Entries tagged with “Nations”.


  •  Wars are much more expensive than expected (Rumsfield Principle)
  • Wars will take much longer than expected (McClellan Principle)
  • If you remove a despot, there WILL be a civil war
  • Cleaning the mess will take much longer, and cost much more than the war.
  • After you leave, there will be many people who hate you.
  • The folks you put in power will be corrupt and/or inept.
  • The war will empower and enrich profiteers
  • When a despot is replaced with democracy, people you don’t like will attain power.
  • Things will not go as planned.
  • Don’t make war in Afghanistan, it will be trouble.

I have written on the nature of nations in a previous post. True nations are brought together by a commonality of the peoples’ goals. The United States began as a white protestant nation of European exiles. From the beginning they had their differences, but due to the work of an extraordinary group of founders they practiced the art of compromise.

The country went through a civil war when the economic interests of the North and the South diverged. It was held together through the force of arms and eventually the wounds were healed by the export of the North’s industry to the South.

Immigration has caused alarm over waves of immigration, the Irish, the Chinese, the Jews, the Poles, the Italians, East Asians and more. Lady Liberty’s open arms welcomed many to the shores of the United States. Each has brought their own culture and religions, but each came in search of the “American Dream” and found assimulation into the secular culture of the United States is the key to reaching that dream. (more…)

We have countries that are truly nations. Sweden, Norway and Finland are stereotypical examples, in that they are geographically integral areas that have a people who are linguistically, culturally, religiously and ethically similar. These nations also have sovereignty: the power of self rule.

Even these examples include interesting variations – For example post world-war two Finland needed to maintain its soverignty in the face of an overpowering neighbor: the Soviet Union. The Finnish President Paasikivi had to make a Faustian bargain. It’s foreign policies were constrained under a restrictive agreement with the Soviet Union that remained in place until the fall of communism. Finland, under this bargain was able to maintain neutrality, peace and control its own affairs at the price of standing by while much of eastern Europe was swallowed whole. In spite of Finlandization no one would identify Finland as anything other than a nation.

Empires are by definition not Nations. They are an amalgam of diverse cultures brought together for economic power, usually by force.

The British Empire brought together a wide variety of cultures through force for economic development and power. The mixture was untenable in the long term because there was too small a common shared interest. For example: Although many Indians learned English, most were Hindu or Muslim, and shared little of their worldview with the imperial Christian British.