NATIONALITY: the politically expedient geographic grouping of cultural diversity

A nation becomes a political reality when disparate groups of individuals become enveloped by an expanded citizenship umbrella and unified by acceptable common languages. A so called national 'unification' is usually accomplished using military power for religious and economic motives, either as a process of imperialistic expansion or as a process of liberation from within an established imperialistic authority. Borders are declared in an attempt to control the flow of what is deemed to be desirable or otherwise and provide an illusion of legitimacy to the actions of the established authority operating within its boundaries. Symbols are chosen, magnified, idealized and promoted to associate the concept of nationhood with the bounded region. Such a phenomena is intrinsically unstable and depends upon the general acceptability of the imposing authority. All self-sustaining areas of local language and custom will only be content to consider themselves belonging to the national entity if they are able to participate equitably within the imposed authority. When such is not the case, agitation, terrorism and perhaps revolution will eventuate in an effort to fracture the national envelope.

Once such a state has been judged by the establishing authority to be sufficiently stable, attention is inevitably directed to an imperialistic expansion of the boundaries in order to exploit external regions. The support of an available god and the associated religious establishment is negotiated, the internal physical resources are directed to the organization of an aggressive war technology and then the wheels are put into motion to acquire as much of the external riches as the power of the military can deliver. The intrinsic instability of the invading 'nation' however, becomes more precarious the further it attempts to expand and the motivations of esurience become increasingly prevalent.

On the one hand, if the surrounding invaded regions have had deficient information about the aggressive intentions of the adjacent 'nation' or have been unable to muster any form of adequate resistance, a phase of imperialistic domination of one region over another has begun. This may last for many generations. Time and complacency then assiduously decay attenuating control structures until finally, internal regroupings fracture the imperialistic imposition. On the other hand, if the invaded region can provide substantial resistance, impede the incursion and even mount retaliatory counter invasions, a truce will eventually be called and a treaty devised which will allow both sides enough time to modify their strategic ambitions. This scenario will also endure for many generations with each side using the other as an ogre against which the psyche of national unity is strengthened.

Whatever events actually happen, the histories of each national grouping are recorded by biased official archivists so that only laudatory exploits are included and shameful or embarrassing episodes downplayed or excluded. So effective is this filtering process, that a comparison of the separate versions of a conflict between two nations suggests that two quite different events can take place at the same time and in the same place.

Most nations eventually aspire to classify themselves as being 'civilized'. There are numerous behaviours that must have been demonstrated before this condition can be justifiably claimed. Food... and meat in particular... must appear packaged on supermarket shelves without the populace knowing the process by which it got there. Most recreational drugs need to be banned and freely available. Arms must be manufactured and sold to foreign political groups for substantial profits. 'Global peace' must be promoted at all international forums. Murder and torture for information needs to be contracted out to less developed and less ethical nations. Assassinations should be conducted by secret organizations charged with enhancing the national political ambitions. And most importantly, a willingness must be demonstrated to use any technological advantages possessed, to exploit the resources of any underdeveloped neighbouring states, and sequester the derived wealth in their own more secure financial institutions. A few nations are unquestionably 'civilized', but many have not yet developed the distinctive behaviours.