The biggest trick that the nation-state concept has pulled on modern man is the proposal that there is an essential line between the external and the internal.
Sovereignty over precisely demarcated physical territory is the underlying notion. It is here the nation-state is most easily understood. And so, in all countries, the Home Ministry and the Foreign Ministry are powerful institutions, alongside the Defence Ministry. Here lies the hardware of the nation-state, where protocol and ceremony blend with threat of violence and incarceration to secure the state apparatus inwardly and outwardly.
Domestic peace and international security exist in apparent separation, making up what is commonly called politics. No line is deemed clearer politically than the one between citizen and non-citizen, except perhaps that between ethnic groups in the case of Malaysia.
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