"National state view", (was: [SPORK] Loving The Troops)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 23:35:56 +0100 (CET)

On Thu, 20 Mar 2003, Russell Turpin wrote:

> Maybe. As long as I've been political attuned,
> there has been a lot of talk about breaking
> out of the nation-state paradigm, whether by

Nation-states are terribly young as far as I'm concerned. You have to
integrate both the very long view, as well as recent acceleration in the
rate of change. It is very worthwhile to try to backtrace into former
mindset to just see how much has been accomplished already. I think it is 
very impressive, though the limits of biology definitely are extremely 
annoying in the attempt of taking the truly long view, personally.

> free-floating cities, or cosmopolitan
> organizations that gradually supersede

Invoking physical promixity as a dominant factor in organization is a
fundamental misunderstanding of what this is all about.

> nations, or the grand and glorious revolution
> that finally ushers in anarchism. Most of

Anarchism is about jacking up degree of cooperation of individual agent
(which can be accelerated due to infoprocessing assist).  The glorious
revolution thing is so two centuries ago.

> these views are utopic, not just in the sense
> of describing how wonderful things might be
> if nations were superseded, but in the sense

What you're probalby not seeing that there is a currently thin but growing
layer which already lives in a "nations are obsolete" mode. Not even being
extreme about it, just matter of fact. I genuinely hope that faction is 
going to grow.

> of having absolutely no practical way to get
> from here to there, relying just on the
> self-interest and other natural motivators of
> people living within a national framework.

Old power patterns are sure difficult to disrupt, but economy
traditionally transcends nationalism, and there are even higher-order
cooperation patterns being brewed up.

> I would never make a moral argument for
> nations from some kind of first principles.
> They seem more a pragmatic necessity than a
> moral ideal. If you think otherwise, then the
> thing to do is describe a probable path for
> establishing a desirable community that lies
> outside national auspices. I might move! Until
> then, I don't think there is much ammunition
> for criticizing those who take nations into
> account.

I think you're being unnecessarily recalcitrant here.