Networking Nation-States

The nation-state is not dead, but technology is leading it down a very different road.

Issue: Winter 2003-2004

The early 20th century was filled with predictions that the airplane,
the automobile or the assembly line had made parliamentary democracy,
market economies, jury trials and bills of rights irrelevant,
obsolete and harmful. Today's scientific-technological revolutions
(epitomized by space shuttles and the Internet) make the technologies
of the early 20th century--its fabric-winged biplanes, Tin Lizzies
and "Modern Times" gearwheel factories--look like quaint relics. Yet
all of the "obsolete" institutions derided by the modernists of that
day thrive and strengthen. The true surprise of the scientific
revolutions ahead is likely to be not the technological wonders and
dangers they will bring but the robustness of the civil society
institutions that will nurture them.

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