P2P Foundation's blog

Researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices



    More in Diigo »


    Free Software, Free Society



Featured Book

“Stop, Thief!” – Peter Linebaugh's New Collection of Essays

Open Calls

Mailing List



  • Recent Comments:

    • Elias Crim: Brilliant, timely and much needed. I do hope this letter will draw a good deal of attention!

    • Keith: Re-posted and shared https://medium.com/p/ca78e03a9 664

    • John Medaille: This is no more than a call to the Church to return to the role it had before the State displaced the Church in the regulation of...

    • Eimhin: “…projecting on to the English riots of 2011 a political motivation that simply wasn’t there.” I want to comment on this...

    • Ellie Kesselman: I retract every bad thought I’ve had about the P2P Foundation, most recently about some of the more Blue Sky aspects of...

Five stages of grief in the death of the nation-state

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
15th September 2013

Excerpted from John Bunzl:

“As a consequence of destructive international competition, governments are severely restricted in the policies they can put forward and implement. Accordingly, we now have governments which are effectively powerless in the face of global markets and globalised money.

The end result is that government, as it currently exists, is dying.

The “death” of the nation-state is not a finality but actually a breakthrough to a new level; that level being some form of bottom-up, people-centred global governance such as Simpol. As such, the lesson is not that we must accept present injustices, etc – quite the contrary! It is that we must accept the need for global governance in order to solve those injustices!

The grieving process is very apt, particularly for each of us personally:

Denial: This is broadly the current phase. Most people still believe interventions by national governments or protest by NGOs or CSR or whatnot can solve our global problems. But they can’t (mainly because they fail to take destructive international competition into account). It is precisely these beliefs most people need to let go of.

Anger: This is the stage about to come. Things are only going to get worse and existing efforts by NGOs and governments, CSR, and all the other thousands of efforts short of global governance are going to fail (in my view). When they do, people will get angry; they’ll resort to street protest and insurrection.

Bargaining: There will be attempts to hang on to the nation-state system in its current form; trying to get away with accomodations that fall short of a proper global agreement that covers multiple issues; i.e. binding global governance. (In some ways that is what present efforts at international treaty-making are – futile bargains which attempt to make the nation-state system work for the good of all, when it simply can’t).

Depression: In this context, rather than depression, other models (eg. Scott Peck’s ‘community building process’) describe this stage as ‘emptiness’; as a stage when we empty ourselves of our old pre-conceptions, and open ourselves to what is to come. We take the scary but necessary bungee jump in which we let go of all that. But this, we will find, takes us not down to the depths of depression, but to the new, higher level of community; to the realisation that we are all one and need a form of global governance that expresses that.

Acceptance: This is the action phase. Where we feel compelled to put the new level into action; to make it a living reality.”


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>