Richard Armitage on David Willetts on nationalism

Let me suggest as supplementary reading, Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities.

Screen shot 2016-08-11 at 10.34.10 AM

~ by Servetus on August 11, 2016.

10 Responses to “Richard Armitage on David Willetts on nationalism”

  1. Is “blood and soil” actually a well-known expression in English? ‘Blut und Boden’, literally, so I am wondering what the context of this quote is. As usual, that is the problem with snazzy quotes – hard to tell where he is going with this, when all we see are 4 lines from a book. Sounds good at face value, but I’d like to know more!


    • That was exactly what I said to him, Guylty 🙂 Maybe he wants to encourage us to examine the book further, but I wondered if the quote was really in a different context than most seemed to be assuming (shrug 🙂


    • it was decades ago, but not anymore. Benedict Anderson’s point was that no nationalism is organic. They are all “imagined communities.” Laying aside whether nationalism and patriotism are the same thing.


  2. The relative ‘which’ relates to…?
    ‘Institutions’ as I read the excerpt and not to ‘country’. I could be wrong, though.


    • institutions. This confusion comes from the practice that in UK English that and which are interchangeable.


    • Diagramming that sentence in my head, I also read “which” referring to “institutions” as well, not “country”. But I could be wrong, also.


    • “and” makes “that” and “which” formally equivalent here. You’re allowed to do this in the UK.


  3. Thanks for the additional reference, Serv 🙂


    • anytime, lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Please remember I’m a non-native English speaker in the following.
        I’ve now been in contact with a grammarian, a colleague of mine.

        The first relative ‘that’ grammatically introduces a defining relative clause (i.e. no comma), and it defines ‘a celebration of the institutions’ – the key word here is ‘institutions’. As Servetus so rightly explains ‘that’ can be used interchangeably with ‘who’, ‘whom’ and ‘which’, because this is a defining relative clause. The relative ‘that’ is not used in non-defining relative clauses in written language.

        The second relative ‘which’ is far more tricky. Apparently, it defines the preceding clause (no comma), and as such it also defines ‘institutions’. However, it is more likely, but not so apparent, the ‘which’ defines the entire genitive construction, i.e. ‘a celebration of the institutions’. So, it’s a celebration of the institutions which should be open to everyone. Said colleague would have placed a comma before the ‘and’. However, it’s not obligatory.

        Okay, but is the celebration of institutions closed to some? I wonder what is meant, re. the baby boomers.

        It’s taken out of context, and maybe it needs further examination 😉


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