Neocons tell you that every second-rate nation is ready for democracy, if only we can topple their dictators. Many paleoconservatives and plain-old Democrats worry that no matter what we do, the best we can expect to achieve is ruin.
And so we have a foreign policy debate based on legalities which may no longer matter, a war strategy contingent on ideals dating from 1648, in a world which, increasingly, cares little about either.
The maps we pour over remain covered with bold lines in contrasting colors. This nation-state ends here, that nation-state starts there. Yet from the southern, Tex-Mex US border to the anarchy of West Africa, from Russia’s shrinking national authority to the ever-increasing authority of multinational corporations and supranational institutions. . .
. . . well, you have to wonder if the nation-state has become obsolete in function, if not as an ideal.
Anyway, I’m throwing some ideas against the wall. Click on the comments and tell me if you think any of them stick. Meantime, I’ll be working on yet another monster essay.