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.
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- 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.↩
- This, incidentally, is why I’m spending the next year consuming only books and movies produced or published before my birth.↩
- 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.↩
- 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…↩
- Yes, even in the very secular China.↩