Who Are We? Not Nationals

You’re not Chinese, you’re not American, you’re not Italian, and I’m most definitely not Canadian.

You and I are in no way, shape, or form related to the nation states we happen to inhabit. Your Prime Ministers and Presidents didn’t give birth to you, your parents did. The Stars, Spangles, and Maple Leafs on the flags didn’t shape your youth, your local community did. So why do so many people run around like chickens with our heads cut off, spurting bloods out of our stumpy necks while our discorporate heads derp about “citizenship?”

Before we tackle that question, let’s recognize some of the advantages of this misconception. Oh, there are none? Moving on.

The disadvantages of the misconception of nationhood are several, severe, and unresolvable. In fact, they’re so insurmountably crippling to both the structure of the institution itself and anyone who subscribes to its marketingi that it’s a wonder we’ve made it this long.

Firstly, the nation state robs you of your heritage and the imbued wisdom of your forefathers. How? By upregulating the broken notions of “science” and “progress” and downregulating anything that was created before you were born, much less before the nation was born.ii The distilled wisdom of the ancients is what guided the ancient Romans and pretty much every other great Empire in the history of forever, yet somehow its shucked off by “moderns” like a husk of fresh corn into the compost pile. This is tantamount to suicide, sometimes quite literally. Not that the endless exposure to radiation and GMO poison helps, but without the essential tradition of regular fasting, is it any wonder modern Westerners are getting cancer like it’s going out of style? Other ancient heuristics, such as those prohibiting excessive debt and those warning against idolatry, are similarly lost to the sands of time, ensuring that those who’ve forgotten the lessons of history repeat its mistakes at scales never before seen in the history of humanity. So we have systemic economic fragility and enough plastic to plug a black hole. Wonderful!

Secondly, the nation state, being a metastatic beast devoid of purpose, inevitably fails to provide a sense of purpose to its “citizens,” particularly when it has the misfortune of going more than two generations without a giant fucking bloodbath of an all-out war. Why does a nation state need war?iii Only through war can the resolve of a nation be forged, its various peoples united, and those various peoples given purpose. Barring this cruelest of necessities, we end up with more Masters in Fine Arts than Starbucks knows what to do with, more Instagram pics of latte foam than Instagram can handle, and more claims to teh government requesting reimbursement for flat tires.iv It unwinds just that quickly. If it doesn’t find an enemy to slaughter, that is. Given that the current states calling themselves “nations” are entirely captive to the corporations they’ve allowed to grow so large, the chances of an all-out war for anything other than natural resources is vanishingly small, just as the chances of a corporate-led foreign skirmish are unlikely to unite the “citizens.”

So why do we run around claiming “citizenship” to this country or that? Because we collectively fail to imagine alternatives. Thankfully, not all of us are so ensnared.

Yes, dear People Of The World, you belong to your family, your faith, and your traditions, not your “nation.”

Throughout the world,v religious factions are already increasing their powerbase. It’s entirely possible that the pendulum of history will swing back in their favour, where emergent monarchs and their supporting aristocrats will align themselves with religions again. This was and is a far more just, equitable, sane, and sustainable approach to human society.

Just ask anyone who’s read history.

___ ___ ___

  1. Marketing/propaganda/FUD. It’s really all the same shit. In Canada, this is perhaps nowhere better demonstrated than Stephen Harper’s Canada Action Plan, a lavish $16 mn per year! billboard and TV ad campaign designed to trumpet… itself. This C(R)AP was part of a federal budget of $83 mn in 2010-11 and $64 mn in 2011-12. This is perhaps nothing compared to the billions in bank bail-outs, etc. but the self-referentiality of the marketing is particularly offensive, which precisely brings into question why marketing is legal but rape isn’t. (No, I’m not suggesting we make rape legal, but rather that we make marketing illegal. []
  2. This, incidentally, is why I’m spending the next year consuming only books and movies produced or published before my birth. []
  3. N.B. The bloodiest conflicts in the history of humanity have been between nation states, not, as the uneducated have been duped into believing, the Holy Wars and Crusades of the Middle Ages, when religions dominated and the world was a terrible and dismal place. The Middle Ages had a lot going for them. []
  4. Flat tire reimbursement? For realz? Yup, true story. The fine City of Edmonton, in all its socialist, pandering glory, has an entire section of its website dedicated to “Pothole Damage Claims” for derps who don’t know how to slow down, dodge potholes, or suck it up buttercup when life happens. Unbelievably, according to this exact fucking website, the average payout on a pothole claim is C$513, or enough to feed an entire family in almost every part of the known world for an entire fucking year. Goodness fucking gracious is this what property taxes are meant for? This, in addition to the fact that mortgages are the fucking bezzliest bezzle in the land and that they’re the equivalent of picking up pennies in front of a steamroller, is an excellent reason to rent instead of “own.” Of course, you don’t “own” your home until you’ve paid off the entire 25-30 year mortgage and you aren’t “building equity” anymore than the guy at the craps table. But tell that to an Edmontonian/Canadian and you’ll get a look like you just claimed air wasn’t for breathing… []
  5. Yes, even in the very secular China. []

31 thoughts on “Who Are We? Not Nationals

  1. but without the essential tradition of regular fasting, is it any wonder modern Westerners are getting cancer like it’s going out of style?

    How do you figure these two relate ?

  2. Jonathan Vaage says:

    “You belong to your family, your faith, and your traditions”

    Really? How do you draw that conclusion?

    • Pete Dushenski says:

      Jonathan,

      It’s a matter of nature and nurture. No one contributes more to your genetic make-up than your parents and no one spends more time with you than your family. Both of nature and nurture shape and mould who you are today. Sometimes its little things that we don’t think much of, like how your dad always bought your mom flowers on her birthday, how your mom always helped you with your homework, or how your grandpa sang you that song from the old country as your fell asleep in your crib. Then, of course, there’s the cultural and religious traditions that many children grow up with, reject in their teens and twenties, and return to when they have kids of their own.

      We are where we came from. And we didn’t come from a bureaucracy.

  3. Jonathan Vaage says:

    We’re certainly influenced greatly by those factors, but I accept the responsibility of my own free-will and that of others to supersede those influences. Insofar as that is true, we only belong to ourselves. That’s the nature of self-ownership. To assert otherwise is to disregard the responsibility each individual has over their actions and to performatively contradict oneself.

    Family, traditions, and religion may have their limited uses, but they’re cheap substitutes for ‘high-cost’ voluntary relationships, science, and reasoning. Unfortunately, quality relationships, science and reasoning are rare finds and we can’t all be rich.

    • Pete Dushenski says:

      We’re certainly influenced greatly by those factors, but I accept the responsibility of my own free-will and that of others to supersede those influences. Insofar as that is true, we only belong to ourselves.

      Your free will may supercede the influence of your family and traditions, potentially, but it can in no way eliminate them. They’re baked in for better or worse. We therefore don’t belong “only” to ourselves, but very much to our pasts as well. That’s the point I’m trying to make. All good and useful things in the world didn’t start when you were born and no amount of free will gives you an eagle’s wings with which to soar above the clouds.

      Family, traditions, and religion may have their limited uses, but they’re cheap substitutes for ‘high-cost’ voluntary relationships, science, and reasoning.

      The low cost of these substitutes is exactly what makes them so useful for the Walmart shoppers of the world, those for whom true wealth, that of reflective knowledge, will forever be a dream. Even for those of us who are pretty fucking well off, there are cherries to be picked.

      The wisdom of the ancients isn’t an all-or-none proposition, it’s rather to a basket from which the best and most applicable are chosen to flesh out and balance our more modern advances. There would be no Judaic and Islamic ban on pork if bacon (and refrigeration) had been around back in the day and there’s no reasonable cause to maintain this prohibition.

      Not all traditions are useful, but it’s entirely probable that more of those traditions will outlast the technological “revolutions” that we so slavishly bow to. E-mail, PGP, Bitcoin, and the iPhone are all marvels, but the vast majority of new technology is ephemeral fluff.

      Basically, for both science and tradition, it’s best not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are nuggets of gold in both.

    • Jonathan Vaage says:

      Yeah, that seems about right. I’m just hoping the higher cost alternatives will be more abundantly attainable in the more prosperous societies brought on by bitcoin.

  4. Matt says:

    “Throughout the world,v religious factions are already increasing their powerbase. It’s entirely possible that the pendulum of history will swing back in their favour, where emergent monarchs and their supporting aristocrats will align themselves with religions again. This was and is a far more just, equitable, sane, and sustainable approach to human society.”

    As a person with a post-graduate history background, this is one of the most inane, least supportable comments I have ever seen. Most of the value of “traditional” wisdom (which is a nonsense idea to begin with) has been already validated by modernity/science, and the rest has been correctly dismissed.

    • Pete Dushenski says:

      Matt,

      Most of the value of “traditional” wisdom (which is a nonsense idea to begin with) has been already validated by modernity/science, and the rest has been correctly dismissed.

      Because science! Prior to whatever science may have rediscovered, these now “facts” were previously dismissed by Church of Sciencers as hogwash… until science said otherwise. Rejecting traditional wisdom until proven otherwise is exactly ass backwards. The burden of evidence lies on science, that is, as it is always and everywhere, on the n00bs to demonstrate that they aren’t as fucktarded as they so rightly appear. The elders are under no such obligation to substantiate their claims. Their existence is sufficient.

      Yes, experimental science can falsify, greatly expediting the process of natural environmental collisions, but science cannot test all conditions nor can it ultimately (nor epistemologically) prove anything at all. Therefore, it’s far saner and safer to presume that science has no fucking idea what it’s doing until proven otherwise than to apply the same to knowledge already distilled by Mother Nature. This neophilic bullshit will only get you so far. On your way out, take your DDT, thalidamide, and GMO poison. Just leave me my PGP and Bitcoin.

    • mh says:

      Because science! Prior to whatever science may have rediscovered, these now “facts” were previously dismissed by Church of Sciencers as hogwash… until science said otherwise. Rejecting traditional wisdom until proven otherwise is exactly ass backwards. The burden of evidence lies on science, that is, as it is always and everywhere, on the n00bs to demonstrate that they aren’t as fucktarded as they so rightly appear. The elders are under no such obligation to substantiate their claims. Their existence is sufficient.”

      An observation I have made myself. But with science explaining it, we not only have the how. We get the why, so we can better and fine-tune the how.

      Fasting can be manipulated to have the utmost benefits, because we know the why, and we don’t have to do it only through Hilal to Eid al-Fitr or only on a specific day according to which Hindu deity devotee we are.

      We do not have to drink beer anymore as the “only” drink not to make us sick. We know the why, so we just boil the water before drinking if the source is contaminated.

      As such we don’t need to rape alter-boys to get the benefits of prayers in solitude. Hence mindfulness.

      To paraphrase MP loosely, either you know or you don’t know. If you know, then you fast, if you know then you practise mindfulness, if you know then you boil your dirty water before drinking it, if you know then you Bitcoin.

    • Pete Dushenski says:

      either you know or you don’t know. If you know, then you fast, if you know then you practise mindfulness, if you know then you boil your dirty water before drinking it, if you know then you Bitcoin.

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  5. mh says:

    Always a pleasure reading your blog Pete, and this one in particular.

    Firstly, the nation state robs you of your heritage and the imbued wisdom of your forefathers. How? By upregulating the broken notions of “science” and “progress” and downregulating anything that was created before you were born, much less before the nation was born.

    Even the modern classics are often just rehashing, so why not straight from the horses mouth.

    Just ask anyone who’s read history.

    Out of the few that do, only a few of those seems to grok it.

    • Pete Dushenski says:

      Out of the few that do, only a few of those seems to grok it.

      Not everyone can be the elite!

  6. […] marketing comes in the form of Canada Action Plan signs and Remembrance Day ceremonies. […]

  7. […] are several reasons why we’re not nationals, but they all ultimately reduce to the ephemeral nature of the state. Unlike heritage, lineage, […]

  8. […] less take a cruise on a Zeppelin. How puritanical can you get? Ask an Italian or Chinese “citizen” how this stacks up against their politicians’ embezzling of bezzle. Besides, if you dun […]

  9. […] majesty that is the diversity of human religion while point their accusatory finger at their swindling nation states for robbing them of their mortal consolation. This latter group has a different, taller task, as […]

  10. […] pretty much it. A “nation” with its own “potato marketing organization” could only be a Soviet monstrosity […]

  11. […] society is obsessed with ‘longer life’iv because it can measure it and therefore publicise it on TV and shit, and so what if it has to value a life at waaay over a bitcent to get there. You gotta do what you […]

  12. […] is strength. This is also, incidentally, why no one worth their salt gives a shit about “nation states. […]

  13. […] marketing comes in the form of Canada Action Plan signs and Remembrance Day ceremonies. […]

  14. […] ability of nation states to make unfunded promises is underpinned by the necessity of nation states to make unfunded […]

  15. […] contortionist in the Cirque than the ostensible deity it wholly imagined itself to be,i was the nation state with its attendant pretenses to representative democracy. As the franchise expanded, the inevitable […]

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