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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

The 1st Postnational State

Wow, I didn’t know this. Turns out that Canada’s Justin Trudeau said, “Canada is the first postnational state with no core identity, no mainstream.” Like it’s a good thing. 

That stinky little turd.

Please read the quote in the context of the article on AI linked in the previous post. 

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4 thoughts on “The 1st Postnational State

  1. What was the broader context of this statement? Did he really mean no common ground whatsoever (just a collection of consumers within a jurisdiction he happens to govern) or was he more nuanced and actually meant replacing nation based on language/religion/ethnic culture by nation based on some other principles? What’s wrong with a nation based on social solidarity that does not give a crap about languages or real or imaginary 10000-year long history that is used to divide people into “ours” and “not ours”?
    Unfortunately, when people talk about “nation-states”, they usually do not specify what of the above they mean exactly. I dare to suggest that in our times, the primary association most people have when “nation-state” is mentioned is precisely the cultural or even genetic one, not something about the system of redistribution of wealth. Maybe you are making a mistake when you are attributing your primary association to “nation state” to what other people are saying?

    As for AI – well, either we will, finally, hundred+ years after Marx predicted, have a worldwide socialist revolution, or we will have all that shit the author of the article on AI is alluding to… Or the capitalist system manages to adapt again (my knowledge is a bit rusty – did some contemporary of Marx predict the ways capitalist system adapted in the 20th century?)
    At least in Canada one can survive by farming…

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    • I don’t know what the context was. I saw this quote in an NYTimes article.

      I’m not sure what social solidarity means. What I do know is that there is no nation-state without a profound emotional attachment of citizens to “their” country. There is a multitude of things that are needed to foster this attachment because it’s an attachment to something “that is patently untrue” (Renan.) A feeling (completely manufactured, of course) that “we” have a shared history, shared cultural achievements, shared representative figures throughout (invented) history, shared symbols, etc is crucial to foster this attachment. A bunch of transient folks who are always on the move and have no emotional investment into the “we” that is by default better than “them” can’t feel an emotional attachment to the place they happen to be in momentarily. Just on the most basic of levels, how can one be expected to care about paying local taxes if one is not attached to the locality and bides the time before floating away?

      There is no group without a shared narrative. Somebody needs to create that narrative and in a nation-state it’s the national government . If the national government steps away from this task, nobody will have the power to create such a narrative and disseminate it to everybody through comprehensive schooling system. Which is why this system was created in the first place. Who’s going to preserve this system and why if it no longer serves this purpose?

      The nation-state can engage in wealth redistribution because all of these other components are in place. Without them, it dies.

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  2. Shakti on said:

    Wow, I didn’t know this. Turns out that Canada’s Justin Trudeau said, “Canada is the first postnational state with no core identity, no mainstream.” Like it’s a good thing.
    The joke is that many Americans think of Canada as the 51st state with no real separate national identity.

    “They’re not a real country anyway!”

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