Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in literature (1913)…
Today (August 7) marks the anniversary of his death in 1941
We offer this timely and provocative essay on the nation-state,
which is excerpted from his 1917 book NATIONALISM
(Available as a FREE ebook for Kindle
or in a variety of file formats from Project Gutenberg.)
Against the Nation-State
We delude ourselves into thinking that humanity in the modern days is more to the front than ever before. The reason of this self-delusion is because man is served with the necessaries of life in greater profusion, and his physical ills are being alleviated with more efficacy. But the chief part of this is done, not by moral sacrifice, but by intellectual power. In quantity it is great, but it springs from the surface and spreads over the surface. Knowledge and efficiency are powerful in their outward effect, but they are the servants of man, not the man himself. Their service is like the service in a hotel, where it is elaborate, but the host is absent; it is more convenient than hospitable.