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National Threads

The construction of a nation is a titanic endeavour. Many countries are immersed in building their national identity and creating a prosperous nation. Both these threads sometimes fuse, collide, orthogonalise, and create synergies. Through this process, people can experience the multidimensionality of what it is to be a part of their nation. Nation building is an approach that can enable smoother transitions.

As a disclaimer, I state that economics focus on the development of a nation and a country is relevant, but should not be the primary focus of any government. There are many other threads at play that directly influence the economic and sometimes the survival of a nation goes against economic growth. That said, I must argue that under no circumstance do I believe that economic growth should be neglected, it should be the number two priority of humanity, and sometimes the number one. Number one only when the survival of society is under threat.

Fusing economic purposes with national ones is always desirable. Creating a national journey towards economic growth while fostering the common meanings a country has through its culture and history is optimal. Having both of this interests aligned goes through understanding genuinely what are the commonalities nations have with their resources.

Colliding trajectories of economic and national identity are constantly happening. There is a homogenising discourse world over, where, what life should look like is continuously being bombarded world over. The anglophene vision of the world has created a global vision of how countries and people should look into, with fortunately enough, a credo of diversity that does enable for outliers. The current global perception is one of indoctrination and almost of imperial colonial nature, yet… it is a cultural one. These collisions threaten common meanings in certain cultures, and when the economic imposes on itself, it has been witnessed how people react and discredit/destroy/despise the global liberal order.

Orthogonality refers to how efforts on either side are constantly undermined. For example, many of the reconstructions after ethnical war conflicts fail to re-establish a new order, since there are competing views on what should be done, and people resist it. The development of the national identity falls into a stalemate.

Finally, synergies are what all should be looking for. The economic global world order is here to be used. States have forgotten that they are the underpinning that keeps global markets in place. They can challenge them or even reject them. Our examples might not be liberal, but we must decouple global economic order with the political, national order. Russia and China have been successful in rejecting the liberal social credo while engaging very differently with the global economic order. Even to the extent of challenging the dominance of global financial markets. Chinese rise, as part of the global economic order, picked and chose parts of it, and still subsidises other areas of their country is perhaps the most amazing story of raising people out of poverty (Numbers are unbelievable).

All of these national branding strategies when geared towards attracting capital and serving the economic engine of a country, fail to provide for their point of origin: unity. Creating a common myth that enables a nation to share meanings, allows for cohesive social structures that in turn… is what capitalism is built upon.

I do not follow the idea that money is a social acid as Marx says. Because one dollar given to a corporate charity is very different to personally delivering the same dollar to someone you know needs it. Therefore, money is not the problem, nor is capitalism, but our failure to place in check, that once survival and subsistence have been achieved… growing as a society should be back to number one. But then again, economists world over disagree…

March 2020
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