The Tower of Babel and Nationalism

  1. And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
  2. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
  3. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
  4. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
  5. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
  6. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
  7. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
  8. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
  9. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
— Genesis 11:1–9

My view of the necessary condition for nationalism:

  • If you want to do anything cooperatively, you must have a common language.

  • If you do not have a common language, you cannot do anything cooperatively.
  • What happens when people in slums revolt?

    The straightforward answer is: South Africa, from July 9 to July 18, 2021. As a background to what occurred, see: 2021 South African unrest.

    Here is a video of the recent events in South Africa:

    where do such rebellious people come from? Slums. And it only takes some event such as the killing of George Floyd in the United States for the alienated poor to go on a rampage. Below are videos describing some slums around the world.

    Here is a video of the Kibera Slums in Kenya:

    Here is a video of a slum in Mumbai:

    Here is a slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

    Lunik 9, the biggest Roma slum in Kosice, Slovakia, Europe:

    Is Tribalism an evil?

    Desmond Morris, a zoologist, in the book, The Human Zoo (1969), writes: “Man is a tribal animal, and the great super-tribes will always be in competition with one another.” p. 117 of chapter 4: “In-groups and Out-groups.”  

    Watch below the BBC six-part series “The Human Animal,” presented by Desmond Morris in 1994.  Tribalism is covered in the 3rd part.

    Nationalism is one form of expression of tribalism. It is the desire to have your nation or tribe be a State.  The trouble arises when your tribe or nation is believed to be superior to other tribes or nations.  This is what happened in Nazi Germany, especially when the tribe or nation is seen as a Nordic warrior nation, with an exaggerated image of self-importance.

    Sebastian Junger – Why Tribalism Is Critical

    Amy Chua on tribal politics