The UNPO is a group that represents nations and peoples that are not recognized by the UN or most other international organizations. There are currently almost 70 members of the UNPO, including
There is some attempt to draw a difference between a state, a nation, and a nation-state. This is very, very understandable; scientists, even social scientists, want to be able to label and describe what they are studying in concrete terms. Unfortunately, the idea of ‘nation’ is too slippery and fuzzy for this to work. The
Again, it is very clear that a country is whatever people agree it is. This sort of “Tinkerbell Effect” (if enough people believe it, it is real) has always been the case when it comes to the definition of a nation.
Being largely aware of all this in the 1990’s, I was interested in the rapid creation of literally dozens of ‘new’ countries in that decade. All over the world, people were striving to define themselves in smaller and smaller countries.
The development of very large, centralized nations is really a modern one. Sure,
The explosion of new, smaller nations in the 1990’s was, I believe, caused by the confluence of a desire for smaller, direct, personal government and rapid political change. People saw an opportunity to create a nation-state that they wanted and seized it. Unfortunately, these attempts sometimes meant terrible violence and death.
The world is currently undergoing as drastic a change as what was seen in the 17th and 18th Centuries (that led to the rise of the modern nation-state) or in the 11th (the beginning of the Great Kingdoms) or even in the 6th (the rise of feudalism). While not all great changes lead to new forms of government, I think that the continued development of new nations shows that this trend will continue. As the most “mature” (and post-industrial) nations of the West are pinning their hopes on ever-larger trans-national organizations like the UN, EU, G8, etc. the average citizen wants a
Further, the socio-economic underpinnings of the modern nation-state are beginning to fray. The Second Demographic Transition could very well signal the end of social welfare programs throughout the world within the next 50 years, an event that could bankrupt the wealthiest nations in history in just a few decades. Even without the collapse of social programs (i.e., all nations simply cancel them before their economies collapse) modern international economics is based upon perpetual growth – this is untenable in a world with a shrinking population.
In the end it boils down to something simple; people like to know their fellow citizens and they like to know their leaders. French theorist Pierre Manent argues that the lure of totalitarianism is that it provides the feeling that leaders are well-known to citizens individually and that those leaders share the values of the people. In other words, in the modern world tyrants seize power by using populism to create the illusions of a smaller, more intimate nation.
These facts and theories led to my conception of the
The first thing I am doing with this blog is to go over how I revised the constitution in the face of more research, thought, and discussion with others. When I finish with recounting the last, oh, eight years of development of the constitution, I hope to move on to the final version right here.