We here in the U.S. often tend to think that's a fairly long time for a country to endure.
England; China; Japan; Ethiopia; Greece; Iran; San Marino. They've all endured in some form for 1,000 years or more.
Ask scholars what allowed these nations to avoid extinction, and I'm sure you'll get dozens of answers. I suppose that the simplest possibility is that their people made some sort of collective decision - immediate or gradual, deliberate or accidental - not to tear each other apart. They also managed not to sink into inertial decline, to retain the ability to meet change and be flexible enough to survive it, and even thrive because of it. They understood that identity can be strong even as it's ever-changing.
Most importantly, they did not fear change - not as individuals nor collectively.
As with most simple answers to complicated questions, these are undoubtedly incomplete, and probably wrong in ways I haven't thought of. But when you see historical examples of nations that did tear themselves apart or sink into a fading lassitude, it's hard not to think about what keeps nations alive.
I am occasionally a one-worlder in my head, but I acknowledge that nations don't necessarily have to be things that keep humans apart from each other.
In this, my adopted country, I'm watching hate and fear bid fair to tear at its already weakened seams. The forces of hate and fear are multiple; as far as I'm concerned, they start with ignorant xenophobia that's nurtured by corporatist greed and abetted by apathy. They don't acknowledge the faults built into the House; they refuse to admit that it was built not on rock, but on clay and sand turned red with the blood of Indigenous and enslaved people.
We must acknowledge those truths if this nation is to finally end the 165-year-old insurrection, if it is to endure. We must work, even if it's painfully and slowly, to rebuild the House on rock. The blood can't be erased, but perhaps we can have a future together.
Have another birthday, America - you have another year to try to get it right. This entry was originally posted at https://kaffy-r.dreamwidth.org/796109.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.