The article argues that borders between countries, excluding those formed by nature, are imaginary and arise due to agreement or conflict. Dr Taylor asserts that we are all, in fact, species of the Earth rather than a specific nation.
When confronting the question of how we explain nationalism, Dr Taylor employs the psychological theory of “terror management”. “Terror management” states that people dealing with insecurity and anxiety tend to concern themselves more with nationalism, status and success, providing one explanation as to why nationalism grows in times of crisis and uncertainty.
Dr Taylor outlines how he has found in his own research that people with high levels of wellbeing and a strong sense of connection to others don’t tend to have a sense of group identity. He also found that those who feel they live a rich and fulfilling life, no longer define themselves in terms of nationality, religion or ideology. They feel the same kinship with all human beings.
He proceeds to state that nationalist endeavors arise from insecurity and anxiety contravene the fundamental interconnectedness of the human race and will therefore always be temporary. He concludes by stating that our most fundamental problems, such as covid-19 or the climate crisis are not limited by geographical borders. These are issues that can only be solved collectively, by viewing ourselves as a species without the limitations of borders or boundaries.
Steve Taylor teaches mainly on the Psychology and Society course, and is the Module Leader for Consciousness Studies and Positive Psychology. He is a widely published and well known author of books on psychology and self-development.