Nationality
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24-04-2013, 04:51 AM
Nationality
What gives us a nationality, is it just the paper in our back pocket that says we're American, Belgian, British, Turkish, etc. or is there something more like behaviour, looks, religion, birthplace, property, money, power. I'm a belgian, I could go to Turkey and become a Turk but if I don't feel like one should I consider myself one? Should others see me as a Turk? In the same way if a Turk comes to Belgium and gets the Belgian nationality but doesn't feel like one, should he be seen as a Belgian.

Every country has a stereotypical behaviour, an exaggeration of the general behaviour of the population and most countries also have multiple stereotypical views on how they think foreigners behave depending on where the foreigner comes from. There will always be exceptions to the rule but a native who doesn't have any stereotypical behaviour will still know and understand it. A Belgian loves beer and chocolate, is always grumpy and hates the dutch, french, Germans and other Belgians. If someone would tell me that's what a Belgian is I would say that's pretty accurate even though it's an exaggeration and I don't like beer. If a person comes to me, says he's a Belgian officially but he doesn't feel like one, doesn't know of any stereotypical behaviour let alone act like it but does share some stereotypical Turkish behaviour should I still consider him a Belgian. Let's say I go to the US, become a US citizen but don't really feel like one, I don't know the stereotype and I still act the way like I did in Belgium. I wouldn't be surprised if others didn't see me as an American.

I'm not trying to approve racism but I recently read a report about how most Muslim teenagers don't feel Belgian and I couldn't help but think it's because they don't behave like one. I assume most people don't see a nationality purely as what's written on your file, they see nationality as a behaviour and when someone doesn't feel like a certain nationality let alone act like one, how are others supposed to see him that way? All too often the racism card is pulled when discussing about nationality but the way you look is far less important than the way you behave and not seeing someone as a certain nationality isn't bad, it's just that the people are protective towards their culture and their nationality and if a foreigner comes and takes the nationality but don't like it then it could create conflict. I know quite a lot of people who look differently but people consider them as a Belgian.

That's the way I see it at least, doesn't really affect the way I treat anyone, everyone is equal for me and nationality isn't even that big of a deal here so I don't really care. But that's my point of view and I might wrong, so what gives us the nationality?

chan chan ki sikin aman
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24-04-2013, 05:29 AM
RE: Nationality
If I had to choose between what I want to die first - religion or the most arbitrary division of them all, that into "nations" - I'd be hard-pressed to choose. Both are malignant tumours, that have been crippling us ever since we lived in caves.

So the answer is - nothing gives me my nationality and my nationality doesn't define me or anyone else, unless it's someone who has so little, they need a locality, religion or even a favourite sports team to give them some pathetic sense of worth and belonging. After all, being a part of a group is much easier than being an individual.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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24-04-2013, 05:43 AM
RE: Nationality
Both church and state are methods of forming boundaries ... in-group mentality, as Vera points out.

Given, though, that we need to form principles/values and then policies/laws in order to define 'harmony' and manage our societies, what do you suggest?

We are a long way off a Star Trekian federation but we do have some internationally agreed laws and international standards (e.g. ISO).

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24-04-2013, 05:49 AM
RE: Nationality
(24-04-2013 05:43 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Given, though, that we need to form principles/values and then policies/laws in order to define 'harmony' and manage our societies, what do you suggest?

We are a long way off a Star Trekian federation but we do have some internationally agreed laws and international standards (e.g. ISO).

Pretty much the only reason why we still need "countries". As you say, we're still a long way off a whatever federation that is (yeah, never did watch Star Trek.... Okay, take a moment, breathe deeply... Everyone over their shock? Good.) and thus we're saddled with "countries" and that's mostly okay.

What bugs me to no end, is looking at them as anything more than a system that allows the society we have today to function. Because this is all countries are - a tool, a means to an end. They have everything to do with helping society work more or less properly, and nothing (or at least they should have nothing to do) with the individual as such.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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24-04-2013, 05:54 AM
RE: Nationality
(24-04-2013 05:49 AM)Vera Wrote:  ...
never did watch Star Trek....

You are not alone. I watched some of the first series only.

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24-04-2013, 07:16 AM
RE: Nationality
Nationality just seems like an outdated reason to give someone to not feel bad about killing others. "Who cares, they're not with us"! Sure the scientist most responsible for putting a man on the moon should be proud, but HE did it, not the U.S. per say. Though, I guess, he could say, "I couldn't have done this without the help of the U.S.", since they paid for it. I could be proud to be an "American" if I knew tax dollars were being spent toward more "giant leaps for mankind". I've seen precious few of those in my lifetime.
But,....cannn I still....make jokes? I've heard that if you cut off a Frenchman's legs, and fry them up in a skillet, it's considered a delicacy in some places Wink *ribbit*
I won't joke anymore Sad

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24-04-2013, 09:42 AM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2013 09:45 AM by Ghost.)
RE: Nationality
Hey, Crusher.

I really liked that episode of Bugs Bunny you did.





Quote:What gives us a nationality, is it just the paper in our back pocket that says we're American, Belgian, British, Turkish, etc. or is there something more like behaviour, looks, religion, birthplace, property, money, power.

Nationality really developed in the 19th century as a result of the industrial revolution.

Nationhood and the fiction of race typically go hand in hand. That's why nationalism first emerged coupled with the idea of the nation state. It was easy to imagine all English as one people because they were all white and spoke the same language. In the 19th century, there were roughly 300 individual sovereign entities that spoke German. They were called the Germanies. Then Bismarck comes along and he's all like, hey maaaan, we're all one people, and poof, you get Germany, the nation state.

Because of migration, there are few pure nation states left in the world. North Korea is probably the purest. We see in Europre, a violent conflict as the old idea of the nation state crumbles under the weight of foreign immigration out of economic necessity. There are far right parties in pretty much every traditional European nation state as a direct result of this. French Quebeckers have been trying to create a nation state for the Quebecois people since the 70s. My analysis is that they missed the boat on that one, and that the idea is a relic of the nation states that founded Canada.

So to be more direct, it used to be that your race + your language + your cultural beliefs + where you were born determined which nation you belonged to. Today, the idea of nationhood is slightly different. If you are born in a country, raised in that country and swear some level of allegiance to that country, you're pretty much a part of that nation. But it's far more loosey goosey now.

Quote:I'm a belgian, I could go to Turkey and become a Turk but if I don't feel like one should I consider myself one? Should others see me as a Turk? In the same way if a Turk comes to Belgium and gets the Belgian nationality but doesn't feel like one, should he be seen as a Belgian.

If you went to Turkey to live and never enmeshed yourself in Turkish society, then you'd just be a Belgian ex-pat. You really have to "when in Rome" in your new home to consider yourself and be considered a part of that nation. Nationalists don't much care for divided loyalties. That being said, there's every chance that you will never be accepted as a Turk. I was born and raised in Quebec and many nationalists refuse abjectly to consider me a Quebecker because I'm not "pure laine" (pure wool) enough.

In terms of Muslims coming to nation states, you don't have to look much Further than your neighbour France to see how they are treated by nationalists. Not everyone. Just nationalists.

Nationalism is on the decline everywhere and is being replaced by what I refer to as contractualism. You are who you work for. Your employment by Coke or Google or Haliburton is far more important than where you're from or even what your mother tongue was. Where you live is dictated by the needs of the corporation. Haliburton has to relocate to Dubai? See ya later Texas!

The reason this is happening is because of two things.

1 - The globalisation movement finds political borders annoying and is actively eroding the importance of the state; both in terms of borders and in terms of their ability to govern trade and impose restrictions. The corporation is wresting the title of dominant social institution from the state.

2 - Birth rates have gone negative in almost every single industrialised country, meaning that immigration is the only way to keep the population growing. If the population itself goes into decline, the economy will collapse. So immigration is an economic necessity. So the nation states, as I mentioned above, are grappling with the fact that they have to dilute the idea of the nation in order to survive. And nationalism will die because those on the right, those decrying the invasion of immigrants (whether in France or Arizona), are going to lose the argument because the economic reality demands them.

Quote:Every country has a stereotypical behaviour, an exaggeration of the general behaviour of the population and most countries also have multiple stereotypical views on how they think foreigners behave depending on where the foreigner comes from. There will always be exceptions to the rule but a native who doesn't have any stereotypical behaviour will still know and understand it. A Belgian loves beer and chocolate, is always grumpy and hates the dutch, french, Germans and other Belgians. If someone would tell me that's what a Belgian is I would say that's pretty accurate even though it's an exaggeration and I don't like beer. If a person comes to me, says he's a Belgian officially but he doesn't feel like one, doesn't know of any stereotypical behaviour let alone act like it but does share some stereotypical Turkish behaviour should I still consider him a Belgian. Let's say I go to the US, become a US citizen but don't really feel like one, I don't know the stereotype and I still act the way like I did in Belgium. I wouldn't be surprised if others didn't see me as an American.

National identities are funny.

In the old nation states, they just kind of inherited them. When Belgium adopted nationalism, the Belgians were already there.

In the US, they employ the melting pot. Whatever you were, you'll add your cultural distinctiveness to the us and become part of the homogeneity that is the US national identity and become a fervent patriot. We are the Borg. Resistance if futile.

Canada is unique because Canada employs multiculturalism. In Canada it is said, wherever you came from, remain that way when you get here. We got room for everyone. The Canadian national identity is probably the flimsiest one in the world. Our art is replete with films and novels and documentaries trying to understand what it is, or trying to create and impose one; an endeavour that usually fails. In Canada, we say that Canadians are united by and most proud of two things: health care and not being Americans. Throw hockey on the pile for good measure.

Quote:I'm not trying to approve racism but I recently read a report about how most Muslim teenagers don't feel Belgian and I couldn't help but think it's because they don't behave like one. I assume most people don't see a nationality purely as what's written on your file, they see nationality as a behaviour and when someone doesn't feel like a certain nationality let alone act like one, how are others supposed to see him that way? All too often the racism card is pulled when discussing about nationality but the way you look is far less important than the way you behave and not seeing someone as a certain nationality isn't bad, it's just that the people are protective towards their culture and their nationality and if a foreigner comes and takes the nationality but don't like it then it could create conflict. I know quite a lot of people who look differently but people consider them as a Belgian.

It also has to do with the Belgians telling them, "Hey, asshole! You're not a fucking Belgian! Go home, ya fucking dirty sand nigger!"

I outlined above why foreigners are not well received by nationalists. There is a cost however. Especially with youth.

In terms of developmental psychology, adolescents are trying to develop their own personal identity (stage five in Erikson's psychosocial development, identity vs role confusion). When they are told that they are not something, then they will try to figure out what they are or drift aimlessly (Marcia's ego-identity status). It is in adolescence that humans are most prone to manipulation. There is a reason we send kids to war.

Throw on top of this, the Zed Effect. When people perceive a threat to their identity, then they become hyper-versions of that identity. That is to say, the more you attack Islam, the more Islamic fundamentalism there will be. The more you attack the US, the more there will be hyper-patriotism. The Zed Effect is a fear reaction intended to mobilise the troops to circle the wagons and protect their identity.

So when people blame Muslim youth for falling into extremism, I laugh the laugh of a sad man who sees idiocy in action. Fundamentalists are only fundamentalists because we make them so.

That's right. I fucking said it!

So yeah, teens who are not made to feel welcome have little incentive to play Belgium's reindeer games.

By the way, discriminating against people for not being your nationality or refusing to adopt your nationality is pretty much the definition of racism.

It should be pointed out that the N in NSDAP stood for NATIONALIST. The German people felt that their culture was under attack; because of the Treaty of Versailles, because they were surrounded by decadent cultures and because they were infested by Jews. They had to protect their culture! "We have to protect the purity of our X," is the battle cry of the nationalist and the racist.

Quote:That's the way I see it at least, doesn't really affect the way I treat anyone, everyone is equal for me and nationality isn't even that big of a deal here so I don't really care. But that's my point of view and I might wrong, so what gives us the nationality?

I think I answered this already, but I'll leave you with this video. It's excellent.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-04-2013, 12:26 PM
RE: Nationality
I am reminded of this...





Therein, Bologna main square was quartered by:
Emperor
Church
Town Council
Merchants.

The fall of the Roman Empire left the door open for the catholic church to supply the cohesion for society.

The printing press and the Reformation started the long slow demise of religion and enabled the rise of the nation states.

With globalisation we see the dominance of the merchant class.

Sitting in the background of all of this have been the bureaucrats (lawyers, accountants etc.)

Their turn will come.

Kafkaesque one feels.

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24-04-2013, 12:37 PM
RE: Nationality
(24-04-2013 05:29 AM)Vera Wrote:  If I had to choose between what I want to die first - religion or the most arbitrary division of them all, that into "nations" - I'd be hard-pressed to choose. Both are malignant tumours, that have been crippling us ever since we lived in caves.

So the answer is - nothing gives me my nationality and my nationality doesn't define me or anyone else, unless it's someone who has so little, they need a locality, religion or even a favourite sports team to give them some pathetic sense of worth and belonging. After all, being a part of a group is much easier than being an individual.

I completely agree with you up until the point you said nationality has no definitive power. To a degree, it does. Countries have history, they make policies that generally, in the West, represent what that specific group of people want. I agree that nationality is definitely detrimental, but it did and still does have a purpose, just like religion.

[Image: Untitled-2.png?_subject_uid=322943157&am...Y7Dzq4lJog]
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24-04-2013, 12:45 PM
RE: Nationality
(24-04-2013 12:37 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  I completely agree with you up until the point you said nationality has no definitive power. To a degree, it does. Countries have history, they make policies that generally, in the West, represent what that specific group of people want. I agree that nationality is definitely detrimental, but it did and still does have a purpose, just like religion.

I never said it doesn't serve a purpose. In today's world. Hopefully, this will change in the future.

As for nationality defining an individual - I stand by my words. It only defines you if that's all you have. Does the place you're born in influence you? Yes, to a lesser or greater extent (esp. if you never do leave this place for more than a couple of weeks and only associate with people from the exact same background). Does it make you who you are? Not in the least bit. I am not my tribe and my tribe isn't me.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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