Are Independent Nation-States Obsolete?
Is a globalized command-economy unelected technocracy a viable alternative?
As we emerge from the psychological trauma of the COVIDcrisis, the data and receipts in the form of FOIA’ed documents are coming in from all over the world demonstrating that governments and transnational organizations (NGO, WHO etc.) have completely failed to respond in a measured, mature and appropriate manner to the infectious disease “threat” of COVID, to the extent that this genetically engineered virus really has been a threat to the majority of the global human population. In particular it is now well documented that the members of the “five eyes” intelligence community cooperative (UK, USA, Canada, NZ, Australia), have intentionally and consciously deployed propaganda and military-grade psy-ops methods to “convince”, coerce and compel their citizens to accept an experimental medical treatment (the genetic SARS-CoV-2 “vaccine”) without informed consent or really any shred of respect for personal bodily autonomy. Let alone adequate clinical data demonstrating safety and effectiveness in preventing infection, replication, spread, disease or death by SARS-CoV-2.
As if that is not enough, please also recall the enforced use of sham paper mouth/nose masquerades whose primary positive utility appears to have been for enabling efficient and globally harmonized virtue signaling, and of course the clear political overreach of the “lockdowns”, which were predicted by more mature and experienced voices to cause far more harm than good and of which prediction time (and data) have clearly vindicated those many sane “conspiracy theorists”.
The list of lies and manipulations which supposedly “democratic” governments have willingly imposed on their citizens in the name of “public health” is enormous. And still they persist with their lying.
"They lie to us, we know they're lying, they know we know they're lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them" : Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
At this point, the appointed (unelected) and corrupted national and transnational (globalist) technocratic public health “leadership” caste, together with their political caste enablers, are unable to acknowledge their gross failures of public policy decision making. The evidence of their profound incompetence and inability to effectively manage what in retrospect appears to have been a highly infectious but relatively modest disease threat is being aggressively memory holed, and this “leadership”, together with their purchased corporate media and Information Technology sycophants, are doubling down on censorship and propaganda in a desperate attempt to bury any evidence of their willfully gross incompetence, malfeasance, and maleficence. Yes, maleficence is the proper term.
Just to recalibrate and recap. Here are screenshots from a few (of many) slides included in a 2014 medical ethics course taught at Johns Hopkins University Medical School:
Credit to Janyne Althaus, M.D., M.A. Dept. Gyn-Ob Div. Maternal-Fetal Medicine Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The four pillars of Medical Ethics. Non-maleficence, beneficence, autonomy, justice, developed over centuries, each of which were casually and specifically discarded by those entrusted to manage the public health response to the COVIDcrisis. Including most physicians, hospitals, medical speciality boards, medical licensing boards, and the physician representation/advocacy groups. Frankly, for those who were well trained in medical ethics, and who had integrated that discipline into their thinking and world view, it was not at all hard to sniff out the rats which had infested the COVIDcrisis response. Just a matter of maintaining personal integrity, staying true to your principles, and not allowing the fear mongering, the constant stream of weaponized corporate media and politician fearporn, to overwhelm a mature, well educated thinking mind. Simple stuff.
Those who predicted some sort of truth and reconciliation process followed by a return to “normal” have been revealed as naive optimists. As for those of us who have been shouting from the back bench that the anointed academics, bureaucrats, pharmaceutical executives, political and financial overlords have all been lying to us, again and again and again, we are not to be allowed even a modicum of solace by being allowed to say “I told you so”. That is how deep the systemic corruption goes. Layers upon layers of interlocking liars and their lies.
All of this feeds right into a corrosive post-modern, post-COVID funk for those few who are paying attention and have refused to resort to seeking some way to escape this oppressive reality. Which is combined with a sense of stunned amazement concerning the complete collapse of integrity of organizational structures from school boards all the way up to the executive branch of almost all western governments and throughout the brave new world of globalist governance structures which some had such high hopes for.
Not to be completely pessimistic, there are signs of cracks in the propaganda wall, in the former Soviet communist-dominated eastern states of the European Union (Romania, Croatia, Poland- maybe), in Australia, and recently in the beating industrial heart of Europe- Germany. UnHerd author Thomas Fazi draws parallels to US Dr. Anthony Fauci as he reports “Germany’s Health Minister changes tune on vaccine injuries. Karl Lauterbach is having a dramatic fall from grace”
Often described as “Germany’s Fauci”, Lauterbach — a professor of health economics and epidemiology and long-time member of the SPD — rose to national prominence early on into the pandemic as a Covid hardliner.
In his role as an advisor to Angela Merkel and prominent TV and Twitter commentator, and then as the country’s health minister, Lauterbach adopted an aggressively pro-lockdown and pro-vaccination stance, claiming that his aim was to vaccinate every single German — through the imposition of mandates, if necessary — in order to achieve so-called “herd immunity”.
A small but vocal minority of politicians — including the far-Left Sahra Wagenknecht and the far-Right AfD — opposed Lauterbach’s mass vaccination policies, warning about the side effects of these novel mRNA-based vaccines. Lauterbach responded by claiming — not only in a now-infamous tweet but also in several talk shows — that the Covid vaccines were “without side effects”. It was an astonishing claim, considering numbers from Germany’s own Ministry of Health showed (also repeated by Lauterbach himself) that reported serious adverse events occurred in one in 5,000 vaccinations. This increased up to 2 in 1,000 for all suspected adverse events.
Returning to the point of this essay. As many of us cast about for meaning, for some framework upon which to build a predictive model for how a modern post-COVIDcrisis world works, leading independent thinkers have turned to questioning the relevance of the nation-state and the global financial systems, structures, currencies and their owners which appear to have been at the heart of the deeply revealed rot for which the COVIDcrisis was only the most recent in a long history of examples.
Three out of many recent illustrations concerning this point:
Mary Harrington, recently posted her assessment of “Why the nation state failed. The electorate has been disregarded” which has a decidedly post-Brexit frame of reference.
In other words: if you ignore what our leaders say, and watch what they do, it’s clear that there is now very little elite support for the geographically- and politically-bounded, democratically-governed nation state that Brexit voters sought to defend. One party harrumphs about “boat people” while treating the UK’s physical borders as an obstacle to growing the economy. Meanwhile, the other party cheers this on, albeit purportedly for humanitarian reasons, and views the franchise as obsolete, too: little more consequential than a Strictly phone-in. But perhaps this is to be expected. We’re some distance beyond Britain’s industrial era now. And I’m not sure you can have democratic nation states in a post-industrial country: for the idea of mass democratic participation as such only came into being with the urbanisation and industrialisation of working people.
My friend and colleague Dr. Mattias Desmet, in his latest Substack essay titled “The desire for technocracy – or technécracy?”, reports on his insights concerning a troubling local Flemish poll:
An online survey requested by VRT (the national broadcaster here in Belgium) and the newspaper De Standaard shows that 60% of Flemish people are in favor of replacing democracy with a technocracy – a form of government in which experts make decisions instead of democratically elected politicians. In fact, 35% also want a strong leader "who doesn't have to worry about parliament and elections".
John Rapley, a political economist at Cambridge University who also writes for UnHerd, together with co-author Peter Heather, has recently published Why Empires Fall: Rome, America and the Future of the West, and the summary overview of his thesis titled “The end of dollar supremacy: The West's imperial lifecycle is drawing to a close” has recently been published by UnHerd.
Today, as America struggles to support a crumbling dollar, marshal allies against Russia, ward off a rising China, it’s easy to forget that barely two decades ago it strode the planet like a colossus.
But pride before a fall has an ancient lineage, and only the arrogance of the historical present could treat American imperial decline as a novel phenomenon, let alone mere metaphor. Some 16 centuries before Clinton, in an uncannily similar setting of domes and colonnades, a Roman orator stood before the imperial Senate to deliver an equally triumphal speech. It was 1 January 399, inauguration day for the latest in a millennium-old line of consuls, the most prestigious Roman office. This year’s candidate was Flavius Mallius Theodorus. After rising to praise his audience — “here I see gathered all the brilliance of the world” — he went on to proclaim the dawn of a new Golden Age, celebrating the unparalleled prosperity of the Empire.
Rome’s rapid comeuppance is now a historical parable that America can learn from in real-time. Because the rhetoric of Clinton and his ancient predecessor was spoken from atop the crest of the same wave: an identical process of rise and decline which Peter Heather and I, in our new book, call “the imperial lifecycle”. Empires grow rich and powerful and attain supremacy through the economic exploitation of their colonial periphery. But in the process, they inadvertently spur the economic development of that same periphery until it can roll back and ultimately displace its overlord.
America has never thought of itself as an empire, mainly because with the exception of the few islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, it has never accumulated a large network of overseas territories. But this modern European model, in which colonies were (and in a few cases, still are) administered by governors who answered directly to the imperial capital, was but one of many. The late Roman Empire, for instance, functioned as an “inside-out” empire — effectively run from the provinces, with Rome serving more as a spiritual than administrative capital. What held it all together was the shared culture of the provincial nobility that ran it, most of whom has provincial origins but had been socialised into what Peter Heather has called the imperial culture of “Latin, towns and togas”.
The American Empire — or more accurately the American-led Western empire — mirrors this confederal model, with an updated cultural-political glue that we might call “neoliberalism, Nato and denim”. Under this regime, the nation-state was primary, borders were inviolable, relatively open trade and capital movement prevailed, governing elites were committed to liberal principles, and bureaucracy was based on increasingly standardised education systems (with economics training assuming an increasingly central role as the century progressed). But since its establishment in 1944 at the Bretton Woods conference, its fundamental economic model has been in the timeless imperial mould: exploitation of the periphery to the benefit of the imperial core.
This line of thinking, of the failure of the experiment in a network of independent sovereign Nation-States, the fall of Imperial America, and the growing willingness of citizens to concede personal autonomy, free agency and sovereignty to a technocratic elite with its hands on the levers of the IT tools of the surveillance state, “big data” and Artificial Intelligence/deep learning, is not new.
Just to illustrate, I have pulled a 2018 op-ed article from The Guardian penned by Rana Dasgupta. As many others have, in this pre-COVID essay, Dasgupta anticipates key aspects of the analysis provided by Rapley, but then after basically concluding that the autonomous Nation-State has seen it’s day, he pens a love letter to the Globalists.
This sentiment, that somehow centralized globalized command-economy managed by an unelected technocracy will save us from ourselves, has become the darling if many if not most of of the western political elites.
Why is this happening? In brief, 20th-century political structures are drowning in a 21st-century ocean of deregulated finance, autonomous technology, religious militancy and great-power rivalry. Meanwhile, the suppressed consequences of 20th-century recklessness in the once-colonised world are erupting, cracking nations into fragments and forcing populations into post-national solidarities: roving tribal militias, ethnic and religious sub-states and super-states. Finally, the old superpowers’ demolition of old ideas of international society – ideas of the “society of nations” that were essential to the way the new world order was envisioned after 1918 – has turned the nation-state system into a lawless gangland; and this is now producing a nihilistic backlash from the ones who have been most terrorised and despoiled.
The result? For increasing numbers of people, our nations and the system of which they are a part now appear unable to offer a plausible, viable future. This is particularly the case as they watch financial elites – and their wealth – increasingly escaping national allegiances altogether. Today’s failure of national political authority, after all, derives in large part from the loss of control over money flows. At the most obvious level, money is being transferred out of national space altogether, into a booming “offshore” zone. These fleeing trillions undermine national communities in real and symbolic ways. They are a cause of national decay, but they are also a result: for nation states have lost their moral aura, which is one of the reasons tax evasion has become an accepted fundament of 21st-century commerce.
The Guardian, The demise of the nation state. 05 April 2018
Here is the kicker. The love letter, in which a “dazzled” (pre-COVID) Dasgupta lays out his version of the Globalist nirvana, the workers paradise. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, enabled by unelected technocrat/globalists, big data and computational analytics.
If we wish to rediscover a sense of political purpose in our era of global finance, big data, mass migration and ecological upheaval, we have to imagine political forms capable of operating at that same scale. The current political system must be supplemented with global financial regulations, certainly, and probably transnational political mechanisms, too. That is how we will complete this globalisation of ours, which today stands dangerously unfinished. Its economic and technological systems are dazzling indeed, but in order for it to serve the human community, it must be subordinated to an equally spectacular political infrastructure, which we have not even begun to conceive.
The Guardian, The demise of the nation state. 05 April 2018
Being the battle-hardened cynic that I have become over the last three years, I have absolutely no faith in any outcome of such simple-minded, starry-eyed globalist naivety other than that amply demonstrated by what we have all experienced over the last three years. I am oft reminded of the Bard’s version of Cassius’ insight while enticing Brutus to join in the conspiracy and murder of Julius Cesar.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene III, L. 140-141)
Or to quote Walt Kelly’s version of the great American philosopher- “Pogo”, “We have met the enemy, and he is us”
As far as I am concerned, I think we are not experiencing the limits and failure of the autonomous nation-state as a political construct, but rather the consequences of immature, over reaching, and ill advised foreign policy. Searching my brain for an analogy, the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus comes to mind. To escape imprisonment by a Minoan King (in the infamous Minoan labyrinth, no less) Daedalus (the father) invented new technology - wings using feathers and wax - with which both the son (Icarus) and the father were able to fly to escape their imprisonment. All well and good, until the immature Icarus sought to test the limits of the technology and fly towards the sun, rejecting his fathers’ (who had invented the tech) wise council to avoid the effects of the sun and its heating rays on the wax.
Our founding fathers clearly counseled that the new United States avoid foreign adventures and longstanding alliances. But the allure of seizing the post WW-II opportunity to develop and Imperial empire was just too strong for the short sighted and opportunistic leadership of the time. Clearly the independent European nation states have problems playing nice in the sandbox, and twice during the 20th century American blood and treasure had to be expended to resolve the ensuing mess. The United States were now the Masters of the Universe, virtually unchallenged until the Reds got hold of the bomb. After all of the sacrifices which the American People had endured, of course they (and more importantly, big banks and big business) should reap the rewards of global imperial dominance after the war. Or so the “thinking” apparently went. Very short term, transactional, and opportunistic. As we so often do, cloaked in the finery of ethics, good will and doing the “right thing”. But the ethics (or lack thereof) of the COVIDcrisis gave us a peek under the covers, and what we saw was decidedly ugly.
Consider taking a moment to read George Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796. Here you will find the distilled wisdom of a mature leader, who advises a more isolationist position for the country. The first draft of which was penned by James Madison, whose farm is nearby our own, and who is the namesake for both the town and county in which Jill and I reside. Extensively rewritten by Treasure Secretary Alexander Hamilton, with final draft edits by Washington. Sort of an “America First” policy, if you like, circa late 1700s. Technology certainly changes, but human nature does not.
Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?
I argue that the founders of the United States got it right. A federalist representative democracy of limited size and ambition, focused on and enabling the laws and regulations necessary to support a society and encourage hard work, entrepreneurship, innovation, collective self-governance and self-defense is what our great nation has been built upon because it works.
What is being proposed and built without our consent, is a globalized command-economy led by an unelected technocracy. This is a recipe for rampant and unaccountable incompetency, as we have so clearly seen demonstrated over the last three years. Left to their own devices, some will seek unlimited power over others, and will use this new world order for nefarious purposes.
I advocate that we do not reach for yet another promised nirvana (this time labeled “Globalism”), avoid trying to fly too high, and keep in mind the advice of another great American philosopher, Hank Williams, Jr.
If you mind your own business, you`ll stay busy all the time.
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