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Nationalism an Evolutionary Dead End Options
Epiphileon
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 4:07:14 AM

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Nationalism is an artifact of our coevolutionary history no longer adaptive in a fully populated world with modern warfare abilities. It is a refuge of the immature of the species and those who fear the responsibilities of being fully human and cling to the practices of the tribal behavior of our past.

Well, that is certainly an inflammatory way to frame that notion but I am entirely fed up with this nonsense that has taken root in my own and many other countries of the world. I do not understand* how so much of the population has been brought to the point where they are being swayed by these notions despite the lessons of history. When has this type of nationalism and divisiveness ever led to a positive outcome? NEVER! Leaping leptons on a neutron star how have people become so gullible as to just get caught up in the fervor and zeal of purely emotional appeals to severely outdated concepts of human social organization?

It is unlikely that we would do away with countries anytime soon, or even if we ever would entirely. The necessity, however, of seeing ourselves as the human race and that our sense of kinship should be worldwide rather than in the ancient notions of tribal competition and rival kingdoms is obviously the adaptive path to the future.

We ignore this principle to our peril, but why do we ignore it? Who is it that promotes this divisiveness? Is it the majority of most of the populations of countries in which this malignancy exists? It most certainly does not seem to be. When honest polling is done it turns out that the majority of people wish for more cooperation and less strife in the world. So whose interests are served by the promulgation of us/them mentality? Answer that question and perhaps you'll see just how much of a false narrative it is.


*actually I'm afraid, literally, that I do understand how this has happened but as I have alluded to in other posts life without hope is despair and to live in despair is miserable, so though it is indeed selfish I choose to maintain at least some, apparently delusional, adherence to a hope that there will be a general awakening of the population.
March Hare
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 5:49:12 AM

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People are wired to band together when faced with a common threat. It seems to be something in our basic blueprint, probably because our distant ancestors were more likely to survive whenever they worked together against threats. It might not be as relevant for survival now, but it's still very much there.
This basic tendency is very easy to abuse if you want to gain/keep power. All you need to do is convince people that there is a common threat (which can be entirely fictional, since facts are boring anyway) and that you will be able to protect the people against this if they support you. I'm thinking for instance of the threat of "immigrants invading the country" which seems to be the current story in the US.
This "us vs. them" narrative is so attractive that it's difficult to do anything against it. Raising awareness of this phenomenon seems to be all we can do, but even then people have to be willing to listen - and think.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 7:37:48 AM

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Epiphileon wrote:

It is unlikely that we would do away with countries anytime soon, or even if we ever would entirely. The necessity, however, of seeing ourselves as the human race and that our sense of kinship should be worldwide rather than in the ancient notions of tribal competition and rival kingdoms is obviously the adaptive path to the future.


Hi, Epi!

I understand your point, but to me it is lacking one important element.

And that is, that we do need competition for development. And therefore we will need competing nations on this planet before (if ever) we as an entire human civilization can compete with other populated worlds. Angel

Another aspect of this is that to be a good caring owner one has to feel true affection for one's property. This principle applies to "managing" contries, too. Maybe at some distant point in future we all will truly feel equal love for the whole planet Earth and all people living on it, but this is far not the case yet. As of now Earth is populated by people who are different in some ways - physically, mentally, culturally - and you can't just ignore this fact and jump into some "world of common identity" that just doesn't exist, at least not yet. So in the current circumstances it seems that the world can be better managed when divided into a set of separate nations with each of them taking care of their own home in the first place, and then helping others if they wish so in the second.

And I mean competition, not fighting. We have gone some way beyond primitive tribes, so I believe leaders of most countries now realize that wars only cost an awful lot in both human lives and money, so they are best to be avoided.

BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 8:34:42 AM
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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
I understand your point, but to me it is lacking one important element.

And that is, that we do need competition for development. And therefore we will need competing nations on this planet before (if ever) we as an entire human civilization can compete with other populated worlds. Angel


It may be true that competition has been beneficial as far as individuals and companies are concerned, but I am not sure that it is beneficial between countries.

And don't underestimate cooperation.



Quote:
So in the current circumstances it seems that the world can be better managed when divided into a set of separate nations with each of them taking care of their own home in the first place, and then helping others if they wish so in the second.


In the 21st century, a great many things that happen in one country affects other countries, sometime the whole world. Looking after our own country, if we bothered to do it, would be a start, but cooperation rather than competition with other countries would benefit us all. As Epi wrote,
"The necessity [...] of seeing ourselves as the human race and that our sense of kinship should be worldwide rather than in the ancient notions of tribal competition and rival kingdoms is obviously the adaptive path to the future".
Hope123
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 8:56:52 AM

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Epiphileon
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 9:01:36 AM

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March Hare wrote:
This "us vs. them" narrative is so attractive that it's difficult to do anything against it. Raising awareness of this phenomenon seems to be all we can do, but even then people have to be willing to listen - and think.


I agree, however, in looking for a shorthand form of concluding sentence I would use something like archetypal rather than "attractive". Even that though would not address the true complexity and depth of the foundations of nationalism. Nationalism is after all merely a corollary of racism which is far older.

I also agree that raising awareness of the existence of this inherent trait is necessary the question is how is that done in the face of the overwhelming effort on the part of those who benefit to convince people otherwise?
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 9:03:09 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
I understand your point, but to me it is lacking one important element.

And that is, that we do need competition for development. And therefore we will need competing nations on this planet before (if ever) we as an entire human civilization can compete with other populated worlds. Angel


It may be true that competition has been beneficial as far as individuals and companies are concerned, but I am not sure that it is beneficial between countries.

And don't underestimate cooperation.



Quote:
So in the current circumstances it seems that the world can be better managed when divided into a set of separate nations with each of them taking care of their own home in the first place, and then helping others if they wish so in the second.


In the 21st century, a great many things that happen in one country affects other countries, sometime the whole world. Looking after our own country, if we bothered to do it, would be a start, but cooperation rather than competition with other countries would benefit us all. As Epi wrote,
"The necessity [...] of seeing ourselves as the human race and that our sense of kinship should be worldwide rather than in the ancient notions of tribal competition and rival kingdoms is obviously the adaptive path to the future".


I didin't say a word against international cooperation. Competition between countries never excluded their cooperating with each other on issues of common interest and importance. The role of such cooperation has been increasing, and hopefully will be further increasing with further economic and technological development.

So nobody's against cooperation. What this whole argument really comes down to is this - a (relatively) transparent management by national governments versus the globalist model of the world without borders being managed in a completely non-transparent way by a murky group of global oligarchs who are not elected by anybody and whose names few would even know. Perhaps many people who you may call "nationalists" understand just this. They want to be governed by responsible national governments cooperating with each other, rather than by irresponsible oligarchs conspiring with each other.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 9:22:06 AM

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Hi Epi.

You make some good points. As March Hare points out, humans at the beginning had to be tribal to survive. They have not evolved enough mentally yet to cope with the human population explosion in every corner of the earth that means competition for space, food, and a means to support oneself.

They believe that newcomers in an area mean there are fewer resources for themselves and in a sense that is true in the short run, especially till the newcomers get established. But they also don't see the advantages that diversity brings in the long run. Add to that that humans are also averse to change.

The plants and trees in a forest have "learned"to "cooperate" but attitudes of human individuals are caught or taught by parents or caregivers so the old mentality prevails and will for a while I would think. To me it is similar to the debate about why many humans are still religious.

An example of total rejection of any notion of cooperation by world countries was just promoted by a poster in another thread. Davos/World economic Forum were cited as bad. Those thinkers believe it is some kind of a world conspiracy takeover when in fact the world is already controlled by financial interests and corporations.

http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst193224p3_The-reasons-for-the-recent-mass-shootings.aspx


Will humans ever learn? In time before they manage to nuke the world or make it so hot as to become uninhabitable for many forms of life? Not in my lifetime.

The missing piece of the puzzle is trust of others - and unfortunately some others truly cannot be trusted. Even in our daily lives we all know people you always have to leave by walking backwards.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 12:00:23 PM

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In my view, it takes both cooperation and competition. If every individual were in competition with every other individual, life would be lived on an extremely bare and self-driven basis. This would mean no civilization and no advancement except for what any one person could create. It would be a world of savagery.

On the opposite extreme is the Utopian dream of unlimited cooperation with no competition. That cannot exist for the reason listed above. With no competition, there would be no advancement, except for what any one individual would create. Society would have advanced at a snail's pace, or have been wiped out by the first plague that came along, because there would have been no desire to create anything better than what already existed.

Added to that is the natural instinct for like to bond with like against that which is different. We see this in the animal world, and we are no different. Granted, we have the ability to see all humans as being humans, but we also did not develop as one great tribe with common beliefs and goals. It was precisely because of this, and the fact that all humans are born self-centered, that competition developed, societies advanced, and thus created the world of today.

A world-wide Utopia without borders or nationalities, where all peoples get along cannot happen because of human nature. There simply will always be some people who want to dominate others, and there will always be people who will resist that impulse in others. It is a fantasy in the minds of those who do not like reality as it exists.
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 12:07:01 PM
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FounDit wrote:
A world-wide Utopia without borders or nationalities, where all peoples get along cannot happen because of human nature. There simply will always be some people who want to dominate others, and there will always be people who will resist that impulse in others.

I'm afraid you are right.
Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 5:36:03 AM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
And that is, that we do need competition for development. And therefore we will need competing nations on this planet before (if ever) we as an entire human civilization can compete with other populated worlds.

I do not think we need the artificial construct of nation-states to preserve the inherent competitive drive. I also do not think that the elimination of the current geopolitical structure would result in the complete loss of the concept of nations, nor that they would entirely lose all governmental functions. Many countries currently have internal sub governmental regions yet retain cultural distinction and even in some cases different languages without alienating them from the national identity. The same could be realized at the world level, but that would indeed be an unreasonable expectation anytime soon. I am not proposing the elimination of nation-states only the elimination of nationalism and the resultant jingoism.
Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:01:40 AM

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Hope wrote:
An example of total rejection of any notion of cooperation by world countries was just promoted by a poster in another thread. Davos/World economic Forum were cited as bad. Those thinkers believe it is some kind of a world conspiracy takeover when in fact the world is already controlled by financial interests and corporations.


High Hope, It is amazing to me that people do not "look behind the curtain" and discover that there are currently a number of oligarchs and organizations that are exerting huge influence on world affairs. It is definitely in their best interest to maintain the status quo, and promote dissension effectively distracting populations from matters they would rather be left alone.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 5:00:24 AM

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FounDit wrote:
On the opposite extreme is the Utopian dream of unlimited cooperation with no competition.

No one I have ever heard who seriously considers the future would see one where all competition was eliminated as anything other than a dystopia. As you have noted it would be contrary to human nature. The elimination of nationalism would not cause competition to cease, nor would it even eliminate the notion of nations, only the nonsense that is propagated by slogans such as "America First", which honestly, is very close to another slogan from history, "Deutschland uber Alles."

FounDit wrote:
A world-wide Utopia without borders or nationalities, where all peoples get along cannot happen because of human nature. There simply will always be some people who want to dominate others, and there will always be people who will resist that impulse in others. It is a fantasy in the minds of those who do not like reality as it exists.

So were airplanes at one point in time. Also, I did not say there would, or even should be a world-wide polity with no nations or borders, only that we needed to stop viewing nation-states within the us/them paradigm of thought. After all, in the U.S.A. there are 50 states and yet we are all Americans, why can we not similarly all be Terrestrians?
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:25:17 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:
FounDit wrote:
On the opposite extreme is the Utopian dream of unlimited cooperation with no competition.

No one I have ever heard who seriously considers the future would see one where all competition was eliminated as anything other than a dystopia. As you have noted it would be contrary to human nature. The elimination of nationalism would not cause competition to cease, nor would it even eliminate the notion of nations, only the nonsense that is propagated by slogans such as "America First", which honestly, is very close to another slogan from history, "Deutschland uber Alles."
A couple of points: First, when I said there would be the Utopian dream of unlimited cooperation with no competition, that was in reference to competition between peoples/nations, which was the central theme of your post.

Secondly, you choose to judge it as "nonsense" that people would choose their own culture and country/nation as deserving to be put first when compared to other nations. It should be obvious that there are some nations in which many of the peoples of earth would not want to dwell. These would especially be those limited in resources and individual freedoms, something many of us have enjoyed for quite some time. So there is nothing nonsensical about wanting to live in what you believe is the best place on the planet.

Thirdly, the idea of Americans putting America first is no different than putting family first because our culture is seen as family. I seriously doubt that many, if anyone, would trust, or so rapidly defend a stranger more quickly than a family member. This natural instinct begins with family, expands outward from it to neighbors, onward to community, and then to culture.

I don't see that ending anytime soon, despite the desire of some to try to eliminate it. This is especially true since culture is a combination of laws, rules, customs, traditions, religious beliefs, and behavior that is unique to each group. There is too much difference in cultures for all humans to forsake these things, no matter how noble the idea of doing so. As we have just recently seen, there are some cultures that believe all others should be destroyed who are not like them. Good luck with trying to convince them to abandon that goal. They would kill you for simply proposing such an idea.

FounDit wrote:
A world-wide Utopia without borders or nationalities, where all peoples get along cannot happen because of human nature. There simply will always be some people who want to dominate others, and there will always be people who will resist that impulse in others. It is a fantasy in the minds of those who do not like reality as it exists.

So were airplanes at one point in time. (You aren't seriously saying the desire to dominate others can be eliminated are you? How would you do that? And wouldn't that invalidate the ability to have a world-wide mass of humanity ruled over by central government? Because with no borders/countries/nation-states, there would have to be some kind of governing body)
Also, I did not say there would, or even should be a world-wide polity with no nations or borders, only that we needed to stop viewing nation-states within the us/them paradigm of thought. After all, in the U.S.A. there are 50 states and yet we are all Americans, why can we not similarly all be Terrestrians?

Because, as you just pointed out, we are 50 states, but a common culture. That cannot be said for all the peoples of the Earth. And this brings up what I see as invalid arguments, or premises, in your OP.

Quote: "Nationalism is an artifact of our coevolutionary history no longer adaptive in a fully populated world with modern warfare abilities."
You say it is no longer adaptive, that there has never been a "positive outcome". I assume by "adaptive" you mean beneficial to us, but that isn't born out by the evidence. All humans have continually benefited from the on-going National evolution of our species. Our lives are vastly improved as a result of that evolution.

As for our modern warfare abilities, they have increased exponentially over the last 70 years, but we are still here, so it cannot be said we have misused them to the detriment of our species. The fear you and others express will hardly be sufficient motivation for most of the peoples of the Earth to abandon their sense of national identity. In some places, you might run the risk of being put to death for even suggesting such a thing.

You say, Quote:

"It is unlikely that we would do away with countries anytime soon, or even if we ever would entirely. The necessity, however, of seeing ourselves as the human race and that our sense of kinship should be worldwide rather than in the ancient notions of tribal competition and rival kingdoms is obviously the adaptive path to the future.
Why is it obvious? Because you, and others like you, feel fear? This will hardly be sufficient evidence to motivate the majority of humans to abandon their cultural identity.

We ignore this principle to our peril, (According to who?)but why do we ignore it? (Because it is instinctive within us)Who is it that promotes this divisiveness? (Well, here in the U.S. today, it is the Socialist Democrats promoting divisiveness, but many others promote it in other countries for their own political purposes also)Is it the majority of most of the populations of countries in which this malignancy exists? It most certainly does not seem to be. (Right. It is usually the ruling power because it is easier to rule when people are fighting among themselves)When honest polling is done it turns out that the majority of people wish for more cooperation and less strife in the world. So whose interests are served by the promulgation of us/them mentality? Answer that question and perhaps you'll see just how much of a false narrative it is." (I repeat: It is usually the ruling power because it is easier to rule when people are fighting among themselves. And the narrative of Nationalism isn't false if it is practiced by all the people of the Earth.)



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