I have been spending time recently contemplating the many ideas that whilst designed to bring people closer together actually sow division and strife. These particular principles do not change much, the labels may alter, the collective unions rearrange, but in general thy remain almost identical from the very inception of human society.
Family, clan, tribe is of course the most basic group, quite rightly familial ties override most every other. Equally when a separation occurs in this prime collective the splits are decisive, violent, almost unrepairable, the very reflection of the omen of Cain and Abel. The second grouping would be by location, valley, mountain top, river basin, any expanse enclosable by a border of some physical or imaginary form. Of course locations include multiple families and clans, and the hierarchy reflects the nature of those interactions. Grouping three is made up of purely illusory differences, such as traditions, religions, sects, political and social orders, physical characteristics, subsets with very particular ideals than can both divide and unite member of the first two groupings.
Countries, provinces, archipelagos, continents unite and divide into empires, alliances, conglomerates, better to overcome, influence, adapt other similar united areas. Lands, peoples, groups, are as changeable and contrary as can be imagined, forming, reforming, adapting, moving forward, reappraising, retreating, in a constant and higgeldy piggeldy mish mash of variable variances.
Whilst I acknowledge my ingrained traditions, influences, I happily admit that they are terribly flawed, and cannot be excused or overlooked in any possibly way. I am for all intents and purposes a ship afloat in an endless ocean, with no comfortable or familiar port available to anchor and refresh vital and necessary provisions. Loneliness, singularity has become a comfortable cloak, separating me from and strangely also uniting with the world at large, a globe lately suddenly thrown into unescapable isolation.
Recognizing ones ties is the first step towards maturing intellectually, the second step is to admit that all preconceived ideas are utterly erroneous to reality. Reality is a current event, not some result of a series of events and actions, happenstances and reactions fading back beyond self-memory into pure rumor and biased narrative. Let go of the past and see clearly the present, and face the problems presently exposed in hopefully new and suited ways.
Problematically, people are inclined to remember only the better times, casting errors and unfortunate events aside like so much chaff from a sack of grain. A world constructed of past highlights will ever be disappointing, full of failure, old solutions inadequate for present problems. Without progress the universe stagnates, rots, becomes unsavory and decidedly unattractive.
Events on a world-wide scale produce opportunities for revolution, change, improvement, without the drawbacks of regret and nostalgia, stumbling blocks of any true leap of faith. Upheavals should merit the excitement, the possibilities of a renaissance, be embraced with open hands and an open heart.
Nationalism is the natural offshoot of fraternity, the amalgam of like souls to enable control and viable use of manpower of a captured population. Any ills most certainly only magnified as the greed and fragility of the elites multiplied, when the fear of invasion, conflict, takeover required the working population to be converted to soldiers of fortune at the beck and call of the senior tier.
War is without doubt a very profitable business, requiring a multitude of ancillary supplies and suppliers not generally available in a peaceable realm. Plough sheers may indeed become halberds, but such improvisations only cover a small percentile of required equipage. Hence the provision of armaments becomes the first industry, whether aggressively minded or defensive. Naturally, control of the arms industry falls under the sway of the upper echelons, thereby further cementing their control and power. Civilization as we know it could quite easily be considered a destructive force, naturally causing as much division as integration. Communities seem to work best when small, somewhat disorganized, and headless.