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Nationalism and the Communal Mind

Nature volume 142, page 776 (29 October 1938) | Download Citation



DR. HANKIN'S approach to the problem of nationalism, and his examination of the causes which underlie the sporadic and periodic outbursts of this expression of the communal mind, are of considerable interest to the anthropologist and the alienist. Like other inquirers, he traces it to the blood bond, but in a different sense. He associates it with the group of customs of primitive peoples at the head of which are cannibalism, head-hunting and the like, and behind which are the magical or mystical conceptions of assimilation of power, whether from enemy or friend. In support of the contention that primitive ideas of this type may survive deep down in the subconscious of the communal mind, the sporadic resurgence of cannibalism and other forms of the blood lust would appear to lend a measure of support.

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