[HenryPorter]: "Surely you understand the difference between nation and state. The state runs the nation. I wish it was the other way round."
Do you, Henry, or anyone, I wonder, really understand the difference between state and nation . . ?
The state has always claimed to represent a nation that does not, in truth, exist.
The STATE is based, necessarily, on coercion (originally by the sword of the aristocracy, with its military superiority, in coalition with the word of God, wielded by the Church, with its "moral superiority"), whereas a NATION, if it existed (according to my definition), would comprise individuals freely deciding that they belong together, as a PEOPLE.
The state (way back in the Middle Ages) usurped the nation (which never had the opportunity to form in the first place), yet wears its mantle, claiming its legitimacy and authority as its own.
A NATION is (or would be effectively) an extension of one's TRIBE (itself an extension of one's (extended) family), within the context of which human social behaviour evolved over millions of years, and is thus adapted to, whereas the STATE arose with the advent of civilisation as an instrument to facilitate society's self-exploitation (as an artificial ENVIRONMENT), to the advantage of its powerful and privileged elites (originally the aristocracy and clergy, now greatly "demo- and meritocratized").
We need to recognise the (misplaced and perverted) Darwinian, nature of the state, Henry, if we are to understand it and break its strangle hold on us.