A Brief History Of Human Society

1.4m BC To 2015

IX. After The Nation State

The question of what will follow the Nation State will be the subject of the latter chapters in this book; but this introduction has sketched out some of the main component strands of the discussion, which can be summarized as follows:

An essential premise of the ideas presented here is that, despite the growing role in social and cultural development of institutions above the level of the basic human group, humans retain their groupish natures because they developed before external, over-arching social institutions became the focus of evolution. Genetically speaking, humans don't appear to have changed significantly in the last 30,000 years.

Globalization, which is the hate object of so many 'anti-corporatist' protesters is, on the contrary, seen in this book as a process which will subvert the corporatist tendencies of the nation state and will construct a model of governance far closer to the needs of the 'groupish' individual.

A key plank of the discussion is that technology, which allowed the State to develop in the first place, will now 're-empower' the individual, and will encourage a return to more collective ways of living, to which human nature is suited better than it is to the remote and impersonal State. There have always been individuals who were strong and clear-seeing enough to have their own moral structures, but they were a tiny minority. Increasing economic wealth, better education (sort of!), more leisure, and better access to information have created very large numbers of people with some independence of action; but there are no structures to accommodate them. The Internet will be a major force in supplying such structures, and is seen as a crucial player in the process because of its highly affiliative nature.