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The nation-state is a relatively recent geopolitical occurrence, despite common belief. Nation-states are products of the modern age and did not exist before the advent of modernity; prior to this, agglomerates of polities, ethnic identities, and religious territories tended to make up what people in the Middle Ages might have considered analogous to the 21st-century nation-state.

Many people, following in the footsteps of Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803),[1] espouse the belief that nation-states are eternal. They often rely on myth to bolster their ignorance of historical development. They are called nationalists because they espouse various theories of positive nationalism.

Belief in the eternal nature of nation-states is one of the more inexplicable psychological flaws that dot the citizenry. Because of this die-hard belief, appeals to the mythical nature of national foundings are often used for contemporary political maneuvers against social change, most especially on the political right. Leftist politics tends to associate economic trends (the state) with social history, as opposed to trends in solidarity based on more phenotypical or rhetorical similarities (the nation).

Some people like to think that a nation-state consists in the perfect congruence of a nation and a state. This seldom occurs.

See also[edit]

  • See the Wikipedia article on Johann Gottfried Herder.