"Demise of the Nation State" (article)

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mnaz
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"Demise of the Nation State" (article)

Post by mnaz » April 5th, 2018, 9:06 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/a ... a-dasgupta
The demise of the nation state: After decades of globalisation, our political system has become obsolete – and spasms of resurgent nationalism are a sign of its irreversible decline.”
By Rana Dasgupta

“The destruction of state authority over capital has of course been the explicit objective of the financial revolution that defines our present era. As a result, states have been forced to shed social commitments in order to reinvent themselves as custodians of the market. This has drastically diminished national political authority in both real and symbolic ways”
“The picture is the same all over the west: the wealth of the richest continues to skyrocket, while post-crisis austerity cripples the social-democratic welfare state. We can all see the growing fury at governments that refuse to fulfil their old moral promise – but it is most probable that they no longer can.”
“There is every reason to believe that the next stage of the techno-financial revolution will be even more disastrous for national political authority. This will arise as the natural continuation of existing technological processes, which promise new, algorithmic kinds of governance to further undermine the political variety. Big data companies (Google, Facebook etc) have already assumed many functions previously associated with the state, from cartography to surveillance. Now they are the primary gatekeepers of social reality: membership of these systems is a new, corporate, de-territorialised form of citizenship, antagonistic at every level to the national kind. The libertarian dream – whereby antique bureaucracies succumb to pristine hi-tech corporate systems, which then take over the management of all life and resources – is a more likely vision for the future than any fantasy of a return to social democracy.”
“The era of globalisation has seen consistent attempts by US presidents to enhance the authority of the executive, but they are never enough. Trump’s office can never have the level of mastery over American life that Kennedy’s did, so he is obliged to fake it. He cannot make America great again, but he does have Twitter, through which he can establish a lone-gun personality cult – blaming women, leftists and brown people for the state’s impotence. He cannot heal America’s social divisions, but he still controls the security apparatus, which can be deployed to help him look “tough” – declaring war on crime, deporting foreigners, hardening borders. He cannot put more money into the hands of the poor who voted for him, but he can hand out mythological currency instead; even his poorest voters, after all, possess one significant asset – US citizenship – whose value he can “talk up”, as he previously talked up casinos and hotels. Like Putin or Orbán, Trump imbues citizenship with new martial power, and makes a big show of withholding it from people who want it: what is scarcer, obviously, is more precious. Citizens who have nothing are persuaded that they have a lot.”

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