Re: Creating new states

From: Matthew Gream (
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 11:26:45 MST

Hash: SHA1

Robert Bradbury <> wrote:

> Well, this raises some very interesting points. It tooks some time
> for me to understand the situation in Chechniya because we really
> don't understand Russian history very well. The people in that
> region very strongly "independence" minded, it would be questionable
> whether even their own self-elected (local) government would have
> much control over them (similar to the "tribes" in Afganastan or Somalia).

Take note of the Basques at the northern periphery of Spain, they are also
generally a very strong and independent people who have been fighting for
independence for some time, I am only superficially familiar with the
situation, though. The history of attempted integration and/or dominance of
people of this nature is not littered with success, although I tend to think
(based on my experiences of living in migrant cultures in Australia), that
there can be success in cultural integration after one-two generations,
however our cases are mostly with chosen relocation and integration, not one
that has been imposed. There are likely to be other people more versed and
specialised in this area of knowledge than me though!

> However the situation in Chechniya and the recent articles on micro-states
> do point out some very interesting problems we will be facing. Lets
> say for example the GM or cloning issues turns out to be unresolvable.
> Will the only solution be for the pro-technology people to move to
> a specific location and declare independence? If so, how does one
> accomplish this. The people in Chechniya seem to provide good
> examples of how not to do it, while the people of Quebec may have
> a process that shows how it might be done.

Consider intellectual micro-states in addition to physical ones. Electronic
networks are an interesting evolution from books, and other means of
physical intellectual communities, to intellectual communities that are more
interactive and semi-realtime. Physically, people may like to reside in
different places, but they may choose to exist within broader intellectual
cultures. Which is why I have an "obscure" interest in the extropians and
the digital society, but my next door neighbour is busy trying every chilli
recipe she can based upon the chilli heads interest group! Or, why another
friend of mine travels the world going to Tango gigs, or another visits all
the Toastmasters groups: these are other instances of distributed global
cultures that weave through parts of society, now more accessible with the
digital medium.

In the same way, maybe GM food producers/eaters can exist as distributed
culture. If it is generally positive for people, then it will grow in
acceptance, and become dominant, if not, it will stagnate, wither and
possibly die. Smoking is perhaps a good analogy. Once popular, it is now
largely unpopular due to increased knowledge and information about its
effects. Although, smoking is still tolerated, but the options open to
smokers are increasingly smaller, and non-smokers don't want to suffer
increased insurance/etc costs for smokers; under the guise of "you choose
the risks and options in your life, as do I, but above and beyond those
considered necessary, lets not pay for the consequences of each other

Perhaps the debate becomes more generalisable to roles of individuals and
the structure of society, in terms making choices, accepting consequences,
defining "accepted common" standards, looking out for ones self, but also
providing a social support framework, etc.


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