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Er, yes and no.

Even the "blood"-based countries are built on ideas: only the idea is one concerning a supposed blood shared uniformly within and not shared beyond the borders. Behind all the talk of shared blood, the reality is always a genetic diversity, a diversity that exists locally and that has continuous patterns geographically that don't exactly correspond to borders. But nationalism tries to cover actual variation either by attempting cultural assimilation, or by attempting secession (depending on where you draw the limits of Your People).

The distinction between "blood"-based and "idea"-based national identities is blurred further if you consider countries beyond the USA and (most of) Europe. For, basically all post-colonial states and all post-imperial states show rather strong ethnic, language, cultural diversity. Some of these, like say Nigeria, are purely the products of colonial border drawing. Others, like India, are the products of domestically created unity myths.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:49:12 AM EST
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I don't agree. Blood based states are in one way natural (and with natural or normal I don't imply that it is in itself something good: lions naturally eat other lions offspring).

How so? The natural state of being of man is the (small) tribe. That's what our mind and social behaviour developed: we are related, know and trust each other, the other tribes are enemies, or at least dangerous. Then agriculture arrived, tribes grew to villages, cities, and regions and with the advent of better bureaucracy, rudimentary mass media, faster transportation and the 19th century push for centralism made possible by these advances, the tribe had grown to encompass an entire country. The nation state was born, and in spite of the predictions of many academic scribblers, it is still strong. Probably because it feels so... natural, because it activates the feeling and relationships with which we have coevolved for tens of thousands of years.

Or something like that.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 07:49:28 AM EST
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