Nation, nationalism och identitet : Sydafrika i svensk sekelskiftesdebatt

Detta är en avhandling från Nora : Nya Doxa

Sammanfattning: This study is a study of nationalism at the last turn of the century. The empirical sources are Swedish newspapers from 1899 to 1902. Using debates on the Boers and their treatment of the momentous events of the Boer War in South Africa as a focus and a metaphor, the social and linguistic construction of various types of nationalism is analyzed. It is possible to distinguish three main types of nationalism: liberal nationalism, integral nationalism and evolutionary nationalism. Liberal nationalism has its roots in eighteenth century English utilitarianism. Liberal nationalism is not only national and liberal, it is also democratic. True liberal nationalists want democracy as well as national self-determination. At the turn of the century small states recognized a threat to liberal nationalism in the Great Powers’ desire for expansion. Social democrats believed in co-operation between social democtrats and liberal anti-imperialists to confront this threat. British South African policy is linked to international debates on the so called ‘new imperialism’ initiated by radicals like John Hobson. Swedish newspapers were influenced also by Herbert Spencer's laissez-faire ideas. The debate on imperialism in England had a great impact on Swedish liberals and social democrats alike. Swedish liberals compared Swedish farmers to Boers and talked about specific Swedish phenomena. Yet, most influences on Swedish liberal and social democratic pro-Boers came from pro-Boers in Britain. Integral nationalism could be characterized by its hostility to liberal internationalism and humanism, its suspicion of other nations and its military and imperialistic ideals. In Sweden these ideas were supported by Göteborgs Aftonblad (GA) at the turn of the century. GA used Boers as a model for national ideals of a conservative, patriarchal and agrarian nature. Harald Hjarne the famous Uppsala historian and conservative, upheld the idea of evolutionary nationalism, which entailed the inducting of non-European people into Western culture. The attitudes of Svenska Dagbladet, the leading conservative daily, and Hjarne to British imperialism were thus characterized by the belief that coloured people could be educated rather than subjected or ignored. England was seen as eminently well suited for this work. British rule was thus portrayed as a guarantee for future self-government and independence — but also for the Westernization of the coloured world. These same ideas can also be found in Britain at the times for example in Benjamin Kidd’s philosophy. Hjäme polemized against what he labelled the ‘race-doctrine’ of pan-Germanic propaganda and its concomitant ‘Boer cult’.