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  • Nationalism, Communication, Ideology

    Christian Fuchs

    Chapter from the book: Fuchs, C. 2020. Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory.


    Nationalism plays a necessary role in the ideological reproduction of capitalism and class. This chapter asks: what is nationalism? How is nationalism communicated? It studies the relationship of nationalism, communication, and ideology. It discusses what nationalism is and its relation to racism. Right-wing authoritarianism, authoritarian capitalism, and fascism are analysed and the communication of nationalist ideology. The approach to nationalism taken is grounded in the works of Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, the Frankfurt School, Eric Hobsbawm, and C.L.R. James. These are critical, Marxist approaches that stress the ideological character of nationalism which essentialises an invented biological or cultural community that is distinguished from outsiders/aliens who are defined as enemies of the nation. Both inclusive and exclusive racism play a role in capitalism. Nationalism and racism help create and justify realms of super-exploitation, where migrant workers are exploited. And they distract attention from capitalism and class by scapegoating foreigners. Right-wing authoritarianism is an ideological and political form that combines authoritarian leadership, nationalism, the friend/enemy-scheme, patriarchy and militarism. At the level of content, nationalism takes on a particular semiotic and linguistic discourse structure. At the level of the structure of ideology, it is possible to distinguish between biological, economic, political, and cultural nationalism. Nationalism is communicated through different social forms and operates on the levels of symbolic entities, social relations and practices and events. Nationalism stands in an antagonistic relation to globalisation. Capitalist globalisation has advanced and deepened social problems, to which nationalism is an ideological reaction.

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    Fuchs, C. 2020. Nationalism, Communication, Ideology. In: Fuchs, C, Communication and Capitalism. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book45.j

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    Published on May 19, 2020