Enough past symbolism. U.S. Independence Day is also a good day to reflect on the paramount governance challenges of the present and near future. The U.S. War of Independence helped usher out the era of kings. Now is time to hasten the demise of the nation-state, born of the previous era.
One non-revolutionary (violent revolution, of whatever intention, is bad as it enables trolls) path forward is the creation and expansion of legitimately democratic super-states which submerge joining nation-states: the legitimate constituents are individual citizens, not the states themselves (contrast with the United Nations). The European Union is the only such super-state, and perhaps should be the only one, eventually submerging all current nation-states.
I am down the idea, but not sure if the EU should be the catalyst, since it also harbors all the Anglo-centric imperialist states that divided the world up.
Instead, let’s amend the constitution to allow individual states in the US to join super-states! Then California and New York could just buy off the rest of the states, meet in the middle and call it a day.
That is only half snark.
You’re mostly right except for “Anglo-centric” — the British empire was the largest, but France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Sweden all had non-European empires. Russia is an imperialist state (with lots of parallels to the US mostly continental empire) that isn’t Anglo or in the EU, though it ought be. Of course that leaves China, never completely divided up by the aforementioned, but the oldest imperial state in many ways. It should join, too.
All of the later ex-European colonies repeated the mistake of the US, demanding independence rather than equal representation, allowing the former empires to escape their responsibilities and hide behind the wall of international Apartheid.
I’d be happy to see other arrangements toward the demise of the nation-state as top prestige and object of power struggle. Shifting of boundaries should be institutionalized, much as democracy institutionalized regime change and took out of the bounds of violent revolution. US states joining EU could be one path.
Do keep in mind that such broadenings usually tend to come with a *loss* of democracy (which EU people are only now beginning to realize, just ask the Greeks). If (and when) such process has to take place, my guess is that these entities will actually be privately-held, and most probably take the form of transnational corporations superseeding national or regional governments (as the TAFTA/TTIP treaty already maps out), far removed from any actual democratic accountability. In other words, careful what you wish for.
Well, ya learn something new every day. I meant Anglo to include most of those countries. I believe the way I learned the word it was implied to mean “white European with English/Germanic based language”. It appears that it can mean different things to different parts of the US, and in th South, where I learned it, I always thought it meant non-Black, because I learned it from racist fuckheads.
I do like the idea, as well as some of the radical ideas proposed in comments.
I can’t find the title of the book, as it is kinda generic at this point, but when I was a kid, pre-teen, I found a large tome that explained the British Empire. It opened with that quote about the sun never setting, and I attribute a lot of my early distrust in government to that book. Your proposal solicits a similar gut reaction, because I wonder if the current super-inter-state status of the world is held in place to keep humans from doing something truly horrible. With one super-state we could get space travel, equal access to medication and knowledge, and the extermination of entire ethnic groups with the whole of the world’s resources behind it.
We need some speculative fiction for this! Suggestions are welcome. ^_^
Better to join the EU than the Caliphate!
vvillenave, be careful what you don’t wish for. Better global coordination is a survival issue, whether the biggest threat is war (I think so, unquestionably), climate change, plague, non-state terrorism, etc. I think this requires suppressing “national” interest, which is absolutely the worst level of concern for democracy anyway, however attached we are to it. Of course it will be a struggle to achieve more democracy locally and globally, but cutting out the dangerous and misleading nation-state is necessary.
maiki, speaking of the US South, one good thing about it is it has provoked a healthy distaste for absolute local (or would-be national) majoritarian rule in the US. One cultural thing I have zero read on is whether WWII provoked any similar distaste among Europeans.
andy, no kidding. But if the Caliphate survives, it should be redirected to joining the super-EU too, right along with Israel. By my calculation the US, UK, and France, for past occupations, already owe the relevant populations citizenship, and should grant it on demand, pronto.
The whole purpose of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights is to prevent members of the Council of Europe from doing horrible things to e.g. minorities, so it is limiting local sovereignty and majoritarian rule.
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