Wednesday, September 19, 2018

End Game: The Failure of The Nation-State

by Notumbus Bumbus (writer), Where I am right now., March 05, 2012

All things dwindle over time, even things thought to be inviolable.

History has given us many examples of the inevitability of change. Stasis, after all, is contrary to the laws of nature, despite what many hold as true in the days immediately preceding such change as occurs. In our time, we have seen the demise of command economies, under their various guises - communist, socialist, even oligarchic capitalist states have foundered upon their own illusions. Likewise, we are seeing the slow repudiation of one dictator-controlled country after another, especially in Muslim countries of late.

Now, we currently hold to the assumption that these events are rooted in an inherent desire for democracy as a preferred shell for national aspiration and expression. But we may find our assumptions chastened in rather short order, especially when Western images of democracy as a shell for capitalistic hegemony fail to materialize in the manner many currently presume are "inevitable." However, if the current "Arab Spring" is teaching us anything, especially in what we are witnessing unfold in Egypt, it is that we should assume nothing at all. Because we have, (I speak here of the Western economies, primarily), chosen a wait-and-see posture, we are in fact confined to that, and only that position. And what we may end up seeing is likely more of the same - that is, new faces on old strong-man economies, wrapped in loosely-woven strands of psuedo-democracy to keep people caught in the web of such strands off-balance as long as possible.

While there are many rationale for this slowly-turning scourge, not the least of which is the usual greed and power lust, we would do well to look very closely at what is unfolding in the European Union currently. The so-called debt crisis churning both markets and national aspirations in Greece as well as other European countries suggests that similar roots of excess debt are drivers in these other fragile experiments, as well. Now, debt is not a new thing - many nations have had to deal with it throughout history, the United States being simply the largest debtor nation currently. So debt, as such, is not the real problem, merely a symptom of other inequalities, both economic and ideologic. The real problem is not what is owed, but to whom, and under what rules. That China is currently the holder of a very significant portion of the US debt load is not the problem. That China holds said debt while it is also dealing with substantial economic and political issues of its own, however, may well be the crux of a very sticky situation for the US.

What this and other slowly revealing elements of international imbalance and aspirations may presage, however, is something no one would wish to see, but that everyone may be forced to reckon with, and this is something that has emerged from both the Arab Spring, and the 99% movement in the US, and slowly revealing it's early stages in Europe and Russia, as well. I speak here of the confluence of an awakening of the populations of these and other countries to the baseline inequities contained in the primary assumptions of the capitalist economic model itself - that we have to be willing to live with the vast disparities between the haves and the have-nots if we want to gain the advantages we believe "inherent" in the model itself. And deep beneath this emergent questioning of the authority of the model is something even more frightening - the questioning of the notion of the inevitability and immutability of nations themselves.

We cannot remain aloof to the idea that, with the steady drumbeat of "globalism" we also introduce the seed of a true global vision, beyond the arbitrary divisions of singular, ideologically-based nations perpetually at war with all other such nations, "war" here reffering to all and any transactions conducted between such entities - of beligerance, of commercialism, of ideology, of rankings no matter the stripes. Historically, nations came into existance out of these and other concerns, usually those held by the rulers of the times, and seldom because the people so ruled were asking for such divisions. Nations are the outcome of power struggles by ruling elites, who managed to press-gang their populations into acting as fodder for their various and sundry illusions of inevitability and, too often, their self-serving and oft-religious-themed crusades.

Now, as the wealthy of the world push for their too-limited notion of globalism, the voices of the "fodder" have begun to raise in greater volume and unison to describe a global vision well-beyond mere capitalistic excesses. And this newly-emerging concept, by scrambling onto the outer framework of the power elite's more limited view, is steadily eroding the validity of that narrower vision. If the rulers of the world (for that is what they claim to be by virtue of their holding the reins of control) wish to retain such control, they will have to commit acts that repudiate the very foundational stones their rationale rests upon. They cannot have it both ways. Democracy will out, that much is certain. But how it will do so is rapidly less in control of the rulers, and increasingly in the hands of the demo.

And so, it does look as though the Greeks have come bearing gifts. Just not the one's everyone imagines.

About the Writer

Notumbus Bumbus is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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