Marx’s Anticipation of the Nationalism and Imperialism of the Second Half of the 19th Century Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Marx has interesting views on nationalism and imperialism during the second half of the 19th century. Indeed, most of his sentiments on these highlighted issues have been widely discussed in the current society. Karl Marx’s “communist manifesto” demonstrates a variety of critical issues that were eminent during the second of the nineteenth century. In these statements, it is evident that Karl Marx did not like the idea of nationalism and imperialism.

According to him, imperialism led to the development of a biased nationalism (Kinzer 11). Therefore, nationalism is born from the much destructive theme of imperialism. He elucidated the fact that the developing nations must stay away from the detrimental impacts and manipulations of imperialism. As he indicates, imperialism is the basic means through which the western nations propagate their capitalistic and materialistic ideologies.

The ideological influence from the developed nations compromised the effective advancement of the budding countries. In addition, Marx is of the opinion that imperialism contributes to the emergence of a false single identity (Kinzer 21). Consequently, this falsehood identity or tag destroyed the capacity of victim nations to develop self-realization. His basic perception is that the west have assumed greater advantages and reaped potential benefits from the less developed states.

He justifies the fact that the Chinese have been secluded from the western society due to intense imperialism from the western nations. The imperialists forced their pattern of life and societal norms on the emergent nations. Karl Marx categorically highlights the fundamental objectives of the imperialists in his philosophical arguments. He denotes that they have a potential aspiration to curtail and regulate the developing nations. However, they yearn to attain this under the pretext of westernization of civilization.

The process of civilization is nothing other than a typical and complete adoption or duplication of the injurious culture of the west. The developing nations are deprived of their vital natural and manmade resources. Karl Marx identifies all the negative implications associated with this practice. Brain drain and over-reliance on the western beliefs and way of life include some of the negative implications cited by Karl Marx.

Generally, the philosopher noted that imperialism and nationalism impeded individuality and self-reliance (Kinzer 26). These in turn derail the self-esteem of individuals. Therefore, such nations produce citizens with typical lifestyles. They fail to think at individual level. Moreover, they also lack creativity and innovation. There is less internal development but more dependence on the imperials due to their financial and knowledge power.

Analysis of Imperialism

The human nature requires a lot of freedom. This is eminent within all sectors of life. Business and resource exploitation include some of the potential areas that call for maximum human freedom.

Karl Marx observed the significance of this freedom. Particularly, Marx developed the laissez-faire philosophy to enhance this belief (Kinzer 31). Generally, there is a philosophical belief that the freedom enhances the capacity of man’s engagement in business. However, there are further philosophical beliefs that denote significant critics on this perception.

For instance, the fact that human beings must be controlled or monitored led to the development of imperialism. Even Karl Marx recognizes the importance of regulation and control within any free market. This is applicable within all fields of human operation. Therefore, it is imperative to indicate that human beings only thrive well when curtailed. However, the regulations must not be punitive and demeaning to the persons involved.

Regulations must respect human dignity and reduce the instances of indoctrination and proscription. These views expressed by Karl Marx and other potential philosophers led to the emergence of imperialism. Principally, the need to gather and control key players and people within the society arose in most developing nations. Through colonialism, the imperialists introduced their themes of nationalism with an aim to assume total dominion over these subjects.

In the process of introducing nationalism, imperialism and other related practices emanated (Kinzer 39). Excessive capitalism and increased liberty catapulted the rate of imperialism. Due to massive accumulated wealth, the richer few started to ape the practices of the westernized world. This habit created a gradual process of initiation into the ideological principles of imperialism. The demonstrations and views of the classical liberal best potentiate and explain this gradual but indicative process.

Human beings like to curve their identities through the adoption and practice of unique cultures. This attribute played a crucial role in speeding up the process of civilization and imperialism. It is specified that those with higher ambitions to affiliate and associate with the western culture helped in spreading the concept of imperialism (Kinzer 45).

The western nations slowly took advantage of the readily charged group. The final impact has been the total adoption of imperialism, packed in form of civilization and nationalism. These critical elements have contributed to making imperialism an inevitable practice in the entire world. There is need for further examination and study of the human factors that have led to the development of imperialism.

Racism Evident in Western Imperialism

It is evident that ideological views based on classical liberal theories had vital influences in the development of imperialism. It is also noteworthy to analyze the impacts of these ideologies on the issue of racism during this period. While trying to ape civilization and the western culture, most Africans remained alienated.

It is observable that the more the developing nations aped this system of life, the more they remained alienated. The westerners cut out their niche as an elusive group with adorable culture and beliefs (Kinzer 50). The continuous intrusion of the western culture in the African communities led to the emergence of negligence and potential discrimination.

It is evident that this pattern was not only observed within the white and black communities. It is trend that cut across nearly all the racial classes. A systematic process of social stratification based on tribal and racial orientation developed. The pattern remains evident globally even within the present society. The classical liberals argued held antagonizing viewpoints regarding the origin of specific cultures (Kinzer 56).

These disparities were also eminent in the perceptions of how certain culture influenced and shaped the life of personalities. However, these opinions were placed on major cultures. Therefore, people from minority races and less recognized cultures suffered severe discrimination. Apart from this, they were also secluded from the mainstream. Instead, a stream of dominant and oppressive culture emerged and prevailed upon the global community.

Conclusively, the classical liberal thoughts had immense contributions in the development and emancipation of racism. This observation has been noted several times within the western imperialism. A critical investigation and study of the phenomenon reveals that the trend is still eminent and ongoing within most communities. Eradication of racism shall take a long time given its philosophical and social complexities.

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