I come from a country where identity is very important. National identity that is. Well, more like nationalistic identity in a country with multiple nationalities. You know, where your identity is better than the identity of others, clearly lesser people. People die for it. People kill in the name of it. And, in my homeland, they did plenty of that.
This identity that people cling to so tightly is more often than not something that was fed to them by others whose agendas needed soldiers to execute their dreams of power. These dreams are never accomplished by creating jobs, improving social conditions, protecting environment, or making democracy flourish. Instead, this hunger for power requires an enemy, a scapegoat. The power-driven “elites” manipulate history, communications media, and political narrative to instill in “their people” fear of others, the hatred of different. Then, the uninformed, the manipulated do what they are asked to do: kill.
They don’t even realize that by killing their neighbors who are different from them they are actually reducing the potential for their own success in the future. The reason for the miracle called nature is its diversity, its many forms of life. Similarly, the miracle of a successful society is the diversity of forms of expression of its citizens. And, the more diverse a society is the greater its chance for a longterm survival and prosperity.
Why is that? Because diversity of forms of expression breeds the diversity of problem solving methods that are needed for solving ever-increasing challenges of human societies. Nationalism promotes sameness, oneness. It wants to eliminate everyone else who does not conform to the preferred stereotype. By eliminating others, nationalistic societies eliminate their chances of success and longterm resilience.
Today, the world is again in danger of glorifying and promoting nationalism, racism, xenophobia, sexism, or religious fundamentalism, along with a myriad of other isms designed to exclude, to separate, to eliminate. In the age of science, technology, the Internet, and global trade, we are choosing to close our borders, to introduce trade tariffs, to start wars, to censure flow of information, to violently put down unrests of our own citizens. And this all is happening while our home, our planet is in danger of being negatively influenced by irresponsible actions of the human race, contributing to global warming.
So, when will we accept the fact that we are first and foremost humans; that being members of the human race is the only identity that we need; that all our differences in nationality, gander, religion, race, sexual preferences, culture, social status, wealth, or any other human condition do not matter? I hope it will be before it is too late.