Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > The Modern ‘Western’ Nation State Does Not Have a Viable Future: 1

The Modern ‘Western’ Nation State Does Not Have a Viable Future: 1

A couple of years ago, I first considered writing a series on the many, and now very apparent, failures of USA as a nation-state. However, every time I started writing, it became obvious that this ongoing process was not unique to USA. In fact, every single type of systemic failure attributed to the american system can be found in one or more other western-type nation states. It is just that the american state exhibits more signs of systemic dysfunction and failure than other similar nation states.

As many of you also know, predictions about the looming demise of modern (post-ww2) nation states have been a staple of libertarian public figures and their corporate funders for the past decade or two. It is therefore necessary to be very clear about what I am talking and how it is different from what those idiots and shills are peddling. Hence, I have compiled a short list of precise meaning of each term to show how it differs from other usages of that term.

So, let us begin..

1] Readers might have noticed the use of a peculiar word construct (modern ‘western’ state) in the title. So, what am I talking about? It goes something this.. the first iteration of the state as we understand it today came into being in nascent industrializing west-european countries during the early 1800s. This iteration accepted or tolerated slavery, had very limited electoral franchise, possessed limited bureaucracy and perhaps most importantly lacked the ability or desire to provide public goods and services to the majority of people living within its boundaries. In other words, it was a slightly more representative version of late feudalism.

The second iteration, which started appearing in the mid-1800s, was the first version that would be somewhat recognizable as a state to most people living today. Its most relevant advancement over the previous version was provision of some public goods and services such as clean drinking water, public sewer systems, free basic education etc. The third iteration which started appearing towards the end of 1800s, was was marked by even greater public access to goods and services and the beginning of universal suffrage. It is also most associated with nationalism and the two world wars caused by that ideology.

But what does any of this background information have to do with the concept of a modern ‘western’ state’? and why put single quotation marks around the word ‘western’? Well.. it comes down to defining the fourth (post-ww2) iteration aka the modern nation-state which has become the default for all major countries in the world today. While it may have originated in western countries, this type of nation-state organization is now seen in countries as diverse as Russia, China, India. So what made it acceptable to people in so many different countries, many of whom never went through the first three iterations?

It comes down to an implicit deal offered by this particular mode of organisation- to all parties involved. The ruling elite of a country and their flunkies could maintain popular legitimacy as long as they can provide (or facilitate the provision of) extensive public goods and services including an environment conducive to continual increases in material well-being of the general population. In return, the general population provides a safe and predictable environment for elites and their flunkies to live large and lord over others. This deal is how things used to work in USA from 1945 to mid-2000s and is still how things work (for the most part) in many other countries.

In future parts, I will explain the many interconnected systemic contradictions which unraveled this deal and why the rise of neoliberalism is more of a symptom rather than the main cause of the slow motion demise of modern ‘western’ nation states.

2] The other somewhat odd term used in the title is ‘does not have a viable future’. While it does sound a bit like ass-covering legalese, that term is used to convey a very specific concept. Unlike many libertarians and other assorted retards, I do not think that modern ‘western’ nation states will collapse all over the world within a very short timespan. Nor do I think that they will be replaced by largely autonomous and small libertarian city states. In fact, it is quite possible that nothing will be able to fill the giant gaping hole left in the aftermath of their slow demise.

What I am trying to tell you is that the current system will lose viability as it loses popular legitimacy. Think of it as analogous to people slowly losing faith in a religion which no longer provides a believable explanation of the world around them. Or people slowly losing faith in a god or deity who has apparently stopped answering their prayers. But how can the most successful system of socio-economic organization in human history lose popular legitimacy, especially given lack of a well-known alternative? Well.. for starters, the legitimacy of a system or belief in it are not linked to the availability of alternative options.

Instead, popular legitimacy of the current setup is almost completely linked to its ability to provide an extensive list of public goods and services in addition to continual improvements in living standards. Consequently the inability of provide them, even if that occurs gradually, will result in the system losing popular legitimacy. Note that I am talking about actually providing public goods and services, rather than simply possessing the means to provide them. Observant readers might have noticed that I have not linked a government being democratically to it being perceived as legitimate by the general population. Once again, I will explain that concept in more detail in future posts.

I will try to make future posts in this series sound less stilted and explain each concept with multiple contemporary examples.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. November 5, 2017 at 6:58 am

    People are talking about a “Universal Basic Income” in response to the issues u have mentioned. What do u think about that?

    I wrote about it many years ago..

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/?s=Minimal+Consumption+Entitlement

    • November 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      OH, I must have missed that somehow…. Well… Hopefully UBI/MCE will come to fruition before humanity decides to nuke itself nearly out of existence. Sadly, most white Americans (and not just old either) would probably rather see WW3, then feel on par with “niggers,” “wetbacks” etc. They want blood, not parity or fairness, in ANY sense. There are so many moving parts to UBI and so much rot that needs to be undone….

  2. November 5, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    UBI will not be possible unless efficiency improves and becomes sustainable at a level to support UBI concurrently with nearly universal social tolerance for it. Each seem extremely unlikely. Any level of production seems unsustainable with such a universal offering.

    Most people must be forced by either circumstance or overt rule to perform. Few are truly self motivated. Bigotry, territorialism, mendicancy, and competition for free resources are primary social imperatives programmed into human DNA that preempt any sense of community other than that feigned to exploit the naïve.

    Both the “wealthy” and “welfare” recipients are leeches on “the system”. Hence, their root meanings being the same. The wealthy are effectively welfare recipients no less than those receiving food stamps, government subsidies, etc. Each human is capable of only so much no matter who they are and there are only 24 hours in a day for everyone. It is not possible to “earn” such large sums of compensation unless it is realistically obtained by skimming off that earned by many others.

    In a world where such paradigms preside, it is extremely unlikely that UBI stands a chance.

    • webej
      November 6, 2017 at 4:03 am

      We are at the cusp of robots and automation replacing tens of millions of jobs, and you are worried about whether “production” will be enough?! Our productive potential is already many times greater than in the past. Seems to me the problem is how much money is leaking away by scams and design, not whether productive capacity is great enough.

      Another thing, I have never met a person with a job/career who decided he would rather loaf on welfare, no matter how much people extol how great that would be. The idea that nobody will do anything useful anymore if there is not a finely-tuned punishment machine/bureaucracy in place seems to be a core tenet of faith among UBI-sceptics.

      The problem is how to restore circular flows within the economy, as well as to elicit contributions by various actors without so much destructive activity, not the total sum of production (owned almost exclusivly by a thin slice at the top who milk it for all gains to income).

  3. Libertarians are subhumans
    November 5, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Can you make a blogpost to discuss the reasons why the vast majority of women coaches their own biological sons and other younger male blood related relatives into acting in ways and adopting behaviours and customs that are detrimental to them and beneficial for the women that they will meet and interact with during the course of their lives,women with whom their mother share no parental or personal connection.

    This goes against basics of evolutionary biology and i say this having studied it as part of the psychology exam i did as a sociology student,from the standpoint of evolutionary biology it makes no sense that an individual would encourage his or her blood relatives to act at their own detriment for the benefit of complete strangers that don’t share their genetic makeup.

    And yet women,are constantly telling their sons to be chivalrous,to marry and even worse very often the wives to be are of much lower socioeconomic who then are legally granted the ownership of half of the wealth as well as present and future earning of their husbands,they tell them to give women all sorts of preferential treatments ranging from treating them to fancy dinners and giving them presents to the women they court to risking their lives to save random women from all kinds of dangerous situation and in general to put the life of women above their own and those of their fellow men in any life threathening circumstance.

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-organization/article/women-and-children-first-gender-norms-and-humanitarian-evacuation-in-the-balkans-199195/416E848849B8C92DBB571D4855F7BFEB

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4920266/Backlash-grows-Oxford-student-clever-prison.html

    What does it say about the much lauded love that women have for their sons when from childhood they teach them to put women’s interests and wellbeing before their own and that of other men,sometimes with absolutely terrible results as the articles i included show?

    I hope you’ll make a video and blogpost to discuss this,also please feel free to include an part of what i wrote in this comment in the video/blogpost.

    • P Ray
      November 8, 2017 at 9:23 am

      A big reason why women get their own male relatives to be subservient to other women,
      is that it demonstrates social capital, e.g.
      1. I have the men in my family under my control
      and
      2. Look what a good woman I am since I am commanding them to serve the sisterhood.

      You better believe that a lot of women are addicted to social status despite it giving exactly 0 dollars in advantage to their living conditions.

      Which is a good proof that they are not living in the real world.

  4. azn
    November 6, 2017 at 12:18 am

    AD, off topic here, but just wanna say that u were absolutely right that lower/working class girls have far better attitudes, want to please and actually like sex.
    My life has been a lie coz I was taught(no one said it but heavily implied) to only find middle class girls attractive/acceptable who were uniformly cunts and frigid.

    • Libertarians are subhumans
      November 6, 2017 at 6:13 am

      That happens only because you’re of higher social status,most of the time those lower/working class girls are total assholes toward men with their own low social status.

  5. abcdefg
    November 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    About 1/3 of humans require some form of authority in order to function within an organizational framework. Be it religion, a trusted leader, mothering and fathering, or in some cases a strong man. Otherwise they’ll fall into dysfunction, by nature. So far in the past 40 years we have systematically distinguished religion, made it exceedingly difficult to form a family, and proclaimed strong man style leadership as racist and misogynist. That leaves corporate managers, the media, and an un-networked system of small scale community organizations in charge of moral guidance. So our overlords are instructing us to go shopping, eat shitty food, watch degenerate infotainment, and please don’t litter and rob others. This ethos hardly has any staying power, it’s exhausting.

    Neoliberalism lacks a level of clear authority required by low impulse control and low future time orientated people; which are increasingly unnecessary in the current automated “creative” information economy. On top of that, the “creatives” keep coming up with more creative ways to extract value out of the remaining productive workers — see tech companies such as Uber and Task Rabbit (modern day indentured servitude). Of course people like the idea of individualism, more personal choice, easy access to credit, do whatever I want whenever I want, but they simply can’t hack it. Neoliberalism, in practice not theory, requires high levels of self-control from its citizenry in order to function. An enlightened society requires an enlightened citizenry. Without them, you see what we currently have in the US, elite values and excesses (that the elite can handle) in full view of a citizenry that simply can’t handle them.

    • hoipolloi
      November 7, 2017 at 10:34 am

      @So far in the past 40 years we have systematically distinguished religion, made it exceedingly difficult to form a family, and proclaimed strong man style leadership as racist and misogynist.

      Fix: distinguished = destroyed

      No turning the clock back. Society has evolved into that stage till next paradigm shift.

      • webej
        November 7, 2017 at 11:51 am

        Better fix: “extinguished religion”

      • abcdefg
        November 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        That was supposed to be extinguished.

        It’s not destroyed. It’s still around, just in a watered down state. Plenty of new agey BS religion for neoliberal tastes.

    • webej
      November 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Human beings are social animals, and left to nature alone, would typically live and survive in small bands and tribes. Even in modern cities with their anomic atomized social “structure” teen-agers re-invent tribes, and, were it not for active repression by the police/judiciary, there would probably be something akin to tribal bonds in which people regulated their social and economic existence.
      Within a tribe, there is always enough social structure to keep the impulsive short-term orientated individuals within normal bounds. It doesn’t even require a whole lot of authority or force — people are herd animals and naturally follow the example of a group which they cannot imagine being ostracized from.
      The number of people that are adrift within modern society, who cannot make it without all kinds of extra guidance, etc, will only increase. Perhaps our civilization will one day have too much complexity to support, and will fall apart to a simpler stage. Count on tribal-type bonds on making a come back. Just as the human digestive tract and metabolism is based on millions of years of evolution and does not adapt to a few thousand years of processed food, simple carbohydrates, or whatever, the same is true of basic human bonding, which is not that much different from apes. Tribes and bands with strong male authorities are built-in. Period. Just watch what happens when a group of people crash their plane and have to survive in the jungle for a couple of years.

      • Libertarians are subhumans
        November 7, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        I study sociology at a university and actually groups of nomadic hunter gatherers had no such a thing as a strong leader and basically everyone had the same status,tribes with a strong leader come laterm,that is when humans stop being nomads and human groups go from one or two hundreds individuals at most to several hundreds,only at that size they can be actually called tribes,can you please not talk out of your ass?

      • webej
        November 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm

        Ah, the egalitarian hunter-gatherers. While that may be true at the political level, the better warriors, hunters, and story-tellers, or those with charisma, have more pull. The elders have more pull, particularly some of them. And the men do not all have equal access to females. Going to university also means thinking critically, which involves reading between the lines in thousands of anthropological reports. Sociology is just theory.

  6. November 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Hey!
    You should read up Venkatesh Rao when you are free. He blogs at :
    https://www.ribbonfarm.com
    and
    https://breakingsmart.com/en/dontpanic/
    The theme of being cynical of humans while being pro-technology is the broader theme.
    Also. This article by him makes similar conclusions as this article of yours towards the end.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/venkateshrao/2012/09/03/entrepreneurs-are-the-new-labor-part-i/
    Keep blogging!

  7. Rum
    November 7, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Libs are Sub

    The answer to your question is that god or evolution has hard wired into the human female brain an inability to understand consciously their own sexual instincts. Because if they understood them consciously, acting on them would be MUCH harder. Impossible, even.
    Imagine; knowing that you wanted one kind of guy for fertile period rutting and another to keep a nest with.
    There is not enough room in anyones conscious Psyche to enclose/contain such a conflict.

    • P Ray
      November 8, 2017 at 9:18 am

      It’s a lot easier for women to behave terribly when they have the handy excuse “Women are rule by their emotions, teeheehee” … and the men that excuse their behaviour.
      Funny how where punishment for bad behaviour is doled out, the bad behaviour is very much reduced.
      Almost as if women have a choice to act terribly, but pretend they have no such agency, and then demand equality with men.

    • Libertarians are subhumans
      November 9, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Women are actually very rational,they do whatever the fuck pleases them,without any regards of how it may affect men simply because they don’t give a shit about men’s wellbeing,much less their feelings.

  8. P Ray
    November 8, 2017 at 9:11 am

    The other hallmark of the vanishing Western ‘Nation-State’ is a huge censorship apparatus to silence alternative views.
    2 good examples come to mind just this month:
    sudden closure of blackpillcomics.wordpress.com
    sudden closure of reddit sub r/incels

    Evidently the machine needs many sleeping men to power it, and to do that all explanations why those men get disappointed in life despite putting in effort … have to be silenced.

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