Saturday, 04 June 2011 09:28
Anthropomorphizing the Nation State
One of the defining characteristics of modern Western culture is individuality. Most people in the West take it for granted that they have the right to free expression and personality development. However, in practice, this right is not open ended. It is fine if you want to express yourself as a musician, a painter, a film maker, a writer, etc. Equally legitimate is your desire to express yourself as an engineer, accountant, bus driver or auto mechanic. Things become very different if you have a great desire to express yourself as a thief or want to develop your personality as a serial killer. There are rules, in the form of laws, against these latter avenues of expression. If you choose to ignore these laws there are police forces and courts systems that will seek to force you to do so. Another way of saying this is that within states or nations, people usually must confine their right of self expression to activities that do not impinge in a harmful or unwanted way on others in the community.