10 March 2014

Cornwall, like Walt Whitman, contains multitudes. I have often pointed out that nationalism lumpifies Cornwall and the people here. It presents the county as one uniform place, Cornwall, and the people as one uniform group, the Cornish; it tends lumpify England and the English too. It is a major flaw in Cornish nationalism, the crying up of unity and disregard of difference, the imposition of ideology over reality.

As well as unities there are, for example, important socio-economic differences among the people of Cornwall and now I am drawing attention to political ones. Of course, these do not apply only to Cornwall but to many places and peoples. It’s never just Cornwall.

Read the reviews of research in the article The origin of ideology , discussing a theory that left and right, liberal and conservative, are broadly biological. Differences in the size of the amygdala and of the anterior cingulated cortex are perhaps linked to right and left outlooks.

Being Cornish (or English or French or whatever) is more complicated than nationalism suggests. Which are you, amygdala Cornish or anterior cingulate cortex Cornish?

I contain multitudes: Walt Whitman (1819-92) Song of myself