Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The End of the Nation-State?

Although you hardly ever hear anyone talk about it, the most promising hope for our political future, as human beings living on planet earth (an oasis of life in the middle of lots and lots (and lots more lots) of space), is the coming demise of the (already out-dated) concept of the nation-state.

This may sound drastic, or unbelievable, because we are so accustomed to the concept of the nation-state, but the nation-state is, historically speaking, a rather recent political phenomenon. And time is telling as to whether or not this particular concept is progressive (as opposed to regressive) or even practical. So far, I think, the verdict is that the nation-state is the bloodiest concept yet devised by the mind of man, which doesn’t bode well for its future, as a concept. The nation-state is like tribal warfare but on a much grander scale. Not very progressive, but frighteningly more efficient, especially at propagandizing and killing (even genocide).

If you are interested in why I am thinking along these lines, or wonder whatever gave me the idea that nations, as we know them, now, could, someday, soon, exist no more, simply read, study, and contemplate (as I have) the (over 2,000 year) history of political theory, which can be found in George H. Sabine’s (nearly 1,000 page):

A History of Political Theory

As far as what’s next, politically speaking, who knows. The continuation of the nation-state, for the foreseeable future? Balkanization? Global government? Hemispherical Unions? I tend toward favoring localized government, which is similar to balkanization—but with cooperation rather than hostility—existing between people-groups. For the Americas, I actually prefer a hemispherical (North, South, Central American) union, on some level, so long as localized governments throughout the Americas are re-empowered to a much greater extent too. State governments throughout the Americas should have much more power and there should be much less federal power throughout the Americas. Federal power should always be kept to a minimum, focusing mainly upon international, I mean, cross-cultural exchange (i.e., trade, or commerce). The Americas could be much more efficient (as well as self-sufficient), economically, as well as being more locally controlled when it comes to just about everything other than cross-border commerce. (This same economic factor: cross-border commerce, was the driving force behind the adoption of the US Constitution over the states’ old Articles of Confederation.)

No more standing armies either, or international, overseas, conflicts (wars). The US DOD could stand (close) down. And we could use their (our tax) money for housing, health care, and education. Right?

Something else to consider too: redrawing the state lines on a map of the US. Drastic, but necessary, eventually, I think. Funny how most people think we can’t do things like that, but people can do such things; in time. The US is still very young, as a nation-state, and time will tell what becomes of it, and what it is to become. Imagine the possibilities.

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