“In a traditional social order,” or the pre-industrial society, “the languages of the hunt, of harvesting, of various rituals, of the council room, of the kitchen or harem, all [formed] autonomous systems.” The use of language differed per profession and was shaped by the segment of society in which one lived. Nowadays, instead, “it is assumed that all referential uses of language ultimately refer to one coherent world, and can be reduced to a unitary idiom.” The homogenization of language, of culture, is what makes industrialism possible. This is how Gellner understands the notion of “nationalism”. It represents “not the awakening of an old, latent, dormant force” therefore, “though that is how it does indeed present itself.”
[Nationalism] is in reality the consequence of a new form of social organization, based on deeply internalized, education-dependent high cultures, each protected by its own state.