Masks are no longer required at my church. Everybody was maskless today, except for the children. All children except mine were masked. It’s not required. People are freely choosing to do that to their kids. And these are religious people whom one normally wouldn’t suspect of being big fans of MSNBC.
The attacks on history, on historic figures, on the artistic canon, and the constant revelations of how these artists, politicians, thinkers, etc were really evil is all part of the attack on the nation-state.
The nation-state relies for its very existence on the shared stock of legitimating figures and events. “We” deserve to exist as a nation because “we” produced this great art, created this great culture, made these great achievements, and share this stuff that we all love. If there are no achievements, if the art is racist crap, if the founding fathers founded something rubbish, then there’s no reason why we should exist as a “we.” It’s easier to let go of something bad than of something good.
We are simply being schooled into letting go of the nation-state model of governance. Let’s stop denouncing these attacks as stupid. They are nefarious but definitely not dumb. They are very purposeful. You can’t fight something that you don’t understand. It’s time to start understanding.
And I’ve had it with my spell check correcting “nation-state” into “nation-ate.” It adds insult to injury.
As we have discussed on numerous occasions, we are experiencing a transition of one mode of governance to another. It’s a big change but it’s not unprecedented. Only 200 years ago we started to transition into the mode of governance that is now giving way to the next one.
Each form of governance derives its legitimacy from a different source. Monarchy, for example, derived its legitimacy from God’s will. The monarch was invested with power by God. Everybody accepted that, and the arrangement worked. Until near-uniform religiosity became impossible and a new kind of statehood arose.
Nation-state governments derived their legitimacy from representing the interests of the nation and finding a way to convince the people that they were acting in the interests of the citizens’ welfare. That’s why welfare in all its forms was born together with the nation-state and is dying with it. (Once again, police is welfare. Schools are welfare, etc).
The governing groups in the new model of statehood derive their legitimacy, meaning their entitlement to power, from superiority. That’s why they speak to us in the language of moral, intellectual and physical superiority. That’s why they educate their children to speak a language of moral superiority. That’s why they position themselves as the true judges of good and evil.
What I’m really looking forward to is the emergence of a genre targeted at people between the ages of 19 years 2 months and 11 days and 20 years 3 months and 2 days. I don’t know how we did without it until now.