Sunday, 21 February 2010

Disentangling our conceptions of state and nation

I guess it is relatively easy, especially for someone on the political left, to agree with what I say about society being primarily an ENVIRONMENT for the exploitation of, when it comes to our capitalist economy. But when it comes to the state, although it is equally true, it is much more difficult to recognise, especially for someone on the political left, who sees the state as an instrument for realizing their liberal, socialist, humanist, or whatever, ideals.

Ever since it arose, the state has clothed itself in the mantle of nationhood and demanded for itself the loyalty we evolved to feel towards our original tribe, so it's no wonder that state and nation are seen by most as being one and the same.

It is vitally important, however, that we disentangle them, first conceptually and then emotionally, thus putting ourselves in a position to tackle the difficult task of disentangling them in practice, i.e. politically.

Until we have disentangled them, at least intellectually, any discussion of "citizen ethics" is pretty much a waste of time and energy.

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