Friday, November 30, 2001
An interesting question from an old copy of the New Statesman.

The new "terrorist" groupings are markedly different. They are global in their reach and aspirations. Brought together through a global medium (the internet), the unit they are trying to influence is no less than the whole of humanity. The members of these new movements are shedding the old imagined communities of the nation state. Neither anti-globalisation activists nor jihadists feel that their identity is bound by the territorial nation. The anti-globalisation protesters affiliate themselves to non-corporate humanity; the jihadists stress the unity of the umma (the Muslim people), whatever national boundaries it may cross.

Realists like myself have always pointed out that almost every "alternative power" is actually aiming for a particular nation state, or to control one. It is merely diplomacy by other means.

But are anti-globalisation protesters, Islamic fundamentalists and cross-border executives something different?

I say probably not, for as when Marxism quickly changed nature in 1917 from "workers of the world unite" to "defend the worker's state" (that was from Trotsky in exile) so will the other ideologies change when a fairly thorough-going regime comes into power somewhere substantial. As, it can be argued, multinational capitalists push for greater American influence. They will then fall back into being agents of another power, ideologically charged certainly, but their dreams of changing the world will soon become dreams of pushing forward their chosen power.

And the world will keep on turning.


Post a Comment

Blog Archive