, they could force humanity to conform to their twisted Marxist agenda. But bonds of blood are stronger than that and nationalism is about people, not the state and not the economy. It runs deeper than newspapers and kings.

    Nationalism is imaginary in the same way that the family, another human thing that bitter Marxists despise is.

  4. Communities are "imagined" up until the point you find yourself in someone else's communities, then suddenly they are very real and meaningful things. It's easy to say…

    "I mean, what is an English person really?" smug grin

    Until you find yourself in downtown Ho Chi Minh City or Freetown.

    I can say that I'm Japanese all I like, but I will never be accepted as such because 99.9% of Japanese people base their identity on posessing a phenotype that I do not have.

  5. 5:48 "England and Englishness – whatever that is." I'll tell you one thing, this black woman Gail Lewis, certainly is neither.

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