On the Country, the Nation and the State

A note for the reader: We use here the terms country, nation and state to mean specific things. These terms are not interchangeable. Please hold that thought as you read.

What most people refer to as a “country” is a mental construct built around a name and which is a kind of free-floating amalgam of two more concrete ideas, the Nation and the State. It is to this construct that most of us direct such patriotism as we have. What do we find when we look under the hood, when we examine individually the things which we collectively call a country and to which we direct our loyalty? If you ask a patriotic New Zealander, an American, a Frenchman and a Chinese what it is about their country that inspires or commands their loyalty, you will get very different answers. (For purposes of this essay, I exclude those who for reasons of ignorance, fashion or history profess to, uniquely, have no such feelings about or to detest their country. I have no time for such people because they are probably lying.)

A New Zealander will probably speak first of the observable natural beauty and physical characteristics of the land…the sense of light and space and then of whatever political attributes he rightly or mistakenly finds positive. He may speak of a “fair go”, of equality and democracy, of security or social safety. The impressionable or the indoctrinated may speak of diversity and inclusion while those of an age may mention the Queen or the common law. An American will immediately say freedom and opportunity and may talk of long lost features of the national character such as independence, personal responsibility and national courage.

As we move on to France, we begin to get a much more “blood and soil” response. The Frenchman will wax on a bit about la France profonde, about the language, and about national culture and pride. A pride that by the way will be evident even as he proceeds to tell you all that is wrong with France. And for the first time in our world tour you will hear the word “civilisation” as he describes France’s national contribution to civilised society. And finally we come to China, where the patriotic Chinese (and here I refer to the Han or to the completely assimilated non-Han) may not even be able to tell you why he loves his country, but you will very definitely hear in his voice that he does have a deep love and loyalty to her. You will of course hear the Party approved words, but that speaks of the State. The strong undercurrent will be an indescribable loyalty to the Chinese nation.

New Zealand, America, France and China are the archetypes of different sorts of countries. If you are paying attention, you will notice a spectrum of response in which the citizens of proposition nations, new and old, describe their patriotism in terms of the landscape or of epiphenomena of the political system moving through the cultural and ethnic nations who ascribe theirs to much deeper and older characteristics not mutable by changes in the political currents of the day.

The proposition nations have a difficult but manageable obstacle in maintaining the “nation” part of a country. Proposition nations hold that anyone who arrives may become a citizen with full and equal rights under the state and full and equal claims upon the resources of the whole country merely by arriving and accepting or claiming to accept the founding principles or propositions. The feet touch the ground, the mouth speaks the words and ex opera operandi the new arrival has become a Kiwi or an American. The difficulty of course is that this is absurd. As Vox Day called it, this is “magic dirt” theory, when there is in fact nothing magic about either the dirt or the proposition. A Mexican does not become a Kiwi nor a Somali an American by mere virtue of arrival and incantation any more than the reverse is true. Citizenship in a proposition country and membership in its constituent nation is a high minded concept that is dependent for its success on all arrivals accepting or abiding by the proposition. For such a nation to survive, most of the population must operate under broadly shared notions of fairness, reciprocal responsibility and civic virtue, otherwise the very category of citizenship fails.

And it is failing under the combined weight of mass migration and identity politics. It is an observable fact that almost all migrants continue to operate under the habits, cultural imperatives and social structures of their former domicile and, in sufficient numbers, even seek to transform the new country into a simulacrum of the old one where the original residents subsidise segregated culture for the new arrivals and their progeny. The British experience with Muslim migrants from South Asia shows us that this trend persists and even grows stronger through generations. The inescapable conclusions are that such migrants as a country sees fit to admit should come in large proportion from “pre-acculturated” origins. Further, all migrants should be subject to strict vetting and allowed to remain on sufferance only under the condition of assimilation. Finally, full political rights and any claim on the resources of the state should come only after a long period of continuous residence. Migration in general is a subject for another post, so I’ll leave that part of it here for now.

The second force implicated in the destruction of nations is what has come to be called “globalism”. It is in fact an imposed ideology which has no left or right, based on weak or no empircal data and sustained by a gaslighting media and corruptible politicians. The gaslighting comes from the introduction of ill defined “principles” usually couched in the language of freedom, prosperity and charity. You’ll recognise them immediately-diversity, tolerance, free trade, international obligations, and so on. Each of these will be the subject of a separate post. None are in the least susceptible to empirical analyis and all are destructive to the nations.

The country is a fragile thing, existing as it does as a shifting amalgam of Nation and State. The nation is not fragile. It is the sum of the common will, based in deep shared culture and yes, in part, in ethnicity. The outward manifestations of deep culture-language, religion, tradition, and shared assumptions of objective reality are not the core of the nation. That core is found, as Douglas MacArthur put it in the “mystic chords of memory” that play only for those who belong to the nation. The State is that which gives effect to the will of the nation. It is durable or fragile, strong or weak in direct proportion to the degree that it is identified with the nation. Reasons of power politics aside, a State which identifies strongly with the underlying Nation has no need to closely regulate the activities of citizens. A country of a national citizens will be largely self organising and self regulating, with the State needing only the powers absolutely necessary to defend the borders, maintain order, enforce contracts, protect property rights, provide for those with no recourse and to conduct relations with other States. A country composed of a proposition nation will need a correspondingly stronger state as those who do not accept or at least abide by the proposition inevitably seek their own advantage. A country composed of multiple nations, either by conquest or colonisation (and mass migration is just another name for colonisation) is even more fragile and requires an even stronger state. The proper name for a country composed of multiple nations is “empire” and no empire lasts.

The country ceases to exist as a practical matter when the state becomes deracinated, cut off from the national wellsprings of its authority. At that point, governance by consent disappears and the state has only force to fall back on to capture the resources needed to maintain itself. What loyalty does the national citizen owe when the State no longer gives voice and effect to the will of the nation? What becomes of the country when the State becomes a only a distant reflection of the nation and a tool for its destruction? These are not academic questions. As the State’s connection to the nation attenuates, so does the citizen’s loyalty to the country.

To take New Zealand as an example, we have watched for a generation as succesive governments have legislated and regulated not in the national interest but in compliance with “global” priorities such as migration, control of capital, and “climate change”. These are announced in Geneva, Washington, New York or Brussels and imposed upon New Zealanders without discussion and without the slightest regard for the welfare of New Zealanders or the national interests of New Zealand.. The State sees no need to justify these to citizens because the New Zealand state has become completely alienated from the nation which created it.

This has been by design. The Nation is an obstacle to the capture of the State by global authority and therefore must be diluted, weakened and ultimately destroyed. Worse, the community and the family are obstacles to the destruction of the nation and therefore they too must be weakened. Democracy itself stood in the path to realisation of this pro=cess and the electorate therefore needs to altered through migration and relentless propaganda. What is to be done when the State actively seeks to destroy all sources of authority other than itself? Is that not the political equivalent of sawing off the branch it is sits on? Perhaps it is time to allow the branch to fall, to encourage it in fact.