Looking for the border between east and west. Ationalism and potential territory claims in Eastern Europe

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The definition of a nation itself suggests, as one of the foundations, firm contrasting itself to other similar collectives, cultivating the notion of it's "singularity". We'll dare suppose, that it is precisely this contrasting closely associated with territorial self identification, that provides the ground for the East-West ideology split. It remains to establish, if the nation being the subject of politics (unlike, for instance, the ethnos) can mobilize its members for actions aimed on the territory repartition.

Political demands shaping the nation usually manifest themselves in the form of nationalistic ideology. And it is nationalistic ideology that serves as the tool of mass political mobilization. How does it come about?

Nationalism as the Specific Case of Ideology

Many scholars, politicians and public figures point out today spreading of nationalistic ideology sphere of influence. Nationalism as other ideologies serves as "type of proof and recognition of the matter based on insufficiently objective and sufficiently subjective grounds"/19/. Any nationalistic doctrine gives clear and simple answers to the questions that the modern science fails to give unambiguous answers.

All nationalistic forms have something in common. It is a common outlook or the concept of the system of the universe. It is conventional to classify this common base as the initial nationalism doctrine. Differences inherent to each specific nationalism constitute the secondary doctrine. Stated below are the main issues of initial doctrine formulated by A. Smith and L. Tevey and used by Taylor in his book "Political Geography"/37/. These ideology issues are typical for all nationalists:

1. The attitude of nationalism to surrounding world - the world consists of the mosaic of nations; the world order depends on how complete this mosaic is represented by the system of independent states.

2. The relationship of a nation and society - nations are natural cells of society (its integral parts); nations are united by culture (common historical and ethnic origin) each nation needs its own independent state to realize its culture; all nations to a greater extent than states have the right for a territory and a homeland.

3. The relationship of an individual and a nation - each individual belongs to a certain nation; interests of the nation are superior to the individual ones; the individual can be really free only through belonging to the nation, only together with the nation.

This arrangement is universal not only for any form of nationalism but practically for any other ideology. Once you change some terms it can be applied to class, state, sexist and other ideologies.

As the ideology of nationalism originates itself in a unity of ethnos, setting the task of achieving some benefit for this ethnos, we can formulate the definition of nationalism, as follows:

Nationalism is the ideology movement which is created (comes into existence) within the ethnos and leads to the elaboration of the common political demand for this ethnos. As result the ethnos transforms into the other level of its development and becomes a nation. A nation does not exist without a nationalism and it is the nationalism that serves as the tool of the mass political mobilization.

We tend to agree with the majority of mentioned above authors that political demands shaping the nation usually are connected with the specific territory. More over, the territory issue constitutes the main part of the demands.

The Fixed Link Between Nation, Territory and Ideology

The definition of a nation given above implies the presence of its two components : a) natural (environmental - social) - ethnos; b) ideological - ideology of nationalism. Without nationalism there is no nation. Nationalism, i.e. ideology aiming the achievement of benefit for the ethnos members, is inherent for any nation. Having the common doctrine, values, different forms of nationalism set specific tasks often contrary, hostile to one another.

Ethnos creation is associated with the opposition that members of some unity direct to the surrounding individuals not included into the unity. Division on "us" and "them" takes place. "Our" ideology and view of life are built up. The ethnos categories are formulated - truth, good, beauty, wealth (justice), which rationalize the irrational living goals of the ethnos members/14/. All surrounding world, all events are judged according to the categories as they are interpreted in the ethnos. The difference in judgement of surrounding reality within the framework of categories of different ethnoses brings about misunderstanding, dislike and, as consequence, conflicts between different ethnos representatives. The nationalism arising within the ethnos comprises the particularities of the outlook of the ethnos members. It reflects the perception and behavior stereotypes inherent for them. The general outlook is shaped under the direct influence of the ethnos historical fate (victories, defeats, gains, losses, etc.), and the nationalistic ideology of the ethnos widely use the ethnos (nation) history for setting goals to its members. The necessity of the achievement of the goals set by ideology is motivated among others with historical facts, as they appear to ideologists. The attempt to build up the ideology with the goal of mobilizing the ethnos members efforts without regard for their outlook particularities formed on the base of historical events is doomed to failure. In any case such mobilization will be ineffective as it takes much energy for administrative interventions. Certainly, the nationalism of the ethnos (nation) changes (updates) with time. But taking into account the sluggishness of ethnic disposition, the heritage of behavior stereotypes in next generations, the ideologies which for spreading their ideas use the interpretations of events closely associated with the ethnos history will win the competition.

As the guidelines for further development, the nationalistic ideologies usually use the past victories and achievements. The formula: "We used to be great (we used to be very well) - now everything is worse than it used to be - we need our former greatness (wealth) back" is used by all nationalistic ideologies. It has also much to do with the issue of territory control in interpretation of nationalistic ideologies. Spreading the territory controlled by the national state up to the borders of the "golden age" domain or maximum spread of possessions or settlement habitat of ethnos(nation) is considered to be national good. Territory gains in the past become the subject of nostalgic reminiscences and then the goal of the specific policy.

The nation emergence and existence goes along with transformation of territory into the ideology value. The territory beside the natural resources significance gains a specific ideology value. From the point of view of the nationalistic ideology carrier each part of the territory has some value which in its turn comprises the ideology and material values.

This paper deals with precisely the ideology value of the area (territory), which exists as the consequence ideology component of the nation itself.

Territory Component and Territorial Claims

Territory component of a nation gives it the principal political advantage over the majority of other social unities - the possibility of political territorial self determination. From the point of view of a nation only the achievement of possibility to be the arbiter of its own destiny can fully guarantee the development of the national values. Therefore, it is the demand of national self determination of various types, that constitutes the main part of political demands of any nationalism. Evidently, that the creation of the national state is the possibility for the nation to provide most radical control over the national territory and freely mobilize its members to accomplish the goals of the nationalistic ideology.

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