But whether visible or otherwise, these imaginary lines form the very real borders of very real nations. And being born on one side or the other of these lines can have a dramatic effect on the quality of life one is able to experience.
what are these things we call nations?
And what does it mean to be a certain nationality?
What is the significance of nationalism, that it trumps all other categories (race, ethnicity, religion, class, age, etc.) ?
As if, American or not, there must be an affiliation to another nation found beneath the American.
What is it that joins them together into a single community that the both of them would call ‘the USA’?
What is a nation?
In his book, Imagined Communities (1983), provides a masterful analysis of the causal factors related to the origination and spread of nationalism. Anderson considers the effects of imperialism and print-capitalism on the development of nationalism,and also maintains that the Machiavellian nationalism employed by imperial powers was merely one of many factors contributing to the spread of nationalism.
As a result, the reality of the nation has now spread around the planet; and every person born is born, not just into this shared planet, but into a discrete nation.
So then what does it mean that over the passed three hundred years we have covered the globe in lines that distinguish individual nations?
What is the nature of this relatively new societal invention?
From where does the nation derive its credibility?
Is it a better world thanks to the development of nations and boundaries?
Is this to be considered ‘progress’?
Or did the spread of nationalism serve only the strong nations while leaving the 3rd world equivalents to struggle as neglected antiques of decolonization?
What is a nation?
What does it mean to be a citizen of a nation?
Why do some nations have civil wars and then re-form, while others separate into new nations?
And what is a new nation, especially when compared to an old nation?
Are nations ageless?