What’s the point of countries?

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about John Lennon’s song Imagine. Since then I have from time to time thought a little more about the song while walking to work. I’m now willing to allow that, given Lennon was writing his soppy song in the context of a multicultural society, he might have had a point about countries being obsolete.

It seems to me that countries exist so that groups of distinct people can determine how they want to live. Thus if the Scots feel different enough from the English to want to break away from them, good luck to them. I personally think that our similar DNA, shared way of looking at things and our history is enough to bind us together but if the Scots disagree that’s up to them. Let them have their own country.

Yet I just can’t see the point of multicultural countries since, once you have replaced the homogeneous natives with a motley of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Somalis and Nigerians, there is no distinct group left wanting self-determination. And even if the natives’ traditions live on a while longer, even after they themselves have gone, what does it matter?

In short, I don’t see the point in countries when the inhabitants inside are the same as those outside.

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This entry was posted in General.

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