What is a nation? This was the topic that we were addressing today in our history seminar. To me it seems as if the nation is almost a made up concept; scholars throughout the years have tried to come up with criteria and definitions, and yet can't seem to agree. This made-up concept is sold to those who live within it like soap powder adverts (and where have I heard that before?). It's a strange idea, if I tried to tell you what it was to British - what makes all 63 million of us who lives within these geographical boundaries, "British", I'd truly struggle. Is there anything that links all of us together, other than being British? And there we have a cyclic, chicken and egg situation. Which came first?
It's a confusing and almost laughable concept when you truly think about it. We are a strange and warped species. Over the years hundreds of millions of men have died fighting for their "nation" and yet, whilst each of them have their personal ideas, no one had a definition of what that meant. We're prepared to send and be sent, to die for something that nobody can define. It seems to be a habit of ours, not only do it with the construct of nations, we also do it with the construct of religion. And I'm not talking about faith here; have faith if you want to. I am merely questioning the insanity of conflict over something which we have constructed.
We seem to be good at attempting to defend, and definitely die for, imaginary concepts and constructs.
Just a thought,