The very respectable journal Le Monde Diplomatique recently published an ethnic map of Europe. It portrays the western part of the continent in solid colors coinciding perfectly with state boundaries. The eastern part, however, is a crazy quilt of overlapping borders, with the colors running into each other within individual states. Of coarse, the solidity of the West European ethnic map is an illusion. Who has not heard of Catalans and Bretons, Scots and Welsh, Walloons and Flemings, perhaps even Frisians or Friulians? Has anyone forgotten that Ulstermen, Basques, and Corsicans were practicing ethnic violence before it erupted in East Europe? And how can Switzerland, that archetypal multilinguistic state, possibly be depicted in monochrome?
And yet this map does convey a fundamental...
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