Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Identity Theft

What would a globe look like without border lines? What would distinguish a Chinese from a Korean, a difference as vast as an American from a South American? Our world, without sovereign states, would become increasingly disorganized and physically and emotionally distraught. It is fair to say that part of our world’s stability, from small neighborhoods to whole countries is due to nationally functioning laws. Without this stability, a term called “disequilibrium” would surface and begin to overturn our societies (Nation State 6). Disequilibrium, or the state in which economics, politics and social structures are not balanced would become widespread. Not only would we see it in political senses, but in emotional aspects as well.

One of the first major problems that come to mind would be our reversion back to the times of empires and nomadic tribes. Without distinct borders and set governments, people around the world would be discontent. A need for “the better” would be prevalent as bands of people continuously travel in circles in search of a better home. Families would be uprooted on a weekly basis in order to find a more profitable area to settle. This turmoil would eventually leave an imprint on the children. One of the primary reasons why children are emotionally stable is that they have a consistent lifestyle, through friends, family and the neighborhood where they live. If there is a constant lack of these aspects, kids would become emotionally wrought. For example, families that are constantly on the move in search of a better place to live typically have children who are socially isolated and upset. When these “new kids” join our grade, we tend to perceive them as outsiders who we don’t wish to assimilate with. Now imagine that on a larger level. Imagine the social problems this would cause among various age groups around the world. The absence of rooted lives in set nations would result in drastic emotional problems.

Furthermore, sovereign nations pride themselves on being sound nations with unique governments, principles and ethics. For instance, the French pride themselves on their wine and cheese while the British have their queen. On a small scale these traits may seem rudimentary. Yet, as these unique qualities pile up, we begin to see the formation of distinctive nations. Sovereign states provide an identity and a home for those who settle there. As mentioned in Foer’s How Soccer Explains the World, there is a tradition that “Humans crave identifying with a group” (Foer 198). Whether this group is through a sport or a religion, it is an inherent quality to assimilate with a larger group of people. We crave to be around others that are similar to us and feel conflicting emotions when we are not. In this sense, by living in a world devoid of set countries, we are living in a homogeneous environment. We need to be together and feel apart of something greater than ourselves. Because of this, we have nation-states.

1 comment:

  1. I agree partially with what you said about indentity. People crave identifying with a group, fitting in, and feeling part of something. However, I disagree that People's desire of identity is the sole reason why we have nation-states. As many other students mentioned, there are cases that different tribes are put together or separated unwillingly by the western force into nation-states. Do people come to the US in search for some sort of identity? Like you said, people also can be identified with a sport or a religion, then why does it have be nation-states? Do we have to have 'nation-states' to have identity? Why not any other form?