Consider a country, consider it bearing in mind al we have considered before in these texts, roads, towns, cities, cars and people. From above imagine the network of roads towns, houses and businesses and lives. These collections both independent, and completely dependant on each other.1 But a country constitutes more then that, more then the land it entitles, more then the people in it. These are in a way, arbitrary and incidental, simply existing in one time and space.
More then that a country also signifies a contract, for better or worse. A contract between the individual and a collective. Both these can be given the monarch of “citizenship”. These citizens collectively, and often forcedly build up the bulk of the contract of the “state”.
The state is a catch al term for a ruling organ of some form, for where citizens get the rules of said citizenship. It is trough these limitations, as well as the imagined borders of said country that the citizens get their shared history. This history, together with culture, traditions, customs and products created within these borders helps to form a citizens “national identity”. In doing this, these identity collectivity and simultaneously creates a country “identity”. Both affecting each other simultaneously.
This identity leads back to legitimize the state, and with it, its right to rule. The state rules with contracts between citizen and state and with as as Thomas Hobbes states “A monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force”2. These nation does also identify themselves in relation to other nations. Creating groupings of shared history, culture and other bonds, or forced together by oner reason or another. A nations identity grows when it relates to other, for better or worse.
In this way a nation becomes more then itself, more then it borders and its s citizens and its culture. It becomes a collection of al these incidental parts, brought forth by time and space and becomes something else. Both as a physical force and as an illusion it becomes a nation, a country.
1 Note that these dependencies do not end at an arbitrary land border, but spreads freely, along the globe. But for this experiment, we will contain it within one nations imaginary borders.
2 Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan 1651