Right: In this post lets look at the question from a different angle, and I have to say that there are so many components to this subject that it is difficult to stay on one track at any given time.
The Statement below confirm the above.
The first democratic government was established in Athens in 490 BCE and we are still embroiled in the same controversies that have raged from the earliest days of the Holy Roman Empire. How much power should the church influence on the state? Where is the balance between personal freedom and interests of the state? How much regulation of religion should government impose?
I think it is reasonable to say that we will all agree that the role of the state has changed profoundly in recent years. So much so that it is insufficient that we simply need to find a new language to describe the changing interface between democracy and collective identity?
National identity has also been weakened and is now just one of a number of significant ways in which people think about themselves.
Why should nationhood be understood as intrinsically tied to hegemonic notions of identity?
Are we all going to end up as Digital Citizen?
The worsening crisis of austerity is coming hand in hand with a collapse in democracy and the erosion of freedoms effecting the very constitution of our identities, national or otherwise.
As second and third generation of immigrant children are born it modifies the political vision of nationhood – citizenship is the last step in the journey from immigrant to identity and there are a 1/4 million a year in the UK alone looking to do just that each year.
We need to think outside of the state and we need ‘the nation’ to do it.
States have become much more interdependent and are no longer able to regulate political, economic and social processes within their borders, despite a continuing pretense of sovereignty they are driven more and more by their Economies rather than by their people.
This also means that nation-states may constitute a terrain upon which the increasingly autonomous nexus of state and corporate power can be challenged, and some measure of democratic agency reclaimed.
If the nation-state can embody a heterotrophic space that permits identification through processes of willed negotiation and division, guaranteeing the possibility of the present to always be changed, then it might still serve as a tool for resistance against states becoming Corporate Bodies driven solely by profit at all costs.
Oil is what drove the industrial revolution and since then the world has already consumed half the available supply on the planet. Portable water is also running out, as are other raw materials.
In this scenario rags to riches story is the icing on a cake that few will actually taste. For those seeking to construct an alternative against the determined pursuit of infinite growth? We need to look into our own religious and national identities to find pathways toward peace and equality in the world.
Because Sovereignty of nations and Citizenship rights gained now present an impediment for profit-mongering for global business. They are a threat in the path of wresting complete control of fast dwindling resources. Sovereignty Wealth Funds are the glowing example of what is going on.
The ‘New World Order’ under WTO-GATT was launched to ensure that the rich would continue to get richer even as the pie began to crumble.
The destructive power of neoliberal globalization—which confidently pronounced nation-states to be redundant along with the modes of political agency associated with them—now seems not only willfully blind, but recklessly passive and reactive in the face of neoliberalism’s agenda-setting activism.
Nation-states are used by elites as key drivers of neoliberal globalization, often in concert with (rather than in opposition to) transnational structures and institutions.
To ignore the protestation over what it means to be national, is to play into the hands of those across the political spectrum who, precisely because of the two-faced trickery of the ‘neoliberal nation’, have found themselves abandoning democracy for the imperial illusions of certainty, security and purity.
Ever since 9/11 a new public enemy had to be invented. Islamic jihad stepped up just in time. Overnight, friends became foes and vice versa. The Bin Ladens were partners with George Bush Sr. in an oil company in Texas. Osama Bin armed and abetted by the CIA became a champion jihadi in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.
After the defeat of the Soviets, Osama turned against America and soon graduated to the post of the elusive arch-enemy, taking care to pop up on videotape a few days before Bush’s precarious re-elections, to guarantee him victory.
In oil rich countries that dared to nationalize, the fatwa was out. So fell Mossadegh in Iran in 1956, Saddam Hussain in Iraq in 2003, and Gaddafi in Libya in 2011.
The coup in Venezuela to displace Hugo Chavez failed but in the Middle East the sectarian conflicts of Islamic jihadis could be used to weaken any nation-state.
Today Osama is dead but his Al Quaeda, morphed into ISIS, can still be used in various theaters to serve the interests of America, Saudi Arabia, Israel and their allies, as it was in Libya and now in Syria.
If occasionally they behead some white reporters it only adds to the dread of the Jihad and serves to sell weapons, or buy sovereignty.
In the 20th Century, of the estimated (and this is hardly a firm figure, understated if anything) 120 million people who were killed in wars and war-like acts (terrorism is war, generally upon civilians, by a non nation-state)
So faced with the fluidity of neoliberalism, what role remains for the nation?
These hasty observations of mine fail to acknowledge the continuing role of Capitalism in propping-up invisible forms of state domination and its function as part of a critical bio politics of the world.
It has being my option in other postings that the power of Social Media is going to lead to more integrated forms of urban protest and industrial action to combat the flexibility of neoliberal capitalism:
As frustrating as it can be to define, and particularly for those ashamed to belong to a particular nation, ignoring the national as a key political category per se is to fall for a trick that the global citizens of the 1% have exploited in securing their version of globalization.
Take Europe for example.
Here we are all continuing in denying the basic reality that Europe’s tomorrow depends upon how immigrants and their children experience Europe today.
The functioning of the European welfare state depends upon the labor and indeed the civic good will of immigrants—which in Europe often means Muslim immigrants.
The problem for modern states is to reconcile state power and social diversity, so that the relation between the state and the individual can be more direct. This is what Social Media is capable of achieving.
In the meantime we have Fundamentalist movements with symbiotic relationship with modernity. They may reject the scientific rationalism of the West, but they cannot escape it. Western civilization has changed the world. Nothing – including religion – can ever be the same again.
The global modernizing forces of technology and commerce are locked in a profound struggle against the backward-looking ethno-religious forces of religion and localised culture (“Jihad”).
Identity within a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives. The more people manage to have their basic needs met, the more interested they become in actively self-governing themselves.
Another example is the birthplace of modern democracy. America It is systematically being dismantled through a crises of identity that is defining it image in the world.
Unfortunately its recent wars, torture, drones and the continuing existence of Guantanamo Bay all contribute to its present day image in the world as no longer a super power. Aquatically displayed by Putin in the Ukraine.(which by the way is a sovereign European country.)
To be fair previously displayed by the US and UK over their invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Because of this America seems unable to collaborating together to stalemate any functional democratic process that could substantially improve people’s lives and move towards a just, peaceful and fear-free future.
The very model of how democracy is supposed to work in America is not allowing it to be America again.
There is no argument that our Identities need to be reconfigured, as do our world organisations in order to put people first and material wealth second. (see previous posts)
Evolution requires us to demand more and better all the time.