End of Nation-States

Nation-states have not been the dominant form of power for a long while. The United States gave up the nation-state model early on. The genuine alliance of nation-states formed in the Articles of Confederation was quickly scrapped for a new form of nation-imperialism, as declared in the (second) Constitution.

The Anti-Federalists (i.e., Real Federalists) warned against this pseudo-Federalism. But it’s too late now. It is here to stay and has taken on even more powerful forms with transnational corporatism. The remaining nation-states elsewhere in the world are increasingly subordinated to and controlled or owned by other interests. Wealth is one of the main outward symbols of power and, as inequality grows, global wealth is being concentrated and centralized among an emerging global plutocracy.

This new system isn’t beholden to democratic processes or national citizenries. Barring collapse or revolution, we will continue along this path. Still, authoritarianism isn’t inevitable. It could transform into something else, depending on the changing conditions and forces in the world. If we wish to kill or chain this beast, it will require that we the people on this planet to assert our authority and sovereignty by organizing. Either that or let it play itself out, giving into passive hope and apathetic cynicism.

We are already in a new world. Most people don’t yet realize it, though. Some event will trigger it all to come out into the open, likely mass global conflict involving war, civil war, and revolutions or maybe various existential crises of economics, environment, and refuges. Then raw power will assert itself seeking to re-enforce social control and political order. The average person won’t see it coming, until it is too late, as always. Then we will be presented with a choice in how to respond or react… or to continue to go along to get along and see what results.

The basic outline of emerging power, however, can already be seen.

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How long will nation-states last?
answer by Elijah Kourt, Quora

I believe that supranational structures are bound to be the ruling system of our global society in the (perhaps not so distant) future. They will include not only the political but also all the other forces that govern the relations among peoples and societies, in which we will regard former nation-states with the same enthusiasm and fervor as we regard today the autonomous areas, provinces and regions of our countries.

The relevance of states is shifting from being an important individual actor to becoming an important part of a greater system. One can see that each day this is more and more the case in nearly all areas of international relations, and actors such as Google, Facebook, Coca Cola, Hollywood and FIFA have greater importance in shaping the international relations than many nation-states. The traditional role of the nation-states is therefore disappearing, together with their power and relevance in international matters. I saw this very clearly when I found out that in 2002 of the world’s 100 largest economies, 51 were corporations and 49 were countries. In 2014, the proportion might have changed to 63 – 37, which results very surprising and unexpected even to me:

Personal and Political Transparency

Here are two interesting videos (the second being a response to the first) about how transparency is changing society and the impact on individuals.

It is an interesting time we live in. Fred (from the first video) mentioned Wikileaks and the idea of a more transparent world in reference to the quote:

“Live your life as if everything you do is public knowledge.”

We do live in a Brave New World. Cameras and video phones are everywhere. Our personal computers have histories that people can look at and search engines record our searches. Credit card companies have records of our purchases. Local news can easily become global news through the internet. Et Cetera.

These videos put into motion the gears in my mind. I have recently contemplated how the changing world is changing me personally. I’ve become aware that I have a different sense of identity than I did when younger. I spend so much time watching news and personal videos by people from all over the world. I interact online with people from diverse locations and backgrounds.

This is creating in me a more global sense of identity and community. On a visceral level, I have a stronger sense that what happens elsewhere does matter to my own life. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but Wikileaks has clarified this for me. With all the media drama and all the YouTube responses, I can sense a real global sensibility emerging among the younger generations. More transparency seems to translate into more sense of connection.