May 24, 2012
Problems with Nation-States, part 2
[From HRH Jonathan]
Let us now return to our discussion of nation-states, for that issue has not been concluded in part 1. I will open this second article on the matter with a pair of seemingly random questions: What does it mean to be free, and what is sovereignty? The first question will seem familiar, although the answer may be alien, and the second question will seem alien, but the answer will be very familiar. Thus I discuss them in the first place, for their meanings have been obscured by the paradigm in which we live.
What is freedom? The only word to ehich you might receive more varied answers from people is 'humanity'. Some say that it is the simple ability to travel, act, and speak as you wish. That is technically true for some definitions of freedom, but is more accurately termed liberty, and is not the form of freedom I wish to discuss. Others would say it is the ability to do whatever you want, no matter what that may be. This is called license, or more accurately within politics, anarchy, and is a mutation of the freedom I am trying to touch upon. A few people would say that freedom is independence from those that would control you. This is a fascinating answer that is far closer to the truth than than any of the others, but it is still slightly off. When referring to 'freedom' within a society it cannot be truly defined until you know the answer to the second question.
What is sovereignty? Do you know? It is in fact a word with many meanings, most of them implied. It can mean the authority of a leader, autonomy, excellence, control, or (interestingly enough) freedom from authority. So, in just one sentence the question we had so much difficulty answering (What is societal freedom?) falls into place. Sovereignty is legal control, the authority of controlling a segment of society, the purest power within society. It should be clear, then, that the only way to be truly free is to be sovereign over one's self.
How, you may be wondering, does this tie in with nation-states? Simply. Within a nation-state system it is impossible to be truly free.
Is it possible to be truly self-sovereign when you are born into citizenship? Is it possible to truly be free when the laws you abide by and the government you must obey are controlled only by place? Are you free when you must present papers and identifiers simply to travel where you wish? Are you independent enough to honestly be called a free man when you are forced into a social contract against your will? Are you sovereign when those same social contracts are implied, meaning they may change and grow at any time with no chance of control by you? No, no, no, no, and no. Indeed, throughout most of history these restrictions have been placed upon a single class of people only; slaves. Nation-states are unjust because they force people to surrender their sovereignty. Self-sovereignty is the truest measure of freedom, and not a single person possesses a scrap of it within a modern nation-state. If you cannot choose your own loyalties then you are a slave, a shift in language does not change that.
In a feudal-state, on the other hand, self-sovereignty is all that there is. Higher loyalties are established only by oath, that is; sovereignty over others is gained only by agreement. Instead of having your citizenship determined by birth, it is determined purely by who you swear to obey. The social contract is a formalized mechanic in feudalism, not an unspoken effect, which leads to increased stability because no one can disagree on what the contract entails like they do today. In feudalism free men are free not just to go where they want, say what they want, and (within reason) do what they want, they are also capable of placing their loyalties where they want, even if that is nowhere.
Feudalism is what Edan embraces. A truer form of freedom is what we strive for. The only way to become a citizen is to swear your allegiance to the King, the Constitution, and all authorities derived from them. You are not born or forced into the deal. Edan is not a place or even a system, it is an idea - an idea embodied by the people who owe their allegiance to it. Edan is wherever his citizens are because they have agreed that is so. That is the goal of Edan, a world of sovereign individuals working together. A more just, more humane world, which can only be attained by feudalism.