the downsides of nationalisms


What a silly idea.
To entertain the notion that nations,
with their deep ontological nature,
embedded in the tapetry, historical stories of our place and time,
should be
and can be


Deeply intertwined with modern nation-states,
nations is an overvarching collective concept.
The myriad of things that cause this reality are both
too many to comprehend
and very far removed from the final result.
Looked at from the ground level,
we might not think the things we do have anything to do with nationalism at all.


All you can fix is small things.
Things as small as changing your point of view.


We have grown up thinking of history as the stories of nations.
We take pride in them.
We learn certain specific stories and not others.
Our stories often end at our borders.
We know little about what takes place on the other sides.


We learn that nations have an independent existence apart from us,
and that nations have an existence above and beyond the existence of individual members of that nation.
In ancient traditions, we think it honorable to sacrifice ourselves for our nations.
Something like that is far from simple to eradicate.
It has similiarities to not believing in a god.


There is some truth,
or at least some understanding
in that claim,
an understanding augmented by common speech and customs, clothing, food and races.
But there does not have to be nations,
at least in the very virulent sense of recent histories.
Whatever good the concept of nations may provide,
this comes, have come, and will come with many negative effects.


Don't get me wrong, we love nations, real and imaginary.


Nationalism diminishes progress,
the feeling we are moving to a better world.


Nationalism does not focus on common human achievements
like science, knoweldge, music and free trade.


Nationalism causes war and the differential treatment of people.
Dividing the world into nations
and then giving nations weapons of mass destruction
is a demonstrated recipe for disaster.


Nationalism distracts us
from the real reasons for dissatisfactions, both social and personal.


Even now our sense of history is far too simple.
While we are no longer at the simplicities of Hegel
we still deal with the simplicity of nations.
We have trouble with the medieval feudal period, the pre-national German and Italian period, meso-american, Africa, and South-east Asia.
We have no conceptual feeling for pre-national situations.
We don't know how to root for them.


Nations involve us in their stories,
but there can be other ones.


Nations though somewhat similar in structures,
are like two plants grown in very different pots in very diifferent places.


Nations become an immovable foundation for peoples verbiages and attitudes.


Is there anything in I am an American that cannot be captures in I am an Earthian.


Nations are effective way of moving and mobalizing people.


Most problems involve nations,
as nations are the ultimate decision makers.


It is not easy trasition away from nationalisms.
It may prove too difficult,
like a diet
or a self-improvement project.


Notice we think of nations as people,
though we know full well what nations are.