The formations of states, as manifested in the drawing of their boundaries, are thought by Rawls to be arbitrary.
The formations of states, as manifested in the drawing of their boundaries, are thought by Rawls to be arbitrary.As such, the place of states in the political run of things is just not all that significant. What matters is the development of an ‘overlapping consensus’ on the habits and institutions by which people, who might otherwise diverge, can get along with each other.
The solidarity legitimates the state – it tells the citizens why they are members and why it is right for the state to exist.
In theory the power of the state is really in the hands of the nation because the state is nothing more or less than the great national project. Despite its sordid history, the South African state is legitimated as the project of the ‘rainbow nation’.
Very many people have killed and died in the name of the nation, and states have disintegrated into bitterness and conflict as a result. Much of the thinking described in this chapter prizes a solidarity that is strong yet socially inclusive.
In section 1 the issue of solidarity will be explained.
Nationalists argue that solidarity derived from 'thin' concepts like 'justice' and 'utility' cannot bind people to their states.
Conceptually, the sources of solidarity have either derived from the ideas of ethnicity or of civic unity.
First, it forces people to ‘“internalise” externalities’.
The state ensures that people pay the real cost of their activities, including environmental and social costs.
Conceptually, the sources of solidarity have either derived from ideas of ethnicity or from ideas of civic unity (section 2).
The stories we tell are often either about common origins, or common social traditions.