Notes on Notes on Nationalism by George Orwell

You can and probably should read this short, but a dense essay by George Orwell, but if you are not able to, here are a few notes on how Orwell sees the phenomenon of nationalism:

  1. Nationalists group millions of people in two camps, good or bad, based on one trait.
  2. Nationalists are people who identify themselves with a particular group, raise it above every other, think it can’t do any wrong, and work tirelessly to advance its interests no matter the price
  3. The group can be a nation but also some other form of a group, for example, Christian nationalism, or political catholicism is also cited as a form of a nationalistic movement
  4. Nationalism always comes with a desire for absolute power over other groups of people.
  5. Nationalists care more about the power and prestige of their group than their own individual success or merit.
  6. Nationalists see history as an endless rise and fall of power structures.
  7. For nationalists, every event can be a demonstrative example that his side is winning and the other side is losing.
  8. Facts don’t matter for nationalists, they think themselves superior.
  9. Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.
  10. The principal characteristics of nationalism are, Obsession, instability, Indifference to Reality,
  11. Orwell defines Nationalistic Obsession as only thinking and acting in a way that projects the superiority of your group.
  12. Nationalists differentiate between good and bad, not on its merits or justice, but simply based on the fact if a member of a particular group did it.
  13. Nationalists have a remarkable capacity for not even noticing the atrocities committed by their side.
  14. Every nationalist believes that the past can be altered to serve its purpose.
  15. Nationalists don’t care about the real world, and real people around them, they just want to live in the belief that their group is becoming superior to other groups as time goes by.

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