TED Conversations

Anuj Kapoor

Founder, Five Benches

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Do you value nationalism? Why? Will national identity get diluted in the future?

I believe that if we free our personal identities from nationality we can unleash wider and more vibrant models of society. I believe also that all institutions suffer from flaws and the nation state is no exception. Looking to the future and based on rapid developments in faster transport, wide and open access communication networks, i believe that national identity will get progressively diluted. Would you think
a. that is likely?
b. If it is, is it a good thing?


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  • Oct 20 2011: The advent of Statism is often touted as an alternative to nationalism but I find that it is not to my political tastses after a certain point once I passed 30 but what I retained is the value of secularism. Having grown up with family from all over the world, united in colonialism thru my British grandmother, I have found it difficult to be the child from the only branch of the immediate family that didn't go native somewhere else. It makes my sister and I the white devil children amongst the other cousins. Seriously, whiteness studies are usually nothing more than exercises in historical deconstruction that border on nihlism to me.
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      Oct 20 2011: interesting. secularism is a more open form of identity, but nationalism is something else neither entirely composed of religion or even race. thanks
      • Oct 20 2011: nationalism is a catch phrase I think. It covers culture more than it does civilization and I find that many things chalked up to secularism are Very religious in nature. Secularism is often it's own driving force, which gives it impact and depth that people associate with culture. Civic is a better word I think than secularism because it acknowledges a seperate sphere of influence that like TED events, is dedicated to non partisan views. It's the ideas that matter. I don't know that national identity gets diluted or that such a thing would be desirable across the board. I find that part of what makes society dynamic, is that not all of us are on the same page.

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