September 24, 2003

Birth of the Nation

I never know what to do with sociologists who claim that "nationalism" is a product of "modernity": who postpone the birth and growth of western European "nationality" to the age of the democratic revolutions, and say that beforehand "nationalism" was a sentiment held by at best a small elite.

Yes, "nationality" does grow a lot stronger as the nineteenth century rolls forward. But France in 1795 was hardly "modern" and yet the levee en masse was a very impressive example of "nationalist" mobilization. Elizabeth I Tudor, Queen of England--and perhaps the most skilled politician of the late sixteenth century--is pushing the "nationality" button as hard as she can when she rides to inspect her army at Tilbury. Her subject William Shakespeare pushed the "nationality" button hard too. And none of these uses of nationalism were confined to a narrow elite, but rather were aimed at casual playgoers, common soldiers, and the military-age manpower of all of France.

Three centuries earlier, it is no accident that the students at the Sorbonne or at Bologna are divided, for administrative and social purposes, into remarkably modern-looking ethno-linguistic nations.

Perhaps most interesting of all, consider the attempts to construct durable states--empires--back before the early modern period. You have five dynasties trying to construct states that cross ethno-linguistic borders:

  1. Angevins, trying to straddle England and western France.
  2. Hohenstaufens, trying to combine Germany and Italy.
  3. Various kings of Aragon, attempting a sea-based western-Mediterranean empire.
  4. The dukes of Burgundy, ending with Charles the Rash, trying to straddle the Franco-German linguistic frontier.
  5. And, last, you have the Habsburgs, with their German-Hungarian-Czech-Slovene-Slovak project.

All of these go smash--and go smash quickly, in spite of large armies, high tax revenues, and some brilliant monarchs--save the Habsburgs. Henry II Plantagenet's descendants could not hold onto any of his French territories. And the conquests of his great-great-great grandson Edward III Plantagenet and his great-great-great-great-great-great grandson Henry V Lancaster were similarly ephemeral. Nothing held the Burgundian Empire together after the death of Charles the Rash on the pikes of the Swiss at the Battle of Nancy. Aragon was in the end yoked to Castile. And the collapse of the Hohenstaufen project not only destroyed the Holy Roman Empire as a credible state but went a long way toward foreclosing the emergence of ethno-linguistic-based monarchies in Germany and Italy.

By contrast, the kings of England, Scotland, France, Portugal, Spain (Castile) all succeeded in constructing long-lived states. They went smash, too. They were knocked down, but they got up again. They took their lickings and kept on ticking. They were the Energizer Bunnies of late-medieval state-building.

To have a projected state whose boundaries were roughly the same as ethno-linguistic frontiers appeared to give you a huge advantage in state-building in the late-medieval and early modern period, long before the dates various sociologists see as key to the development of an important form of "nationalism".

Posted by DeLong at September 24, 2003 07:38 PM | TrackBack

Comments

Isn't the problem with your argument that the "ethno-linguistic" boundaries you mention didn't actually include people who spoke a common language? England, as always, looks a little different (well, except for the Welsh) but most residents of medieval France spoke something far distant from the French of Paris, Catalan is substantially different than Spanish, Scotland had its Gaelic speakers, etc. The common language groups might be the product of strong states, rather than the other way around.

Posted by: williamsburger on September 24, 2003 09:05 PM

Nietzsche believed (Beyond Good and Evil, Section 256) that all Nationalism is a farce, a false feeling of pride, instilled by "quick-handed politicians who are at the top today with the help of this insanity, without any inkling that their separatist policies can of necessity only be entr’acte policies," leading right to the opposite end, "Europe wants to be one." I'm inclined to agree.

-kd

My essay on the subject (sorry for the proprietary format, it is from a time before I cared): http://home.uchicago.edu/~kldavis/polnietzsche.doc

Posted by: Karl on September 24, 2003 09:44 PM

Oh, see also: Machiavelli, The Prince.

-kd

Posted by: Karl on September 24, 2003 09:51 PM

Oh, see also: Machiavelli, The Prince.

-kd

Posted by: Karl on September 24, 2003 09:57 PM

For better or worse, the Ottoman Empire was very durable, and the Romanovs ruled a lot of non-Russians. The general point about the nation-state is good. Related points: the eventual "decision" of a disunited Europe to accept disunity as OK (multinationalism, Westphalia) is what made nation-states possible (no Rome). Among the advantages of this is the fact that refugees always had somewhere to flee to, so that the Huguenots and Sephardic Jews, with all their talent, didn't just disappear, die, or hide. More broadly, Europe was a collection and succession of local experiments rather than a centrally-administered unity. (I've argued with Chinese about this; Chinese culture overwhelmingly values a unified China, but the periods of disunity can be very productive.)

Beyond that, multinationalism did involve frequent warfare, and in fact it is possible to look at a map of the small surviving nations of Europe (Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Holland) and describe them in terms of the military strength that kept them on the map.

Posted by: Zizka on September 24, 2003 10:31 PM

Karl,

You confused the descriptive question with the normative question, but I clicked on the link to the essay anyway. I stopped reading not long after "than[sic] Friedrich Nietzsche is quite possibly the greatest genius to have walked this earth". To me this suggests a loss of perspective. There's more to philosophy than any one person can imagine, and Nietzsche's view of nationalism is surely peculiar to his psychology, something as tendentious then as it is today. I agree, Nietzsche is a great figure, but many great thinkers have said something more substantial on this topic before and after his time. He may be right, but at least learn what others have said to make it a good judgement.

Posted by: anon123 on September 24, 2003 11:32 PM

Even ancient Egyptians appealed to popular Egyptian identity to galvanise opposition to rampaging Assyrians.
They hung around for a while too.

Posted by: Jack on September 25, 2003 02:25 AM

Keep going earlier, to the earliest modern states - the Italian city-states of the 12th century.

The key difference is the medieval idea of Christianity as one country, and the modern idea of a number of co-equal states (Mattingly's Renaissence Diplomacy is a good place to start).

I'm pretty sympathetic to Williamsburger's argument as well ... if the Angevins had hung on another 60 years or so, Normandy and Aquitane would have been seperate states, and we'd accept that as normal.

Briefly, these regions later pretty much went Protestant in the Wars of Religion, and if they had still been under the English crown in 1525, they would have stayed that way until the smoke clears from the Wars of Martin Luther (*) in 1648, and we'd have multiple large French-speaking modern states.

After all, Germany has Austria and Germany ... and if the Low Countries been and had stayed in the Holy Roman Empire, would we regard Dutch as a language, or a dialect ?


(*) I dont recognise the Wars of the Schmaldatic Legue, the Wars of Religion in France, the Dutch Revolt, the Thirty Years War, etc etc as seperate. They are one big, long, continual conflict, interespersed with local ceasefires, and it runs from 1525 to 1648.

Posted by: Ian Whitchurch on September 25, 2003 02:38 AM

What historians are actually making this mistake, you provide no references. Lewis Namier made the comment that when historians are talking about religion in the 16th century they are really talking about nationalism.

Posted by: monboddo on September 25, 2003 02:38 AM

Time to get the kicking boots on ...

"Elizabeth I Tudor, Queen of England--and perhaps the most skilled politician of the late sixteenth century"

Horseshit. Absolute unadulterated horseshit.

The reason is, of course, the War of the English Succession - the one that resulted after Elizabeth's death, their being no acknowledged heir and all.

She committed the major critical error of a monarch - of leaving a potentially disputed succession.

OK, so she got lucky, and James IV of Scotland took over ... but the lack of legitimacy hurt his son, when the whole Parliament vs King thing broke out.

Bluntly, Elizabeth isnt a patch of Henri of Navarre, later Henri IV of France.

But she had a great propaganda machine.

Posted by: Ian Whitchurch on September 25, 2003 02:51 AM

"and if the Low Countries been and had stayed in the Holy Roman Empire, would we regard Dutch as a language, or a dialect ?"

Well, technically speaking, Dutch IS a dialect - of Low German. Germany is a country with two main languages (and a third, tiny one called Friesian) that pretends to a monolingual status. The real linguistic dividing line isn't at the Dutch border, but along the Benrather Line midway through Germany.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite on September 25, 2003 04:01 AM

What historians are actually making this mistake, you provide no references.

I think he is going after Benedict Anderson and Hobsbawm, but I don't think that either one of them would think that their work on modern nationalism has been discredited because Brad can point to some popular monarchs in the pre-national period. Some of what Brad is saying is just silly. Calling the levee en masse an example of nationalism before nationalism is simply wrong. Most historians see the French Revolution as the first large-scale example of modern nationalism, so you are certainly not disproving them by saying that they are right.
Brad's only other point of substance is that "To have a projected state whose boundaries were roughly the same as ethno-linguistic frontiers appeared to give you a huge advantage in state-building in the late-medieval and early modern period." It probably did help, but not much. The Habsburgs didn't 'go smash' until 1918. Britain was a multi-ethnic empire as well. More importantly, as Willamsburger points out, it was state-building that created ethno-linguistic unity more than the other way round. The unity of the French language and culture that so impresses Brad is a product of the 19th century, and you can't really read it back too far before that.
I have two major problems with what you are saying. The first is that you define nationalism so vaguely as to make it useless. Was Pericles a nationalist? Prince Shotoku? Zhu Xi? The second is that you seem to be saying that your nameless sociologists think that nationalism was something that appeared by magic all over Europe on January 1, 1815, and that you can disprove them by showing the links between Early Modern state-building and later nationalism. If you have read the work in the field you know that they have talked a lot about this relationship and simply pointing to it proves nothing.

P.S. You should never talk to sociologists. Talk to historians.

Posted by: ssuma on September 25, 2003 04:18 AM

Ian, given the choices she had, Elizabeth I was indeed a superb politician. Arguments about "the best" are pointless, although Henry of Navarre was certainly good, but saying that she "isn't a patch" of him is ahistorical bullshit. BTW, it was James VI of Scotland who succeeded Elizabeth (although I suspect that was just a typo). She was fully aware that James was likely to succeed, and her council, in the person of Robert Cecil, made arrangements for that to happen, and for her to consent to it. It was Charles I's incompetence that caused the war, rather than any question of legitimacy.

Posted by: Michael on September 25, 2003 05:38 AM

Ian, given the choices she had, Elizabeth I was indeed a superb politician. Arguments about "the best" are pointless, although Henry of Navarre was certainly good, but saying that she "isn't a patch" of him is ahistorical bullshit. BTW, it was James VI of Scotland who succeeded Elizabeth (although I suspect that was just a typo). She was fully aware that James was likely to succeed, and her council, in the person of Robert Cecil, made arrangements for that to happen, and for her to consent to it. It was Charles I's incompetence that caused the war, rather than any question of legitimacy.

Posted by: Michael on September 25, 2003 05:40 AM

I think Brad has the direction of causation incorrect: the "successful states" weren't caused by their linguistic uniformity, but rather the successful states created their linguistic uniformity. In particular, England, France and Spain were (and to an extent, still are) linguistic patchworks; each had half a dozen (or more) minority languages spoken within their borders from the late middle ages. Until the late 19th c., French was spoken only by a minority within France, and England and Spain to this day have significant (and occasionally restive) linguistic minorities.

It required centuries of hard work by the French, English and Spanish goverments to impore their national languages throughout their realms. The educational system did its part, but really didn't have much of an effect in eliminating the non-national languages, just in increasing bilingualism. Army drafts (in the countries that had them) was more effective, but really it was the economic changes starting in the 19th c. that started breaking up the minority linguistic communities.

These early modern European countries thought that a shared language would help centralize power in their countries. Whether that's right or wrong, the same assumption is made in many developing countries today. Countries with large linguistic minorities, like Indonesia, certainly feel the need to have a national language and impose it through education and the military. However, it is again economic changes, especially population movements to urban areas and investment in rural areas, that breaks down the non-national linguistic communities.

It's perhaps not a coincidence that, by the end of this century, all but 200 of the 5000 languages currently spoken will be extinct, and that 200 is also the number of independent countries in the world.

Posted by: John O'Neil on September 25, 2003 06:25 AM

Ssuma, I think that you are right but that the implication is also that Nationalism as meant in the Hobsbawm sense is a rather more specific concept than natural language usage suggests and a lot of the interpretation of nationalism even by experts uses the natural langage definition. I think the received wisdom on the Hobsbawm interpretation is of a contrast between peasants just getting on with stuff while princes came and went occasionally trying to raise taxes until they reached a certain stage of development when they began to take control of their own lives and filled the gap left by raw necessity as an ordering principal with national identity thus creating the nation state and facilitating true democracy.
Its clear that the Hobsbawm ideas must be a little narrower and more specific but exactly how escapes me.

Posted by: Jack on September 25, 2003 08:02 AM

I hope Brad joins us to address ssuma's challenge, and name names. FWIW, Brad's complaint rang a bell with me, in that generic histories tend to describe nationalism as arising in the 19C, a concept that baffled me when I was very young and did not even understand that East and West Germany were only recently divided, and before that only recently united.

Anyway, the cause & effect of linguistic boundaries and nationalism is intriguing. I think we need some real linguists here to tell us whether the various dialects of medieval France were closer to one another than to, say, Flemish or Catalan.

I do know that, during the 100 Years' War, national French identity was nascent, and seemed to have a lingual component. Although local feuds often (usually?) trumped nationalism, there always seems to be a sense, reading through the detailed history, that alliances between guys named John and guys named Jean would be short-lived.

Regardless, there are certainly no modern European nations that cross language _family_ boundaries (always exceptional Switzerland excepted, of course). Russia's history has led it to be a sprawling mess that, I think, defies comparison; anyway, its border stability is in question.

Posted by: JRoth on September 25, 2003 08:05 AM

dutch is not a dialect of low (swiss) german, but a middle german language/dialect, related to ancient anglo-saxon, whose speakers came from there.

Posted by: john c. halasz on September 25, 2003 08:11 AM

While not a linguist, nor a many more things, I have some knowledge of Provençal(Provençau) and Catalan, and yes knowing one helps a lot in understanding the other, and other Occitan dialects are about the same, and moreso when spoken rather that written. Now Flemish is not even near to Walloon from what little I've seen of both.

In the case of France, my take is that the main culprit is both World Wars, which displaced a lot of peoples, and the fact that Nazis played the local interest against the utterly centralist French. That tainted regional languages in the minds of most French.

In Spain, regional languages are a lot more solids, even if less than a generation ago, when were you living out of greater towns, you had to learn the local language, not a hard task on the other side -- except for Euskara.

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on September 25, 2003 08:36 AM

"dutch is not a dialect of low (swiss) german, but a middle german language/dialect"

You're completely wrong. "Low German" refers to Plattdeutsch ("Flat Deutsch"), or the German of the Lowlands - the region from belgium in the west to the Elbe in the east, including all the non-Scandinavian cities of the Hanseatic League. It has nothing at all to do with Swiss German.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite on September 25, 2003 08:56 AM

As Abiola notes about John's comment, Dutch is inded "Low" German, Swiss in contrast is extremely "Upper". (Given the English-language use of "high" and "low" language, it may make more sense to use the terms Oberdeutch and Niederdeutsch...upper and lower Germanic dialects, which indeed vary significantly. But the linguists doubtless have more subtle distinctions... In any event, it's noteworthy that Swiss dialect, too, is taking a rapidly growing role in public discourse in Switzerland, squeezing Hochdeutsch (i.e., 'educated' German) out of radio and TV to a substantial degree compared to, say, 20 years ago.

More broadly -- very few historians or others would deny that "ethno-linguistic" identities existed and could be potent in various ways before the nineteenth century. What was lacking, however, was a consistent and ideological association between "one language" and "one political authority." Even in Renaisance France, it was "une loi, un roi, un foix"...(excuse my uncertainty on French genders), but NOT "une langue"!

That doesn't meant at all that language didn't matter as a marker of identity -- just that it could be deployed _independently_ (and sometimes against) political identity, religious identity, etc.

With the rise of modern nationalism, in contrast, the idea of "one language, one nation" became much more compelling (though some, like the Swiss, ultimately did manage to dodge it).

Posted by: PQuincy on September 25, 2003 09:27 AM

Anon,

I thought it was quite obvious that the quoted phrase, taken with the previous line, was a jab at Nietzsche's internal inconsistency. My deification of him was dependent on the previous statement being true, and at no point do I assert that it is.

As to your suggestion that I read the rest to better understand whose ideas are most outstanding, I'll say only this. I'm a graduate of one of the most rigorous and well-respected undergraduate Philosophy departments in the world, and as such I'm sure as well read as nearly anyone on the subject. I find it haughty and shortsighted to assume someone is poorly read on the subject after having only read two lines of their discourse.

-kd

Posted by: Karl on September 25, 2003 10:35 AM

Back on topic...

...consider China. It certainly doesn't seem to fit into this theory.

-kd

Posted by: Karl on September 25, 2003 10:42 AM

"Even ancient Egyptians appealed to popular Egyptian identity to galvanise opposition to rampaging Assyrians.
They hung around for a while too."

Errr, but the 'Egyptian' identity included Nubians & Sudanese (IIRC, worship of Egyptian gods continued in Sudan for almost 1,000 years after Cleopatra - long after it had died out in what we call Egypt).

Also, Egypt was divided into 40-odd different nomes, under the rule of nomarchs - gods like Ptah, Sobek and Set had radically different significance in different Nomes. So Egypt wasn't a nation-state in the form that we conceive of it.

Posted by: Tom on September 25, 2003 11:23 AM


I agree with ssuma that Benedict Anderson's work (Imagined Communities in particular) is consistent with what DeLong says in the original post. And I would commend that book to anyone -- not my field, but I thought it was fascinating.

Posted by: Tyrone Slothrop on September 25, 2003 11:36 AM

Sorry, but I have to object that Castilians occupied Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, which are all linguistically different from Castile, and in many ways more advanced than Castile. And Aznar is still pushing hard to eliminate these languages.

Anyway, it's true that Spanish unity is still somewhat fragile nowadays...

Posted by: Chema on September 25, 2003 12:12 PM

Brad Brad -

Remember the early Russian film about a Germanic invasion of Russia? Darn. I forget, i forget. I remember a battle across an ice lake. One of the great great early silent flims. Help Help Help....

Posted by: anne on September 25, 2003 01:22 PM

I got it!

Sergie Eisenstein - "Alexander Nevsky"
Talk about a depiction of early nationalism. Folks, this is truly a great great film. See it.

Posted by: anne on September 25, 2003 01:27 PM

From Eisenstein, "Aleksander Nevsky", I remember seen this scene quite a few times on TV.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029850/

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on September 25, 2003 01:36 PM

In his work on the Dutch revolt, Pieter Geyl points out that the border of the Netherlands was not determined by the linguistic boundary (which still runs through Belgium) but by the rivers that blocked Parma's advance by 1590. Geography seems to matter at least as much as language and culture.

Posted by: doctorwes on September 25, 2003 01:53 PM

Contrary to what some suggest, Plattdeutsch is not the same as Dutch, but rather a dialect of German spoken in the East/NorthEast of Germany.

Posted by: Erik on September 25, 2003 02:04 PM

mr lapiteis correct. stand corrected.

Posted by: john c. halasz on September 25, 2003 02:47 PM

Dear Brad,
there's something that ought to be sa(i)d,

this is not a dedication,(weak dollar,waow),
but for me a medication,(Birth of the Nation,waow),

"Television's Bill Moyers inches still closer when he says,"I worry that my own business...helps to make this an anxious age of agitated amnesiacs....We Americans seem to know everything about the last twenty-four hours but very little of the last sixty centuries or the last six years.""
Neil Postman "Amusing Ourselves To Death" or translated "American Beauty"

Whatever, go,go,go Brad!

P.S.: The golden key-word is "demand" and not "offer", because "demand" was global.(internal demand = const. or later decreasing, global demand = decreasing = "weak dollar")

Posted by: Drake Ramore on September 25, 2003 03:19 PM

"Contrary to what some suggest, Plattdeutsch is not the same as Dutch, but rather a dialect of German spoken in the East/NorthEast of Germany."

Well, Plattdeutsch may not be exactly the same as Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands ("General Civilized Dutch"), but it is accurate to say that the various dialects called "Dutch" form part of the Low German dialect continuum, with no noticeable break existing on crossing the Dutch-German border. The native dialects of northern Germany are a LOT closer to ABN than they are to anything heard in Bavaria or Austria. Dutch is indeed a dialect, though we can always call the language of which it is a variant something else, if you prefer.

I know that it irritates Dutch people to hear it said, but the only reason their tongue is called a "language" rather than a dialect is because it has a flag and an army behind it. The same is true of the various Scandinavian dialects that go by the names "Norwegian", "Swedish" and "Danish", by the way; no linguist unconcerned with national sensitivities would ever call them languages in their own right.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite on September 25, 2003 03:56 PM

And the only reason English is not a dialect of German is that we got conquered by the Normans, who imposed a huge amount of French vocabulary on us...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on September 25, 2003 04:49 PM

China is united by a script and a culture. The Chinese script can be used to write the various very different (mutually-unintelligible) dialects, though during most of history and even today to a degree it didn't represent the demotic spoken language anywhere.

Switzerland is a thumb in the eye of almost every theory of nation-formation. Four languages, two religions, a dissected mountainous terrain with a few flatland areas..... Originally united by a political tradition, a brutal method of winning wars, and, according to Bellay, heavy drinking.

Posted by: Zizka on September 25, 2003 05:12 PM

"And the only reason English is not a dialect of German is that we got conquered by the Normans, who imposed a huge amount of French vocabulary on us..."

True. There are times when studying the various germanic dialects during which I find myself sorely regretting this accident of history, and there are times, particularly when reading anything in a Romantic language, when I thank the gods for the Norman influence on English.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite on September 25, 2003 06:06 PM

Hold on, my German in-laws live a few miles from Holland, but my German father-in-law who lives in Holland speaks no Dutch. Point being, what he and his mother and siblings speak is a German dialect, but one that is not especially close to Dutch. I'm not arguing against Dutch being a form of Niederdeutsch (I can get around Amsterdam with my 3 years of high school German), but I think the idea that only the presence of a flag makes Dutch a language and not just a German dialect is exaggerated.

Although isn't there some quote that a language is just a dialect with an army?

Hell with it, I'm going to bed....

Posted by: JRoth on September 25, 2003 09:45 PM

Following Abiola's point about Scandinavian languages, it's worth poiting out that Sweden, too qualifies as a pretty multiningual state; and not just because for a long time it contained Finland. Until at least the rise of television, the country (which is at a thousand miles long) contained a great many dialects which are pretty much mutually incomprehensible. Our friend Elinor spoke with her mother half way up the country a dialect that neither I nor my (Swedish west coast) wife could understand a word of. Further north, things were even harder; and in Skåne, opposite Denmark, they might as well be speaking Danish altogether.

But all these languages/dialects are spelled the same, and used the same Bible. When Skåne;ne was conquered from Denmark in the late 1600s, there was a tremendous campaign to teach Sedish in the schools. but his changed the orthography, the written language, and the bibles used. I don't think it changed the way that people spoke at all. So I think the real definition is that a language is a dialect with an army, a flag, and bible translation.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on September 26, 2003 05:19 AM

"I think the idea that only the presence of a flag makes Dutch a language and not just a German dialect is exaggerated."

Your in-laws' dialect may not be close to ABN (as I mentioned previously), but if, on crossing the Dutch/German border, they'd spoken and been spoken to in their respective local dialects, they'd have been perfectly clearly understood; and yet, if the locals they'd be speaking to were asked what language their speech was a dialect of, they'd quickly answer "Why, Dutch of course!" In the same light, your in-laws would keep insisting that the fully mutually-intelligible dialect THEY were speaking was "German."

The dialects of the West-Germanic area have been pretty thoroughly mapped out, and the facts are as I have stated: it is only because of the imposition of standardized forms of the national "languages", and the attendant erosion of local dialects, that linguistic boundaries appear sharper than they really are. This is as true of the French-Spanish-Portuguese region as it is of the Netherlands-Germany-Austria-Switzerland.

Here's an experiment I'd suggest you try sometime. Try getting your in-laws to speak with folks from the Eastern Netherlands (Groningen, for instnce) in their local mundart/mundoort, and try the same experiment with people from Bayern or anywhere in Switzerland. Compare and contrast, if you can, the levels of mutual comprehensibility in the two situations, avoiding completely the usage of hochdeutsch or algemeen nederlandse in either scenario. I assure you that the experiment will decisively settle the issue in my favor.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite on September 26, 2003 07:09 AM

If I recall correctly, Sir Karl Popper gave the following definition of tne Nation (in "The Open Society"):

A Nation is a group of people held together by the same misundertandings concerning their history.

Great guy, Sir Karl was...

Posted by: Gerhard on September 27, 2003 10:44 AM
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