The fallacy of a country’s “right to self-determination”

 
arildno
 
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arildno
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06 January 2008 04:32
 

Ad nauseam, we are told that “imperialism” is just wrong, that every nation or country has the “right” to evolve on its own premises.

This, of course, is just bollocks.

A nation is just an arbitrary collection of individuals, and the so-called “nation’s” right to self-determination is more often than not the “right” of the dominant segment of those to lord over the others.

Why should it be more right for a dark-skinned person to be the slave-holder of a dark-skinned person than that the slaveholder is lightskinned?
Slavery is wrong, irrespective skin colours involved.

Any such ideas, that racial proximity lessens the injustice done is a racist attitude in that it regards “race” as a morally relevant factor.


An indegenous elite might well become unsuited to remain an elite, if they break a sufficient amount of moral duties towards their subjects.

In those cases, it might well be justified with an intenational action to topple that regime, or “imperialism” if you like.

If the actions done are horrendous enough, even if the subject population is so brainwashed/terrified that they support their own tyrants, an international action may still be defensible.

 
BryanAJParry
 
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BryanAJParry
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13 March 2008 13:58
 

I don’t really know what you’re saying here, so let me say what I think.


If you have a group of people who are societally, culturally, perhaps linguistically, distinct, who are economically viable, and who cohere as a community, then it is their right, if they so choose, to be free, and form a sovran state.

To my mind, the rights of nations to be free is like the rights of individuals to be free. However, like an individual’s rights, the rights of a sovran or non-sovran nation do not extend to denying other nations’ their rights too.

Frankly, I just don’t know what you’re on about in your post.


Bryan

 
arildno
 
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arildno
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13 March 2008 14:01
 
BryanAJParry - 13 March 2008 05:58 PM

I don’t really know what you’re saying here, so let me say what I think.


If you have a group of people who are societally, culturally, perhaps linguistically, distinct, who are economically viable, and who cohere as a community, then it is their right, if they so choose, to be free, and form a sovran state.

To my mind, the rights of nations to be free is like the rights of individuals to be free. However, like an individual’s rights, the rights of a sovran or non-sovran nation do not extend to denying other nations’ their rights too.

Frankly, I just don’t know what you’re on about in your post.


Bryan

A nation is not an individual, hence your analogy is simply false.

 
BryanAJParry
 
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13 March 2008 14:15
 
arildno - 13 March 2008 06:01 PM

A nation is not an individual, hence your analogy is simply false.

Okay, let’s try this: forget my standpoint for a minute. Please clarify your post because I just don’t get it, and it seems like you made all sorts of peculiar logical leaps that I don’t follow.

Bryan

 
arildno
 
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arildno
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13 March 2008 14:19
 

I’ll gladly do that, if you pinpoint the first one. I’m sure I might have expressed myself unclearly, and would like to straighten that out.
But then, it is actually the person regarding a point which is unclear who is the one competent at pointing it out. I’ll do my best to answer after you do that.

 
BryanAJParry
 
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BryanAJParry
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14 March 2008 12:10
 

Pinpoint the first one what? I’m not trying to be difficult, but I simply don’t understand what you’re saying. Please elaborate for me. all I can do is repeat my first post.

 
arildno
 
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arildno
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14 March 2008 12:13
 
BryanAJParry - 14 March 2008 04:10 PM

Pinpoint the first one what? I’m not trying to be difficult, but I simply don’t understand what you’re saying. Please elaborate for me. all I can do is repeat my first post.

Well, since you think a nation is the same as an individual, it isn’t really surprising that you don’t understand what I’m saying.

To keep it short:
An (absolute) right for a nation’s “self-determination” contradicts the principle of individual human rights.

It is, quite simply, a deeply immoral “right”.

 
waltercat
 
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waltercat
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14 March 2008 12:18
 
arildno - 06 January 2008 09:32 AM

A nation is just an arbitrary collection of individuals

Arildno,

Will you at least agree that this is an exaggeration?

I am not sure that I disagree with the main thrust of your point.  But I dope you will agree that a nation is more than an arbitrary collection of individuals.  A nation, often, includes a shared culture that itself includes shared values and beliefs.  A nation is more than just the individuals that make it up, don’t you agree?

 
 
arildno
 
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arildno
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14 March 2008 12:25
 
waltercat - 14 March 2008 04:18 PM
arildno - 06 January 2008 09:32 AM

A nation is just an arbitrary collection of individuals

Arildno,

Will you at least agree that this is an exaggeration?

I am not sure that I disagree with the main thrust of your point.  But I dope you will agree that a nation is more than an arbitrary collection of individuals.  A nation, often, includes a shared culture that itself includes shared values and beliefs.

A shared value is equally little a living organism as a nation is, and is not a moral agent.
Thus, it is not a proper primary object for moral concerns.
Only individuals are.

In particular, that “shared value” doesn’t have any privilged right to exist, for example by suppressing individuals who deviate in their behaviour or attitude from that shared value.

To destroy a culture, i.e, a mindset, is not necessarily an immoral objective. It might even be morally laudable.

 
BryanAJParry
 
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BryanAJParry
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14 March 2008 12:38
 
arildno - 14 March 2008 04:13 PM
BryanAJParry - 14 March 2008 04:10 PM

Pinpoint the first one what? I’m not trying to be difficult, but I simply don’t understand what you’re saying. Please elaborate for me. all I can do is repeat my first post.

Well, since you think a nation is the same as an individual, it isn’t really surprising that you don’t understand what I’m saying.

To keep it short:
An (absolute) right for a nation’s “self-determination” contradicts the principle of individual human rights.

It is, quite simply, a deeply immoral “right”.

Hmm, I didn’t say the nation is the same as the individual, did I? I said: “To my mind, the rights of nations to be free is like the rights of individuals to be free.”

By your logic, nations fullstop are immoral, as is democracy, because these things mean a majority will always tell those who disagree what to do.

 
arildno
 
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arildno
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14 March 2008 12:50
 
BryanAJParry - 14 March 2008 04:38 PM
arildno - 14 March 2008 04:13 PM
BryanAJParry - 14 March 2008 04:10 PM

Pinpoint the first one what? I’m not trying to be difficult, but I simply don’t understand what you’re saying. Please elaborate for me. all I can do is repeat my first post.

Well, since you think a nation is the same as an individual, it isn’t really surprising that you don’t understand what I’m saying.

To keep it short:
An (absolute) right for a nation’s “self-determination” contradicts the principle of individual human rights.

It is, quite simply, a deeply immoral “right”.

Hmm, I didn’t say the nation is the same as the individual, did I? I said: “To my mind, the rights of nations to be free is like the rights of individuals to be free.”

Which is an invalid analogy. A nation is not something alive and sentient, and thus, cannot be regarded as a moral agent.
Thus, it has no prime facie absolute right to exist.

By your logic, nations fullstop are immoral, as is democracy, because these things mean a majority will always tell those who disagree what to do.

Nope. That does not follow.

[ Edited: 14 March 2008 12:52 by arildno]
 
BryanAJParry
 
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BryanAJParry
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15 March 2008 13:38
 

If you disagree that follows, then spell your idea out for me as, as I have already said, I am not sure what you are saying specifically.

 
arildno
 
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arildno
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16 March 2008 05:23
 
BryanAJParry - 15 March 2008 05:38 PM

If you disagree that follows, then spell your idea out for me as, as I have already said, I am not sure what you are saying specifically.

First of all, you should recognize you made an invalid analogy. The legitimate prerservation concerns of individuals are of a whole other order than the legitimate preservation concerns of a “nation”, a “race”, a “class”, a “family”, a “profession”, a “culture” etc. Precisely because none of those are moral agents in themselves.

 
Jack Shooter
 
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Jack Shooter
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16 March 2008 10:59
 
arildno - 16 March 2008 09:23 AM
BryanAJParry - 15 March 2008 05:38 PM

If you disagree that follows, then spell your idea out for me as, as I have already said, I am not sure what you are saying specifically.

First of all, you should recognize you made an invalid analogy. The legitimate prerservation concerns of individuals are of a whole other order than the legitimate preservation concerns of a “nation”, a “race”, a “class”, a “family”, a “profession”, a “culture” etc. Precisely because none of those are moral agents in themselves.

Aldrino,

Looking over this thread as well as your posts on some other threads, I think it’s safe to conclude that your thoughts are seriously lacking coherence and clarity, and above all, purpose.  The comments you tend to make, as you have done in this thread, are in fact pointless ramblings, repleate with jargon.  While others seem to be polite about the ambiguity of your thought, I’m not afraid to tell you how it is - you make no damn sense kid, and when you do, its so damn obvious it doesn’t need to be said.

[ Edited: 16 March 2008 11:02 by Jack Shooter]
 
mcalpine
 
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mcalpine
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16 March 2008 12:23
 

Let me construct a straw man out of red herrings….

Let’s say the Southern US states had a slave economy. Let’s say they seceded to form a new nation. Let’s say the remainder of the US felt slavery was immoral (not to mention the secession thing). So the North wages war on the South to free the slaves. Yay!

If blacks who had a lineage back to the antebellum South were entitled to the reparations they think they deserve (let’s assume that they do deserve it) then should they, ethically and/or morally, share their reparations with families that can prove they are descendants of Union soldiers killed in combat?

 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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19 March 2008 11:45
 

A “nation” is, by and large, an artificial construct.  That doesn’t mean that nationalism didn’t, and doesn’t, serve a useful function as a means of organizing modern states and the citizen’s relation to the state.