According to Gellner, groups are bounded and maintained by an amalgam of two key motives, “two generic agents or catalysts of group formation and maintenance are obviously crucial: will, voluntary adherence and identification, loyalty, solidarity, on the one hand; and fear, coercion, compulsion, one the other” (Gellner, 2008, p. 52). Any of these elements cannot stand alone in making the nation formation a distinctive process. The will alone does not disguise the nation from the other groups, such as gangs, social clubs, etc. Similarly, cultural boundaries do not qualify to do so either, as they are not static neither homogeneous. The rapid reinforcement of a certain culture creates the impression that nationality is associated with having a common culture, which claim to be the traditional culture, however not all of the former elements was incorporated to the that culture, but this was a very selective process, and this selectivity is obvious in the case of language (Suny & Kennedy, 2001).
The nation can be defined according to the concepts of culture and will. Some of these circumstances are social and cultural, both are ought to be absorbed and standardized, and provided with a central protection that includes all of the nation’s members. At that point, the state’s culture that is integrated and validated will unite the population and make them identify with one another. Under such a culture, the nation would gain its members who would be sharing a mutual culture, and will maintain them through social organization and force (Suny & Kennedy, 2001). Gellner does not consider the state or nationalism to be universal and permanent, but culture and social organization are according to him universal (Gellner, 2008).
World War II has brought the end of high dynasticism and empires, and the nation-state according to Anderson, has become an international norm after the creation of League of Nations. Anderson asserts, “by 1922 Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Romanovs and Ottomans were gone ... From this time on, the legitimate international norm was the nation-state, so that in the League even the surviving imperial powers came dressed in national costume rather than imperial uniform” (Anderson, 2006, p. 115). Anderson emphasizes that nationalism cannot be usurped, as the concept can be reinforced and replicated by various sociopolitical dynamics. The state became ultimately dependent for its survival on nationalism. According to Anderson, there is no replacement for the nation-state, as even by a regime change and revolution, the revolutionaries copy and inherit the state from the previous regime. Consequently, the previous memories, laws, archives are to be inherited as well, but not by any group in the state, except the leading one as he hints. In addition, by the name of nationalism, masses mobilization is achieved to defend the state.
Gellner believes that if the state was the sole representative of the masses will and culture, then this will create...