In addition to ethnic nationalism, there is statism where nationalist loyalties are focused on the state. Statism demands that all subjects obey and serve the state, as distinct from the nation or people, as the highest object of their allegiance. They are expected to pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, and whole-heartedly back the state's goals at home and abroad. These two forms of nationalism are frequently intermingled.
National feeling was evident in certain groups at certain periods, especially periods of stress and conflict, before the 18th century. Its rise was prepared by a number of complex events: the creation of large, centralized states by the absolute monarchs, who destroyed the feudal allegiances and thus made possible the integration of all loyalties in one centre; the secularization of life and education which fostered the development of the vernacular languages and weakened the ties of religious or sectarian loyalties; the growing economic interdependence which demanded larger territorial units, which at the same time gave the necessary scope to the dynamic spirit of the rising middle classes and their capitalistic enterprise. Under the influence of the new theories of the sovereignty of the people and the rights of man, the people replaced the king as the centre of the nation. Nation and state became identified.
Nationalism is characterized by an extremely positive valuation of one's own nation, and is similar in form to that of a prejudice (that is, the development of positive reactions to symbols representative of one's own group and the rejection of alien groups). Some research suggests that nationalism forms the basis of further prejudices, such as anti-semitism and racism.
2. Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. Patriotism is its cult. (Erich Fromm).
3. Nationalism, and its extreme form, chauvinism, places the interests, of the nation-state above the interests of all other nation-states, promotes national arrogance, and exacerbates national hatreds and animosities. Nationalism is a quasi-religion that calls for a belief in the ultimate good of the nation and the ultimate sacrifice for its members.
4. The pursuit of national self-interest, regardless of the interests of others, is no longer acceptable, still less the acts of one nation to impose its will on another. That kind of nationalism, which could be called chauvinism, is rejected by all democratic socialists.
5. It is only natural that communities which have recently reached their political independence should be jealous of a national unity which is still fragile, and that they should strive to protect it. Likewise, it is to be expected that nations endowed with an ancient culture should be proud of the patrimony which their history has bequeathed to them. But these legitimate feelings should be ennobled by that universal charity which embraces the entire human family. Nationalism isolates people from their true good. It would be especially harmful where the weakness of national economies demands rather the pooling of efforts, of knowledge and of funds, in order to implement programs of development and to increase commercial and cultural exchange. (Papal Encyclical, Populorum Progressio, 26 Mar 1967).
2. Despite all the supra- or anti-nationalist trends, nationalism is still the most potent force for bringing about unity of action in the world. In the contemporary period, nationalism has a different character in countries fighting for political and economic independence against imperialism. Nationalism in these countries expresses in a limited way the idea of national liberation and national independence and frequently serves as a standard for the national liberation movement.
3. Nationalism acts as an accelerating factor because the policies of the newer or less developed nation-states have often been guided by the desire to catch up with the older and more highly developed nation-states. It can also act as a force preserving older forms of societal life and stressing the diversity within a world community that is based on the acceptance of the nation-state as the basic form of political and cultural organization.