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People should be free to create their own nations based on their personal beliefs and attitudes, and then identify like minded individuals.

The central theme running through human history is freedom, specifically the gradual but inevitable progression toward the ultimate emancipation of the individual. We're not there yet, because the ability of each of us to conduct our lives according to our own rules and beliefs is subject to many restrictions, including those imposed by religious, social, and governmental institutions.

It's this fundamental battle between the needs of the individual versus the demands of the collective as expressed through these institutions that provides the ever-present backdrop to our interactions with others, and with the powers of society. Human beings live within "countries" defined by geographic boundaries, each subject to various forms of governance and religious and cultural institutions. Being a member of a particular country is, however, largely an accident of birth - the vast majority of people spend their lives living with governmental/economic systems (and religious/cultural systems) that are not a matter of choice (i.e., they succumb to a sort of geographic tyranny). Other than a minority of individuals who are politically active at any given time, people generally simply work with what they are handed in terms of governmental/cultural/economic system (i.e., they're succumbing to a sort of tyranny of passivity.)

Patriotism becomes the means by which people express their attachment to their notion of their country - but two individuals could live in the same country, and each consider himself patriotic, and yet have wildly divergent beliefs and opinions about virtually everything of importance.

With the advent of the internet, the time has come to end this tyranny of geography/passivity. I propose the way to do this is via www.inations.com, a website that gives people the ability to create nations of their own.

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Closing Statement from Joe Crandall

Great conversation (although I tip my hat to Colleen Steen as "best in show.") To those who take umbrage that I appear to be seeking the perpetuation of the "nation-state" in the online environment, I suggest you first visit iNations (www.inations.com) and start going through the questions; and second, I invite you to really think about what the impact of iNations would be if (when?) it becomes an accepted practice for how people express themselves and interrelate.

And a note for Mr. Cop: I propose there's a big difference between mindLESS flag-waving and mindFUL communication and interrelation with other people on this planet. Tyranny flourishes where people do NOT debate the "big" questions, and iNations provides not only the forum where everyone can do this, but the means as well. Perhaps our visions for the future of humanity are not so dissimilar after all?

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    Nov 3 2013: I completely reject the (romantic, 19th century popularized) idea of nationalism...
    One flag, one culture, one nation...
    I abhor it. Let's all wave flags for our own group and clan or tribe and proclaim it to be the best among equals.

    Trying to do this same idea online and have your 'turf' or 'territory' there... is making the same mistake. online nationalism seems a very bad idea to me.

    Please don't consider i-nations... but try to break down the borders that exist. try and open up and become open to cultural expression... a land for all (not only the free or the like-minded).
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    Nov 2 2013: Thank you Joe, I have similar view.

    The Similar interest keep us united and therefore it doesn't matter of which Race, cast, age, citizenship etc we are.
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    Nov 29 2013: It sounds people are all in a pc game: you can establish your own country.:)
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    Nov 28 2013: Nationality is a failed hypothesis. As an idea it has run its course and we are dragging this empty ideal for economic and political reasons. The political scientist Benedict Anderson describes nation states as imagined communities. ‘Imagined’, he writes, ‘because members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the mind of each lives the image of their communion.’
    I have a theory that political nation states will be irrelevant within a century. I admit that the thought is radical but it is not unreasonable.
    I agree with Christophe Cop.
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    Nov 28 2013: i guess that is how nationalisation comes about, soverignity. I feel especially within Africa, we rationally think its okay to adopt ethical and moral derivatives from europe, america and look at how many civil wares is fought in a continent and is ideally supposed to be one, because of OUR african individualism.
  • Nov 17 2013: The nation state doesn't work. Never has. Let's have more countries where an elite subjugate their inhabitants and send them off to the slaughter for markets and resources. We are in the middle of a meltdown because this system has outlived its usefulness....and the problem is blind bloody stupidity, and like children being unable to accept reality.

    THE SYSTEM IS SCREWED
  • Nov 17 2013: Based on perceptions or past scoldings, are my laws.
    I invent and build the 4D Politics analyzer on FaceBook.
    Nothing is hidden or forgotten.
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    Nov 13 2013: The central theme running through human history is survival, and the inevitable progression seems to be the control of the many by the elite few. We have the ability to develop our own ethic, perspective and belief systems, and the opportunity to fit ourselves into the most amenable society. Should one have the very good fortune to achieve this in their lifetime, finding a handful of like-minded citizens would be as icing on the cake.
  • Nov 4 2013: Unless you propose that people live their whole lives online, the ide of I-nations makes no sense to me. People are already creating virtual communities where they spend significant amounts of their time, but they still have to interact in geographical communities as well. Nations are geographical because they are primarily built on access to (and control over) resources. We will always be dependent on physical, geographical communities for our most basic needs. Geography is only tyranny if you choose to stay where you are. People move from to community to community all the time in a search for a place where they feel safe and connected.
    You will never solve the problem of different perceptions of things like patriotism, nationality, or community, because absolute homogeneity of thought or needs, absolute compatibility, is impossible. It's also undesirable. Peace, security, and individual growth and progress cannot be achieved in the absence of diversity and interdependence.
    In fact, I disagree with you first premise, that the ultimate emancipation of the individual is a central theme of history. Rather, the trend has been to form larger, more interdependent communities.
    Genuine, functional freedom for any individual is not provided by geographically defined nations, and only partly by politically defined nations; mostly it needs to come from the individual himself.
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    Nov 4 2013: "The central theme running through human history is freedom" What a crock... What history book have you been reading? Patriotism just means instead of doing it your way, we are going to do it our way. Either way force is involved and that is the problem. The Buddha saw right through the class problem and discouraged it thousands of years ago but not many have listened so far, most humanoids know nothing but war. The Dalai Lama says kindness and compassion is the answer, I agree and it starts with me.
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    Nov 3 2013: The problem being that you would end up with millions of micro dictatorship s, just the way we are designed I'm afraid.
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    Nov 2 2013: Are you suggesting that we create our own nations with geographic territories, or simply new societies with our desired code of ethics? One of these largely depends on superior firepower.
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    Nov 2 2013: Joe,
    Your idea has been happening to some extent throughout history....has it not? Unrest and discontent with socioeconomic, political or religious conditions seems to have been one motivational factor for people leaving their homeland and exploring the other side of the continent? Or the other side of the world....across the seas? We are now running out of new places to create new nations, and we are bumping into each other all the time, as our world seems smaller and more interconnected.

    You say..."
    " It's this fundamental battle between the needs of the individual versus the demands of the collective as expressed through these institutions that provides the ever-present backdrop to our interactions with others, and with the powers of society".

    I agree with the sentiments you express, and I also believe it is time to end tyranny. I believe our communication systems are going to help facilitate peace. Tyranny, abuse, and violation of human rights generally thrives with isolation....if nobody knows about it, it continues to exist. Our communication systems are facilitating the uncovering of corruption, and providing the whole world the opportunity to know more about what is happening in other parts of our world.

    Another piece of the puzzle that might be helpful to create more peace and harmony is to learn to accept each other, and thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, cultures that may be different from our own....AS LONG AS THOSE BELIEFS AND PRACTICES DO NOT ADVERSLY IMPACT OTHER PEOPLE. It's time to end the need or demand that everyone accept a particular belief system.
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      Nov 2 2013: Your last paragraph raises, I think, a particular cautionary point. That is, there are strong disadvantages from the standpoint of learning, of understanding, and of working together, in people's clustering ever more strongly with people of the same beliefs. One challenge with the internet is that people can more easily do this, ever gathering support via their associations for whatever ideas they most strongly hold.

      While the internet allows us easily to sample a range of views, people's tendency to seek confirmation of their preexisting beliefs and to cluster with those just like them may reduce rather than increase open-mindedness.
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        Nov 2 2013: Fritzie,
        If people choose to "cluster" with people of the same beliefs, that is an individual choice, and probably a very natural, understandable choice. I suspect whatever the means of communication or interaction, some people will make ONLY that choice.....and yes.....I agree...that practice may reduce the possibility of open-mindedness.

        Personally, I am drawn to like minded people, because it's really fun to connect with people with whom I can openly and freely share thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions, opinions and beliefs....AND.....it is also fun to connect with people who are different, so I can learn something that I may not have known before.......balance is also a choice:>)
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          Nov 2 2013: Yes, Joe posed his proposition precisely as a choice.
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    Nov 2 2013: Interesting idea, and one which John Lennon proposed some time ago about the time of his "Imagine" album, I think.

    Meanwhile, the problem with "People should ..." in relation to regrouping people is that the local strong-arm guys tend to take over as 'tyrannical regional barons' (including fundamentalist religious barons) - as we saw in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, and the tragedy that ensued from that; and in Iraq.

    However, in general I agree with your sentiment - but how does the tax-system work?
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      Nov 2 2013: I don't like the words "people should" either Joshua. There's probably always going to be someone who wants to tell everyone else what "people should" do, and that is often the local strong-arm(s) who want to be in power, and control other people.

      People fled Europe to create a better life in America, and the government of the USA was set up to be a citizen government.....by the people for the people. What happened to that idea? It seems now, to be ruled by those who have the most money/influence with our government.
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        Nov 4 2013: It didn't work out to well for the native Americans did it?
        "No matter where you go, there you are"- Buddha

        Colleen I like the idea and if I could think of a single example I would use it but I can't. Certainly Europeans coming over and killing millions of Indians and stealing their land would not qualify..

        Just found this: "When white man found the land, Indians were running it.
        No taxes.
        No debt.
        Plenty buffalo.
        Plenty beaver.
        Women did all the work.
        Medicine man free.
        Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing, all night
        screwing women." The Chief leaned back and smiled, "White
        man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."
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          Nov 4 2013: No Keith, white men conquering the Americas did not work out well for any of the indigenous people.

          In the introduction to this conversation, Joe writes...." the time has come to end this tyranny".

          We have the freedom to end the tyranny, and with better choices, in and for our world, perhaps we can do that.

          Re: "Just found this"
          That joke/statement has been going around by e-mail for a long time!
  • Nov 2 2013: W H E R E W H E N H O W
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      Nov 2 2013: H O W A B O U T H E R E A N D N O W?
      • Nov 2 2013: Everyplace has a country except areas that are the common heritage of man. Besides even if a country owned you someone else would occupy you unless y9ou aere radioactive or something.
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          Nov 3 2013: Sorry George, I do not understand your comment...."...even if a country owned you someone else would occupy you...." ???

          Are you suggesting that no matter what, a country or someone owns us?
      • Nov 4 2013: There have been kings, empirors, colo0nial powers etc. Also, there have been so many civil wars.

        People have changed beliefs in a country etc. Is this conversation just about going out an leaving and existing country and doing what you want. That hasn't workded really well in history.
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          Nov 4 2013: George,
          I do not perceive the conversation to be "just about going out....and doing what you want".

          The facilitator of this conversation writes..." the time has come to end this tyranny", which I wholeheartedly agree with.