Saturday, 20 February 2010

Distinguishing between national and state ethics

In his forward to the Guardian pamphlet, Citizen Ethics in a Time of Crisis, published in the Guardian, Philip Pullman makes frequent reference to the "nation" - as well he might, since it is to one's tribe and nation (the natural extension of one's tribe) that ethics, not solely, but primarily, relate, since here, after all, within and between closely related tribes, is where human nature (emotions and behaviour patterns) evolved.
Philip Pullman, however, makes the usual mistake of conflating state and nation, as if the two were synonymous. They are NOT.
In contrast to the purpose nation, which is to serve its people as justly as possible, that of the of the state is to facilitate society's self-exploitation, as a human ENVIRONMENT, to the advantage of wealth, power and privilege.

Philip Pullman, as a "successful" author, is served very well by the state in this respect, so he is perfectly happy to accept the state in place of a genuine nation. But quite different ethics apply to the two.

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