Smoke

I am uncomfortable with most political discourse in this country, largely because it rests on a variety of insane assumptions. What, after all, is a nation state? It is a boundary superimposed over land. There is no “nation,” only an agreement between a large number of people to draw a boundaries “here” and “there.” Hence irrational political arguments.

Take the immigration debate, for example. I think we should welcome the stranger into our land. But if I argue that point in the public sphere, I have to change my language. I have to refer to people as “immigrants.” I have to reduce their humanity to a demeaning term even if I am supporting their right to a decent life. But there’s no such thing as an immigrant, just like there’s no such thing as a nation.

See, perceiving an “immigrant” is what happens when I accept the state’s way of understanding and constructing the world. My intellect surrenders its freedom to see a person as a person and to love a person as a person and instead opts for a dehumanizing, statistical, aesthetically banal stereotype. Why? Because the language of politics is, largely, a hallucinogen. Smoke it enough, and you see things.

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