Preparing for regime change
goodness I had read most of that by the time you were born, a decade later I used to make jokes (read troll) the trans-hoo-man men about them wanting to be Ovamen on their fora. looking at LLM we are still a way away from the Singularity which Damien Broderick suggested might be seeable by about now... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spike_(book)
Great article ! I'm writing a Substack (and a book) about the disruption of the nation-states by the Internet and globalization, so I found your article, and the previous one, particularly interesting.
Some thoughts about "Weakening the nation-state is thus not synonymous with promoting liberty".
If you mean "by default", that's certainly true if no other structure replaces them (anarchy), or if structures that don't enhance liberty replace them.
But the direction I'm arguing in my articles (and my forthcoming book) is that :
- Nation-states are being disrupted (and thus weakened) by external factors that are not the direct result of people seeking to weaken them.
- However, people aware of these structural changes may want to anticipate them in order to be better adapted to this new world, and possibly want to accelerate them in order to weaken nation-states so that they can more easily set up alternative systems.
- The main ways in which nation-states protect themselves against this disruption are 1) to try to restrict the mobility of their populations, particularly the wealthiest, 2) widespread surveillance made possible by the development of information technologies, 3) international cooperation that is often extremely inefficient and costly, directly or indirectly, for society (see https://disruptive-horizons.com/p/kyc-aml-destroying-world and https://disruptive-horizons.com/p/the-fatca-disaster for example).
- At best, these means severely restrict individual freedoms, and at worst (and often) corrupt the principles on which democracies were built. And for dictatorships, it just gives them powers they could only have dreamed of until now.
- So if "Weakening the nation-state is thus not synonymous with promoting liberty" is true, we can also say that "strengthening (or maintaining the current trajectory of) the nation-state is thus also not synonymous with promoting liberty".
We therefore need counterweight to these worrying trends, which for me are basically :
- For those working exclusively on the Internet, take advantage of the immense geographical freedom to choose freely in a market of jurisdictions fighting to attract you with the best possible conditions. This keeps states in check by preventing them from setting overly draconian living conditions (see https://disruptive-horizons.com/p/digital-nomadism-disrupting-nation-states).
- Promote massive, decentralized, international projects that have a proven track record of success against governments (see https://disruptive-horizons.com/p/internet-makes-governments-impotant-bottlenecks).
- Promote the widespread use of end-to-end encryption, which represents a real inversion of the balance of power between attack and defense, and of the tools that use it.
- Try to set up dozens of new jurisdictions, Free Cities, Network States and the like, which will be in friendly competition with each other and with classic nation-states, to offer the best possible living conditions. This will give a significant boost to innovation, hopefully leading to new models of governance that are both 1) more efficient than the current ones and 2) more respectful of fundamental freedoms than classic democratic nation-states.
"appreciation for the ways in which Reason is socially mediated, rather than the wellspring of an individual ego."
This forgets that nation-states are (geo or trade or both) instantiations of the world, a process by which we (each with our Janus ratio of self/world) mediate reality, something far less grand than Reason, but curiously more "real". Empires seek to become the world in their own image, but often turn into death cults as they fail to capture all of reality (like Russia today)( as they believe the victim propaganda they spin, or at least believe they can chaos surf it better than others (because they are narcissistically special ( e.g. "Russian consciousness"). ) Currently the best empire on offer is the EU. Empires are always with us, at least ever since the poor have been around.
The singularity may not change the Janus ratio as much as we do the singularity. This makes me a technohippie of course.
"The moment governments realize that AI is a threat to their sovereignty, they will be tempted to clamp down in a totalitarian fashion." "The story goes like this: Earth is captured by a technocapital singularity as renaissance rationalization and oceanic navigation lock into commoditization take-off. Logistically accelerating techno-economic interactivity crumbles social order in auto-sophisticating machine runaway. As markets learn to manufacture intelligence, politics modernizes, upgrades paranoia, and tries to get a grip."