Moving Past Nation States in the 21st Century
Part 2/2 on the State of the “Nation”
Trade and Commerce
In Part 1/2, I mentioned the modern and historical manifestation of resource extraction as a means of instigating and justifying war, but trade through cooperation or force is a common pattern. which has shaped the progression of national identities. Be it the imperialist-era that saw the extraction of resources from new worlds by developing new colonial settlements of existing countries, usually previously indigenous occupied lands. This era in history saw state corporations and private ventures extract wealth from territories to support the location anchored resource based economy. Fast forward to the neo-imperialism, which in the current prevailing practical use; uses wages and lax regulations (both labour and extractive) as the honing pin to creating a financial surplus along a now multinational value chain under the front of ‘globalization’. I could write another piece on the practical implementation of globalization but this is about the nations, the struggle of identity fixed to geographical regions.
Nations require trade, and in 1995 the world saw the development of an international global trade network, the World Trade Organization. It acts as a regulating body, overseeing international trade routes and disputes. Organizations of international trade, as currently manifested in the global community see corporations replacing nations as the imperial actors; sourcing location based resources through the increasing interconnection of nation states by lowering the barriers to transnational operation. This inter connection is commonly thought to be the interconnection of nations, it is in reality the connection of capital to resource to refinement to market. (note this pattern, I will refer to it again) This network is dictated by cost at every stage, which ultimately reflects the profit margins of the corporation. The bigger margins, the bigger success. This is the idea that drives this practice. The ideological practice is as crude, as I have broken it down to describe it. The same pattern of imperialism perpetuated by nations has become the corporate norm as the international community became militarily prepared and inter-reliant. Thus creating threat deterrents from resource wars i.e. retaliation through military action, corporations have now become the harbinger for expansive resources extraction, with little to no cause of backlash from outside nations. This is economics and the fundamental driver behind geo-politics. In most cases military action and intervention is more ingrained in resources access, than ideological principle.
Humanitarian standards have also been promoted as a mechanism in the geo-political game but the reluctance to act in situations that affect economic opportunity prove otherwise. This has been elaborated on by writers such as Noam Chomsky to such an extent that it isn’t worth replication. The matter here, is the same concept that has prevailed throughout this examination of nations: the preservation of group identity to fixed variables such as survival, resources, geography and culture. These are internalized processes, even though we interpret other groups as different, the same narrative remains the underlying concept on separate scales. Meaning the separation of nation is merely the separation of resources. The other factors are irrelevant, because they are not unique to any specific configuration of people living together; they are only unique to their manifestation of the same factors.
The Progression to the Next Organizational Frontier
The rise of multinational corporations is a blight to the sovereignty of nations and the security of resouce distribution, but this is more of a failure of the oversight boards. The WTO looks to make trade easier, but most corporations move country to country to avoid fees and taxes making international trade a global detractor as it simply seeks profit margin optimization. If those overlooking international trade truly cared about global socio-economic progress, they would create a membership/ “size” tax to multinational operation, to be redistributed to the nations they operate in. This would act as a replacement or even an all out replacement of corporate taxes for corporations large enough to be operating on a international scale. This eliminates the tax haven setup, that most corporations use. It also creates a more equitable free trade scenario that benifet nations (more tax money) as much as it benefits corporations (single corporate tax for every area they operate in). In effect this could see a single internationally agreed upon tax rate and operation area redistribution, which would increase free trade by reducing the protectionist policy direction while increasing the ability of poorer nations to socially reinvest.
As humanity transitions to the “sharing economy” and the subsequent paradigm shift, experts like Jeremy Rifkin have suggested the increased development of continental jurisdictions, which hinge on the use relative synergy of proximal geography instead of traditional political lines drawn on a map to organize the structure and jurisdiction of governance. This is a natural progression of settlement patterns. Another natural progression of settlement patterns is diaspora and migration (economic, environmental etc) that shift the national identity of people temporarily or for their lifetime. This can lead to issues in the individual social safety-nets of countries, both leaving and receiving (especially economic migration with return later in life ie retirement) as citizenship becomes more diverse and travel more cost effective, this bares a financial and social burden to our current jurisdictional organization patterns. These elements to the “nation” as we currently have, both effect a fundamental element of traditional individually identifying society that could be radically transformed, culture.
The idea of culture has in many cases has been geographically tied to sites that define the culture and provide for its members. The struggle in this paradigm shift, is how to preserve culture while losing the traditional “nation”. The answer to this problem is two-fold, the education on the unique cultures that people come from, and the development of an underwriting global culture; based in ownership of the land and its resources, not ideological principles like democracy. The latter point is the prevailing trend as neo-imperial countries such as America try and police and connect the world. This is an unsustainable ideological flaw, and will alienate cultures and the progression of global cohesion and already has to this day. It is the unique organization of communities which makes for the backbone of cultural development. This is why the only important concept to promote is the ownership, access and entitlement to the natural resources of this planet.
One World, One People
The concept of universal ownership is non-conformant to the current market economy which thrives on the privatization, manipulation and extraction of resources to create a valued product and profit. But it shouldn’t have to be, the economy is basically a steep curve delineating the distribution of wealth. And increasingly this wealth is extracted from human time rather than resources, remember the pattern of trade that I noted, this is capitalism played out. Some will question the ability to topple this system, due to the power that economics present in the political system, I will offer simple solution: History shall repeat itself else the destruction of civilization.
We have progressed as society through the simple mentality of oppression and class structure, as long as there is someone lower in the structure than us, then we are okay with what we have. we use this system to extract wealth in an aggregated nature across the tiers of society, we are now and have been for some years facing the point where the greed this system perpetuates is harming the wellbeing of more and more people higher up in the tiered system, not just the lowest and most subjugated people in places to far away to notice. This is the effect of capitalism and the practice of profit based extraction, regardless of its form it creates the same oppression and ‘tiering’ that when applied to resources which are finite there remains in the vacuum an abuse of human life and liberty. Those with relative means (I’m referring to the middle class) are understanding the reality of their meaningless wealth and the impact of it on the planet and our collective future. what happens when what everyone has is taken away, when our air is poison, our ocean acidified and our land toxic? We collectively fall into ruin and chaos. This has been preached in various segments of the intellectual spectrum of subject matter, and echoed in our history. we have to be transfixed to a mirror of our own vanity to not realise this. but why should it matter? Because as we are forced to accept new realities, we value things differently. Wealth is tied intrinsically to the value society places on it. As the planet degrades and systems collapse, there is no money. who the heck would care about pieces of paper? It acts to standardize the value of time in our current market system, and when time is spent surviving the environmental disasters and destabilization it becomes meaningless.
Understanding this reality should expedite those with money to use it to equalize the system when their cash is actually worth something and before the public is forced to shift value and use what means that they have to survive in the terrible conditions we have created for our global community thus the end of an ‘organized society’. We have numerous examples from history that note the collapse of a resource and the subsequent market fluctuations in the value of currency, we approach the devaluation and disuse of currency in a world of environmental collapse.
Acting as if this is a far flung possibility is foolish as our climate changes, the planet will accelerate the greenhouse effect, desertification of land, the likelihood of 100-year storm events to less at least 1 a decade, empty acidic oceans, toxic atmospheres and land. Global climate change is a compounding event, not subsequent to tiers of carbon output, the thresholds of emissions are passed over with no relative cause for concern because most see every day like the last. The difference is that as the daily struggle gets worse so will our ability to cope with the demands of living in our current systems until collapse.
Hoarding currency-based assets is a poor move that the 1% are far too quick to do, as if it will mean anything and their quality of life will remain. As we’ve seen in feudal systems and our nasty resource war plagued history: only leads to rulers and nations being toppled when people are sufficiently nourished and lack the opportunity to flourish, they revolt and overthrow in the interest of preservation and survival. Aside from this archaic view point we need to understand where wealth is being produced and how the shift to increased scarcity will potentially shift the understanding of wealth. When social transformation mimics the large scale incremental collection and mobilization for the social equality (social capital if you will) that is deprived in our current top heavy system, it becomes a force of liberation from oppression. The increase in labour strikes, collective and subsistent living and home agriculture practice, crowdfunded social improvement and collective political action is the only path to equality that no longer the sole burden of the top tier that will suffer from the collapse. Several of these practices have the double edge of arming the public to insulate themselves with practical skills that empower them through steady environmental degradation, leaving the question who survives and who starves? If those with current social power have children, it is in their best interest to equalize the world rather than leave them a sizeable inheritance of violence, paper and workerless land to provide for them.
it doesn’t have to be so dark and depressing a future, universal ownership is the catalyst for a wave of innovation and advancement previously unseen by mankind. Yet at the same time it is how we’ve progressed through our organization of society — the class structure developed innovation because as wealth increased we allowed more people to have access to resources like education, political power and subsidized care. In arguing that we progress this access and not restrict it further or discriminate on which segments of humanity benefit is the linchpin in the realization of a global people and one mosaic community.
When we can harvest the collective perspective and knowledge of humanity we can create a world that is indescribable. I’d argue utopian, as possession, cultures interchange and ethnicity mesh; we create a common understanding of the human experience that transcends the petty barriers like I have described in the previous paragraphs. Some will say that we will have ethical issues but these are of little consequence when we perpetual accurate information and freedom of discussion. Giving universal access destabilizes the gender, race and cultural barriers that segment current nations. this could in essence seem like libertarianism or advance social democracy but in fact it is global humanity, the resource based society structure that recognizes and respects that we are all one people, on one planet, and we all deserve a fair share. When you have all your needs, who do you fight? When you have autonomy to move in your own communities and not be deprived of status as an individual and community, who do you war with? When you have education and access to the rich culture of humanity, who do you become? now the silo minded will call this cultural marxism, which is a unenlightened specfication of a system of thought. This is the transformation of culture accelerated by the interconnection of people and community, which acts to create new culture based on the fundation of existing culture. Something that culture does anyway. The fundamental difference is the inclusive mindset to diverse culture underwritten by interconnected education; this makes for social acceleration that deepens culture in a way that transforms traditional cultural practice and identity into a contemporary invention of human experience.
These are the questions and ideas we should be asking and thinking about, instead of: where do we get resources from?
we live on a planet that cannot be broken into pieces.