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Published:August 16th, 2010 15:58 EST

IDENTITIES: How Governed, Who Pays? Ch. 3

By HB Paksoy

 

     1. It is not unusual for the governance strata of a polity to attempt at forming an official, uniform identity. In fact, it is usually the norm.

 

     2. Some attempts to create an official identity even succeed.

 

     3. The elements of official identity generally start with the origin myth. This myth may be fortified to a certain extent with scholarly apparatus.

 

     4. Belief systems are invariably injected into the official identity. If the belief system is indigenous to the new official identity, it is kept and underlined with appropriate fanfare.

 

     5. If the belief system is of an imported nature, then it may be modified.

 

     6. The modifications to an imported belief system will emphasize the specific contributions of the importers. It will also be internalized, and made unique to the new owners as much as possible.

 

     7. The sub-groups existing within the polity may wish to retain their old identity, resisting the new official identity. This will create conflicts, and even migrations.

 

     8. The governance strata will induce the population to accept the new official identity. These inducements will take many forms.

 

     9. If the inducements do not produce satisfactory results, compulsion will be applied.

 

     10. New institutions will be formed, to bolster the existing institutions in spreading the new official identity.

 

     11. The success of the new identity will depend on several key elements. The most important is how well the elements resonate with what is already accepted by the members of the polity.

 

     12. Natural receptiveness of the population of the new modifications may depend on emotions or economic benefits that may accrue by accepting the new position.

 

     13. Not everyone in the polity will accept the new official identity as it is presented by the governance strata. This is because there will be regional and sub-regional identities already in existence within. The official version may not adequately reflect these subtle differences to the satisfaction of regional polities.

 

     14. At times, readily identifiable elements from one regional identity may dominate the officially constructed identity. This will displease the other regional polities. Existence of this condition may even cause rejection of the entire construct.

 

     15. Generally, during the course of disseminating the newly constructed official identity, any attempt at modifications will cause not only confusion but also rejection.

 

     16. One of the preferred dissemination methods used by the governance strata is the creation of folklore. Academic attention to folklore will legitimize the contents thereof.

 

     17. The `general educational system` of the polity, be it based on traditions or formalized, will also have to be redesigned to accommodate the new identity; especially beginning with the lowest level institutions.

 

     18. It is imperative to the governance strata that the future generations are raised inculcated with the new identity. Failure to do so will jeopardize the project from inception. For the purpose, the governance strata will devote significant resources to the indoctrination of the school children.

 

     19. Annual commemorative days will be named after significant events or persons. Ceremonies created or resuscitated for the purpose will take on the importance of mass festivals.

 

     20. Personages and events will also be named as examples of failure or repulsion, usually without commemorative days. This is another effort to create cohesion, to draw attention to what actions and thoughts must be avoided.

 

     21. One reason for a governing strata to create an official identity is an attempt to create cohesion in that polity.

 

     22. Without unified common goals, a polity will not survive intact.

 

     23. Polities compete with each other, in all possible endeavors of life.

 

     24. Polities that cannot adapt to the natural transformation that takes place over time in the affairs of human endeavor will perish; they will cease to exist as a polity, community or collection of individuals.

 

     25. The path of humans to the present is littered with examples of collapsed empires, extinct polities and disappearing leavening agents.

 

     26. Not every sub-group in every extinct polity vanishes in their entirety. Some of these sub-groups manage to re-create themselves. This they manage by means of re-constructing their identity, either by natural means or through the efforts of their governing strata in building an official identity.

 

     27. Colonialism is a case where independent polities are brought under the rule of a colonizing power, usually by means of armed force.

 

     28. No empire lives forever. After the life-force Identity of an empire is degraded, the empire will collapse.

 

     29. Not all polities engulfed earlier by an empire will survive the collapse of that empire.

 

     30. As an empire disintegrates, a portion of the constituent polities will re-assert their former identities. 31. The difference between those polities who can re-assert themselves after the empire in which they were placed by force is dissolved and those who cannot is found in the strength of their leavening processes.

 

     32. Each polity already has a natural identity from its origin.

 

     33. The commonly shared values of the mass of a polity determines that natural identity.

 

     34. The natural identity of a polity will be modified by the specific actions of its owners. This will take place over prolonged periods of time.

 

     35. Whether or not this natural identity is refined (as in high culture) or returns to more rough forms (initial formation stages) is decided by the owners. Consciously or otherwise.

 

     36. If the owners are proud of their identity, they will take concrete steps to propagate or even embellish it.

 

     37. The propagation of a polity`s identity starts with inculcating the young of the polity.

 

     38. The process of inculcating the young of a polity involves formulating the leavening process.

 

     39. The leavening process includes the commonly shared values, as expressed in various activities of life, such as origin myths, music, literature, art, military prowess, agricultural practices, belief systems and so on. All these aspects form the bases of identity.

 

     40. Some polities may be so unhappy with their existing identity that they will resolve to forget it altogether and adopt another. This happened in several documented cases in Asia and the Pacific region.

 

     41. A polity may decide that they do not like their identity because they are unhappy with their predicament. They may have lost their livelihood, independence or influence. This also indicates that they either had not a strong identity to begin with, or the leavening process of that identity was not sufficiently developed.

 

     42. The changes in a polity`s identity may be conscious or haphazard.

 

     43. In polities where haphazard changes(without documented foundations) take place in the identity, the said identity does not survive.

 

     44. When the polity is proud of its identity, they will strive to make it known widely.

 

     45. A polity`s excessive pride in its own identity will lead to false pride as well.

 

     46. The excessively defined identity may seduce the members of that polity to think themselves in terms of superiority with respect to other identities and polities.

 

     47. The resulting false pride will in the end manifest itself in physical forms in terms of excluding others from their own domain.

 

     48. The false pride becomes even more dangerous to the polity creating it, and to other polities, when veiled forms of it are used.

 

     49. Veiled false pride involves the use of coded words, phrases and sentences to express itself. These are employed to remind the creators of the false pride that they are superior to all others.

 

     50. Another manifestation of false pride is the use of open references to put others, "inferior beings," into their place.

 

     51. The open references used by the creators of false pride, and the resulting actions will offend other polities, especially those termed inferior.

 

     52. Any polity thinking itself as offended or humiliated will retaliate with any means available. The offended party will regard this a matter of survival.

 

     53. Every natural identity will evolve.

 

     54. The evolution of an identity may benefit or harm the larger community.

 

     55. Neighboring or other interested polities may realize that the identity of a given polity is open to outside influences.

 

     56. It is rare that a polity will refrain from influencing the identity of a neighbor.

 

     57. The polity who attempts to change or influence the identity of another will undertake this task in a stealthy manner.

 

     58. First, the value systems of the target identity will come under pressure.

 

     59. Value systems are the measure by which all other activities are fathomed by the members of that polity.

 

     60. The general objective of the polity attempting to change the identity of a neighbor is to make the neighbor more pliable to the wishes of the polity attempting it.

 

     61. The target polity may realize this and take countermeasures.

 

     62. These countermeasures will range from asserting the existing identity at first to expand and elaborate it.

 

     63. The reaction of the target polity may be vehement and lead to extreme forms of reassertion.

 

     64. The ensuing fortified regenerated identity may become difficult to contain within the original borders of that polity.

 

     65. Irredentist identity, as a sub branch of a particular identity, may also develop as one result.

 

     66. Polities may have become divided, usually due to war, and one or several sub-groupings fall under the rule of neighboring polities. These sub-groupings will be susceptible to irredenta.

 

     67. If the natural identity of the polity divided against its own wishes is possessing sufficient staying power, the irredentist identity activities will have a discernible effect on its own Diaspora, the sub-groups that are detached from the main polity.

     68. The interaction between the reasserted identity under attack from a neighbor and the resulting irredentist identity will result in expansionist identity.