Human nature and behaviour evolved to be not just very sociable, but also deeply tribal. This is as true now as it was 10,000 years ago, the only difference being that the material dependency on our tribe has been replaced by a dependency on the STATE and a MONEY economy. Our emotional need for a sense of tribal belonging remains, however. Under different circumstances and in varying degrees it is now projected onto the state (masquerading as our NATION), the company we work for, the football team we support, a political party, a religion, an ideology, or whatever.
The state did not replace our original tribes by democratic consent (Social Contract, indeed!), but by force, through the swords of an aristocracy, aided by the "moral", intellectual and organizational support of the priesthood, i.e. Church, which received its material reward.
Thus was the state originally created, by a coalition of aristocracy and clergy, to facilitate exploitation of both the natural and human resources at their disposal, to their mutual advantage; notwithstanding the, sometimes deadly, rivalries within and between these two groups (or classes).
Central to facilitating society's exploitation by its ruling elites was the creation of the myth of NATIONHOOD (a nation being the natural extension of our original tribe, a federation of closely related tribes, as when the Greek tribes, which had developed into city states, exploiting slaves rather than their own people, united into a nation to face down the Persian threat). The state was thus able to harness people's powerful sense of tribal belonging and loyalty for its own exploitative purposes.
Effectively, though not consciously, the state domesticated society, just as we domesticate a dog, for example, based on the animal's dependency and a regime of rewards and punishments (or promises and threats thereof) to gain control of and exploit for our own purposes its innate behaviour.
Returning to human nature: when football fans, for example, jeer a player on account of his race, i.e. ethnic difference, it is not usually an expression of racism, as politicians and the media would have us believe, and claim the "moral high ground" for (on which they base their authority and power, on which, in turn, their livelihoods depend), but a healthy, though rude and impolite, expression of tribal belonging. They are jeering at players they FEEL do not belong to their tribe, or maybe the opposing tribe. Imagine the Japanese sending a football team, half of whom were not ethnic Japanese, but ethnic Europeans or Africans . . . Would that not offend one's sense of ethnic identity in respect to who the Japanese are?
Anyone with a healthy sense of their own, and other's, ethnic identity, would, of course. But the state demands that we suppress and deny (even to ourselves) any sense of ethnic identity, and direct our need for tribal belonging at itself instead.
The answer to my question - racism or statism? - is clearly STATISM.
But how are we (any more than a dog its master) to oppose the mighty STATE?
By peacefully and respectfully cultivating a sense of our ethnic identities, thereby giving rise to a New (multi) Nationalism.