The nation is the individual's national political "umbrella"; it is wider than the social "umbrella" provided by the tribe to its members. Tribalism damages nationalism because tribal allegiance weakens national loyalty and flourishes at its expense. In the same way, loyalty to the family flourishes at the expense of tribal loyalty and weakens it. National loyalty is essential to the nation but, at the same time, it is a threat to humanity.
The nation in the world community is similar, to the family in the tribe. The more the families of a tribe feud and become fanatical, the more the tribe is threatened. The family is threatened when its individual members feud and pursue only their personal interests. Similarly, if the tribes of a nation quarrel and pursue only their own interests, then the nation is undermined. National fanaticism expressed in the use of force against weak nations, or national progress which is at the expense of other nations, is evil and harmful to humanity. However, strong individuals who have self-respect and are aware of their own individual responsibilities are important and useful to the family, just as a strong and respectable family, which is aware of its importance, is socially and materially beneficial to the tribe. Equally useful to the whole world is a progressive, productive and civilized nation. The national political structure is damaged when it descends to a lower social level, namely, the family and tribe, and attempts to act in their manner and to adopt their views.
The nation is an enlarged family which has passed through the period of the tribe and through the diversification of tribes that have branched out from one common source. It also includes those members who affiliated themselves with its destiny. The family, likewise, grows into a nation only after passing through the period of the tribe and its diversification, as well as through the process of affiliation which comes about as a result of interaction between various communities in a society. Inevitably, this is achieved over a long period of time. Although the passage of time creates new nations, it also helps to fragment old ones. Common origin and common destiny, through affiliation, are the two historic bases for any nation, though origin ranks first and affiliation second. A nation is not defined only by origin, even though origin is its basis and beginning. In addition to its origin, a nation is formed by human affiliations through the course of history which induce a group of people to live in one area of land, develop a common history, form one heritage, and face the same destiny. A nation, irrespective of blood bond, is formed through a sense of belonging and a shared destiny.
But why has the map of the earth witnessed great nations that have disappeared to give way to the rise of other nations? Is the reason only political, without any relationship to the social aspect of The Third Universal Theory? Or, is it social and so properly the concern of this part of THE GREEN BOOK?
Let us see. The family is indisputably a social structure rather than a political one. The same applies to the tribe because it is a family which has reproduced and enlarged itself to become many families. Equally true, the nation is a tribe after it has grown and its branches have multiplied and become tribes.
The nation is also a social structure whose bond is nationalism; the tribe is a social structure whose bond is tribalism; the family is a social structure whose bond is family ties; and global society is a social structure whose bond is humanity. These facts are self-evident. There is then the political structure of states which form the political map of the world. But why does the map of the world keep changing from one age to the next? The reason is that political structures may, or may not, be consistent with social structures. When political structure and social reality are congruent, as in the case of the nation-state, it lasts and does not change. If a change is forced by external colonialism or internal collapse, it reappears under the banner of national struggle, national revival or national unity. When a political structure embraces more than one nation, its map will be torn up by each nation, gaining independence under the banner of its respective nationhood. Thus, the maps of the empires which the world has witnessed have been torn up because they were composed of a number of nations. When every nation clings strongly to its national identity and seeks independence, political empires are torn up and their components revert to their social origins. This is evidently clear through the history of the world when reviewed through the ages.
But why were those empires made up of different nations? The answer is that the state is not a social structure like the family, the tribe and the nation, but, rather, a political entity created by several factors, the simplest and foremost of which is nationalism. The national state is the only political form which is consistent with the natural social structure. Its existence lasts, unless it becomes subject to the tyranny of another stronger nationalism or unless its political structure, as a state, is affected by its social structure in the form of tribes, clans and families. A political structure is corrupted if it becomes subservient to the sectarian social structure of the family, tribe, or sect and adopts its characteristics.
Religious, economic and military factors also contribute to form a state which differs from the basic, national state.
A common religion, as well as the requirements of economics or military conquests, may create a state which embraces several nations. Thus, in one age, the world witnesses a state or an empire which will disintegrate in another age. When the spirit of nationalism emerges stronger than religious loyalties, or conflict flares up between different nationalisms which were brought together, for example, by one religion, each nation becomes independent and recovers its social structure. That empire, then, disappears. The role of religion resurfaces when the religious spirit emerges stronger than the spirit of nationalism. Consequently, the various nationalisms are unified under the banner of religion until the national role appears once again, and so on.
All states which are composed of several nationalities for whatever reason - religion, economics, military power or man-made ideology will be destroyed by national conflict until each nation obtains its independence, because the social factor will inevitably triumph over the political factor.
Despite political circumstances which necessitate the establishment of a state, the basis for the life of individuals is the family, and extends to the tribe, the nation, and eventually to all humanity. The essential factor is the social factor. Nationalism is a permanent factor. Stress should be laid on social reality and family care in order to bring up an integrated well-educated human. Care should then be given to the tribe as a social "umbrella" and a natural social school which develops its members at the post-family stage. The nation then follows. The individual learns social values mainly from the family and the tribe which form a natural social structure created by no particular individual. Taking care of the family is in the interest of the individual just as the care of the tribe is in the interest of the family, the individual and the nation; it is part of the national identity. The social factor, the national factor, is the real constant dynamic force behind history.
To disregard the national bond of human communities and to establish a political system in contradiction to social reality establishes only a temporary structure which will be destroyed by the movement of the social factor of those groups, i.e., the national integrity and dynamism of each community.
These facts are innate in the life of humankind and are not intellectual conjectures. Every individual in the world should be aware of these realities and work accordingly so that his actions may be worthwhile. To avoid deviation, disorder and damage in the life of human groups which are the result of a lack of understanding and respect for these principles of human life, it is necessary to know these proven realities.