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What The Republic of Sarah Says About Building a Nation
The moral case for the necessity of the nation state.
We all have our limits.
There are lines we don't cross. Places we won't go. Ideas that are just completely off limits no matter what we might be offered. One of the things which has been revealed over the last 18 months is this fact. In order to protect yourself, there's certain things you have to focus on and things you shouldn't. Whether it's staying 6 feet apart or staying at home, we've all drawn lines between ourselves and other people around us. It's one of the necessary parts of living to make people respect those lines in whatever way makes the most sense.
Where to draw those lines is what makes things more complicated. Drawing any line must almost by definition be arbitrary. Thankfully, most people are born into some basic lines they have to live within. A family is the most obvious line. Having parents, biological or not, creates a line between you and other human beings who aren't your parents. As the family grows or doesn't, those lines continue to evolve to include siblings, whether biological or not. Then as you grow up, you gain the ability to create other lines like friends. Those who aren't biologically related but are still excluded on the basis of a distinction between those who are and aren't your friends. Becoming an adult creates more lines as well when it comes to those you date and those you don't, and perhaps even those you marry and those you don't.
These are all inherently arbitrary lines you've drawn for yourself, consciously or unconsciously. Perhaps the largest of those lines being created is the area in which you are born. Whether it's the city, the state/province, or the country. It's those lines which are more often not drawn by you but none the less you live within which have a profound effect on who you are and how you create your own lines around you.
These lines are designed to protect you from those who don't fall inside them. Not the least of which is for a virus which came from outside these lines and doesn't follow anyone's rules with regards to what they do and don't want within the boundaries they've created. Which is why people don't like invasive things. It crosses their boundaries.
The Republic of Sarah is fundamentally about where to draw that dividing line between the country you live in and the one you don't. What distinguishes a country from another? How is that line drawn? Can a line be drawn by you and manage to function effectively? To provide people the basics they need in order to survive and create their own boundaries within those lines. And how do others react when you draw a line they're not comfortable with?
It's pretty ironic that this story came out at the very time when such lines are being drawn and redrawn continuously, sometimes on an hourly basis. Usually at one of the levels of government that is seen within the show.
So why not explore this fundamental concept and give yourself a lesson in how to draw a line?
This post is in part a response to another Substack I recently read, find it here.
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