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naocat wrote

Post-demagougical and your theory both seem pretty sound to me.

Expanding on your closer, I think it would take only one powerful state to arise before its neighbors would feel forced to define themselves in response to its pressure. The world would quickly become a series of pseudo-equal, national actors against all "other."

States could arise with a lot of unique nuances, but one can ruin it for everyone. The more states form, the less non-state peoples can ignore their existence.