Friday, 19 November 2010


Anyone not accepting anyone else as belonging to their own NATION on grounds of race or ethnic origins (certainly in western democracies like Britain and America) is deemed a RACIST, and condemned and vilified as such. But this, I suggest, is a bit like calling someone who expresses a fondness for children, other than his own, a paedophile.
A genuine racist is someone who hates others on account to their race and/or considers their own race inherently superior to other races, and gives public expression to such feelings, which I add, because no one should be held accountable for how they FEEL - or think - but only for how they BEHAVE and what they DO.
Anyone who considers ethnicity central to nationality is in fact a true NATIONALIST, “ethnic” being derived from Greek, ETHNOS, meaning a PEOPLE or a NATION, while those who consider ethnicity irrelevant and want to impose a multi-ethnic nationality on everyone else is a bullying STATIST.
STATISTS hate NATIONALISTS and thus vilify them, with the most damning appellation available, as RACISTS.
The most enthusiastic statists (anti-nationalists and “anti-racists”) are on the political left, of course; the further left, the more statist they tend to be. But in their own minimalist way, the political right are statists too, the apparent contradiction arising from the historical conflation of STATE and NATION.
Apart from anarchists, most agree on the need for the STATE: to pass and enforce laws that regulate social interactions and prevent society from descending into violence and chaos. Those on the left also see the state as an instrument for implementing their socialist ideals (education, health care, social welfare, etc.) and universalistic ideology of “one-human-racism”, while the political right wants a minimalist state which simply maintains a political framework within which individual self-interest and private enterprise can work their magic, capital make a good return in its investments, and personal fortunes be amassed.
The Left tends to see the state as an extension of one's original TRIBE and NATION, and thus responsible for taking care of everyone, because that is what tribes, in an evolutionary context, did and what human social behaviour is adapted to. The Right, on the other hand, tends to see the state as providing a framework within which the INDIVIDUAL and CAPITAL should be free (within certain limits) to exploit the social and human environment to their own advantage, with some of the wealth they create trickling down for the benefit of society as a whole, which, even if they feel no social obligations towards it, needs to be maintained as a source of human labour and consumers.
It seems to me that the political choice we have, between Left and Right (between socialism and capitalism), is like having to choose between the Devil and the deep blue sea.
In practice, what we get is a mixture of the two, which is deeply unsatisfactory (except for some, of course), dehumanising and, most importantly, inherently unsustainable, meaning that radical change will come whether we want it or not, only the forces driving it will not be rational or humane, as we would wish, but irrational, ruthless and brutal – like the history of the 20th Century, only far worse.
The Left wants the state to impose the social mores and ideals of our original tribe on us (thus the close association - vigorously rationalised and denied, of course - with fascism), while the Right wants it to maintain a human environment that can be exploited by the individual and capital.
It is easy to understand why most people, especially when young, tend towards the Left, because it's the natural way to go, seeing society as the equivalent of our original tribe. However, experience of life teaches most of us, despite official ideology and (usually sincere) efforts to the contrary, that it isn't anything like our tribe, and that to get on in “society”, one has to treat is as an environment in which one struggles for advantage and “success” - which is the default attitude of those on the Right.
It seems to me fundamentally wrong to treat society as an environment, a human resource and market to be exploited to one's own advantage (whether via status, a profession, capital, or social welfare), but I also loath having the STATE pose as my NATION, i.e. as the legitimate heir to my original TRIBE, when it is NOT.
Which brings me to the task of untangling the conflated concepts of STATE and NATION - which will be the subject of my next post.

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