By Georgios Varouxakis
John Stuart Mill's proposal has been crucial in works discussing the connection among liberalism and nationality and in shapping liberal attitudes in the direction of nationality. To this finish, Varouxakis locations Mill firmly inside his socio-cultural context, interpreting his debates together with his contemporaries in addition to assessing his impression on different political thinkers.
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Extra resources for Mill on Nationality (Routledge/PSA Political Studies Series)
He was painfully aware of what Hans Morgenthau was to refer to later as the “A–B–C paradox” (Morgenthau 1957). And he condemned there as well, in the strongest terms, what is often called today “tribalism” (CW, XX: 347–8). A major reason why Mill was favourably disposed towards several movements of national liberation was his belief that, in the conjuncture of mid-nineteenth-century Europe, the specific nation-states that would arise from the success of such movements were more likely to lead to the attainment of freedom than the multiethnic empires of Austria, Russia and Turkey (see, for example, CW, XXV: 1203).
9 D’Eichthal’s short work Mill was referring to was based on the assertion that the two races, the white and the black, were possessed of biologically inherited mental and social characteristics peculiar to each (Eichthal and Urbain 1839: 14–19). Of course, d’Eichthal’s work drew implications very different from those characterizing the racial theories of the second half of the nineteenth century. 11 But even if he did not object to them in 1839, his thought on the subject developed considerably during the following decades, and the Mill who wrote The Subjection of Women had moved a long way from any tacit acceptance of such premises and theories.
11 Rather, I hope to give here the gist of a serious disagreement between John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville that emerges from “Liberal nationalism”? 12 Tocqueville has been time and again accused that he was “blind” to the significance of national differences and insensitive to the claims of the nationalities of Europe – both in his works and during his brief experience as Foreign Minister of the Second Republic. 13 He considered national feeling to be very precious because it was the only aspiration that transcended individual interests at a time when individualism and the “culte des intérêts matériels” seemed to him to threaten the social fabric of France and of atomized, democratic-egalitarian societies more generally.
Mill on Nationality (Routledge/PSA Political Studies Series) by Georgios Varouxakis