How the Notion of Country Is Becoming Progressively Obsolete

As reminded in this excellent post by Gapingvoid, the notion of country is quite recent (the formalization of the concept of nation dating back to the Peace of Westphalia (1648)). It is now under siege, and actions are being taken in real life that show its limits: “The Kingdom of Denmark has just appointed a new Ambassador… not to a country, but to Silicon Valley“.

There is thus an increased recognition that large corporations of the Collaborative Age may have a larger influence on our lives than smaller countries. At the same time the notion of nationalism shows its limits in an open, more connected world (even if there is a temporary reaction against international trade, it remains and will remain a major economic factor).

There is at the same time a pull-back towards one own’s community (smaller entity than the nation-state) and the feeling of belonging to a wider, more international community through our social networks and through supra-state entities such as the European Union. Power is hoarded by large global corporations. At the same time, the emergence of a nomadic elite is substantially changing the perspective of the society influencers towards a more global perspective. The central level of nation-state is progressively being voided, or at least becomes less important.

The nation-state was probably a temporary useful concept suitable to the Industrial Age. It is probably not adapted to the Collaborative Age and new governance levels will have to be implemented – probably a multi-layered governance with a much stronger global level.