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Homogeneity theory of nation formation


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Petrushka.googol;

 

Please consider my following thoughts.

 

Nations are created around ideas.

 

There must be common grounds and homogeneity among peoples that cause the building of nations.

 

Homogeneity is essentially of :

 

1) Language

2) Race

3) Religion

4) Political philosophy

 

Some or all of these factors contribute to development of nations.

 

Please opine.

 

 

I agree with you. All of the above contribute to a forming of nations, but I think that you have missed one very important aspect. Number 5 should be the Common Enemy, which is another reason that often causes the forming of a nation.

 

But, in order to have a common enemy, the people must have a commonality which can be identified to divide them from the common enemy. This is where the four things that you have listed come into play.

 

It is unfortunate that you chose the word, Homogeneity, to explain your theory. I looked it up because I did not know the meaning and found that it can be interpreted as similar, same, or a blending of other things. People seem to be using it in all three different ways in this thread, so an interpretation of what you mean by the word may be helpful.

 

 

 

Delta1212;

 

Please consider:

 

Can a country incorporate more than one nation?

 

We have recognized American Indian tribes and American Indian nations within the United States, so I think the answer to your question must be yes.

 

 

 

Swansont;

 

Please consider.

 

A lot of cases of tribes, you were somehow related to everyone else. But nations are bigger, and that's one of the problems — the member tribes carry with them the grudges of the past.

 

But if nations were homogeneous in this way, we wouldn't observe cases of "ethnic cleansing". We do, so the premise is wrong.

 

Actually, 'ethnic cleansing' proves that the original premise is right -- not wrong. Building a nation is not something that happens with a declaration, it is an ongoing activity and is more fluid than static. Ethnic cleansing is the desire to remove those who speak a different language, are a different race, have a different religion, or a different political philosophy.

 

 

Strange;

 

Please consider.

 

I was in Italy once with an Italian friend from another part of the country. The locals asked him what country he was from.

 

The idea of a national language is quite a modern one. It probably followed the invention of printing.

 

I agree with you here. On the other hand, people must have had some way to communicate in order to join together to become a new culture or society.

 

Also it is worth noting that they assumed that another language meant another country.

 

Gee

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Actually, 'ethnic cleansing' proves that the original premise is right -- not wrong. Building a nation is not something that happens with a declaration, it is an ongoing activity and is more fluid than static. Ethnic cleansing is the desire to remove those who speak a different language, are a different race, have a different religion, or a different political philosophy.

 

No, it is not. If the ethnic cleansing is taking place, it is after the nation has formed, so It is not evidence of homogeneity for formation.

 

More likely it is an example of one group in the nation wielding and trying to consolidate power

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Petrushka.googol;

 

Please consider my following thoughts.

 

 

I agree with you. All of the above contribute to a forming of nations, but I think that you have missed one very important aspect. Number 5 should be the Common Enemy, which is another reason that often causes the forming of a nation.

 

But, in order to have a common enemy, the people must have a commonality which can be identified to divide them from the common enemy. This is where the four things that you have listed come into play.

 

It is unfortunate that you chose the word, Homogeneity, to explain your theory. I looked it up because I did not know the meaning and found that it can be interpreted as similar, same, or a blending of other things. People seem to be using it in all three different ways in this thread, so an interpretation of what you mean by the word may be helpful.

 

 

 

 

The notion of "Common enemy" is a subtle expression of political philosophy. (point 4) :blink:

Edited by petrushka.googol
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Homogeneity is essentially of :

1) Language : Germany / England etc

2) Race : Arab countries / China

3) Religion : Jewish state of Israel / Islamic republic of Iran

4) Political philosophy : Cuba / North Korea

These are a few examples which support the hypothesis.

 

 

Perhaps homogeneity is not the correct term as applied to this hypothesis. These are examples of universality... not genetics

 

For example, a person needing a transplant or skin graft. Language, religion and political philosophy would be irrelevant where it comes to tissue compatibility. Race may or may not necessarily apply in every case.

 

Likewise, interactions with other beings is normal in any society. Pets, livestock, agriculture, medicine, ecology are but a few examples of social xenogeneic behavior.

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Swansont;

 

Hi.

 

No, it is not. If the ethnic cleansing is taking place, it is after the nation has formed, so It is not evidence of homogeneity for formation.

More likely it is an example of one group in the nation wielding and trying to consolidate power

 

I take your point and suspect that in many cases this is true.

 

I don't study a lot of history, so I am not well versed in this subject, but when I made that comment, I was thinking about what used to be called Yugoslavia, and the problems in Bosnia that occurred not long ago. It seems that the four or five countries that were once considered Yugoslavia have been forming and reforming for most of the 20th century, and doing some ethnic cleansing to boot.

 

I am not sure of the exact nature of all of this forming and reforming, but it seems that the World Wars, I and II, both had some influence in reforming and consolidating these countries. But apparently it didn't work, and the countries have again divided themselves into different nations. This is what I was thinking of when I said that the forming of nations seems more fluid than static.

 

Gee

 

 

Petrushka.googol;

 

Please consider my following thoughts.

 

The notion of "Common enemy" is a subtle expression of political philosophy. (point 4) :blink:

 

Apparently, it was too subtle for dimwitted people like me.

 

Statistically significant numbers count towards any hypotheses. If 1% of the subjects don't conform to the standard that is not enough to discredit the theory. The vox populi is the face of the nation.

 

I was very willing to go along with your ideas in the OP, because I believe that the things that you listed do contribute to the forming of nations, but I can not agree that they cause the forming of nations. This is not true, as has been pointed out by many other members in this thread.

 

Your OP is about observations, which is fine, but above you state that it is a theory. It is not. It has no teeth. No cause and effect. Nothing is theorized. It is just simple observation. It would be like saying that green leaves are on trees, but orange leaves are on the ground. What is the theory? Orange is heavier than green, so the leaves fall off the tree?

 

When I offered "Common Enemy", I was offering you a cause. Actually, my post has more theory than your OP.

 

Gee

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When I offered "Common Enemy", I was offering you a cause. Actually, my post has more theory than your OP.

 

The term "common enemy" pretty much implies that you have an disparate (non-homogeneous) group to start with. Otherwise it would just be "enemy". So your putative cause undermines the OP's case (which was pretty fragile to start with).

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I would like to create a control for my theory. Consider a border less world and only 1 nation. Then progressively apply the constraints I have listed to create smaller social networks...viz. nations. :wacko:

 

That wouldn't show anything. Nobody is claiming that nations can't be formed that are comprised of homogeneous populations. That's not what you claimed. It's that they must be formed that way, and all of the examples brought up show that it's not true.

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One should also consider that "Nations" and nationalism is often seen as a relative modern construct (rising around the American and French revolution). If one stretches the meaning into earlier times, things get complicated, but in these cases homogeneity is mostly due to the limited size of the more tribal units that would be considered nations (such as city-states, for example). But with growth, wars etc. these boundaries would blur over time. Then we have nations that were developed based on external constraints (such as colonialism) so where would those fit in?

 

Even in ancient times (where ethnicity apparently was less of an issue as during the era of colonialism, at least according to what written information is available), say, Egypt thinks were already blurry.

 

To the best of my knowledge the early Egyptian Dynasties showed evidence of people indigeneous to the Nile era, tribes that fled from major desertification of the Sahara area and also from the Middle East.

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One should also consider that "Nations" and nationalism is often seen as a relative modern construct (rising around the American and French revolution). If one stretches the meaning into earlier times, things get complicated, but in these cases homogeneity is mostly due to the limited size of the more tribal units that would be considered nations (such as city-states, for example). But with growth, wars etc. these boundaries would blur over time. Then we have nations that were developed based on external constraints (such as colonialism) so where would those fit in?

 

It's because nations are larger entities that I object to the premise.

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I would like to create a control for my theory. Consider a border less world and only 1 nation. Then progressively apply the constraints I have listed to create smaller social networks...viz. nations. :wacko:

 

Firstly, that isn't how nations form; they form by combining a number of heterogeneous groups under one name.

 

Secondly, if you could run such an experiment, it seems likely that final nations would form at a much larger level than homogeneous social groups (which looking around the small town I live in, probably only exist at the level of nuclear family. Anything larger, such as a group of friends in the pub, is generally pretty heterogeneous).

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Strange;

 

Please consider my following thoughts.

 

The term "common enemy" pretty much implies that you have an disparate (non-homogeneous) group to start with. Otherwise it would just be "enemy". So your putative cause undermines the OP's case (which was pretty fragile to start with).

 

I am not sure that it is that simple. In 1776 we declared ourselves free from England, although we were a British colony and most of us were British; then we had a war. Prior to that the English and French fought and allied with different American Indian nations. In 1812 we were again fighting the English, and France was our ally; although, I am not sure if they were actually for us, or if they just wanted to tweak England's nose. (chuckle)

 

So it appears that England was the enemy, but is it? At this time, many of the English still think of America as the "colonies", and many Americans think of England as the mother country. It is also worth noting that our Common Law in the continental United States derives from English Common Law, with the one exception of the State of Louisiana, which derives from French Common Law, so we have a very close connection to England. So who was the enemy?

 

Then consider that 50 years after the War of 1812, we were embroiled in a Civil War where we were our own enemy. This war was to prevent a forming of a new nation, and somewhere around there Texas decided to become its own Republic. Then the Mexican and Spanish influence that spread from Texas to California caused Texas to rethink its position and join the United States. So who was the enemy?

 

It took a hundred years to form the nation that we see today, and during that time there were many enemies from without and from within. It is like that old story about two soldiers meeting: The first soldier stated, "But you are the enemy.", and the second soldier responded, "No. That was last week. This week I am your ally."

 

So what changes a person from ally to enemy? What makes a person friend or foe? At the root of these groupings, we find language, religion, ethnicity, and political philosophy, so I think that the OP has a point.

 

Gee

 

 

ACG52;

 

Please consider my following thoughts.

 

I haven't been following this thread closely (or even loosely) but is there any who claims the United States is either not a nation or is homogeneous?

 

No. But on the other hand, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, every American was brother to every other American. This philosophy was so strong, it even blurred the racial black and white issue, which was probably the root of the cause for the Civil Rights movement 20 years later. (It would be difficult to fight for your country, then be told that you do not have full citizen rights in that country. It would be more difficult to look at your father's medals of honor and think of him as a war hero, then be told that your father was not good enough because of the color of his skin.)

 

There was one exception to this camaraderie, and that was if you looked asian or oriental. It did not matter if you were born in the US, or if your parents and grandparents were born in the US. It also did not matter if you were Japanese, Chinese, or Vietnamese; if you were of asian descent, you were suspect. Many people were put into camps, who did not belong there.

 

When it comes to people, homogeneity can be rather flexible. I suspect that if the Earth was attacked by aliens from another planet, like in the movies, humans would become as homogeneous as the homogenized milk in my refrigerator.

 

Gee

 

 

Petrushka.googol;

 

Please consider my following thoughts and let me know if I am close to understanding you.

 

I would like to create a control for my theory. Consider a border less world and only 1 nation. Then progressively apply the constraints I have listed to create smaller social networks...viz. nations. :wacko:

 

So your theory is about what causes people to group, to identify themselves with others, and eventually create a nation. Yes? We draw borders on our maps and say that these lines delineate nations, but this is not really true. Individual people make up nations, so what causes them to do this?

 

One of the first things that I noted was that there is no topography in your "border less world". Topography has a great deal to do with the grouping of peoples and the forming of nations. An island people would be more isolated, so they would be more homogeneous in their race, religion, language, and philosophical beliefs. But they also tend to develop and nationalize more slowly. People who live along trade routes tend to be less homogeneous, but develop more quickly because of the influence of other religions, philosophies, and races.

 

Then there is the land itself which dictates a style of living, as low lands tend to produce farmers, mountains tend to produce hunters and miners, oceans, seasides, and large rivers tend to produce sailors. The different products produced by these different lands tend to produce trade. This leads to economic problems that tend to produce alliances and wars, which leads to the development of nations. Yet you mentioned none of these things.

 

All of the things you mentioned are individual and psychological reasons for people grouping. So it is my guess that what you are looking for is the psychology of a nation, or the psychological reasons why people group and eventually form nations. Am I close to your thinking on this?

 

Gee

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Gee

 

 

Petrushka.googol;

 

Please consider my following thoughts and let me know if I am close to understanding you.

 

 

So your theory is about what causes people to group, to identify themselves with others, and eventually create a nation. Yes? We draw borders on our maps and say that these lines delineate nations, but this is not really true. Individual people make up nations, so what causes them to do this?

 

One of the first things that I noted was that there is no topography in your "border less world". Topography has a great deal to do with the grouping of peoples and the forming of nations. An island people would be more isolated, so they would be more homogeneous in their race, religion, language, and philosophical beliefs. But they also tend to develop and nationalize more slowly. People who live along trade routes tend to be less homogeneous, but develop more quickly because of the influence of other religions, philosophies, and races.

 

Then there is the land itself which dictates a style of living, as low lands tend to produce farmers, mountains tend to produce hunters and miners, oceans, seasides, and large rivers tend to produce sailors. The different products produced by these different lands tend to produce trade. This leads to economic problems that tend to produce alliances and wars, which leads to the development of nations. Yet you mentioned none of these things.

 

All of the things you mentioned are individual and psychological reasons for people grouping. So it is my guess that what you are looking for is the psychology of a nation, or the psychological reasons why people group and eventually form nations. Am I close to your thinking on this?

 

Gee

 

In a nutshell Yes. >:D

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Strange;

 

Please consider my following thoughts.

 

Thanks for that interesting aside on American history, which nicely confirms the fact that the USA is not, and never has been, homogeneous.

 

No. But on the other hand, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, every American was brother to every other American.

 

Maybe you should ask your optician for glasses with slightly less of a rose tint. :)

 

You may be forgetting all the Japanese American brothers who were put into prison camps. And there was quite a strong anti-war movement before and after Pearl Harbour. I seem to remember reading that the conspiracy theories (that Roosevelt knew about, or even arranged, the attack) started almost immediately - probably more as a way of attacking the President, rather than a credible theory.

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Strange;

 

Hi.

 

Thanks for that interesting aside on American history, which nicely confirms the fact that the USA is not, and never has been, homogeneous

 

You are very welcome.

 

If you check back, I think that you will find that I also had a problem with the word, homogeneous, and asked the Original Poster for clarification of his interpretation of that word. I didn't get it. Consider the following definition that I got off of Google Search: "Homogeneous is a term in physical chemistry and material science that refers to substances and mixtures which are in a single phase. This is in contrast to a substance that is heterogeneous. The definition of homogeneous strongly depends on the context used."

 

Homogeneous is a term that works in specific contexts, and I suspect that those contexts are usually static, or at least stable. Life is never static and rarely stable; so although, some of the other definitions could be applied to life, they would have to be from a specific perspective, and perspective in life is always changing. It could be argued that identical twins are homogeneous, but it could also be argued that they are heterogeneous, depending on what you are looking for.

 

It can be argued that the USA is not homogeneous, but Americans are Americans.

 

Maybe you should ask your optician for glasses with slightly less of a rose tint. :)

 

No, I like the rose tint. It does nice things for brown eyes, and I am a brown-eyed girl. :)

 

You may be forgetting all the Japanese American brothers who were put into prison camps.

 

Or you may have missed this paragraph in my post:

 

"There was one exception to this camaraderie, and that was if you looked asian or oriental. It did not matter if you were born in the US, or if your parents and grandparents were born in the US. It also did not matter if you were Japanese, Chinese, or Vietnamese; if you were of asian descent, you were suspect. Many people were put into camps, who did not belong there."

 

The shock and fear of the Pearl Harbor attack caused a division that had more to do with ethnicity than nationality. Thankfully, we were civilized enough that we only detained most people, instead of resorting to ethnic cleansing.

 

And there was quite a strong anti-war movement before and after Pearl Harbour. I seem to remember reading that the conspiracy theories (that Roosevelt knew about, or even arranged, the attack) started almost immediately - probably more as a way of attacking the President, rather than a credible theory.

 

Maybe so, but the OP did not say anything about people being in agreement. Maybe this is why he chose the word, homogeneity, because it is difficult to find a word that describes what he is trying to relate.

 

Gee

 

 

Petrushka.googol;

 

I have been thinking about the psychology of your idea, and will post when I think I have sorted out my thoughts and have something to offer.

 

Gee

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From my computer's dictionary

- of the same kind; alike:
- consisting of parts all of the same kind

"Americans are Americans" is a tautology. We're also fairly xenophobic, though what's inside the fence and what's outside has changed over time. It used to be "we don't want the Irish"

The thing is, while homogeneity is not part of the nation forming, it seems to be the push of one faction once we'd formed. Other countries, too — once those with that mindset grab power, they strive for less diversity in many attributes

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The definition of homogeneous strongly depends on the context used."

 

In the context of the original post, I took it to mean "the same Language, Race, Religion and Political philosophy." If that is not the case, it would be helpful for the OP to clarify.

 

 

The shock and fear of the Pearl Harbor attack caused a division that had more to do with ethnicity than nationality.

 

Exactly. Nationality has nothing to do with ethnicity (or language or religion or ...)

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Strange;

 

In the context of the original post, I took it to mean "the same Language, Race, Religion and Political philosophy." If that is not the case, it would be helpful for the OP to clarify.

 

Read the OP again. You will find that the only thing that it states that causes the forming of nations is "ideas". Then he states that these ideas are formed around a commonality, which he calls homogeneous. Then he states that "some or all" of the listed examples "contribute" to this commonality -- language, race, religion, or political philosophy -- not and . Nowhere does he state that these things cause the forming of nations; only that they contribute to it, and nowhere does it state that they have to be enmass.

 

He was very careful with his word usage, like any good philosopher. What I think he is looking for is why people group and how they determine who to group with.

 

Gee

 

 

Swansont;

 

From my computer's dictionary

- of the same kind; alike:
- consisting of parts all of the same kind

 

Agreed. But does that mean that they will always be alike? Does it assume a permanent likeness? We are talking about ideas here and people, so it would be a great assumption to assume any permanence. Every person's perspective is uniquely theirs, so there is no real likeness in their thinking, and change is always relevant. On the other hand, we do tend to group around ideas, and sometimes these ideas are lifelong beliefs.

 

If you don't like the word, homogeneity, then suggest another word that would qualify while considering the above. He did ask for opinions.

"Americans are Americans" is a tautology.

 

It is also homogeneous.

We're also fairly xenophobic, though what's inside the fence and what's outside has changed over time. It used to be "we don't want the Irish"

 

Yes. And the fact that we are xenophobic would seem to support the OP's ideas about race and ethnicity. America has been called the great "melting pot" and it is in many ways, but as the Japanese Americans learned after Pearl Harbor, it is not a complete "melting" away of all ethnicity.

 

I am American, born and raised; this is where my home and my heart is; but if America were lost and the Stars and Stripes came down for the last time, where would I go? Probably Canada or Ireland, because that is where my people came from, and that would be my second choice. I would be comfortable with the ethnicity, the language, most religious beliefs, and close enough with the political philosophy, so it would be familiar enough for me to adapt. This would seem to support the OP.

 

The thing is, while homogeneity is not part of the nation forming, it seems to be the push of one faction once we'd formed. Other countries, too — once those with that mindset grab power, they strive for less diversity in many attributes

 

Homogeneity is part of grouping, and grouping ends up making nations.

 

The really odd part of this whole ideas is that I am beginning to suspect that striving for "less diversity" may be what actually causes diversity. If we take people, who have different ideas from ours, and separate them from us, then we are setting the stage for two different political philosophies to evolve, or for two similar, but different, religions to evolve.

 

Consider the OP's ideas about a borderless world. All people who speak the same language and have the same religious and political beliefs. How long would it last? Life is change, so peoples in different areas on the Earth would invent different things, develop different products and procedures, have different experiences that would question their religion, and develop language to support these ever changing ideas. If you add topography to this world so that the people are physically prevented from interbreeding, then race and ethnicity would develop also.

 

Striving for less diversity may be the cause of diversity.

 

Gee

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Homogeneity is part of grouping, and grouping ends up making nations.

 

That's what needs to be demonstrated. Aside from geography, what grouping is required? The ones posited in the OP have not held up to scrutiny.

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It [being American] is also homogeneous.

 

Of course it isn't. It may be the the least homogeneous identifier in existence (other than "human"). There are Irish-Americans, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans and on and on (America seems quite unusual in having this naming scheme for all these ethnic groups, presumably because it is so diverse). Oh, and let's not forget native Americans.

 

 

America has been called the great "melting pot"

 

Quite.

 

 

I am American, born and raised; this is where my home and my heart is; but if America were lost and the Stars and Stripes came down for the last time, where would I go? Probably Canada or Ireland, because that is where my people came from, and that would be my second choice. I would be comfortable with the ethnicity, the language, most religious beliefs, and close enough with the political philosophy, so it would be familiar enough for me to adapt. This would seem to support the OP.

 

That only supports the OP if you think all Americans would make the same choice.

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I visualize the people of a nation having a collective psyche that influences their choices and prejudices. The factors that I have listed though extraneous act at a subtler level. :blink:

But does that psyche exist when the nation forms, or as a catalyst for it forming, or is that something that develops over time after the nation forms?

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But does that psyche exist when the nation forms, or as a catalyst for it forming, or is that something that develops over time after the nation forms?

 

More like a catalyst....which explains why the formation of some nations is cataclysmic. (immediate concerns override prudence and sound judgement.). :unsure:

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More like a catalyst....which explains why the formation of some nations is cataclysmic. (immediate concerns override prudence and sound judgement.). :unsure:

 

 

The you should have no trouble providing examples to back this up.

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