Updated: Sep 20, 2017
Edited by- Jai Kalra
“Jingoism is the passion of the spectator, the inciter, the backer, not of the fighter; it is a collective or mob passion which, in as far as it prevails, makes the individual mind subject to a control that joins him irresistibly to his fellows.”
The cause for emphasis on Jingoism is a growing wave of nationalism and xenophobia which is hell-bent on disrupting the positive effects of a globalized world economy. Even as children we are taught to resolve conflicts with our words, no educated parent in their right mind would recommend violence as a viable solution. If we as humans do not encourage a belligerent attitude among children, then, how can we empower this to sustain in our politicians and bureaucrats?
How we are to the world affects how we behave at home, if kids at a home keep witnessing a parent who looks for opportunities to pick fights, the kids would be heavily inclined to follow his or her footsteps. The macro effects of this parent-child analogy hold true, ‘Psychology of jingoism “by EB Hobson portrays it in a beautiful manner. He explains how a government as a parent conditions the children to sacrifice their individuality for the collective good. The people of the country much like the children of the government act like a herd, which culminates into riots and various mob violence.
Rapid mobilization added with complex of new industrial and social factors have made the average man or woman of today habitually susceptible to direct influences from concentrated media much more than before the age of industrialization. Industrialization makes cities into centers which absorb the majority of population. Hobson said “The physical and mental conditions of this town-life, for the majority of its population, are such as to destroy strong individuality of thought and desire.” He goes on to describe the various industrial influences of daily life and how these conditions are apt to destroy or impair independence of character, without substituting any of the qualities of a city that foster individuality among its residents. The mechanized routine of city-life causes a wear and tear which “educates a surface smartness an alertness of manipulation of ideas within a narrow area of interest and experience; and as the environment is largely similar for larger numbers, a similarity of character and life is bred in it”.
Hobson means to say that when hundreds of thousands of people are exposed to the same media and lifestyle, they tend to shed their personalities as they feel they belong to a collective identity. This conditioning over a period of time leads to tectonic changes in the global political surface, the biggest example is the Cold War where the United States of America made a brand ‘democracy’ which was superior to brand ’communism’. In that moment all the pillars of democracy activated itself for Americans to become one of the jingoistic individuals on planet Earth.
Industrialisation gave us the comfortable lifestyle we have today and it might have been the original intention. But in the midst of eliminating economic poverty we have led ourselves on path of intellectual poverty where mindlessness is the new norm. To reduce this economic poverty, aware citizens should step out and exercise their right to vote, because only then will the educated and aware will be truly reflected in our legislative assemblies and Parliament.
The government is expected to act responsibly, but its failure to do so should not create cultural and social fractures which will take an eternity to heal. To garner more majorities a propaganda requiring surface smartness will be dissipated, in order to inculcate a national character with which every working class citizen would associate themselves.
Jingoism perfectly embodies everything that is wrong with a nation. This is when the nation puts the blame of its problem on almost everyone except itself. The concurrent national mood seems to be on the same lines. The epitome of Jingoism was when Pakistani actors were banned from seeking any form of employment in the Indian Film Industry. It's time we change.
In conclusion the need to Jettison the Jingoism is portrayed beautifully by Noam Chomsky.