Opinion (Martin van Creveld, Ph.D., Professor of military history at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, author of seventeen books on military history and strategy): “[Martin van Creveld] argues that the state, since 1648 has become a creature different to any previous form of civil government. Before that time, government was identified with some person or group of persons. After 1648, the state lost that personal identification and became a juridical person, a corporation. ‘As a corporation, it has an independent persona.’ All previous governments failed to make this crucial distinction between the person ruling and the ruling organisation. Louis XIV could say with much truth, ‘I am the state.’ Louis Napoleon could not.
“He defines the state by three characteristics.
“Sovereignty, by which claim the state ‘refuses to share any of [these] functions [waging war, making peace enacting laws, dispensing justice, raising revenue, determining the currency, and providing internal security] with others but concentrates all of them in its own hands.’
“Territoriality, it exercises such powers over all the people who live within its borders and over them only.
“Abstractness, most importantly, it is an abstract organisation. Unlike any of its predecessors at any other time and place, it is not identical with either rulers nor ruled; it is neither a man nor a community, but an invisible being known as a corporation.
“In the main, the threat to the state does not come either from individuals or from groups of the kind which exercised the functions of government in various communities at various times and places before 1648. Instead it comes from other corporations: in other words, from such ‘artificial men’ as share its own nature but differ from it both in respect to their control over territory and in regard to the exercise of sovereignty. A few of the corporations in question are of a territorial nature, but the majority are not. Some are regional and larger than states, others smaller and merely local. Some are intergovernmental, others nongovernmental. Some are primarily political by nature, others dedicated to different ends such as making money, protecting the environment, spreading some religious message, or propagating some special cause which may range from reducing pollution to animal rights. [Though] all have in common that they are more attuned to modern technology, communication and transportation in particular, than the state. As a result, some of them are able to grow much richer than most states; or take over some of the latter’s functions; or evade its control by establishing colonies and moving their resources outside its borders; or influence the opinions of its citizens more than governments can; or (as in the case of numerous guerrilla and terrorist organisations) successfully resist it weapon in hand; or, not seldom, some combination of all these things.”
My Comment: All of human development leads to the extinction of the state and the establishment of a unified, global social system.