Edward Snowden, The State, and a people’s Internet

The Edward Snowden affair confirms a long held suspicion, that a global estate is real and is here. 2013 = 1984

The creation of the concept of The State was a response to two key struggles in politics, philosophy and humanity.

First, 1200 years of scholasticism (Aristotelian philosophy mixed with Catholic religion), where that in matters of faith, knowledge and science, The Church and the Pope where above every Kingdom, or Lord of the land beliefs. Anything on the contrary was heretic, and in contradiction to our Almighty Lord wishes. Clearly, in this doctrine The Church, had supranational powers, it could dictate and indirectly controlled the knowledge of the world, and the access to it for the individual. It also had an immense apparatus or representation and bureaucracy in all Catholic Kingdoms, in addition to war against the infidels, and conversion to the Catholic faith, all of which needed to be funded by countries outside Rome. Not taxation as such but the closest to it. This was a dark time for humanity and for the faith as well.

Second, once liberated from the Church through the Reformation, and just before the Enlightenment, Kings were happy to have complete control of their lands with sovereignty even to head the Church of their country, and be the first true head of The State. But, this was too much power on a single person, and as predictable from the past, it turned into Tyranny and despotic government. All not unbearable or new to men history, but this time different in the sense that the Reformation, and the possibility of thinking different, unleashed the creative power of reason over faith, with science philosophy (physics is relatively modern term), mathematics, and logic helping greatly to start taming nature, and creating commerce benefits of a scale never seen before. Here, the Kings (Britain as main example), demanded taxation of these benefits to afford their constant war efforts, however this time the new class of creative citizens demanded government representation in return. Parliament and the modern system of check and balances in the form of three powers was born (KIng, Parliament, Courts).

So, the struggles that created the modern State were from the Global ideology domination, to a country one, and then eventually to an individual representation in their Government, while allowing for individual freedom in the process. Commerce and science were hand in hand, the State was not as big as a Empire (or supranational Church), but also not as small as a single city-state (Athens, Sparta). Wars were also smaller than crusades (faith against faith) but bigger than local city to city wars, with an escalation in modern times that became quite scary. In a way, the State was the best compromise we could reach at the time to liberate from Church and acquire limited powers of representation. Indirectly, the Enlightenment fathers (Descartes, Locke, Hume), assumed that individual freedom and diversity of thinking was required, for reason to advance, but the State control needed to bound those efforts together for the building of commerce and Empire at a grand scale.

Now back to modern times

Technological dependent living is reaching critical mass. Once again humanity have two different routes to follow.

The uncertain one, unproven and probably risky, of a city state interconnected Global collection of governments. Now possible due to advances in communication, logistics, and computational powers. The dream of Athens of a real democracy is closer in the Wikipedia, Linux or Internet examples than ever in history. Uncontrolled by a State, aggregated from the individuals. The compromise will not be necessary anymore, the current State is abolished, the local city ruling is adopted again. Big Global problems tackled from aggregation of localities, many potential to fail but at a smaller scale. Even commerce becomes more democratic as there will be no room for big corporations to lobby big governments (State) as there will be none. Fierce competition, real competition, not the ruling of a few.

The other one, the current one. A Global State, one we didn’t vote for or even are a citizen of, but still control all of our movements. One where technology is a means to control not to liberate, where on the premise of our defense liberties are enslaved. One where the world becomes a big game, where the citizens are only players but not allow to design or change. Not even close to a democracy, although it calls itself one. Commerce is for the few winner takes all corporations, that diligently supplied the data of the citizens in exchange for protection of the State. This path includes a long period of indoctrination of the new religion of the State, for its protection, and for the risk of war, and protection of big powers of commerce. Similar to the old Church, hey?…maybe this time to be borne more than 1200 years

Edward Snowden, is just the tip of the Iceberg. No one can say anymore they don’t know what’s happening. Many times before humanity has lost the compass of what is good for it, losing the connection between the ends and the means. The State was not an end, just a means for stability and reason of the individual to spread. It seems clearly lost now, can we steer it back?

We created the State. Uncreate we need now. – Perhaps, that’s what Edward started.

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