Opinion (Parag Khanna, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the 21st Century and How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance): “Every five years, the United States National Intelligence Council, which advises the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, publishes a report forecasting the long-term implications of global trends. Earlier this year it released its latest report, “Alternative Worlds,” which included scenarios for how the world would look a generation from now.
“One scenario, ‘Nonstate World,’ imagined a planet in which urbanization, technology and capital accumulation have brought about a landscape where governments give up on real reforms and subcontract many responsibilities to outside parties, which then set up enclaves operating under their own laws.
“The imagined date for the report’s scenarios is 2030, but at least for ‘Nonstate World,’ it might as well be 2010: though most of us might not realize it, ‘Nonstate world’ describes much of how global society already operates. This isn’t to say that states have disappeared, or will. But they are becoming just one form of governance among many.
“A quick scan across the world reveals that where growth and innovation have been most successful, a hybrid public-private, domestic-foreign nexus lies beneath the miracle. These aren’t states; they’re ‘para-states’ — or, in one common parlance, ‘special economic zones.’…
“The broader consequence of these phenomena is that we should think beyond clearly defined nations and ‘nation building’ toward integrating a rapidly urbanizing world population directly into regional and international markets. That, rather than going through the mediating level of central governments, is the surest path to improving access to basic goods and services, reducing poverty, stimulating growth and raising the overall quality of life. …
“Our maps show a world of about 200 countries, but the number of effective authorities is hundreds more. … This is why weaker states must band together into regional groupings, or risk succumbing to the equally ancient principle of divide-and-conquer. … The Arab world will not be resurrected to its old glory until its map is redrawn to resemble a collection of autonomous national oases linked by Silk Roads of commerce.”
My Comment: But this is a short-term step to eliminate states and borders, and further there will be greater unification with equalization, by the path of suffering or awareness.