Anderson in a 1994 interview
Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson
August 26, 1936
|Died||December 13, 2015 79) (aged|
|Alma mater|| King's College, Cambridge (B.A.)|
Cornell University (Ph.D.)
|Fields||Political science, historical science|
|Institutions||Cornell University (Professor Emeritus)|
|Doctoral advisor||George McTurnan Kahin|
|Doctoral students||John Sidel|
Brother of Perry Anderson
Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson (August 26, 1936 – December 13, 2015) was an Irish political scientist and historian, best known for his 1983 book Imagined Communities , which explored the origins of nationalism. Anderson was the Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government & Asian Studies at Cornell University; he was a polyglot with an interest in southeast Asia. His work on the Cornell Paper , which debunked the official story of Indonesia's 30 September Movement and the subsequent anti-Communist purges of 1965–1966, led to his expulsion from that country. He was the brother of historian Perry Anderson.
Political science is a social science which deals with systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts, and political behavior. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as determining of the distribution of power and resources. Political scientists "see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions, and from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works."
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism is a book by Benedict Anderson. It introduces a popular concept in political sciences and sociology, that of imagined communities named after it. It was first published in 1983, and reissued with additional chapters in 1991 and a further revised version in 2006.
Anderson was born on August 26, 1936, in Kunming, China, to an Anglo-Irish father and English mother.His father, James Carew O'Gorman Anderson, was an official with Chinese Maritime Customs. The family descended from the Anderson family of Ardbrake, Bothriphnie, Scotland, who settled in Ireland in the early 1700s.
Kunming is the capital and largest city of Yunnan province in southwest China. Known as Yunnan-Fu until the 1920s, today it is a prefecture-level city and the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of the province as well as the seat of the provincial government. Kunming is also called the Spring city due to its weather. The headquarters of many of Yunnan's large businesses are in Kunming. It was important during World War II as a Chinese military center, American air base, and transport terminus for the Burma Road. Located in the middle of the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau, Kunming is located at an altitude of 1,900 metres above sea level and at a latitude just north of the Tropic of Cancer. Kunming has as of 2014 a population of 6,626,000 with an urban population of 4,575,000, and is located at the northern edge of the large Dian Lake, surrounded by temples and lake-and-limestone hill landscapes.
Clan Anderson is a Scottish clan that is recognized as such by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. However, as the clan does not currently have a chief recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon, it is therefore considered an armigerous clan. Variations of the surname are however considered septs of several other clans of the Scottish Highlands: The surname MacAndrews is considered a sept of the Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan, and also associated with the Clan MacDonell of Glengarry. The surnames Andrew and Andrews are considered septs of the Clan Ross.
Drummuir is a small village in Scotland, in the traditional county of Banffshire, and in the Moray council area. It is between Dufftown, Keith and Huntly.
Anderson's maternal grandfather Trevor Bigham was the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1914 to 1931. One of Anderson's grandmothers, Lady Frances O'Gorman, belonged to the Gaelic Mac Gormáin clan of County Clare and was the daughter of the Irish Home Rule MP Major Purcell O'Gorman.Major Purcell O'Gorman was in turn the son of Nicholas Purcell O'Gorman who had been involved with the Republican Society of United Irishmen during the 1798 Rising, later becoming Secretary of the Catholic Association in the 1820s. Benedict Anderson took his middle names from the cousin of Major Purcell O'Gorman, Richard O'Gorman, who was one of the leaders of the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848.
Sir Frank Trevor Roger Bigham, KBE, CB, known as Sir Trevor Bigham, was an English barrister, an Assistant Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police from 1914 to 1931, and Deputy Commissioner from 1931 to 1935. He was the first officer to hold the position of Deputy Commissioner as a separate rank and not as an honorary title while also serving as an Assistant Commissioner.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, commonly referred to simply as the Deputy Commissioner, is the second-in-command of London's Metropolitan Police Service. The rank is senior to Assistant Commissioner, but junior by one rank to Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner's salary from 1 September 2010 is £214,722, making them the second highest paid British police officer.
Gaelic Ireland was the Gaelic political and social order, and associated culture, that existed in Ireland from the prehistoric era until the early 17th century. Before the Norman invasion of 1169, Gaelic Ireland comprised the whole island. Thereafter, it comprised that part of the country not under foreign dominion at a given time. For most of its history, Gaelic Ireland was a "patchwork" hierarchy of territories ruled by a hierarchy of kings or chiefs, who were elected through tanistry. Warfare between these territories was common. Occasionally, a powerful ruler was acknowledged as High King of Ireland. Society was made up of clans and, like the rest of Europe, was structured hierarchically according to class. Throughout this period, the economy was mainly pastoral and money was generally not used. A Gaelic Irish style of dress, music, dance, sport, architecture, and art can be identified, with Irish art later merging with Anglo-Saxon styles to create Insular art.
Anderson's family moved to California in 1941 to avoid the invading Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War and then to Ireland in 1945.He studied at Eton College, where he won the Newcastle Scholarship, and went on to attend King's College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, he became an anti-imperialist during the Suez Crisis, which influenced his later work as a Marxist and anti-colonialist thinker.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931.
Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern side of the island. Around a third of the country's population of 4.8 million people resides in the greater Dublin area. The sovereign state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, and an elected President who serves as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the Taoiseach in turn appoints other government ministers.
He earned a classics degree from Cambridge in 1957 before attending Cornell University, where he concentrated on Indonesia as a research interest and in 1967 received his Ph.D. in government studies.His doctoral advisor at Cornell was Southeast Asian scholar George Kahin.
Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."
Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres, the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population.
George McTurnan Kahin was an American historian and political scientist. He was one of the leading experts on Southeast Asia and a critic of United States involvement in the Vietnam War. After completing his dissertation, which is still considered a classic on Indonesian history, Kahin became a faculty member at Cornell University. At Cornell, he became the director of its Southeast Asia Program and founded the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project. Kahin's incomplete memoir was published posthumously in 2003.
The violence of Suharto's coup in Indonesia disillusioned Anderson, who wrote that it "felt like discovering that a loved one is a murderer".Therefore, while Anderson was still a graduate student at Cornell, he anonymously co-wrote the "Cornell Paper" with Ruth T. McVey that debunked the official Indonesian government accounts of the abortive coup of the 30 September Movement and the subsequent anti-Communist purges of 1965–66. The Cornell Paper was widely disseminated by Indonesian dissidents. One of two foreign witnesses at the show trial of Communist Party of Indonesia general secretary Sudisman in 1971, Anderson published a translated version of the latter's unsuccessful testimony. As a result of his actions, Anderson was in 1972 expelled from Indonesia and banned from reentering, a restriction that lasted until 1998 when Suharto resigned to be replaced by B.J. Habibie as president.
Suharto was an Indonesian military leader and politician who served as the second President of Indonesia, holding the office for 31 years, from the ousting of Sukarno in 1967 until his resignation in 1998. He was widely regarded by foreign commentators as a dictator. However, his legacy is still debated at home and abroad.
A Preliminary Analysis of the October 1, 1965, Coup in Indonesia, more commonly known as the "Cornell Paper", is an academic publication detailing the events of an abortive coup d'état attempt by the self-proclaimed September 30 Movement, produced on January 10, 1966. The study was written by Benedict Anderson and Ruth McVey, with the help of Frederick Bunnell, using information from various Indonesian news sources. At the time of writing, the three were members of Cornell University's network of graduate students and scholars on Southeast Asia.
The Thirtieth of September Movement was a self-proclaimed organization of Indonesian National Armed Forces members who, in the early hours of 1 October 1965, assassinated six Indonesian Army generals in an abortive coup d'état. Later that morning, the organisation declared that it was in control of media and communication outlets and had taken President Sukarno under its protection. By the end of the day, the coup attempt had failed in Jakarta at least. Meanwhile, in central Java there was an attempt to take control over an army division and several cities. By the time this rebellion was put down, two more senior officers were dead.
Anderson was fluent in many languages relevant to his Southeast Asian field, including Indonesian, Javanese, Thai and Tagalog, as well as the major European languages.After the American experience in the Vietnam War and the subsequent wars between Communist nations such as the Cambodian–Vietnamese War and the Sino-Vietnamese War, he began studying the origins of nationalism while continuing his previous work on the relationship between language and power.
Anderson is best known for his 1983 book Imagined Communities , in which he described the major factors contributing to the emergence of nationalism in the world during the past three centuries.Anderson defined a nation as "an imagined political community [that is] imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign". (See below for a more extensive discussion.)
Anderson was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.In 1998, Anderson's return trip to Indonesia was sponsored by the Indonesian Tempo publication, and he gave a public speech in which he criticized the Indonesia opposition for "its timidity and historical amnesia—especially with regard to the massacres of 1965–1966".
He taught at Cornell until his retirement in 2002, when he became a professor emeritus of International Studies.After his retirement, he spent most of his time traveling throughout South East Asia. Anderson died in Batu, Malang, Indonesia, in his sleep on December 13, 2015. According to close friend Tariq Ali, Anderson died of heart failure. He had been in the middle of translating his memoir, A Life Beyond Boundaries, from Japanese to English, and was survived by two adopted sons of Indonesian origin.
Anderson is best known for his 1983 book, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, in which he examined how nationalism led to the creation of nations, or as the title puts it, imagined communities.In this case, an "imagined community" does not mean that a national community is fake, but rather refers to Anderson's belief that any community so large that its members do not know each another on a face-to-face basis must be imagined to some degree.
According to Anderson, previous Marxist and liberal thinkers did not fully appreciate nationalism's power, writing in his book that "Unlike most other isms, nationalism has never produced its own grand thinkers: no Hobbeses, Tocquevilles, Marxes or Webers."Anderson begins his work by bringing up three paradoxes of nationalism that he would address in the work:
In Anderson's theory of nationalism, the phenomenon only came about as people began rejecting three key beliefs about their society:
Anderson argued that the prerequisites for the rejection of these beliefs began in Western Europe through the numerous factors that led to the Age of Enlightenment, such as the power of economics, the scientific revolution, and the advent of improvements in communication brought about by the invention of the printing press under a system of capitalism (or as Anderson calls it, print capitalism).Anderson's view of nationalism places the roots of the notion of "nation" at the end of the 18th century when a replacement system began, not in Europe, but in the Western Hemisphere, when countries such as Brazil, the United States, and the newly freed Spanish colonies became the first to develop a national consciousness.
Therefore, in contrast to other thinkers such as Ernest Gellner, who considered the spread of nationalism in connection with industrialism in Western Europe, and Elie Kedourie, who construed nationalism as a European phenomenon carried around the world by colonization,Anderson sees the European nation state as a response to the rise of nationalism in the European diaspora beyond the oceans, especially in the Western Hemisphere, which was then retransmitted to Africa and Asia through colonization. Anderson considers nation state building as an imitative and transportable action, in which new political entities were copying the model of the nation state. As Anderson sees it, the large cluster of political entities that sprang up in North America and South America between 1778 and 1838, almost all of which self-consciously defined themselves as nations, were historically the first such states to emerge and therefore inevitably provided the first real model of what such states should look like. According to Anderson, this phenomenon led to the rise of nations: communities that were limited by their borders and were sovereign. Anderson conceived nationalism as having come about in different "waves."
Like other thinkers such as Marshall McLuhan in his The Gutenberg Galaxy , of particular importance to Anderson's theory on nationalism is his stress on the role of printed literature and its dissemination.Thinkers like McLuhan, Elizabeth Eisenstein, and Anderson did not believe that nationalism came about because of a vaguely-defined "European" way of thinking, but because of the social, economic, and cultural practices associated with the rise of the printing press and the mass reproduction of printed material.
According to Anderson, "the revolutionary vernacularizing thrust of capitalism" was central to the creation of imagined communities, as the mass mechanical reproduction of printed works united people that would otherwise have found it difficult to imagine themselves as part of the same community, mainly because of extreme linguistic differences.With the advent of the printing press, languages became more stable and certain dialects became "languages of power" (such as the Queen's English in the United Kingdom) that were inherently more prestigious than sub-regional vernacular dialects. Print capitalism also meant a culture in which people were required to be socialized as part of a literate culture, in which the standardized language of their nation became both the language of printed material and education for the masses.
Fellow nationalism scholar Steven Kemper described the role of print technology in Anderson's theory as "mak[ing] possible for enormous numbers of people to know of one another indirectly, for the printing press bec[a]me the middleman to the imagination of the community." Kemper also stated that for Anderson the "very existence and regularity of newspapers caused readers, and thus citizens-in-the-making, to imagine themselves residing in a common time and place, united by a print language with a league of anonymous equals."
Therefore, for Anderson, the rise of print technology was essential to create the "deep horizontal comradeship" that despite its socially constructed origins, was also genuine and deep seated, explaining why nationalism can drive people to fight, die, and kill for their countries.
Anderson also studied how the 19th century European dynasties that represented retention of power over huge polyglot domains, underwent naturalization at the same time as they developed programs of official nationalism in a process that he called the "willed merger of nation and dynastic empire".Anderson considered the empire as solely a pre-modern, "dynastic realm" and focused his attention on the official nationalism in multiethnic empires (e.g. the Russian Official Nationality), programs that he described as "reactionary, secondary modelling". Whereas previously, the legitimacy of European dynasties had nothing to do with nationalness, Anderson argued that after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian empires in the aftermath of World War I, the nation-state superseded the empire as the norm in international affairs, as demonstrated by how delegates from the imperial powers in the post-war League of Nations were careful to present themselves as national delegates instead of imperial ones.
In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Benedict Anderson, OCLC/WorldCat encompasses roughly 100+ works in 400+ publications in 20+ languages and 7,500+ library holdings.
Nationalism is a political, social, and economic ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.
A nation is a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture. A nation is distinct from a people, and is more abstract, and more overtly political, than an ethnic group. It is a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity, and particular interests.
An ethnic group, or ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.
An imagined community is a concept developed by Benedict Anderson in his 1983 book Imagined Communities, to analyze nationalism. Anderson depicts a nation as a socially constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group.
Francis Rory Peregrine "Perry" Anderson is a British intellectual and essayist. His work ranges across historical sociology, intellectual history, and cultural analysis. What unites them is Anderson's preoccupation with Western Marxism. Anderson is perhaps best known as the moving force behind the New Left Review. He is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Anderson has written many books, most recently The Antinomies of Gramsci and The H-Word: The Peripeteia of Hegemony, both published in 2017. He is the brother of political scientist Benedict Anderson (1936–2015).
Pan-Celticism, also known as Celticism or Celtic nationalism is a political, social and cultural movement advocating solidarity and cooperation between Celtic nations and the modern Celts in North-Western Europe. Some pan-Celtic organisations advocate the Celtic nations seceding from the United Kingdom and France and forming their own separate federal state together, while others simply advocate very close cooperation between independent sovereign Celtic nations, in the form of Irish nationalism, Scottish nationalism, Welsh nationalism, Breton nationalism, Cornish nationalism and Manx nationalism.
Historiography is the study of how history is written. One pervasive influence upon the writing of history has been nationalism, a set of beliefs about political legitimacy and cultural identity. Nationalism has provided a significant framework for historical writing in Europe and in those former colonies influenced by Europe since the nineteenth century. According to the medieval historian Patrick J. Geary:
[The] modern [study of] history was born in the nineteenth century, conceived and developed as an instrument of European nationalism. As a tool of nationalist ideology, the history of Europe's nations was a great success, but it has turned our understanding of the past into a toxic waste dump, filled with the poison of ethnic nationalism, and the poison has seeped deep into popular consciousness.
Irish, Scottish and Welsh music have long been a major part of American music, at least as far back as the 18th century. Beginning in the 1960s, performers like the Clancy Brothers became stars in the Irish music scene, which dates back to at least the colonial era, when many Irish immigrants arrived. These included many Scots-Irish Presbyterians, whose music was most "closely related to a Lowland Scottish style".
Sutan Sjahrir was an avant garde and idealistic Indonesian intellectual, as well as revolutionary independence leader. He became the first prime minister of Indonesia in 1945, after a career as a key Indonesian nationalist organizer in the 1930s and 1940s. From there, Sutan worked hard as Prime Minister to ensure Indonesia was living up to its name. He was a pure idealist and a genius intellectual who despite his political interest, put his country first before his own needs. Unlike some of his colleagues, he did not support the Japanese and worked to gain independence for Indonesia.
The Philippines is inhabited by more than 175 ethnolinguistic nations, the majority of whose languages are Austronesian in origin, Han Chinese, Japanese, Indian, then European as well as a small number of Americans. Many of these nations converted to Christianity, particularly the lowland-coastal nations, and adopted many foreign elements of culture. Ethnolinguistic nations include the Ivatan, Pangasinan, Kapampangan, Tagalog, Bicolano, Visayans, Zamboangueño, Subanon, and more.
George Hugh Nicholas Seton-Watson CBE, FBA was a British historian and political scientist specialising in Russia.
"What is a Nation?" is an 1882 lecture by French historian Ernest Renan (1823–1892), known for the statements that a nation is "a daily referendum", and that nations are based as much on what the people jointly forget as on what they remember. It is frequently quoted or anthologized in works of history or political science pertaining to nationalism and national identity. Renan wrote "What is a Nation" in order to symbolize the nationalism which was born in France as a result of the French Revolution of 1789.
"Our Struggle" was a pamphlet written late October 1945 by Indonesian independence leader Soetan Sjahrir. It was pivotal in redirecting the Indonesian national revolution.
A national consciousness is a shared sense of national identity; that is, a shared understanding that a people group shares a common ethnic/linguistic/cultural background. Historically, a rise in national consciousness has been the first step towards the creation of a nation. National consciousness, at a glance, is one's level of awareness, of the collective, and one's understanding that without "them" there is no "us". It is the mere awareness of the many shared attitudes and beliefs towards things like family, customs, societal and gender roles, etc. This awareness allows one to have a "collective identity" which allows them to be knowledgeable of not only where they are, but how those places and people around them are so significant in that they ultimately make the collective, a nation. In short, national consciousness can be defined as a specific core of attitudes that provide habitual modes for regarding life's phenomena.
Print capitalism is a theory underlying the concept of a nation, as a group that forms an imagined community, that emerges with a common language and discourse that is generated from the use of the printing press, proliferated by a capitalist marketplace. Capitalist entrepreneurs printed their books and media in the vernacular in order to maximize circulation. As a result, readers speaking various local dialects became able to understand each other, and a common discourse emerged. Anderson argued that the first European nation-states were thus formed around their "national print-languages."
2015 in philosophy
Sinar Hindia was a left-wing Malay language newspaper from Semarang, Dutch East Indies, which published from 1900 to 1924. In its later years it was the mouthpiece of the left wing of the Sarekat Islam and its editors Mas Marco Kartodikromo and Semaun were instrumental in the rise of the Communist Party of Indonesia.
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