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Archive for June 13th, 2019

What are nations but entities determined in terms of geography? Julius Caesar in his Gallic Wars writes of a tribe named Helvetii of Celtic origin occupying the Swiss plateau. In the first century BC they found the Alps on their back did not allow them any room for expansion. So they fanned out into other areas towards Germany on the east and towards the west. It set the whole region and beyond with alarm. So the notion of geographical confines are determined by people whose idea of increase can only be at the expense of decrease to great many in their path. Nations as such are paper tigers given claw by people. Borders of people with peaceful intentions are no threat to their neighbors similarly given to peace. Only when nations are weighted disproportionately and people are given to the notion of might is right the problem of friction arises. In short where all things being equal, peaceful disposition of people itself is a guarantee for each nation to live in amity.

Unless individual know what it is to have peace and actively pursue to possess it as quality above all, -such notions of national identity are vague, he merely toys with a pipe dream. He who places his life on peace as essential must bet on his life that it is an inalienable right in every other. So the golden rule of doing unto others what he would wish others do unto him must be his credo. No question of nationalism can be discussed intelligently without holding this principle as axiomatic. We can see anti-Semitism in Post-WWI was contributed by endemic practice of Jew-baiting from Portugal to the outer reaches of Russia. Prejudices of individual know no boundaries so rulers of petty kingdoms and principalities of Medieval Europe cashed in on it as a matter of policy. When Papal authority instituted Inquisition it gave it a cover that never weathered the passage of time. Prejudice of man was all too potent a cauldron into which the Church’s moral authority simply evaporated,

Until the 15th century, some Jews occupied prominent places in Portuguese political and economic life. But Manuel I in 1496 showed his hand. The first decree of expulsion followed with forced conversion in 1497: He finally let them leave after the Lisbon massacre of 1506. Meantime he had swindled all their wealth legally. What the Jews faced in other kingdoms was more or less the same. In France l’affaire Dreyfus was a fever breaking out in their national life. In Germany smarting under the ignominious defeat of the war and Red scare the private fears of the kleine burgher played into the hands of Hitler and it was a two way street. This prejudice of every man became the mortar for state policy; and history of centuries old misinformation peddled from Portugal to Siberia had coalesced into something palpable that must be got rid of and it became very German thing! Within 13 years the misbegotten Nazism what one would call banality of evil would be finished. Like the daesh too costly to put up the nuts and bolts of actual edifice but not so easy to keep its dust from getting into the eye. Hitler and his 1000-year Reich is gone but its silly ideology  is found still raising the stock of white supremacists in USA what shall we conclude?  National identity is a lie that knows no boundaries. If anti-Semitism works name your prejudice and it shall fit every poltroon who is pushed into the highest office by every fair and foul means. His private vices shall become the national tragedy.  This is what happens when people are deprived of a level playing field, and no access to education healthcare and support for the vulnerable.

Benny

 

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