Emergent Human Phenomena:

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Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by Bladridigan on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:10 pm

What is an emergent human phenomenon? I see this phrase used in reference to nationalism, I was wondering if anyone could explain it to me.

Is this just another way of saying that people are inherently ethnocentric? If so, it seems an odd way of saying it.

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Re: Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:23 pm

Bladridigan wrote:What is an emergent human phenomenon? I see this phrase used in reference to nationalism, I was wondering if anyone could explain it to me.

Is this just another way of saying that people are inherently ethnocentric? If so, it seems an odd way of saying it.

"Emergent human phenomena" are behavioral characteristics people exhibit regardless of cultural context. Nationalism would be an example, as would mutual aid, friendship, family, and so forth. Cultural can modify the manner in which these traits manifest themselves, but the point is they will emerge, in some form, nevertheless.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by Bladridigan on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:30 pm

Celtiberian wrote:"Emergent human phenomena" are behavioral characteristics people exhibit regardless of cultural context. Nationalism would be an example, as would mutual aid, friendship, family, and so forth. Cultural can modify the manner in which these traits manifest themselves, but the point is they will emerge, in some form, nevertheless.

Your answer raises another question, if nationalism is an emergent human phenomenon, them what is meant by reference to nationalist theory? Generally, nationalism seems to suffer from 'philosophical poverty', as it were.

Kai Murros once said that nationalism is 'a matter of passions, not theories' or something to that effect.

By the way, is EHP a term you came across in your study of anthropology?

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Re: Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:17 pm

Bladridigan wrote:Your answer raises another question, if nationalism is an emergent human phenomenon, them what is meant by reference to nationalist theory? Generally, nationalism seems to suffer from 'philosophical poverty', as it were.

Kai Murros once said that nationalism is 'a matter of passions, not theories' or something to that effect.

Well, one must draw the proper distinction between 'nationalism', as a component of collective identity and specific nationalist ideologies — which exploit the former phenomenon to serve specific sociopolitical ends. It's really just a matter of semantics.

In the context you cite, Mr. Murros is referring to what can be regarded as the 'immutable' (psychological) expression of 'nationalism' — which he interprets (perhaps too optimistically) to constitute the eventual impetus to push back against the bourgeois cosmopolitanization of Europe.

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Re: Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:13 pm

Bladridigan wrote:Your answer raises another question, if nationalism is an emergent human phenomenon, them what is meant by reference to nationalist theory? Generally, nationalism seems to suffer from 'philosophical poverty', as it were.

As the Admin pointed out, there's a distinction to be made between nationalism as a psychological characteristic, and nationalism as a philosophy. Nationalist philosophy typically treats national sentiment as an innate feature of human psychology and, from there, proceeds to incorporate this characteristic into a broader theory of political philosophy—with reactionary theorists putting it to service in the maintenance of exploitation, imperialism, and class society; and revolutionary theorists incorporating it into post-capitalist hypotheses.

I agree that nationalism isn't addressed as much as it should be in philosophy. In contemporary academia, for example, it's usually only covered in courses pertaining to political science, sociology, and history. Nevertheless, political movements which ignore the importance of a correct understanding of nationalism do so at their own peril.

By the way, is EHP a term you came across in your study of anthropology?

Emergence is indeed something I've discovered in my study of anthropology, but the subject is also touched upon in sociology and philosophy as well.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by Bladridigan on Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:51 pm

Celtiberian wrote:As the Admin pointed out, there's a distinction to be made between nationalism as a psychological characteristic, and nationalism as a philosophy. Nationalist philosophy typically treats national sentiment as an innate feature of human psychology and, from there, proceeds to incorporate this characteristic into a broader theory of political philosophy—with reactionary theorists putting it to service in the maintenance of exploitation, imperialism, and class society; and revolutionary theorists incorporating it into post-capitalist hypotheses.

I agree that nationalism isn't addressed as much as it should be in philosophy. In contemporary academia, for example, it's usually only covered in courses pertaining to political science, sociology, and history. Nevertheless, political movements which ignore the importance of a correct understanding of nationalism do so at their own peril.

Thanks, these are great responses. I must confess that my nationalism is more psychological than philosophical, but I'm sure time will remedy that. Anyways, are there any writings on left-wing nationalism that you like?

EDIT: I posted a question in the socialist resources thread.

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Re: Emergent Human Phenomena:

Post by TheocWulf on Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:36 am

Bladridigan wrote:I must confess that my nationalism is more psychological than philosophical

That is true of most people on this planet and is refrerd to in some circles as "Folk Consiounsness" and it is indeed something we have to tap into if we want to see social nationalism on a national/international scale.

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