As pointed out by Marx and Engels (Benner, 1995), nationalism can also be looked at as a view created by the upper echelons of the society so that they could thrive over the rest of the people in the society.
Whatever is the cause for the birth of the nations, they are here and politics between the nations and due to the nations are very much the play (Kedourie, 1993). With this nationalism at its peak during the World Wars, there can not be secondary thoughts on their contribution to war and violence in this world. And now with the rising sense of democracy and pluralism, the countries and the nations provide a platform for integrating the thoughts of millions and converting them to similar lines before integrating and bringing peace to the world.
Nationalism was the driving force of two world wars. Those nations that did not have any idea as to what nationalism is became 'nationalistic' after the end of the First World War and more did so after the second. This gave rise to an unprecedented nationalistic fervour all over the world. Subsequent to this, there was an increased incidence of violence with every nation racing for superiority among the multitudes on the earth. Arms race, nuclear race and a number of other destructive races came in place. Earlier on when the kingdoms and their kings were small, the amount of wealth they could accumulate and thereby fight with was less. But with the concept of nation getting into the minds of the people, there is a larger bounty of money that could be shared between the people and for the military power. Nations allocated and spent large budgets that could help them build large destructive weapons. Naturally it is no surprise that US of A is the first country that made, tested and used a WMD.
Nationalism bred competition. Competitions are always not healthy and soon bred internecine war that has destroyed people all over the world and has caused immense discomfort and death to millions. National ideologies did not alleviate the poverty in third world countries but instead helped the rich to rob the poor further in the form of large scale taxation (Coley, 1992). Nationalism has also bred contempt for other people. A superiority of races that differentiated people and created people from powerful nations (economic and political) and weak nations, has been made possible by the formation of nations. This in turn breeds an ongoing terrorist and other manifestations of discontent among the people because of the rich-poor divide.
Nationalism as a force for order and cohesion
Nationalism was a result of an effort by the modern man in fighting the dividing ideologies that separated and alienated societies from one another, says Kedourie (1993). It was an answer using which the modern man aimed at bridging the gap between societies and try to create a synchronised life between them. The will of the individuals are getting better recognised as a nation. Only the creation of nations could bring about democracy and put an end to aristocracy that gave no say to the people in the country. Since the governance is in the hands of the people, most of the issues are clearly sorted out leading to more peaceful coexistence with in the country. There is more cohesion among the population as a single nation. This