For those who didn't know, the ubiquitous, solid, non-porous structures called the "Nation State", which we all take for granted as being solid and permanent structures, are barely as old as our own youthful nation. Their power and presence following from the ability for government to establish clear borders, and extend its laws over its jurisdiction, without competition - or at least without competition from anything less than another Nation State vying for the same territory through War.
The means and ability of these nation states has rested upon their ability to say what was theirs, and to identify those who openly dispute them. The bugaboo of such states has been the guerilla bands, as Great Britain found out in the American Revolutionary War, as France and America found out in Vietnam, and as the USSR found out in Afghanistan. Etc.
But those guerrillas have always had a physical presence, sometimes tough to nail down, but as they did have actual physical locations, not impossible.
Here, today, we are perhaps seeing the coming irrelevance, or at least what will instigate a major mutation of, the Nation State as we know it, and we're seeing it in the clash of semi-guerrilla/semi-hactivist groups of ISIS/Al Queda, and the entirely amorphous group of hactivists, which call themselves Anonymous.
ISIS supporters having just slaughtered a particularly visible outpost of non-islamism in the French satirical organ of Charlie Hebdo. And feeling their oats, they've also been cyber-attacking American military and press outlets on Twitter and YouTube.
“ISIS is already here, we’re in your PCs, in each military base,” one of the messages read, using an acronym for the Sunni extremist group. “We wont stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children. U.S. soldiers! We’re watching you!”Anonymous, becoming sensible to the utter lack of fun and hackery which will be available should the islambies manage to get a more sizable politically correct foothold, has issued a cyber-fatwa against the islambies.
"You will not impose your sharia law in our democracies, we will not let your stupidity kill our liberties and our freedom of expression. We have warned you; expect your destruction."What we are perhaps about to see, is a clash of Spy vs. Spy, of Zombie vs. Ghost, and no doubt it will be played out across the 'territory' which existing Nation States are currently claiming as their own.What, I'm wondering, will happen, if this potential battle happens in real time and real space, while all the while the Nation State finds its ponderous self having no ability to take part in or interact in the battle, little or no ability to control the territory, or even find itself able to identify the combatants whose battlefields and bodies may nonetheless be strewn across their 'jurisdiction'?
The press release ends in typical Anonymous fashion:
"We will track you everywhere on the planet, nowhere will you be safe. We are Anonymous. We are legion.
"We do not forget. We do not forgive. Be afraid of us, Islamic State and Al Qaeda - you will get our vengeance."
That just might pose a problem to the substance of their substance.
Note: I'm not at all being wistful here, for all its flaws, I'm rather attached to the the idea of solid jurisdictions for the Rule of Law.
Here's a question that our current slew of politicians just might want to take a moment and ponder:
"What happens if We The People begin to think that they not only do not listen to us, yet still burden our lives and liberties with their endlessly stupid contests for power over us, and find themselves unable to even secure our lives, liberty, property and ability to pursue happiness?"
Hmmm? Even the seemingly impregnable Nation State requires foundations... if it begins to seem as if those are built upon sand... well... who knows?
Perhaps this will little musing of mine will amount to little more than a moment of Cyber-Poli-Punk speculation. I hope so.
On the other hand... perhaps it's just as possible that we're about to see the next stage in Poly-Sci evolution... or maybe a new instance of webbernetic political regression to a cyber-war of all against all.
Well that was cheery.