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The Fall of State - Article Example

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There are several important trends that appear to be affecting and changing the role of the state in world governance. One trend is that states are less able to wage war on each other then they once were. The original importance of the state was greatly tied to the ability to defend or expand territory…
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Download file to see previous pages Health care, education and pensions for retirement are some of the most popular. These obligations caused states to start taxing their citizens. At this point, some of the richest states in the world are in debt because they can not meet these obligations. A final trend in the state of the state is the blurring of national identities and borders due to technology such as telephone and rail lines. The author argues that technology will continue to erode the relevance of the state because information and trade that was once under the control of the state will now be controlled by corporations that operate with impunity across national boundaries. I think that the most important trend is the second one because it affects people the most directly. Citizens of established states expect to be protected by the military of their respective state, but it usually isn’t something they walk around thinking about all of the time, especially in Europe and North America, where there hasn’t been conflict between states for many decades. What people do worry about is their state pensions for retirement, protection against crime, healthcare and education. The failure of the state in this area is what makes people angry on many different levels. In some states, the basics of economic prosperity and independence such as being able to find employment or have money beyond your immediate needs are not being met. In these instances, the future of those individual states is in question. Even if the state is ruled by a tyrant, eventually a populist uprising is sure to occur. Citizens are not willing to be taxed forever without getting the most basic services from government. This is the most important trend because it is the cause of radical ideas that offer solutions to problems that might actually be worse than the existing problems. My major critique of the article stems from the fact that it is almost fifteen years old and so much has happened in the world since it was written to refute some of the basic premises outlined in the articles thesis. At the writing of this article, the internet was still a novelty. Now it is a major engine for communication and business worldwide. While it has provided challenges for the state, there is no sign that it is really going to replace the state. That the internet and technology such as satellite phones has provided to terrorist organizations is an ease of communication that was not possible in the past. These international organizations pose the greatest real threat to the existence of the state as we know it because they are fluid, dynamic and operate across international borders with relative ease. But the thought that technology is affecting the stability of the state is not valid for states with freedom of communication, expression and press. In the state that prohibits certain communication, especially that which is against the current rulers of the state, then this technology poses a real threat. Another critique I have is the supposition that because the nature of a state changes, then the state is weak. Currently, Sudan is breaking into two new states. The author feels that this is somehow proof that states in general are weakening. Actually, what is happening is a replication of a system that most humans have found to be desirable. Simply because there are now two states where there once was one does not show the idea of statehood is weakening. It actually ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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