Essay: THE PASSIONS & PERILS OF NATIONHOOD

FOR sheer and pervasive fervor, the love of nationhood has no equal among contemporary political passions. Independence is the fetish, fad and totem of the times. Everybody who can muster a quorum in a colony wants Freedom Now—and such is the temper of the age that they can usually have it. Roughly one-third of the world, some 1 billion people, have run up their own flags in the great dismantlement of empires since World War II, creating 60 new nations over the face of the earth. In the process they have also created,...

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