Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Multi-State State

Ever since the treaty of Westphalia, our model of international relations has been of distinct sovereign states that govern their own territories and populations. If an individual does not like the way that their state governs them, they can either attempt to change the state (democratically or otherwise) or leave their home and move to another part of the world, governed by a more pleasing state. But why is this necessary?

In an ideal world, we could all live as one unified nation, governed simultaneously but distinctly by multiple states. Each state would share the same constitution, the same basic rules of morals and ethics, but have completely seperate policies, bureaucracies, elections and parliaments and sovereigns. Individual people could choose to be a citizen of any state without the need to move their geographical location. Over time, different states could develop different identities. Those who are business minded could be citizens of state A, which has a history of free-market economics, while those more left-leaning could become citizens of state B, which has comprehensive socialist cradle-to-grave cover. Husbands and wives could be ruled by different governments and live under different laws according to their own philosophies while still sharing a home.

It would be impossible to provide a wide enough variety of states to satisfy every political philosophy, and there must always be democracy and the potential for change in every state. But with globalisation on the rise and the development of infrastructure that can link every corner of the world, why must we be ruled by states according to our geographical area?

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