re: The word "NATION". Little Richardjohn - 146th post - 25 Sep 2004 15:23 I would like to suggest that the 'nation' as we known it, the concept which flourished in the C19, was the product of the steam engine. And as such is now a bit obsolete.
In the age when the limit to speed and freight carriage was horsepower, national boundaries could afford to be relatively lax as any forthcoming threat to it could be detected well in advance and countered if necessary.
The railway changed all that. And invading army could be transported hundreds of miles in hours, and so a country with no natural barriers had to reinforce its borders and centralise its power structure. This all had to be paid for, and so a central tax system became vital, as did a communications network of some sort.
The railways also made trade much faster and reliable, so new methods had to be found of monitoring transactions, and providing a workforce with the necessary skills to service the new industries. It was also now necessary to provide a means of deciding who would manage these new systems. Enter elected governments, the civil service, and the centralised education system.
Etc Etc Etc.
We are now living in a communications age which outstrips both trains and planes in speed and distance. So the hard reasons for the structure we call the nation are suspect.