Should we strive for a political order that doesn’t have nation states as central entities? How would alternative approaches look like?
The following article portraits the emergence of nation states and recent developments that seem to shift political power and influence away from nation states:
Here’s what I commented on Facebook with respect to how a Fractal Future might look different from the present:
Networks will become increasingly important. But the real question is: Networks made out of what? People? Cities? Regions? Nation states? Corporations? NGOs? Non-profits? Interest groups? Network-Tribes? Something else? All of them? Does it even matter?
And if you have networks of delocalised units, then you have the problem that currently political control is managed on a territorial basis. Units without a territory cannot easily give themselves law-like rules, especially when they stand in contradiction to territorial laws. To make delocalised networks work, you’d need to limit the power of territorial entities first, which is extremely difficult, since you’d be working against centuries or millennia of bloody history that cemented
In any case, the problem of effective global governance needs to be solved somehow, whether that involved nation states or not. Otherwise, we will be unable to arrive at satisfactory solutions to global problems like climate change.
So, what’s the solution? It’s not clear at all. We have to start developing potential solutions, otherwise we will be stuck in business as usual, or slow devolution. Both of which are probably far from optimal.
Potential post-nation state approaches
This thread is about developing those potential solutions that transcend nation states. Here are some suggestions for plausible, or possible options:
- Networks of cities / metropolitan areas / city states
- A single global government with regions being administrated in a subsidiary fashion
- Continental governments?
- Large scale states united by certain ideologies?
- Corporations gaining formal political control over certain territories?
- Bottom-up delegation democracy?
- Virtual nations / Polystates?
- Fractal states? This is an idea of mine that I’m presenting in this thread for the first time.
What is a fractal state?
The purpose of a fractal state is to create regions of higher memetic coherence, so that it becomes easy for like-minded people to cluster on one single location. How would that work? By rearranging a part of the world (or the whole world) according to what I’d tentatively call themes. Themes can be anything that is shared by a set of people. It could be a common ideology, common personality traits, common cultural aspects, for example languages, lifestyles, or customs, common physical characteristics (this might become interesting once morphological freedom becomes mainstream), and so on.
A fractal state starts with a primary theme. There are no restrictions to what is allowed to be a primary theme, or a secondary theme, and so on, but I guess some themes make more sense as primary themes. Any fractal state can have substates that also have a theme. Such substates are fractal state in their own right, but their themes needs to be compatible to the superstates they are part of. An Islamic state (whether such a thing is actually desirable might be worth considering) cannot have an atheist substate, for example.
Do the substates of a fractal state need to be in the same “class of themes”? For example, when a substate is based on a certain economic system, do other substates of the same superstate have to use economic systems as themes, too? Not necessarily, although it might make a lot of sense to organise fractal states that way.
How does governance work in a fractal state? Well, that depends on the governance themes that are used. What unites fractal states is that they are clearly based on themes. Inhabitants who do not agree with the themes of the state they live in, should relocate to a fractal state that they agree with more, at least in the long run.
There are a number of reasons why fractal states would make sense:
- They enable effective testing of new ideas and systems
- They reduce the necessity for making suboptimal political compromises, fractal states implement one idea with full dedication
- They reduce internal political conflicts by arranging people in a more natural way, so that there are clusters of large memetic coherence
- They make it easier for people to come together with people that have a lot of common interests and features
- They allow “network tribes” to get their own territory
- They avoid the potential chaos that is expected to be present in polystates by having a single coherent set of laws enforced on a clearly defined territory
Of course there are lots of problems that have to be solved before we can have a well functioning fractal state, but the idea in itself is quite interesting.
What do you think?