The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Masses - Symbols of Nations

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Papers to:
Email: John D. Pattillo-Hess (Vienna)

In this section we will examine whether attempts making the "scientific" claim of getting to the basic foundations of nations have not committed a fundamental mistake. It is questionable, whether starting out from the attempt to define nations in terms of general concepts, so-called objective methods - investigation of the literature, history, language, of so-called national feeling, etc. -- has brought us any advance in terms of theory. Our reflections will be guided by the premise that nations perhaps want the same thing, but are not the same.

In addition we will attempt to correct the "minor flaw," which one unavoidably encounters, when one tries to define nations in terms of a "universally" valid concept, since the exceptions are always more important than the rules.

We will attempt, therefore, on the basis of Canetti's Masse und Macht to classify individual nations according to the symbols of their particular masses, in order in this way to demystify or disenchant the efforts of the European "groups of homeland seekers." .