Saturday, December 10, 2011

all nationalities are made up and yet national aspiration is real

putting aside the palestinians well-justified (IMHO) concerns, why does it matter whether a nationality is "invented" or not?

i mean, they are all "invented", aren't they? nationality is a purely human construction. at some point a group of people decide that they are different from those barbarians over there and so they give themselves a name that they can all identify with. some nationalities might date back further in history, but i don't see how that makes them any less real. i'm sure when king george heard about the american declaration of independence his response wasn't: "'americans?' that's not a nationality! i never heard of it before now, so they can't be independent." or maybe that is what he said. (and no doubt newt the lobbyist historian will be willing to tell me otherwise in the most pompous tone he can muster). but it wouldn't matter if king george did say that. the issues raised by the colonists when they declared independence has nothing to do with the issue of whether anyone had bothered to consider them a nationality before. that's simply not what their declaration was about.

there are tons of countries that exist today that didn't exist in 1947. that fact doesn't make the national identity of the people in those countries any less real. most countries of africa and many in asia became independent only after world war two. would president gingrich withdraw his recognition from all of them?

it's not like newt made up the "historically there are no palestinians" line. but the line, even if it were true, is not an argument, it's a dodge. what people did or did not call themselves 70 or 100 years ago has no relevance to any of the current issues in the conflict.