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By Ernest Gellner

The forecast loss of life of nationalism lower than the recent ethical orders of communism and internationalism has proved illusory. within the current century, to an volume higher probably than in all others, nationalism has been the dominant strength within the affairs of humankind. Why may still this were? Why is it nationwide identification should still stay the aspiration of just about all peoples with out one and, even as, the justification - within the strategy of acquiring, securing and increasing it- for casting apart each hint and culture of civility? In Encounters with Nationalism Ernest Gellner seeks a few answers.His method is to contemplate first the guidelines of the most smooth thinkers at the topic, from Marx, checklist, Malinowski and Carr, to Masaryk, Heidegger, Patocka, Hroch, Havel and acknowledged. He examines the origins, topics and context in their writings, their interactions with tradition and politics, and their impact - either on conception and on occasions. the variety is vast, protecting jap, Western and Islamic societies, and contains broad discussions of the comparable topics of civil society, theocracy, communism, imperialism, capitalism and liberalism.Professor Gellner isn't below trenchant. he's involved right here not just to appreciate, yet to criticize. He confronts a number of robust and classy notions that gasoline and/or try and clarify modern nationalism - between them postcolonialism. at the one hand he exposes their incoherence and irresponsibility; at the different he locations them along rules of genuine foreign money. Nor does he avoid the talk surrounding the character of judgement itself: the reader also will locate right here concise and penetrating discussions of relativism, pluralism, objectivity and the potential of common values.

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T h e 'clercs* are rebuked for abandoning these", a n d for whoring after local and particularistic idols. 1 Julien^Benda (1867-1956) wrote this work between 1924 and 1927 and published it in Paris in -1928. It is the response of this celebrated essayist and political commentator to what he perceived to be a. severe crisis in European culture. The book takes the form of an essay in historical sociology. two broad classesof men, the''clercs' and the 'lay people': the latter were involved in the, "practical running of society and the application of;thought and science to it; the former were those who were not active in the pursuit or support of practical aims, but who stood aside from, their society and argued for non-immediate, non-material, disinterested values.

T h e Betrayal of th? 1 Its argument is articulated against an uncritically assumed background of Platonic metaphysics andoiniversalistic ethics. A realm of values binding all m e n alike is simply presupposed. T h e 'clercs* are rebuked for abandoning these", a n d for whoring after local and particularistic idols. 1 Julien^Benda (1867-1956) wrote this work between 1924 and 1927 and published it in Paris in -1928. It is the response of this celebrated essayist and political commentator to what he perceived to be a.

W i t h o u t the state, all else goes. But there is nothing in this t o . m a k e the state national*What„is true is that Spinoza, and the Enlightenment after him, having decreed that there is b u t one world, can no longer revere the Other one. Henceforth, obligation, identity arid loyalty m u s t have m u n d a n e bases. T h i s means that m e n can only sacralize this world or within this world, if indeed they are to sacralize at all. ) But the inference from this to the T H E SACRED AND THE NATIONAL 69 conclusion that we, m u s t sacralize the nation follows only if brie assumes that within this world, there is n o other political candidate.

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