Hence, nationalism and populism arose as a result of liberalism and modernity, and thus the concept of a “nation” is an entirely novel concept in international affairs. Why the “nation” is a novel concept in international affairs is because only a couple of centuries ago and before the advent of Anglo-American liberalism and modernity, there were only two types of people in the Western world: aristocrats and peasants. Aristocrats from different regions of the Western world shared a common language (either French or Latin) and a common discourse and mode of thinking, and they considered peasants as inconsequential property and perhaps even non-existent.
But with the takeoff of Anglo-American industrialization and technology about a couple of centuries ago, things got complicated in the Western world. Many other social groups arose as a result of industrialization and technology because the population grew as a result of industrialization and technology, and in turn, an entirely new concept of the “collective” had to be formed which had the masses or the Volk as its core, essence, and substance. Hence, the concept of a “nation” which came to life in the modern age of the last two centuries.
Also, the “nation” is forged through shared beliefs, customs, habits, language, and practices which in turn fosters a sense of “oneness” amongst the people who constitute the nation. And these beliefs, customs, habits, language, and practices ultimately arise from the masses or the Volk. Hence, if the “nation” reigns supreme in international affairs, it means that the masses reign supreme, given that the concept of a “nation” and all its various characteristics and elements arise from the masses or the Volk, not the bourgeoisie liberal and internationalist elite.
As a result, one of the consequences or byproducts of nationalism is that the bourgeoisie liberal and internationalist elites are ultimately eclipsed and overshadowed by the masses or the Volk. The overall organizational shift in the Western world over the course of the last couple of centuries, essentially, is one from “the eighteenth century horizontal world of dynasties and cosmopolite upper classes” to one of “vertical unities – nations, not wholly separate but unlike.” However, the catch is that nationalism would then shatter the illusion or the “parochial conceit” in Washington to borrow from Samuel Huntington that the West is the “universal civilization” of the world.
Hence, just as globalization breeds nationalism in Western societies and thus breeds a resistance towards globalization amongst Westerners, the imposition of “democracy” on the part of Washington in non-Western societies breeds a resistance against Westernization on the part of non-Western peoples, as Huntington argued. In sum, liberalism and modernity could not do away with nationalism and religion, neither in the West nor in the East.
For one, the “exhaustive education” which is required to become a globalist with socialist leanings is something which only a handful of people go through in the world. Not even liberals and modernists could claim to have gone through such an exhaustive education, let alone the masses. In short, Western hegemony meant the spread of the entire range and variety of Western ideologies around the world, given that no major religion has ever arisen from the West. Now, with the end of Western hegemony, the default position or reversion is towards culture and religion after the demise of hegemony and the various ideologies which underpin hegemony, not just around the world, but in the West as well.