Beyond the Nation-State (Part 1)
December 1, 2012 in Politics
BEYOND THE NATION-STATE
by Al Olmstead
by Al Olmstead
Appointment by foreigners of chief ministers for Greece and Italy shows that the nation-state has outlived its usefulness as a mode of political association. But the essential background for examining alternatives is the answer to WHOSE USEFULNESS?
That answer begins with an important historical clue. Destruction of whole nations by installing foreign rulers is not new. The end of ancient Israel began after assassination of Julius Caesar when Gaius Octavius Caesar and Marc Antony kicked the crown prince of Israel off his throne and appointed an Arab as king of the Jews–Herod of New Testament infamy.
Through their treason against the Republic, these two members of the Second Triumverate merely resorted to a different method by which the currently most successful gang of criminals fleeced the entire world of everything valuable. After renaming himself Augustus and declaring himself son of god, the first Roman emperor’s sole advice on expanding the frontiers of the Empire was exclusively financial: if it doesn’t turn a profit, then don’t do it.
So the beginning of understanding the transitory usefulness of the nation-state is to recognize that it is merely one more transmuted form of the Roman formula for an empire that, after about 300 BCE, persisted solely for criminal purposes. Contrary to the nifty but misleading title invented by Gibbon’s publisher, there never was so much a “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” as a series of transmutations of it, transmutations devised by Roman-style imperial wannabees down to this day.
By turn of the Seventeenth Century, feudal lords–especially history’s most succesful pirate of the high seas, England’s Elizabeth I–found the new concept of the nation-state a useful tool by which to destroy the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire and to emasculate the imperial papacy. But they had no intention of ending what the Empire had become. They simply wanted to confiscate it and redirect its flow of stolen wealth into their own coffers.
That was exactly what England did, to the extent that the official language of colonial government in India was not English but Persian–because the confiscated bureaucracy was Persian. To perfect the Persian system, English rulers invented the caste system (Roman divide-and-conquer) and even organized the Hindu religion.
That was the genius of the Roman variation on the ancient theme of empire. The greatest profit comes from commandeering an in-place bureaucracy that has already perfected the fine art of ripping off an entire people.
The idea of the nation-state caught on but was never made practical with unqualified success. Certainly the Revolution of 1776 can hardly be called evidence of Elizabeth’s perceptive political foresight.
However, more pertinent proof of intrinsic difficulties with the concept is that, a quarter century after the United States of America had become England’s worst nightmare, Napoleon Bonaparte failed to convince his countrymen  that they were Italians rather than Florentines, Napolitanos, Tuscans and the like. He remained King of [the nation-state of] Italy mainly in his own mind.
Two centuries later, the nation-state as a “container of peoples” has distinguished itself as one of the more dismal forms of political association, as modern world history attests. Barely a single nation-state has failed to act enthusiastically on behalf of foreigners to ruthlessly exploit its own people, up to and including mass murders by the millions–approximately 300 million victims of “democide” (murder by one’s own government, not in connection with foreign war) altogether in the Twentieth Century alone.
In The Rule of Rmpires, Timothy Parsons shows that the concept of the nation-state is like the concepts of tribe, caste and even citizen in that they all are political inventions that have no organic, real-world counterparts.
Romans in Britain, Moors in Spain, Portugueze and Spanish in the Americas and English in North America, Africa and India always invented artificial groups as an administrative convenience for systematic theft of wealth by bureaucrats.
Napoleon’s invention of Italians differed only in the unprecedented success of his prototype of the modern bureaucracy. He didn’t change so much as perfect the extractive goals of imperial bureaucrats: (1) to force ordinary men to wage wars not in their own interest (usually by threatening reprisals against their families and even against whole villages); (2) to extract taxes and tributes needed to finance those wars of aggression (even at the expense of starving taxpayers to death); and (3) to monitor every aspect of private life in order to abort rebellion at the earliest possible time (thus the modern notion of a “pre-crime” police force, such us the U.S. Department of Homeland Security–the word-for-word translation of the name of Hitler’s counterpart agency).
Despite this clear historical pattern–which is but one pore in the enduring thumb print of the Roman version of organized criminal enterprise–modern American commentary remains all but exclusively reactionary. We can cure the ills of Roman-style imperial thuggery if we will only get back to the Good Old Days of this or that phase of the American nation-state.
We are not told that the time of the Founding Fathers was also the time when colored peoples were arranged in a formal taxonomy of sub-human super-apes so that their inalienable rights could be alienated.
We are not told that the time of Roosevelt’s New Deal was also the time when American citizens with slanted eyes were imprisoned so that their wealth could be stolen, even while their sons died for their country.
Throughout all of this Golden-Age-of-Yesterday nonsense, nobody asks the question that must be asked if we are to rid ourselves of latter day Roman-style imperial wannabees.
Since, from the days of ancient pharoahs, government has never been about anything other than stealing and concentrating abundance made possible by technologies, is government necessary–not merely is the Roman version of organized crime necessary, but is ANY coersive government necessary?
The claim that we do need coersive government, because we must be protected from ourselves, lies at the core of what is called the “Aristotelean paradigm”, to which we turn in Part 2.
Concluding this Part 1, that foreign powers are able to appoint alien chief ministers proves either that those nation-states do not exist in other than popular illusion or that they do exist but as a thing of which citizens have no meaningful understanding. The latter is the more likely case.
The 200 United Nations are in fact merely departments of the global bureaucracy that has been confiscated by global financial elites, just as England confiscated the Persian bureaucracy in India, and for identical purposes: to recruit conscripts to fight wars in which they have no personal interest; to collect taxes and tributes with which to finance those wars; and to control the private lives of what amount to imperial subjects in order to thwart rebellions.
 Napoleon was a Corsican who spoke French with a coarse Italian accent.
 Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia