Nationalism

There is an innate sense of belonging that every person has, which orders the inhabitants of the world according to how much that one cares about them. This is not an evil fact. It is impracticable for every one to bear in mind the mental state of everyone in the world and act impartially. Even the most fervent egalitarian would not invite a tramp off the street to join his family for a meal at Christmastime.

A great mind which could foresee all consequences which could control every one could achieve much more progress and happiness. Under such a reign, there might be individuals who toiled for little personal reward and satisfaction. Such a mind is not available to us. Imposing an order from the top doesn't work. Direction from the top should lead to gradual change which is in harmony with the system.

What gradual changes should be made? People's emotions about situations and the situations themselves should work in harmony to create a good result. If good can come of it, political leaders should manipulate people's feelings. For example, the government runs community centre projects to try to increase social cohesion and decrease crime. Anti-smoking campaigns have tried to manipulate people's feelings about looking good in front of their friends. (Smoking ain't cool and makes your breath smell, etc.)

What are the advantages of a system which includes individual and group self-interest? An important one is that one knows best what he wants. Individuals' demands taken together lead to a greater satisfaction of want than an imperfectly informed and calculated system that was imposed could ever lead to. This is the advantage of Capitalism over Communism.

Additionally, a sense of belonging aids the maintenance of nations. So the advantages of nations are also those of the sense of belonging. One benefit of having a rigidly defined nation with little flow of population is that nations that have been successful because of hereditary characteristics that occur in the population would be preserved. Another advantage is that societies with strong relationships between local people will be more stable in times of distress. How well would things function, if, say, oil starts getting really expensive? In the end, the form of society we've achieved, light bulbs, transporting potatoes on lorries, is a result of what can be done with strength and skill. Even if most of the time it isn't necessary it is still important to remember the basic physical facts of the situation. This requires some planning to see if we could just rely on economic forces, that is just leave itself to sort itself out.

A feeling of national community should be built up out of a feeling of local community. This of course doesn't really exist - how people who live in your street do you know the name of?

A problem is that having a large gap between different societies is that it doesn't seem very stable because the poor would envy the rich and the rich would try to help the poor. Subversive elements in the rich country would wish to destroy the success of the rich country by allowing immigration from the poor country. Also if people have strong national identities this could lead to contempt of members of other nations. It could lead to war. Stability is good.

One solution is to have international libertarianism. This doubtless would lead to Western farmers taking over land in third-world countries and putting their natural resources to good use for once. We'd end up with an Indian style caste system, probably, or what it's like in some South American countries. I'm not so sure about this possibility.

What about nations going to war with each other?

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