The visible hand in economics

Subconscious nationalism

Posted on: August 14, 2007

I hate nationalism, I agree with the idea of valuing your nation above other nations, it just seems like an arbitrary way of dividing people. However, I just had what I think was a nationalistic experience. I was reading this article about how a Trans-Tasman publisher had its first-half profits driven down by a poor performance in NZ. As I was reading I felt embarrassed, I could hear myself thinking “I’m sure New Zealand is as good a market as Australia (if not better 🙂 ), they just must not be trying to sell their product properly”. However, after hearing myself think that statement, a statement that made practically no economic sense, I realised I was just being defensive. I was being defensive about the performance of the New Zealand publishing market.

We are all boundedly rational, and so we all need to follow rules of thumb in order to make quick decisions, or quickly analyse things. As people we can’t comprehend a world made up of individuals, we have to put people into groups in order to interact with society, this is one of our rules of thumb. However, it is important to realise how ridiculous I sound standing up for the New Zealand publishing market in my head, as that is how ridiculous we all sound when we argue things on a nationalistic basis.

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1 Response to "Subconscious nationalism"

[…] All Blacks, and the 2007 World Cup Now remember, I hate nationalism.  However, when I wrote this I found I was being strangely defensive of New Zealand.  This made me realise that nationalism is […]

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