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The Unreal America

Courtesy Reuters

A NATION, needless to say, is a very complex reality. But this too obvious fact should not lead us to forget that a nation is also a very simple reality, and that this is the condition of its unity, of its being one country. "Ces grands corps que sont les nations," said Descartes--"Those great bodies which are nations." That is true; they are great, sometimes huge bodies; but they are at the same time, perhaps primarily, "characters" or "persons." Their unity is a personal one, both for themselves and for others. The representative character of societies--of all societies, each in its different way--is essential and cannot be disregarded or obscured by the fact that it often takes an unusual form. Each type of society or country--city, commonwealth, nation, empire--has its own way of being one, and therefore of being personal and representative.

For a long time, the country was

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