Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nation vs. State

Dear George,

Sit up and pay attention Big Guy, I’m going to get a little thick here.

Any given country is made up of two components: the nation and the state. Many assume they are one in the same, but they are not. In truth, they are mutually exclusive.

“Nation” is an umbrella term that refers to the groups and subgroups that make up a country’s culture. The diverse values of these groups constitute the warp and woof of the nation. The nation is chaotic, disorderly and lacks efficiency, for it requires constant bickering to achieve the compromise and conciliation that are needed for effective action. In general, the outcome of this bickering is an obsession with the common welfare.

The “state”, on the other hand, seeks power and authority that it may bring order and stability to the nation and impose upon the nation its own values of conquest and submission.

Traditionally, Constitutions and common law are in place to protect the nation from the state.

The state achieves supremacy over the nation by co-opting the nation’s values, corrupting them, and using them not as instruments of welfare and peace but as justifications for oppression. It recasts the nation’s values and reduces them to wedge issues that are propagandized to produce anger and hate.

The nation thrives on community; the state thrives on fragmentation.

The nation represents the chaos of a life force that maintains itself in a constant state of tense equilibrium, while the state ultimately expresses itself as death by sacrificing of the flower of its youth in constant wars that advance its interests. The end is always the same: the enhancement of the state’s power. There is no other rationale for its existence.

To thrive, the state must twist Christianity, with its message of love and universal brotherhood, into a message of God’s wrath and retribution that turns the state into a wagon train drawn into a circle and surrounded by a dark, alien force. Church and state work hand in hand to undercut freedom to protect “people of faith” from the corruption of a secular humanism that believes in the common good.

The state achieves its ends with a rhetorical arsenal that includes “inversion of language, verbal inflation, libel, rumor, euphemism and coded phrases, rhetorical wantonness, redundancy, hyperbole, such profusion in speech and sound that comprehension is impaired, nonsense, sophistry, jargon, noise, incoherence, a chaos of voices and tongues, falsehood, blasphemy.”[1]

To succeed, there must be a disconnect between the state and its citizens. These citizens must be reduced to a passive horde so wrapped up in itself that it could care less about the antics of the state.

A good citizen is one who mistakes the fiery sword of conquest for the shepherd’s crook.

Your admire,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Stringfellow, William. An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.