Nationalism: Notes Towards a Reappraisal

  • André Reszler


The philosophical groundwork of economic nationalism1 can best be highlighted by two metaphors: the seedling and the infant child. Both are exposed to the harshness or the open hostility of their environment and need care and affection if they are to develop into healthy, self-supporting organisms. The period of protection they require is defined by the time they need to adapt themselves to the adult world of strife and competition. It is no accident that two of the foremost theoreticians of economic nationalism, of self-sufficiency and protectionism-Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich List-are citizens of the ‘young’ Germanic world which is industrially backward and politically disunited and which is surrounded by the industrially and politically ‘mature’ nations of Europe—England and France.


Artistic Creation Musical Composition Music Drama Cultural Nationalism Infant Child 
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  1. 1.
    For a comprehensive treatment of the theoretical aspects of economic nationalism, see Michael A. Heilperin, Studies in Economic Nationalism (Geneva: Publications of the Graduate Institute of International Studies, 1962).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Aldous Huxley, The Human Situation (London: Chatto & Windus, 1978) p. 80 – The only definition which the old League of Nations was ever able to find for a nation … was that a nation is a society possessing the means of making war. Thus the feeblest and smallest nation which has some kind of a war-making machine — Libya, for example-is a nation, but an immense geographic unit with a huge population, such as California, is not a nation because it does not have a war-making machine’, remarks Huxley (p. 77).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Battelle Geneva Research Center 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Reszler

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