from Chapter 9:
Nations and States
state-system in Europe succeeded feudalism, and the warrior caste can
be seen as enacting the following codes:i
- serving/submitting to God/King;
- the disrespectful to be
severely punished and/or eliminated
- monopoly on violence and
possession of arms as status criterion
- high on mastery of weapons, low
on mastery of symbolic culture
and the courage
to be killed
- tournaments for training,
duels/battles for real violence
- only aristocrats/warrior caste
permitted to duel and fight wars
warrior/macho values: courage, honor, dignity, valeur,
- conflicts not to be solved but
to be processed into such values
- easily offended/insulted; honor
regained through violence
- conflicts are terminated when
duels/battles produce more status
"state" or "big power" for "God/King",
"maneuvers" for "tournaments",
"/statesmen/military" for "aristocrats/warriors".
The hypothesis: states,
when speaking, acting and thinking as one person in crisis, behave as
if enacting a millennium old warrior caste code.
This is the code of a narcissistic
social caste that managed to program its successor system the same
way, by occupying positions as army commanders and foreign
More about that in the next section.
about the code of a nation? Of course nations differ, but the
following elements can be identified in many of them:iii
our group is exceptional, chosen by higher forces (God, History), we
have a mission in the world, others should pay attention, if not at
their own (considerable) risk;
usually divided into the myths of a golden (even very distant) past
and a glorious future when the mission has been accomplished
according to the prescription of the higher forces;
but, to be chosen evokes the envy of others, so the glory is mixed
with the bitterness of heavy traumas suffered in the struggle to
accomplish that mission, living up to commands.
the tendency to divide the world sharply in two parts, the minimum
subdivision (like "the West and the Rest");
conceiving of one of the two parts as only good and the other as only
bad, struggling for human allegiance;
seeing that struggle as irreconcilable, ending with the triumph of
good or bad, so better make good strong.
the same, narcissism
(megalomania) and paranoia.
Very useful in identifying these codes has been the masterpiece by
Marc Bloch, Feudal
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961, particularly Vol. I, Ch.
XVI "Vassal and Lord", pp. 219-230, and Vol. II, Chs.
XXI-XXV about the Nobles, pp. 283-344.
And not only in the West. An important account of the secret
understanding between Japan and the United States over Korea (that
the USA stays off Korea and Japan stays off the Philippines, both in
the name of "peace in East Asia", starts with the words
"On July 29, 1905, Count Katsura, Prime Minister of Japan and
temporarily in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the
place of Baron Nomura - -". However, the code of the state
system does not presuppose noblemen on the top to be enacted, that
is only important to understand the genesis of the system.
"Excellencies" think of themselves as above others,
sometimes also as above the law whether aristocratic or not.
For an application of this approach to the USA, see Johan Galtung,
Projections of Deep-Rooted U.S. Pathologies,
Fairfax: ICAR, George Mason University, 1996, 52pp. The portrayal of
a nation using those six dimensions (and something more) is referred
to as a "psychogram" of that nation. Psychograms have
also been made for Japan, Germany, Austria (for the millennium 1996)
and are being developed for some other nations, reflecting
similarities and dissimilarities. A nation totally free from some
of these less desirable traits has not been identified, but there
are certainly degrees of psychopathology.