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Recently, the idea of nationalism has been intertwined with the ideas of patriotism. But what truly is nationalism? Is it good or bad for global affairs?

This argument has been brought about by the recent issues in the Catalonia region of Spain, where the government officials for the region began an unsanctioned referendum for independence, in which people were highly in favour of secession from Spain. Is this an example of Nationalism?

Nationalism is the idea that is characterized by promoting the interests of a particular nation, particularly with the aim of gaining and maintaining full sovereignty over its land. This ideology therefore means that a nation should govern itself, free from unwanted outside interference. In Catalonia’s case, this seems a clear case for them being nationalists, as the Catalonians are in favour of independence what full control and sovereignty of their region, without the interference of Spain.

But is nationalism a good or a bad thing? The bad side of Nationalism has been widely publicised, but a good way to explain it is by looking at the poem, Flag by John Agard. The idea of nationalism and patriotism is symbolised by a flag, which has power that “brings a nation to its knees” and makes people “blind your conscience to the end”. From this it is obvious the manipulative and controlling ideas of nationalism, for example its lack of freedom for the individual, and hence it has a negative impact on society.

However there are many good ideas behind nationalism. The sense of pride for your country, your origins and where you came from must be considered a good thing, as people work in synergy with each other and are proud of the things that they do together.

So what do you think? Is Nationalism a good or a bad thing? What are your opinions on the Catalonia crisis?

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