Letter: The myth of the nation-state is like a pre-Galileo universe



I now reside in my country of ancestry and nationality, but not by birth, having lived decades in 10 other countries, worked in 15, on four continents. So I share some of your views (“The mythmaking of nations”, Life & Arts, FT Weekend, May 8)

Since the repeal of the corn laws and the end of commercialism in the 1840s, we’ve done all kinds of mental contortions and myth-building, as you say, to justify the continued existence of the nation-state. .

But it went far beyond rhetoric: we acted to undermine the family as the cornerstone of society by creating the welfare state and weeded out traditional religion as a source of cohesion. Thus, “no myth, no nation” is true; but “no nation, no order” implies that the nation brings an order which is not true. Look around.

The nation-state is proving useless in responding to the climate crisis, the problem of migration, the distribution of wealth, international trade and now the pandemic. He no longer resists.

It’s like the pre-Galileo model that placed our planet at the center of the universe. Just stop the myths. Let go and imagine something new, simple and achievable.

Paul griffiths
Professor of Finance, Department of Law, Finance and Control, EM Normandie Business School, Oxford, UK



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