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This is a term that has caused confusion because it is commonly equated with the love of

country, which it is not. It is an aspect of that love, but that is not its essence. Nationalism is both
power and philosophy of power. It is a power that has moved people to forge nations where there
were none, and prodded them to exceptional achievements. The Philippines was originally a
collection of islands peopled by tribal communities. Nationalism made her a state and in the
process gave the world the first modern example of an Asian people’s revolution against Western
colonialism. The vigorous nationalism of a people, living on an arid soil virtually devoid of
natural resources, has made of Japan the economic colossus that she is today. Nationalism has
powered India, only forty years ago, the begging bowl of Asia, to feed 800 million people,
achieve self-sufficiency in agriculture and become a major industrial state equipped with nuclear
capability. Nationalism spurred a great Arab leader to nationalize the Suez Canal and prove that
his people, regarded as backward of the world, could operate modern and intricate enterprise. It
was nationalism which steeled a people, subsisting in the paddies of pre-industrial Vietnam; to
humble and expel a superpower commanding the world’s most powerful military machine. A
Filipino historian, Horacio dela Costa, S.J., said of it: Nationalism is not only a fact; it is a
power. Few things in the modern world have been able as nationalism has, to release such will
energies from multitudes previously passive and inert, and to drive them to attempt and achieve
projects previously thought to be beyond the hounds of possibility. It is this ability of nationalism
to inspire such unquestionable loyalty, such complete commitment that has led scholars like
Carlton Hayes to call it a religion. And speaking of nationalism as a religion, the renowned
Indian philosopher, Sri Aurobindo, who suffered political imprisonment under the British for his
activities as a revolutionary nationalist, defined it as a “religion in which man tries to realize God
in the nation and in his compatriots.” Form another perspective, George Soule, the noted
historian of economic ideas, observed that “it would be historically naive to assert that the birth
of modern civilization could have taken place unattended by the nationalism in economic and
political affairs which accompanied it. We should not attempt to explain why nationalism exists.
It is enough that we recognize it as a fact and a power. And because it is both fact and power, it
would be foolhardy to defy or even ignore it. Nationalism, however, is more than a power. It is
also a philosophy of power concerned with strategies, methods and processes of building,
developing and nourishing of power of a state as an organic entity. It is an outlook borne by the
perception that a state must consciously cultivate and amass power for itself if it is to survive as a
social organism and if it is to respond effectively to the needs and requirements of the individuals
who constitute it and for whom it exists. It is nationalism as a philosophy of power, as a method
by which a state acquires and develops power that concerns us in our study. To nationalists, it is
not enough that one loves his country because even a fool can do that. More important than being
loved, a state must be strong because without strength it is nothing. It would neither be able to
take care of itself nor provide for the well-being and security of its citizens. Nationalism views
the world as a community of nation-states who must live as well as compete constantly with each
other. The raging trade wars are an example. We see states forcing each other to dismantle trade
walls that protect their industries and local sources of employment. We see the U.S and Japan
locked in mortal economic combat. We see the Third world struggling against the greedy and
suffocating imposition of industrial countries. Struggle and competition are a fact and a law of
international life. To succeed, a state must be strong and powerful in its own right. If it cannot
compete, then it is not likely survive indefinitely. A weak and powerless state is in an even more
precarious situation than a weak and powerless individual. The latter can at least avail of the
sympathy and support of a family, relatives and friends. But a state is not in a similar position. It
has no family or relatives which it can turn to. And there are no friends in international relations;
only transient allies who can turn into adversaries overnight. More important therefore than
being loved by its people, a state must be strong and powerful enough to protect them and secure
their welfare. A state that cannot do so is not likely to be respected by anyone, not even by its
citizens. Such a state forfeits the right to survive. Let us reflect to what is happening to the
Philippines. Because she is weak and powerless, she is constantly humiliated by others, by her
creditors and even by those who call themselves her friends and protectors. She is unable to
provide the vast majority of her people with the employment, livelihood and security that they
need from her. As a result, millions of Filipinos seek their fortunes abroad and eventually
surrender their citizenship for another. We are, perhaps, the only state in the world embarrassed
by a local movement which seeks the abolition of our nationhood and works for our
incorporation into the federal structure of the very state which had colonized us. This is the depth
to which the Philippines has sunk in the esteem of some of her own people. But that is to be
expected for a state that fails its people, particularly in their basic needs and necessities,
inevitable loses their love and respect. Where a people can no longer be proud of the country and
lose all hope for it, it becomes only a matter of time before they desert it, or even turn against it.
This is the harsh reality which nationalists understand: the reason why, to them, it is important
that their state be as strong as powerful as possible. This also explains the obsession of
nationalists with independence. If a state must have strength and power, it must first acquire real
independence. Without independence, a people will be unable to pursue a course that would
bring strength and power to themselves as a state. The two are in fact intertwined. Independence
is necessary to power and power is necessary to independence. Non-nationalists, who profess
patriotism and love of country, are indifferent to the problems of power and independence. They
are indifferent, for example, to the fact that their country is without the industries that induce
sinew and muscle into its economy and thereby make it self-reliant and independent. They are
even indifferent to the fact that their country lives in permanent dependence on another. It is
enough that they love their country. But a state where nationalism as a force is either absent or
fragile can only be weak and purposeless. It will merely drift along, a constant temptation for
others to abuse and take advantage of. As a state, however, whose people are infused with a
vibrant nationalism cannot help but become a strong and respected state. The most prominent of
this is Japan. Japan was pulverized by the United States during World War II. But because of the
vigorous nationalism of the Japanese, Japan not only rebuilt and reconstructed herself but rose to
become a world economic power, second only to the U.S now, and in many ways surpassing the
latter in material accomplishments. Asia-pacific, where the Philippines is situated, throbs with
“New Japans”, such as South Korea and Taiwan, and merging “New Japans” such as Malaysia
and Indonesia, all driven by an overpowering nationalism and steered by an economic
philosophy to heights of accomplishments. South Korea and Taiwan now can produce warships
and missiles. Malaysia has her own car and steel industries. Indonesia has integrated steel
industry, in addition to which she now manufactures aircraft. Thailand has a petrochemical
industry. The Philippines cannot even produce a sophisticated toy gun or decent hammer. We are
losing the race to survival. Poverty and necessity are compelling millions of Filipinos to acts and
behavior that shame us as a nation. Hence, it is important for Filipinos to unite around and
economic philosophy that can transform their country from the weak and powerless state that it
is to one that is strong and powerful, or suffer the tragedy of its weakness. As a state, as with an
individual, pays a heavy penalty for weakness, a weak state must be prepared to see no only its
natural resources exploited and despoiled, but its human resources degraded as well. We are
mute witness to the degradation of our men, women, and children, in the hands of others who
exploit them and deprive them of their humanity with flagrant impunity because our state is
powerless to aid them. When the state is weak and powerless, government itself can only be
weak and powerless because the latter is simply and instrument of the former. And because it is
weak, government eventually degenerates into a tool of powerful forces with interests opposed to
the people. Hence weak states are generally characterized by governments that run counter to
their people’s interests, incapable of governing and of asserting their authority against external
forces. The question is, how does a state become strong and powerful? If it is weak, how does it
transform that weakness into strength? We need an economic philosophy which has enabled
weak and powerless states to become strong and powerful. It is an economic philosophy that
transcends ideologies and accounts for the strength and power of the strong and powerful states
today, whether capitalists, socialists or communists. The philosophy is the only factor that can
possibly inspire and galvanize a powerless, disheartened and divided nation towards the strength,
cohesiveness, and unity that could lead to it to rediscover the pride and promise it had once
known. From these articles, one can understand the nationalism is not only love of one’s country,
it I also an ideology and a commitment. As an ideology, it is a concept of what a nation is, what a
nation can be, and what a nation is ought to be. As a commitment, it is a recognized and accepted
duty to help develop and defends one’s nation so conceived. As a sentiment, it is a feeling
developed in a people living within a contiguous geographic area, forged by a common history,
language and literature, customs and traditions and even by a common religion. Renato
Constantino points out that for a nationalism to develop, there must be a growing and deepening
consciousness that we are a distinct people with our own character and spirit, our own customs
and traditions, our own ideals, our own way of thinking, our own way of life. Secondly, we must
have a firm belief in the genius of our race and in the capacity of the people or advancement
toward the attainment of their destiny. What set us apart from other people are our vicissitudes
and experiences we had gone through as a colonized people. A firm belief that can only be
acquired through an understanding of the peoples’ struggles and accomplishments, our trials and
tribulations, which are the sum total of their experiences. Nationalism therefore is a vital force
that drives people to fight for their rights and for their independence; it sets in motion million of
hearts and minds. Thus it was the nationalism of the Americans that made them fight for their
independence. It was the nationalism of the Spaniard's that drove Napoleon’s forces away when
the French, under Napoleon Bonaparte, invaded Spain. It was nationalism which stirred the
nationalist senators to abrogate the military bases agreement in 1992; it is nationalism which
motivates some Filipinos to fight any attempt to change the 1987 constitution which is a
nationalist constitution. Nationalism is the bond that unites the people of Asia and Africa. These
countries, once the sites of ancient civilizations, are now perceived as a conglomeration of
underdeveloped countries by the economically advanced Western countries. First World
Countries and Third World Countries view nationalism differently. The concept of nationalism
in the underdeveloped countries with the western point of view, is nationalism to the first world
is an ideology. Western countries being the colonizers shape the destiny of their colonies. The
American nationalists today do not seek independence from foreign domination but in the name
of national interests and prestige, they seek to expand or retain their markets abroad and
strengthen or expand political power and influence to protect their economic interests. From the
Asian point of view, nationalism is a sentiment - a devotion to or advocacy of national unity and
independence. Asian countries were colonized by the West and their struggle for independence is
their primary concern. Agoncillo explains that nationalism is a historical development; a Child of
the French revolution. It was exported to other nations through Napoleonic wars, trade and
commerce and colonialism itself. Nationalism in the Philippines developed only in the 19th
century. Although there were a feeling of resentment among the Filipinos during the early part of
the Spanish rule, no sentiments of nationalism developed due to the colonial policy of divide and
rule, the country’s geographic condition and the absence of common language. Renato
Constantino explains that the emergence of Filipino nationalism came as a culmination of a long
process of Spanish misrule. Hastened by political and economic developments in Europe and the
Philippines.