Abstract: Meaningfully defining “nationalism” is particularly challenging in a twenty-first-century context. Combined with overlap with related concepts, such as “statism” and “patriotism,” there exists an ever-present risk of losing the ability to effectively identify the main features of nationalism, and therefore a risk of losing our awareness of its influence. However, the resurgence of nationalism under the Trump administration provides a unique opportunity to reassess this powerful cultural phenomenon. In the spirit of Rothbard’s “Anatomy of the State,” this article seeks to provide a fresh, critical, and contemporary description of nationalism based on (a) three recent essays published in Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, and (b) a critical comparison of the inaugural speeches of Presidents Obama and Trump. After this analysis, the article concludes by listing eight features of contemporary nationalism.
Keywords: Nationalism, anatomy of nationalism, Imprimis, Donald Trump, Barack Obama