Varieties of Nations

(from a speech by The Ivory Madonna, First Terran Council, 3 September 2014 C.E.)

There are four general types of nations, and each has its own drawbacks.

The ethnic nation defines itself by shared genetics and ancestors. In this sort of nation, citizenship is granted only to those who are members of the single ruling tribe or ethnic group. Social mobility is constrained, especially for non-citizens. Examples include Germany, Serbia, and Japan. The chief dangers of the ethnic nation are inequality, inflexibility, and the excesses of so-called ‘ethnic cleansing.’

The cultural nation defines itself by shared language, religion, history, and tradition. Citizenship is open to those who assimilate completely into the national culture. Individual or group deviations from the national culture are not tolerated. Social mobility is possible, but often difficult. Examples include France as well as most theocracies like Iran or Israel. The cultural nation is often characterized by extreme repression, human rights abuses, and inflexibile economies.

The nation of nations includes multiple ethnic groups ‘united’ by a common political structure: either some form of federal system, or a totalitarian government. In many cases, one or more ethnic groups are disenfranchised or mistreated. Social mobility is difficult for many, and impossible for some. Examples include India, China, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union. If this sort of nation escapes the danger of totalitarianism, it risks ethnic violence or apartheid.

The nation of communities consists of cultural subgroups bound by common political structures: usually some form of federal system. Subgroups define themselves by common tradition, language, religion, or culture. In the best nations of communities, all subgroups contribute elements to an overall national culture. More commonly, subcultures vie with one another for domination of the political or cultural process. Social mobility is possible for most. The United States and Umoja are nations of communities. It is easy for this type of nation to fall into institutionalized discrimination, or even hardcore racism.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the nation of communities, despite its drawbacks, is the best choice for maximizing individual liberty and social harmony. But we of the Nexus do not accept the assumption behind this wisdom, the assumption that any sort of nation is inevitable or desirable.

In all cases, the mischief that nations do is worse than whatever benefits they bring. Today, the world is too small…the human race is too small…for nations of any stripe. We are one community, and anything that fractures us, anything that sets us against one another, is dangerous and damaging. This is true of ethnicity, of culture, of language, or religion…and, yes, of nation.

Let there be no more Nations of God, Nations of Culture, Nations of Language, Nations of Nations, Nations of Communities. Instead, join with us in celebrating the one, the only nation that makes sense: the Nation of Humanity.

Find out more in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers Digg!

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