Written by David S. Lesperance
In order for human beings to exist, survive and thrive they need to look to others at times for assistance. This requires individuals to join various “Collectives” in order to meet their on-going needs. This is true for even the most hardcore individualist, who at a minimum needed parents (or lab technicians) to put together a sperm and egg. Individuals find themselves assigned membership to certain Collectives at birth (e.g. immediate and extended family, nation of birth, religion of parents). However as they mature and acquire more of the skills of independence they increasingly discover that they have the option to either change Collectives or take personal responsibility for meeting their own needs.
Throughout history various forms of Collectives have been created to meet individual’s needs. They range from local tribes to cities/mega-regions to nation states/empires to global organizations such as religions or on-line social networks. Over time, the form, organization and governance of these Collectives have continually changed. Some gained strength and size (e.g. European Union) while others were assigned to the history books (e.g. Knights Templar). The creation, evolution and destruction of various forms of Collectives has been continuous and has been caused by many factors including military and natural events, emerging technologies, shifting economic power and the internal collapse of a given Collective’s governance.
For the past few centuries, the Collective known as the “Nation State” has been increasingly called upon to meet more and more of the needs of its members. This is especially been the case since the rise of the “Welfare State” in the early part of the last century. For many people today, their default reaction to any of their needs is, “The Government should do something about this?” However, they are becoming increasingly frustrated because the actual ability of their country to serve many of their needs either efficiently or at all is being drawn into question. The common reaction of the members of the Nation State is to vote out or throw out its current political leaders. However, some high tax/ dues paying members are asking the basic question as to whether their current or any country is the best vehicle to meet ALL the demands that its citizens are expecting it to fulfill. Some Nation States have noted the importance of these “Golden Geese” citizens and are actively courting their membership with better “win-win” proposals then are offered by their current countries. Also, technology, and other “flattening effects” are creating, at an unprecedented rate, new viable forms of Collectives to meet many needs currently serviced by Nation States.
Many countries having a heavy reliance on a tiny percentage of its members for funding, job creation and creative capital. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that that there will be a major restructuring amongst Nation States and other forms of Collectives in the early part of the 21st century as these Golden Geese reconfigure their relationships with these entities. Will Nation States recognize the need for a new deal with their Golden Geese before their departure causes that Nation State to join many other collectives in the dustbin of history?