A nation is specified by a set of genetic similarities. A culture is specified by a set of practical, technical and moral similarities; of customary rules for living. The two coevolve, and are inextricably linked. They intersect at the cult of the nation. It is the cult that is first. Nation and culture depend upon cult.
No cult, no nation, howsoever similar the genes; for then, no matter how similar the men may be corporeally, they go each ideologically their own idiosyncratic way, unconstrained by each other.
Which never happens.
Likewise, no common cult, then no culture, howsoever similar the preponderant memes. When no memes are understood as holy, and so sacrosanct, no meme whatever may be evaluated by any reliable standard. Then anything goes, whatever. In that unconstrained libertinism is the death of true society.
Genetic and cultural similarities must in the final analysis recur to, and derive from, a cult: a set of First Principles about how things truly work, and ought to be done, that motivates and coordinates social acts. Their common devotion to their common cult consecrates and joins a people. Cults make nations holy. It is that sanctity we feel when our hearts swell with patriotic piety at the singing of the national anthem, that moves young men to sacrifice their lives to and for the high national purpose, and that weighs us down with the heaviness of grief when we contemplate the hallowed dead, even as we thrill to the beauty of their heroism.
The coevolution of gene and culture is mediated in the configuration space of cult, and in the territory wherein it prevails, and makes the national homeland a sacred temenos. Culture is a department of cult; and so, by the very same token, is gens.
No cult, no culture. No god, no nation.
Every nation has an angel.
So Ruth 1:16-17:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.
Ruth’s vow is formally akin to the wedding vow. Ruth pledges herself both to a foreign people, whom she loves for the sake of the concrete person – Naomi – whom she loves, and to whom she is loyal; and, so, to their God. Nothing less will do; it is cult, or it is nothing at all. For it is in virtue of the cult that the people are constituted as such. The cult *just is* the people.
It is the pledge unto death that procures true loyalty, true vassalage; and, so, true social integrity and health under the more or less constant pressure of immigration and emigration.