Tag Archives: necessary illusions

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community – part 6

But there is absolutely nothing objective about a nation and its state. This is best illustrated when observing its boarders. Scientist would not be able to find anything in nature that makes the boarder region different from a non boarder region. Historians would not find any hints that history is a objective identity to conclude that the nation state is the normal or even healthy form of development in the world. And a linguist would insist that wether or not something is a dialect or a language is socially constructed, that means politically constructed.

A common language is only a common language because a state makes its standard, insists on it being thought in the schools, uses it in the curt system, uses it in the army and not the other way around. History is always biased by those in power who write history so that power looks natural towards them. And a child to which perception comes so natural

To make my point clear. When Aristotle says, that the art of ship-building is not in the wood, it has to become clear that the art of states craft cannot be found in what constitutes a state whatsoever. Nations and their states are no more natural than diet coke is. Without sparkling water, Aspartan, Colormatter and Plantextracts there would be no diet coke but nothing in this makes it diet coke by nature.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Necessary Illusions in the Global Village

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community – part 5

The birth of an imagined community is for the most part an act of will. Perception contribute to less than 1% to the conclusion that a new nation named Kosova was born. What leads to the conclusion is the necessary illusion enshrined in the nationalist myth that let us recognize it for what what is – namely an illusion on part of the perceiver.

The Necessary Illusion is a concept developed by Reinhold Nieblur in the beginning of the 20th century. Necessary Illusions are concepts about the world in which most part of its population are spectators. Its medium is the spectacle.

The nationalist myth argues, that there is some objective reality out there, that we can call a serbian nation or an Kosova (or Kosovo) nation. That the nation state is the norma, normal and healthy form of development in the world. And that every nation ought to have its own state.

Leave a comment

Filed under Necessary Illusions in the Global Village

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community – part 4

But if we are defining by language, than who defines a language? Objectively speaking, a linguist would be able to find less difference between Dutch and Plattdeutsch (low german), spoken in north-central europe, than he would be able to find between a Hamburg in the north and Munich in south of Germany. Yet Plattdeutsch and Bayrisch (what is spoken in the south) are considered dialects of the same language while Dutch is considered a different language from german.

There have been until very recently about two million germans living in Russia. They are called Wolgadeutsch. And there are plenty of states that are smaller than two million. In Transilvania, now part of Rumania, there are german speakers and hungarian speaker who have lived there longer than people from european decent have lived in north america. Should they have a state on there own? Or should they be unified with Germany and Hungary?

In common jargon, wether or not something is a dialect or a language is socially constructed, that means politically constructed. A common language is only a common language because a state makes its standard, insists on it being thought in the schools, uses it in the curt system, uses it in the army.

Leave a comment

Filed under Necessary Illusions in the Global Village

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community – part 3

The nationalist myth is that, what we buy when we consume those pictures with either sympathy or apathy, granting them some kind of objective reality. This reality, that we buy, is socially constructed and are, what Noam Chomsky called, “Necessary Illusions”.

But the people who doing imaginings are usually nationalists, people with political agendas. People working in the media do not necessarily have any political agendas but are not less unaware about the things that totally surrounds them. Thats why we see all Newscasters engaged in showing pictures of the celebrations and protests about the birth of this imagined community while nobody asked what it actually is that make a nation with its state?

Nationalists often argue that it is history that makes a nation a nation. But if the battle of Collagen in the 18th century went somewhat differently, we would have a state of Scotland instead of just a region. An earlier victory might have given us a state of Wales. And what if Germany had one WWII. Would there still be a French nation and state?

After 1991 when nations like ukraine which at least for the last 1000 years had never have a state, began popping up over night, claiming statehood while other states like Tchekosovakia or Yugoslavia, that Americans have taken for granted, suddenly disappeared, even political scientist began to recognize how profoundly unnatural, that is how very political, the nation and identifying it with a state really is.

But even if we wanna to conceive that there is something objective and natural about nations, we still have to ask, what is it?

Somebody who is less impressed with the forces of history in determine a nation and its state could come to language as the factor that makes them seem like a natural phenomenon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Necessary Illusions in the Global Village

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community – part 2

Like with myths we tell our children, the nationalist myth holds within it a set of assumptions that its followers adopt. Children are very open to myths, legends and narratives that every society creates and in which children are born into. These myths are created by myth-makers and adopted over and over again by individuals of a society who retell them to every new generation. The myths get adopted and so sustain time and space.

One thing that is specific about myths is that they are a product of our imagination. And since children seems to have a shire unlimited imagination they are most open to stories of this kind. But the point is that even if some aspects of a myth is true, what is true about it is not the myth itself. Myths are by definition not Truth. They may have some liability in past happenings but are in themselves a product of our imagination. One of the myths that is omnipresent is the nationalist myth.

The nationalist myth argues, that there is some objective reality out there, that we can call a serbian nation or an Kosova (or Kosovo) nation. That the nation state is the norma, normal and healthy form of development in the world. And that every nation ought to have its own state.

Especially the media is engaged in the manufacturing of such myths to a wider audience. Like parents tell myths to there children, journalists are engaging broad debates over every aspect and implication of the nationalist myth. Its Past, History and even its future implications are so widely disseminated that the scope of debate seems almost limitless.

Leave a comment

Filed under Necessary Illusions in the Global Village

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community – part 1

Necessary Illusions in the Global Village – The birth of an imagined community

It is true. Men is unaware of the things that totally surrounds him. It is like with our heartbeat that we notice only in rare, very quiet situations that reminds us of what we can forget about and what would still beat.

But not only our inner organs that regulate our body, also the sense organs, that expand our inner capacities, are quiet unaware when sensation hits in. It is the delight we take in our senses which are loved for their own sake that we do not feel the urge to teach our children how to hear, see, touch or smell. It is something that approaches them rather than they do something to approach it.

What is true for our selfs is true for the pictures we watch on our screens. The advent of a nation – Kosovo – last weekend is a perfect example. The pictures of the people celebrating their “independence” are quiet real. They are, as far as the air we breath or the keyboard we touch are real too. But what is not real in the same sense is the nationalist myth that we take for granted.

Leave a comment

Filed under Necessary Illusions in the Global Village