Benefits and pitfalls of an imagined community

The hyped globalisation has led many to predict the demise and irrelevance of the nation states. Norwegian academics have discovered that the Norwegian nation state was really constructed because it served middle-class bussiness interests (for some reason mentioned academics never ask themselves why they have made this discovery exactly at a point in time where bussiness interests have gone global.. Whose interests are they serving now?)

The fact that this very text was written in English for an imagined global audience of netizens attest to the blog-powered globalisation of discourse. However, an imagined community was required for the text to be composed at all. Much of what we do is an interaction with an imagined community (for instance is every act of shopping is an interaction with "all those who see any value in a sheet of paper with a number printed on").

So, while academics may debate the finer points of the origins and age of Norwegian national consciousness I would be more interested in discussing the origin of that debate. It would be even more interesting to discuss the real-life benefits and pitfalls of defining oneself as a member of an imagined community, such as but not limited to a nation, and the frictions caused by the ideas of individuality encountering the ideas of the imagined communities..

Any takers for this debate?

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