Zamfir wrote:So in your original question about nations, I just can't read "tribe". A group with that many people is automatically a volk, no matter how tribal it might be. Then the question basically parses as something like "Is the American nation the American people?"
Unfortunately, I don't have a precise way of articulating the divide in question. Maybe one way to think about it is "are other Americans like distant cousins, or do they just follow the same laws?", though I don't know if "distant cousins" will capture the right ideas that I want to. Neighbors? Coreligionists? Many people don't seem to have this experience anymore, and so it's hard to talk about clearly.
omgryebread wrote:Maybe you can think of the world like that, but using tribe in that sense is misleading, since no tribal societies worked like that.
omgryebread wrote:Me against my brother, my brother and me against my cousin, my cousin and me against the stranger.
Emphasis mine. A high level of trust and mutual responsibility does not mean there are no conflicts between members of a tribe.
omgryebread wrote:Every State is a group that has evolved over thousands of years.
Huh? Even the most charitable reading of this- that the idea of nationalism is thousands of years old- seems flawed at best. The literal reading- that every state has had an enduring core group for thousands of years- is laughable.
omgryebread wrote:Secondly is that it's not merely a moral obligation to help others within your group. It's actually a necessity of that group.
But surely there's a limit to the amount members of a group will or should help other members. As well, there must be a way to distinguish members of the group from outsiders. What we're discussing here is not that humans feel sympathy towards members of their in-group, but how much
sympathy should be expected, and towards what individuals
omgryebread wrote:To take it way back, bands of chimpanzees help each other out. If all the male chimps in a band decided to let all the others defend themselves, and refused to participate in raids, then the band would fall apart. If two male chimps had a fight and refused to submit to arbitration from the alpha or another trusted member, this is bad for the band as a whole.
This sounds a lot like Wynne-Edwards Group Selection
, which is dismissed by biologists as not being plausible. A chimp submits not for the good of the group, but for his own personal well-being: the group may decide to expel those who do not submit, for example, depriving him of mating opportunities.
omgryebread wrote:States are so complex that it's hard to see that helping other citizens in a state is a requirement of being a State at all. Strict libertarianism tends to argue for the end of the state without realizing they are.
Nation-states have existed successfully with far less in the way of mutual responsibilities between citizens. Again, the question is not "should there be a rule of law?" but "should rule of law extend to feeding the hungry?" and/or "should every individual have a personal responsibility to all other individuals in the nation?".