Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, October 26, 2020 01:36:47 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

Of Statelessness

By
08th-Jan-2015       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Thomas L. Knapp :
Last November, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a ten-year drive to end "the scourge of statelessness." In December,  UNHCR Senior Regional Protection Officer on Statelessness Emmanuelle Mitte appealed to journalists (in west Africa and worldwide) to promote the effort, citing the press's "responsibility to carry out advocacy, and sensitisation on the issue." But the campaign, starting with its name ("I Belong"), tells us more than its creators and promoters might want us to know about the relationship between the UN, political governments and those they govern.
In truth, the United Nations might be more accurately called the United States were the name not already taken. It is dedicated to the preservation of a system not quite 400 years old and still not quite globally adopted: The Westphalian system, which replaced the old feudal ties of dynastic family rule and shifting servile fealties to specific individuals with "states" defined by fixed geographical borders ("national sovereignty") and sporting bureaucracies which survived individual (and increasingly titular) rulers to maintain continuity of political government within said borders.
To put it a different way, the Westphalian system evolved feudal serfdom into a more sustainable model of chattel ownership. Serfs belonged to specific, mortal lords. Citizens belong to immortal bureaucracies. The UN's "I Belong" campaign aims to herd missing slaves back in their pens.
Fortunately, the effort is almost certainly in vain.
Over the last 20 years or so, the Westphalian ruling class has found itself increasingly beset by the existence and efficacy (in everything from unregulated commerce to irrepressible warfare) of "non-state entities" which recognize neither the legitimacy of its bureaucratic rulers nor the sanctity of its borders and "sovereignties."
While it's not a given that all those non-state entities represent an attractive alternative to the Westphalian model (I doubt most of us want to live under the rule of a  "global caliphate," for example), it's clear that the model is in tatters. And history is unlikely to run backward on its behalf.
Fortunately for most of us - and unfortunately for projects like "I Belong" -  a funny thing happened on America's way to permanent primacy in a post-WWII Westphalian hegemony: A system designed to preserve the pinnacle exemplar of Westphalian nation-statism by maintaining bureaucratic and military continuity even under the pressures of nuclear attack got released into the wild.
The Internet has enabled billions to uncouple themselves from national loyalties in various and significant ways. Hierarchical political government rooted in geography is giving way to self-organized horizontal networking rooted in mutual personal interest. Economic systems crafted by and for the state's ruling class are coming apart at the seams and leaking tax revenues at the joints as more and more of us trade without state permission and without paying the tolls the state demands.
The Internet and other technologies continue to eat at the state's connective tissues. Technologically reduced capital requirements make it possible to locally manufacture goods once centrally produced by state-boosted industries and distributed over the state's ubiquitous road networks (making regulation and tax collection increasingly difficult). Cell phones with wi-fi capabilities and "mesh networking" apps allow non-state networks to continue operations when the state pulls the plug on its centrally controlled utilities.
 "I Belong" focuses on bringing a few million refugees back under ownership of the states which made them refugees in the first place. But many more millions than that have consciously (and billions unconsciously) begun the process of escaping those states, becoming stateless by choice.
For two centuries, anarchists have treated the state as a cancer. Maybe we were wrong. Maybe it was actually a viable organ. But if so, it is now a vestigial organ - humanity's appendix, if you will. It serves no worthwhile purpose and is best surgically excised and thrown in the trash before it ruptures and kills humanity with the poisons it has stored up for 400 years.

Tariff
Sonali-Paper
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

People don't need directives on pandemic they need deeds of help to face economic hardship


HEALTH experts on Saturday suggested taking lessons from the mistakes in last seven months and implementing scientific decisions more than bureaucratic ones to fight the second wave of the Covid-19 which is apprehended to hit the country during winter. They also recommended intensifying community engagement and risk communication, but pointed ...

Business & Economy »

Dr Sultan Ahmed, Secretary of Power Division, inaugurating the 'Bangabondhu Avenue 33/11 sub-station' at Bangabondhu Avenue in city's Gulistan area on Sunday as chief guest. Engineer Bikash Dewan, Managing Director and other senior officials of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) were also present.


Business & Economy »

BPC gets new chairman


Business Desk :The government has appointed Md Abu Bakar Siddique as the chairman of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).The Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular in this regard on Thursday, saying the order will come into immediate effect, reports UNB.He will replace Md Shamsul Rahman, an additional secretary of ...

City »

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal speaks to officers and sailors of 'BNS Bijoy' on its arrival from Lebanon after completion of UN Peace Keeping Mission UNIFIL successfully on Sunday.


City »

Egyptian Ambassador to Bangladesh Walid Ahmed Shamseldin makes his farewell call on Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen at his office in the capital on Sunday


International »

`Demands not met`: Anti-govt protests resume in Iraq


Al Jazeera News :Protesters have gathered in Baghdad's Tahrir Square to mark one year since anti-government protests erupted and gripped Iraq.Sunday's demonstrations renewed calls from last October which saw the start of Iraq's biggest anti-government protest movement since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein, with demonstrations in the capital Baghdad ...

Entertainment »

Neha Kakkar, Rohanpreet Singh’s wedding takes place at Gurudwara


New videos from the wedding of singers Neha Kakkar and Rohanpreet Singh have been leaked on the internet. In the clips, the two are seen twinning in shades of peach and pink, as they get married at Gurudwara in Delhi. Videos from the ring ceremony were also shared online. Neha ...

International »

Nigeria says 51 civilians, 18 security forces killed in unrest


Al Jazeera News :Nigeria's president announced 51 civilians were killed in unrest following days of peaceful protests over police abuses and blamed "hooliganism" for the violence while asserting security forces used "extreme restraint".President Muhammadu Buhari's comments in a statement released late Friday are expected to further inflame tensions after Amnesty ...

Business & Economy »

MM Monirul Alam, CEO of Guardian Life Insurance Limited, handing over its first Maturity Claim (Individual Life Policy) cheque to its nominee at its head office in the city recently. Mahmudur Rahman Khan, SEVP, Mohammad Masuduzzaman Khan, EVP, Rubayat Saleheen, SVP and other officials of the company were also present.


Entertainment »

Ananya Panday`s friends had to say after watching Khaali Peeli


Ananya Panday has carved out a special place in the hearts of the audience with her quirky looks and her ability to nail every character. After the success of Khaali Peeli, Ananya is on cloud nine with all the love and appreciation that is coming her way. Not only were ...

Editorial »

Nothings to stop stealing funds for family planning


MEDIA reports said Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) has paid ghost bills against work orders that were not either fulfilled or not implemented at all by contractual parties. Such cases of fake billing and misappropriation funds galore with another DGFP project; in which a probe committee found payments were ...

Editorial »

Transfer may offer protection from anger of local people


NINETEEN police officials including the Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) have been transferred on Thursday in the aftermath of Rayhan murder in city's Bandar Bazar police outpost on October 11.  The Commissioner has been transferred to Prime Minister's Special Protection Battalion (SPBn) as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police ...

International »

Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off US reaction


Reuters, Ankara :Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Friday that Turkey had been testing the S-400 air defense system it bought from Russia, adding that the objection from NATO ally United States on the issue did not matter.Washington says Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 systems compromise NATO defences, and has ...

Entertainment »

What film actors say about Pori Moni on the occasion of her birthday


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Children are very much fond of film actress Pori Moni. There is a reason for one thing. After releasing the song titled Dana kata pori performed by Pori Moni in Wajed Ali Sumon directed movie Rokto, it is still popular songs among all. In any stage show ...

Editorial »

Bangladesh should take immediate measures to cope with Kuwait's new foreign workers’ law


KUWAIT'S parliament has approved a law to reduce the number of foreign workers in the country by one year, as part of efforts to 'rebalance' its population. The new legislation, which would force hundreds of thousands of expats to leave the Gulf state, was passed with an aim to provide ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news