Thursday, July 31, 2008

'Nationalism is a Fiction: It Requires the Willing Suspension of Disbelief'

The above title quote is from an article called The Narcissim of Minor Difference by Michael Ignatieff.

And it seems rather apt here.

The following images are from a forwarded email that is making the rounds in Thailand.

It is titled "ประเทศไทย ช่วยกันส่งต่อให้มากๆ นะ" which translates roughly as: Help Thailand by forwarding this message.

The content is clear without the need to read Thai - Thailand was, and still is, in threat of being riped apart by rapacious colonial powers and neighbours.

And everyone wants a peice; the English, the French, the Chinese, the Burmese, and the Cambodians.

The timeliness of the message, in particular to the Preah Vihear temple dispute is clear.

But, to believe this nationalist nonsense, does require the suspension of disbelief. The series of images show an imaginary Thailand that nationalists belief once existed.

But it never did of course.

It was never a unified and demarcated territory until AFTER the colonial powers demarcated British Burma/Malay and French Indochine.

There was conquest and there were 'Thai' armies laying siege to other disparate kingdoms but it was never a demarcated territory as this nationalist propaganda suggests.

The main point in Ignatieff's article - which is focused on the war in the Balkans - is that "neighbours once ignorant of the very idea that they belong to opposing civilizations begin to think - and hate - in these terms; how they vilify and demonize people they once called friends; how, in short, the seeds of mutual paranoia are sown, grain by grain, on the soil of common life."

These maps are the seeds of growing nationalism, and the seeds of hate between neighbours who share a common land.


  1. im here because of few cents for you. just dropping by.

  2. To the owner of this blog, how far youve come?You were a great blogger.


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