The Second Superpower

April 1st, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Second Superpower)

A new paper by James Moore talks about how emergent democracy empowered by the growing global decentralized network and ever increasingly powerful social tools (blogging only being the beginning), will give rise to the most powerful political force on the planet. I believe if we can survive the growing instability caused by large nations states – such as the expanding war in Iraq, this will come to pass.

In any case, what I most want to share with you is my paper The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head (the title was suggested by Esme Bashwiner). The point of the paper is that the movement is now approaching the status of the second superpower,îafter the United States. This is due to (1) critical mass of people who identify with the world rather than the nation, with each other rather than just themselves, (2) the web and interactive media “neurology”of the movement including texting, email lists, and blogging which is giving it a kind of collective mind and ability to act, and (3) the advance of international institutions and international law, which provides a venue or a forum in which the second superpower can work with sympathetic nations to press its cause. The Bush administration is attacking the fabric of the international system, but it is unlikely to prevail.


Nation States are Obsolete

March 4th, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

I have felt for a long time now that the optimal functioning of nation states has passed. However, unlike globalists I do not believe in a one-world government as that would be the least common denominator of everything that is wrong with any concentration of power. Adam Greenfield has come up with what he calls The minimal compact: An open-source constitution for post-national states. Those who caught on to the potential of networks early on saw their disruptive potential to the existing power base. Networks are inherently decentralized and hierarchy flattening. They tend to level the playing field and enhance the democratic process. So far though, this promise has yet to be realized to its full potential, but I believe it is inevitable and ultimately necessary if we are to survive the accelerating rate of technological and societal change we are experiencing.

From Adams introduction:

In recognition of the apparent inability of nation states to adequately address and provide for human goals and desires in the twenty-first century, and anticipating that if anything this situation will only worsen, it is desirable to begin thinking about alternatives to this obsolescing structure.

Of interest are alternatives that are designed from the beginning to:

  • Ensure the greatest freedom for the greatest number, without simultaneously abridging the freedoms of others.
  • Permit individuals with common goals and beliefs to act in their own interest at the global level and with all the privileges afforded nation states, even when those individuals are separated by distance.
  • Provide robust resistance to attempts to concentrate power, and other abuses of same.

This paper is intended to sketch, however schematically, just such an alternative.


War, Hope and Peace

November 13th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on War, Hope and Peace)

As I have written on several occasions, the reasons we are seeing so much repression and the resultant terrorist response, is because those in power are getting scared. Read this article, on the dilemma facing George W. Bush for the best analysis I’ve read so far.

The real power struggle is between the elite and the growing power base and unrest of the general population. Up until now, the elite’s power base has been built around the control over the dominant energy source – oil. Not only are the world oil reserves running our, but cleaner and more efficient alternatives are becoming available. Don’t you find it at least somewhat of a coincidence that those countries that harbor and/or support terrorists, are the same countries that have the greatest supply of remaining oil? The connection is so obvious I am genuinely surprised more people haven’t figured it out. This ruse that “we are a nation at war” with “dangerous terrorist organizations” and “countries with weapons of mass destruction”, is really just a cover to secure more oil and protect the power-wealth base of the elite. They couldn’t or wouldn’t stop 9-11 and they are unlikely to stop another terrorist attack no matter how many security measures they supposedly implement. The reasons that we are seeing all of these repressive measures is not to stop terrorism, but another way to repress the American people, who will increasingly question a war whose sole purpose seems to be making the elite richer while the rest of us poor bastards try to remain alive in the crossfires. Like Vietnam before it, people will become increasingly restless and angry at what is happening. The difference this time is the war will be at home. And to make sure another anti-war movement doesn’t get to far out of hand, they have already begun constructing the scaffolding of a police state – surveillance, biometrics, national ids, checkpoints, and massive monitoring of Americans to prevent just such a thing from happening again. The FBI is already bugging public libraries! They already own and control what was once a free press, and so you can be certain you will never see alternative points of view that would make you question it in the first place. But of course there is the Internet. Its effect on people’s views is growing, which is why they want to control that too. In the meantime, we are likely to see more terrorist events, which will be used to justify even more elimination of our freedoms. And the saddest part of all, is the American people will gladly surrender them. It’s the oldest tactic in the book. America, once the land of the free and home of the brave, will become the land of the enslaved and home of the afraid. Wait, I think we are already there.

However there are reasons I remain hopeful. Oil is running out. It’s only a matter of time. If the situation weren’t so critical for the power elite’s they wouldn’t be risking global war and instability. Regardless of whatever you’ve heard – war is not good for business. War is for desperate people. And these guys are really desperate. The same can be said for all the repressive measures we are seeing and likely to see more of in the US. Add to all this massive corporate corruption and the failure of genuine global markets to materialize, and you have a recipe for disaster. Therefore these guys are grabbing as much money and power as they can before the whole damn global political economy collapses. And the reasons it’s going to collapse is because they have been quietly plundering it for years. After all where did all the money from Enron and Worldcom go? To offshore accounts of course. That money will never be recovered. You and I and every stockholder lost, while the guys stealing it get away with it. It has become increasingly obvious that this same type corruption and thievery is happening at all the high levels of corporations and government.

Of course all of this is likely to make life for most of us worse in the short-term, but ultimately these machinations of war, greed, corruption and repression cannot be sustained. Something has to give and it will. For a deeper analysis of why, read my Capital, Power and Ecology. In the long run, assuming the entire world is not destroyed a global economy of freedom and wealth will emerge. An economy that is not only ecologically sound, but that is consumer controlled rather than corporate controlled. Bottom-up as opposed to top-down. An economy that favors transparent and fluid capital over one that is tightly controlled and secretive. Ultimately investors vote with their pocket books, and only the most ethical, open and effective business enterprise will survive. I hope we all live to see that brighter day. In the meantime, hang on to your hats – because this desperate war and the all the terrorist fallout is going to be a bumpy ride.