Nationalism 101

“Nation connotes a group of people who believe they are ancestrally related. Nationalism connotes identification with and loyalty to one’s nation as just defined. It does not refer to loyalty to one’s country.“ — Walker Conner


OK, here we go…


Two main forms of nationalism:

Civic nationalism (also referred to as ‘liberal nationalism’)

Ethnic nationalism (also referred to as ‘ethno-nationalism’)


There’s also something called cultural nationalism between the two which exists solely for indecisive people who enjoy sitting on fences.


Civic nationalism (or liberal nationalism):

Membership is voluntary and is considered to be based on the desire to live together. Membership in the nation is based on the acceptance of a political creed – i.e. a shared set of values (read ‘liberal values.’).


Cultural Nationalism:

Based on being an integrated member of a common, national culture. It lacks the belief that ethnic nationalism has of the importance of shared ancestry.

Cultural nationalism is an intermediate position between civic and ethnic nationalism.


Ethnic nationalism (or ethno-nationalism):

Based on ethnicity. Membership in the nation is based on common descent.

Herodotus – the ancient Greek historian – is arguably the first who stated the main characteristics of ethnicity, with his famous account of what defines Greek identity, where he lists:

Kinship (Greek: ὅμαιμον – homaimon, “of the same blood”)

Language (Greek: ὁμόγλωσσον – homoglōsson, “speaking the same language”)

Cults and customs (Greek: ὁμότροπον – homotropon, “of the same habits or life”).


Further reading:

[From a civic nationalist perspective]

Civic Nationalism & Ethnic Nationalism

[Both of the following are from an ethno-nationalist perspective]

Abstractions Are a Weak Source of National Identity by Kevin MacDonald

Nation or Notion? by Patrick J. Buchanan


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