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More recently, Peter Alter discussed integral nationalism in his book "Nationalismus" (1985), along with its opposite, risorgimento nationalism. Whereas risorgimento nationalism applies to a nation seeking to establish a state (for example, Greece, Italy, Germany, Poland and Serbia in the 19th century), integral nationalism results after a nation has achieved independence and has established a state. Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, according to Alter, were examples of integral nationalism. Some of the qualities that characterise integral nationalism are anti-individualism, statism (plans by the few ideology), radical extremism, and aggressive-expansionist militarism.
Integral states are totalitarian and the government or state dominates all aspects of society. Integral nationalism derives from the nationalisme intégral of the French nationalist author Charles Maurras, who stated: "A true nationalist places his country above everything". Integralism as such is a belief that society is an organic unit, with a social hierarchy and co-operation between the different social classes. It often overlaps with fascism, although many natural points of disagreement exist.
Integral nationalism arises in countries where a strong military ethos has become entrenched through the independence struggle, when, once independence is achieved, it is believed that a strong military is required to ensure the security and viability of the new state. Also, the success of such a liberation struggle results in feelings of national superiority that may lead to extreme nationalism.