« “if we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.” | Main | the left abhors the resurgence of nationalism, because it means the ascendancy of nation. »

October 23, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I am not only a believer in nationalism, I am a believer in the city-state. Civilization throve in Athens which wasn't even a country but a city and had a population of about 35,000 citizens [males above the age of 18 -- no women, slaves or foreigners] at its height under Pericles. In the Italian renaisance, such glories in painting and the arts were reached by the various dukes wanting to make their palaces more glorious than those of their rivals. Also more people are needed to fill jobs --- each duchy must have its poet, its court painter, its master of ceremonies, its renowned schools and distinguished scientific inventors, its generals, its cooks creating an individual cuisine --- in short, nearly all the people are are needed and develop a love for their territory. Instead of one supreme court for a huge land, each duchy would have its own and decide its cases according to its laws. Of course, because of all the rivalry, wars were often fought amongst the duchies, but even this was creative. As Burghardt said at the beginning of his masterpiece "The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy", Switzerland had democracy and peace for centuries and all they produced was thr cuckoo clock. Italy had unrest and wars and a lot of fiery creative men and some greedy despots and it produced the greatest art and philosophy of the modern European world.
Many people in Italy today bemoan Garibaldi, who united Italy. I lived in Milano for six years, and the Milanese say Italy stops at Florence; below Florence is Africa. And the industrial north is always having to pay for the rural south. Therefore there's a political party wanting the north to secede.
The population of entire England in Shakespeare's day was less than three million. This means every person is needed and has a place and can fill a necessary role. When you have huge cities and huge countries, the individual loses his importance. And democracy is a joke in huge countries. In America two guys are singled out to choose from, the people don't know anything about them [as in Obama's case] and you're supposed to vote for one or the other.
It's a joke, and where do you have elections that are not rigged? Nowhere.
Real democracy only happened in two places: Athens, which being a city, everyone knew everyone, his family, his work, his opinions, and a real choice could be made. The only other place where perfect democracy could be practiced was in new England town houses, where the citiens would gather and one farmer would stand up and give his reasons for a pending motion, then another would stand up and take another view, stating his reasons against this proposition. Then there would be general discussion and then a vote, then and there. And the majority decision was accepted. Democracy can be practiced in the towns and states better than in the
huge country. I sometimes wonder if America is not too big to govern.
Anyway, I think Europe would be better off divided into its original countries --- let Italy be Italian, let France be French and let Germany be German. That some people sit in Brussels and tell all the people of these different lands what to do is irritating.
I'm for city-states.

john jay


i believe in nations as well, because the things that make them functional, ... , such as ethnic affinity, common values, heritage, culture and the like predate the state and are not artifical creations of the state.

the things that make states viable over the long term, such as respect for the rule of law and a very firm adherence to the concepts of civic and private virtue, do not violate the above, compliment them, and are in some sense derivitive of them.

so i agree with you, ... , almost. laughing.

i, too, like the craft and the production of things of value and utility.

but, i work the other side of the city limits from you.

i am a country kid, and i believe in country kid values.

in the context of american politics, i am what would be called a jeffersonian, a person who believes in small town and rural settings, the virtues common to such places (and, yes, the vices as well, laughing), and the emphasis upon small enterprise and craft.

i suppose i elevate above all else, trades and crafts, and see art in them, and most assuredly, aesthetic.

i love the small market place, and i love the trade and music fair. and, to this day, one of my favorite things is the quilt exhibits at any decent county or state fair.

to me, this embodies private virtue and civic virtue. and, the country has a pace of life very much connected to nature, and to the pastoral. and, you are very close to the seasons in the country.

our views are very much the same. i just work the other side of the city limits.

john jay


I have been following Elliott Waves and social mood for a while now, and this reminds me of a prediction that came from there - what the bull market built up (the European Union), the bear market will tear down. As Elliott Wave has identified a very large degree bear market (the biggest in 300 years) in progress, we can expect to see conglomerations of nation states such as the European Union fracture and break back up into its component states. EW also mentions that the large-degree bear market underway has significance to U.S. survival. Presumably by U.S. survival they mean a single country with its traditions of liberty intact. We can easily see how the latter part of that is very much in question today. And if tyrannical measures such as the ones Obama wants do get implemented, we may see the United States break up with individual states citing those tyrannical measures as a violation of the compact by which they joined the union. With the southern states where the traditions of liberty remain the strongest also now having most of the country's manufacturing capacity, if they secede again, the de-industrialized north will have a hard time stopping them or trying to enforce their will over the south this time.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)