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What is a Nation? Show more Show less

Are nations ancient or modern? Are they natural or artificial? Are they a tool of liberation or coercion? Despite many predicting globalisation would make them obsolete, nations are now back in fashion in a world where leaders tout America First, the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese People, and Hindutva. Understanding the nation now seems more important than ever.

Nations mean coercion Show more Show less

Nations are a tool for elites to control the population.
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All states are tools of coercion

Nations are just another form of state and states are coercive.
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Context

Anarchists and hardcore libertarians reject all states as tools of coercion that limit individual liberty. Nations are just another form of the state.

The Argument

All states are coercive and anti-democratic even if they claim to be democracies. Anything that is imposed on someone that they haven't personally agreed to is an infringement on their liberty. Most people never vote or consent to the vast majority of laws they are subject to. If they try to object they face state coercion in the form of the police, prison, or even the army. As nations are just another form of state they are inherently coercive.

Counter arguments

Even if you disagree with some laws you have a duty to obey them as you benefit from the system as a whole. As long as you participate in and benefit from the system, you are giving passive consent to be governed. In proper democracies, people do give consent to their government and its laws by voting and choosing who will make and administer the laws. Even if people don't vote, they give consent passively by living within the society and enjoying its many advantages.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Anything imposed on someone they didn't actively agree to is coercive. [P2] All states imposed laws on citizens they never personally agreed to. [P3] Therefore all states are coercive. [P4] All nations are states.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] People benefit from being part of the state; it is not simple coercion. [Rejecting P2] People do consent, either passively or actively, to the laws of society in democracies.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

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    This page was last edited on Friday, 31 Jan 2020 at 16:57 UTC