TED Conversations

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

This idea needs a lot more examination than it got. "Nation States" have been responsible for most of the major catastrophes recently.

Nation States came from a "People's " reaction to Feudalism, and was originally supposed to be a unified Ethnic group. They were corrupted by success, and became Empires, made up of warring factions. Look at the US. They are intrinsically unstable, since they are based on force and/or fraud, and have no obvious other way of settling disputes with "others". They are basically like the Greek City-States, which evolved into Cities. (Civilization) But cities have solved their political problems by means of Laws, etc Nations cannot do this, because their "principles" do not involve respect for any OTHER nation state. That would be contradictory If you want to see how this all turns out, look at pre Dynastic Chinese History: the "Period of Warring States", They tried everything: Alliances, Balance s of Power, NATO, etc. it all failed.

Share:
  • May 21 2013: The bottom line is that "Nation States", are intrinsically unstable, mainly because not being based on Law, with its ideas of fairness and procedures of accountability, they basically have no better way of dealing with disagreements than the Mafia does, i.e. force and fraud, with little concern for anything but "winning"
    What that implies is either 1.) One nation eventually conquers all the others, or 2). the nations finally create a voluntary union based on agreed on Laws, procedures, budget,and administration ,and Police Force. i.e. a World "State of United Nations" similar to the US in1787. I know, a can of Worms, But pity the national leaders of today . In the last few hundred years, what national leader starting a disastrous war did NOT truthfully say, "But we had no alternative"?
  • thumb
    May 20 2013: Mr. Hall and/or Mr Disney sound like either political science or economics majors.

    For Mr. Hall, in both the old Soviet Union and in the People's Republic of China, the necessity of revolutionary change has been reevaluated somewhat. Violent revolution is no longer seen as inevitable. Although in the Europe of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin -- faced with long established dictatorial monarchies, Lenin absolutely had to see it that way. He was right, but only for his day.

    The Soviet Union collapsed from internal economic pressures and a monolithic, top-down economic model that was grossly inefficient. The Chinese model seeks to harness market forces and allow natural human motivation and industry to propel the economy towards prosperity and a more efficient distribution of national wealth. For the Chinese, the experiment continues.

    good thread Wish I'd gotten here sooner.
  • thumb
    Apr 21 2013: In that case, Shawn, the unity I speak of is not only uncommon, it is unprecedented.
  • thumb
    Apr 21 2013: Shawn, the unification of humanity is a natural feature of our moral trajectory. As Chaplin said in the speech below, "The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die; and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Let us all unite!! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise!! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness." Amen. Rest in peace, Mr. Chaplin. I care much for what Christians want, and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, too. I also know all of these groups are united under Homo sapien, and I care much more about the needs of humanity than the wants of its organized religions. Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and Abraham had more in common than their followers do. We ought to understand they were all just striving to be good, as we all should. As, one day, we all will.
    • Apr 21 2013: In a Buddhist sense, I agree with you that Humanity already IS "united". There is only ONE" Race" in Science. But Reality creates all kinds of problems: It is hard to think of any Banana Republic Dictator who did NOT seek to promote "Unity", sometimes by means of violence and atrocities. If you read the speeches of some of our most famous dictators, you will find many themes in common with what you are proposing. Most of them thought they were doing a good thing, which their enemies could not appreciate. So , a proper recognition of the "Unity" that already exists is a good thing, but any program to promote "Unity" of the usual kind is very dubious..
      • thumb
        Apr 21 2013: I do not know what you mean by, "unity of the usual kind." Human civilization has never achieved unity. To call it 'usual' is odd to me. If you mean what I suspect you do -- that sometimes evil masquerades as good -- than I agree, but just as much of a threat to human civilization is a lack of effort where discerning right and wrong are concerned. As Theodore Roosevelt put it, "The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well-nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad. There is nothing more distressing to every good patriot, to every good American, than the hard, scoffing spirit which treats the allegation of dishonesty in a public man as a cause for laughter."

        Cynicism is brewing in our uninformed world, and rightly so. There is a vast, deep well of injustice. Islands of wealth can only ignore seas of poverty for so long. The seas are rising. Soon the flood will come. In a few thousand years, humanity will rule itself, and "science and progress will lead to all men's happiness."
        • Apr 21 2013: If you read history, much of it is a recitation of how various Rulers, achieved" Unity" like Rulers of Russia conquering various assorted neighbors such as Poles, and Ukrainians, or in more recent times, Chechens. Or in our own history, "Unity" was achieved (they say) by a "Union" victory over the Confederates, who didn't want a Union, only a Confederacy. There were "Germans" at least since Roman times, but they only achieved "Unity" , somewhat , in the late 19th C. This is such a common use of the term, that's why I call it.usual.
  • thumb
    Apr 21 2013: "The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die; and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Let us all unite!! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise!! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

    Soldiers: In the name of democracy, let us all unite!!!" - Charlie Chaplin
  • thumb
    Apr 21 2013: As long as 'they' exist, 'we' cannot.
    • Apr 21 2013: Mr. H: Not so! The Soviet Union was rather efficient as a Police State, but they couldn't prevent people from talking among themselves. And when the "State" started to bloodlessly unravel, was this not the main reason why no one defended it?
      • thumb
        Apr 21 2013: I am afraid I do not understand. I agree that people will not stand up for tyrants. Humanity should be united. The reasons for our divisions are not physical or practical, they are political and historical. A one world, communist government means heaven on earth. Anything else means trouble.
        • Apr 21 2013: Your thought needs a little clarification. You say "Humanity should be united"; there are a great many things that could mean, some good, some bad.And our "divisions' are surely not only physical and practical, but at the same time political and historical. As for Heaven on Earth, I agree with Mark Twains evaluation of that: He said ,most Christians would hate it,: doing, and claiming to enjoy , things they wouldn't be caught dead doing on Earth, such as singing in choirs endlessly, praising God, etc. Not only is Heaven an undefined Term, but so is Communism . Even "trouble". Some people think that for Minorities, such as Kurds, or Chechens ,to be allowed to have their own government is "Trouble". I think it is merely civilized. If a World Government ever succeeds , it will only do so by allowing all minorities to do what they like, as long as they don't bother other people. I.e almost the opposite of "Unity". The unity should be in the principles of Law, not culture.