JOURNAL: Market-state vs. Virtual State.
I'm a big fan of Philip Bobbitt.
He's done some amazing thinking on how globalization is changing the
nation-state (if you would like to quickly catch up, I strongly suggest
that you read the second section of his seminal book: The Shield Achilles).
In summary (which doesn't do it justice), Philip makes the case that
the nation-state is evolving into a market-state and that it is now
locked into an epochal war with non-state networks:
The market-state is the latest constitutional order,
one that is just emerging in a struggle for primacy with the dominant
constitutional order of the 20th century, the nation-state. Whereas the
nation-state based its legitimacy on a promise to better the material
well-being of the nation, the market-state promises to maximize the
opportunity of each individual citizen. The current conflict is one of
several possible wars of the market-states as they seek to open up
societies to trade in commerce, ideas, and immigration which excite
hostility in those groups that want to use law to enforce religious or
ethnic orthodoxy. States make war, not brigands; and the Al Qaeda
network is a sort of virtual state, with a consistent source of
finance, a recognized hierarchy of officials, foreign alliances, an
army, published laws, even a rudimentary welfare system. It has
declared war on the U.S. for much the same reason that Japan did in
1941: because we appear to frustrate its ambitions to regional hegemony.
This is a very useful framework by which to view the current
conflict. It is also a natural compliment to Global Guerrillas — the
rise of the virtual state, its new methods of warfare, and its impact
on the world is a subject of my work here. Luckily for me, Philip is a
fan of Global Guerrillas and has sent me the manuscript for his new
book: Terror, Can We Win This War
(available for pre-order). It's a great read and required reading for
those interested in how this epochal war is going to evolve over the