Green Group

Nationalism & Militarism

Nationalism is the idea that all of the world’s people fall into ethnic and geographical units called nations, and that each of these nations has the right to its own political-unit of government under which to rule itself – under fascist thought, this took the idea that, unlike the idea of humanism, the nation is much more important than the individual person. This ideal is shown in Starship Troopers in that the society is completely based around the good of the nation.

Nationalism also includes an "us or them" mentality. It suggests that all wars arise out of population pressure. Nationalism is somewhat based out of Malthus's law which states that population grows exponentially, but resources will always be limited, thus a "racial war for increasingly scarce resources" will ensue (Ball and Dagger 193). Nationalism suggest that the "Darwinian struggle for survival will be along racial lines (Ball and Dagger 193). Red Group In the book the Terran conflict is based on population pressure according to Major Reid. "All wars arise from population pressure." Major Reid also stresses, "Any breed which stops its own increase gets crowded out by breeds which expand. Some human populations did so, in Terran history, and other breeds moved in and engulfed them." Major Reid sums up the argument of nationalism: "Either we spread and wipe out the Bugs or they spread and wipe us out-because both races are tough and smart and want the same real estate" (Heinlein 185). Yellow Group

Mr. Dubois seems to purport several fascist ideals in the novel. In his class, History and moral philosophy, Mr. Dubois made a references to a cat dying to protect her kittens. This reference can be found on page 118 of the novel. This can be interpreted as a metaphor for nationalism. The mother cat should be thought of as the individual, and her kittens should be thought of as the sate. Therefore, although the individual may die, the nation will live on forever, just as although the mother cat dies, her future generations will live on forever.

One major tenet of nationalism is that it shapes the lives of the individuals by giving its members meaning. Ball and Dagger support this argument, "longing for membership and meaning, the individual lives, according to Fichte, in and through the nation. That is to say that individuals do participate in a fascist system willingly. People inherently want to be a part of a group, so they are willing to sacrifice some parts of the personal freedoms in order to a part of that group. In turn, being part of that group gives their lives a purpose. Ball and Dagger continue to emphasize this argument "individual human life only has meaning insofar as it is realized through the life of the society of the nation as a whole." In a nationalist system the individual is not completely discounted, the individual is simply less important than the sate and gains identity and meaning through their role in society. Mr. Dubois similarly agrees "the basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation fo group that self-interest has to the individual" (Heinlein 119). Here Mr. Dubois emphasizes that duty to one's country becomes more important to an individual than their own wishes and desires, which is a hallmark of nationalism. Mussolini , considered one of the most fascist leaders of all time, expressed a similar idea about nationalism, suggesting “just as each individual has a personality and a will, the state draws from each, developing a personality and will of its own” (Baradat 240). Thus in a nationalist system, the individual is not completely discounted, it just only has importance through its role in the nation.

Militarism is an ideology that expresses the belief that the military is the most important aspect of a society. The ideology also contains the belief that the military should be prepared at all times to protect or to expand a societies power. A militaristic society has three major aspects: the first being the glorification of all of those involved in the military. The second is a military that is constantly prepared for conflict in order to better protect the society. the third and final aspect is a strong military presence in the government or a military that has complete control over the government.

The ideology of Militarism is found in the novel in the idea of limited franchise. In the Terran Federation people do not gain a franchise, which includes the right to vote and become a politician, until they have completed at least a two-year term in the military. This means that everyone who has the power to vote and anyone who has any political power has been involved in the military. This means the entire government is heavily influenced by military ideals because it is controlled entirely by people who have themselves been heavily influenced by military ideals. Though in the book the government is not fully controlled by the military, because people who are currently serving in the military cannot vote, the military has significant influence. Additionally, the people of the society cannot revolt because the military has all the power. "Because revolution-armed uprising-requires not only dissatisfaction but aggressiveness. If you separate out the aggressive ones and make them the sheep dogs, the sheep will never get you into trouble (Heinlein 184).

Another aspect of militarism is the glorification of the military. In a militaristic society the military is highly revered and respected. The following image illustrates both the "us or them" mentality evident in nationalism, as well as the glorification of the military evident in militarism.

Militarize-Children-e.jpg

RobertHeinlein

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