Cultures, values, nations and good reasons to believe in the EU

Dear Gideon,

There’s one thing here which is that cultures and values are intimately related. Some mistake the nation for a timeless construct of ethnic homogenity this while most nations and their ethnic makeup now in existence are less than a century old and the modern concept of nationality arguably was something for quite a large part constructed by the Prussian state in the 18th & 19th century as a way to mobilize peasants for war. For this to be constructed first they had to undo and corrupt the structures of religion which taught that the fellow in the other nation was a Christian brother or a sister and not an enemy to be slaughtered on the altar of the nation. The modern nation is a remarkable feat of Prussian engineering that saw encores allover the world.

Then there are those who are post-nationalist who can’t see that people who derive identity from their family, street, club, neighborhood, city, province and supranational union also derive identity from their nation and that that identity is one of the strongest ones in terms of the palpable security its cultural set of values provide. Many things born out of cold calculated propagenda and the spilling of blood can become worthwhile over time but typically you have to wait for the countermovement to really achieve crystalline value. After all, nationalism begat WW1 and WW2 but those wars begat the EU which is solidifying well especially among young generations as a European identity respectful enough of the national one. Although many nationalists refuse to see the welcome of and respect for the EU to its member nations.

It remains to be seen to what degree Trump betrays our alliances, but there are some signs that the deep state now in Republican hands knows how to make some amends such as the delivery of javelin anti tank weapons to Ukraine, something that Obama refused to do but effecively seems to have stopped the Russian advance (which is contingent upon there being not too many dead Russians). Equally so the defeat of a sizeable force of Russian mercenaries at the hands of US Special forces in Syria sent an unmistakable message to the Kremlin that the clown in chief can be goaded into setting lines that turn very red only after you trip them. Then there’s the real effect on European defense budgets and that the need to grow these and a cogent European force is not just a result of what Trump says but of clear signs over the past decades that US commitment to European security cannot continue the way it has been. It’s ridiculous anyway that Russia, a nation with an economy half the size of France and smaller than that of New York (state) can scare the Europeans witless. Both in fact ridiculous and a testament to the mastery of propaganda that the Kremlin has. It’s too easy to play us, and time and again we are played, we get angry, and then we do far too little, giving the Kremlin all reasons to continue. Now Trump is chatting to Putin without anyone present and nobody, not even Trump’s most moustachioed advisors, have any idea what Trump is up to.

I thought that the script of House of Cards was ridiculous. But reality is so much more outlandish.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/6c9db010-88d1-11e8-b18d-0181731a0340