An extract on #airsoftphotography
In the 1880s the European powers divided up almost all of Africa (only Ethiopia and Liberia were independent). They ruled until after World War II when forces of nationalism grew much stronger. In the 1950s and 1960s the colonial holdings became independent states. The process was usually peaceful but there were several long bitter bloody civil wars, as in Algeria, Kenya and elsewhere. Across Africa nationalism drew upon the organizational skills that natives learned in the British and French and other armies in the world wars. It led to organizations that were not controlled by or endorsed by either the colonial powers not the traditional local power structures that were collaborating with the colonial powers. Nationalistic organizations began to challenge both the traditional and the new colonial structures and finally displaced them. Leaders of nationalist movements took control when the European authorities exited; many ruled for decades or until they died off. These structures included political, educational, religious, and other social organizations. In recent decades, many African countries have undergone the triumph and defeat of nationalistic fervor, changing in the process the loci of the centralizing state power and patrimonial state.
South Africa, a British colony, was exceptional in that it became virtually independent by 1931. From 1948 to 1994, it was controlled by white Afrikaner nationalists focused on racial segregation and white minority rule known officially as apartheid. The black nationalist movement fought them until success was achieved by the African National Congress in 1994 and Nelson Mandela was elected President.
The sociological or modernist interpretation of nationalism and nation-building argues that nationalism arises and flourishes in modern societies that have an industrial economy capable of self-sustainability, a central supreme authority capable of maintaining authority and unity, and a centralized language understood by a community of people. Modernist theorists note that this is only possible in modern societies, while traditional societies typically lack the prerequisites for nationalism. They lack a modern self-sustainable economy, have divided authorities, and use multiple languages resulting in many groups being unable to communicate with each other.
Prominent theorists who developed the modernist interpretation of nations and nationalism include: Carlton J. H. Hayes, Henry Maine, Ferdinand Tnnies, Rabindranath Tagore, mile Durkheim, Max Weber, Arnold Joseph Toynbee and Talcott Parsons.
Henry Maine in his analysis of the historical changes and development of human societies noted the key distinction between traditional societies defined as "status" societies based on family association and functionally diffuse roles for individuals; and modern societies defined as "contract" societies where social relations are determined by rational contracts pursued by individuals to advance their interests. Maine saw the development of societies as moving away from traditional status societies to modern contract societies.
Ferdinand Tnnies in his book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (1887) defined a gemeinschaft (community) as being based on emotional attachments as attributed with traditional societies, while defining a Gesellschaft (society) as an impersonal society that is modern. While he recognized the advantages of modern societies he also criticized them for their cold and impersonal nature that caused alienation while praising the intimacy of traditional communities.
mile Durkheim expanded upon Tnnies' recognition of alienation, and defined the differences between traditional and modern societies as being between societies based upon "mechanical solidarity" versus societies based on "organic solidarity". Durkheim identified mechanical solidarity as involving custom, habit, and repression that was necessary to maintain shared views. Durkheim identified organic solidarity-based societies as modern societies where there exists a division of labour based on social differentiation that causes alienation. Durkheim claimed that social integration in traditional society required authoritarian culture involving acceptance of a social order. Durkheim claimed that modern society bases integration on the mutual benefits of the division of labour, but noted that the impersonal character of modern urban life caused alienation and feelings of anomie.
Max Weber claimed the change that developed modern society and nations is the result of the rise of a charismatic leader to power in a society who creates a new tradition or a rational-legal system that establishes the supreme authority of the state. Weber's conception of charismatic authority has been noted as the basis of many nationalist governments.