Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sovereignty and Nukes

If your nation does not have nukes, you are not a sovereign nation.

There. I said it.

Only nations with nukes have the nuclear option to discourage invasion, or other, more subtle, revocations of sovereignty. This is the modern world. Any nation without nukes is either a puppet of a first-world power, or is waiting to be conquered or used by a first-world power. Nuclear weapons are having a solidifying effect on the borders of nations which hold them.

Will the creation of lower order nuclear weapons allow smaller groups to become sovereigns? We have seen the democratizing effects of technology in the past. It has recently been suggested to me that monarchy fell to democracy because of the technological shift from edged weapons to firepower. With that shift, a single man with a single bullet could exercise his veto on any King alive. Then came democracy. With it's ever-shifting cast of characters, killing one bureaucrat simply results in his replacement by another. The cost-benefit of political assassination drops dramatically under democracy. Kill Kennedy? Here's Johnson. It is a feature of that political system that provides robustness.

A CEO is similar to a monarch, especially if he is the owner of the corporation and all of its assets. However, power does not necessarily transfer along a direct hereditary line as it does in a monarchy. Steve Jobs has died, but Apple is still the most valuable company on the planet. For now. The owners of Apple are not even the management. Killing the owners does nothing to the management structure of the corporation. Killing the CEO simply results in his replacement. Can the corporation prove to be as durable as democracy against assassination? Is a conglomerate of corporations more durable still?

Is the day coming when a corporations or conglomerate of corporations will take the step of defending their investment by arming themselves with nukes, and thus become a sovereign corporation? Could a sovereign corporation become poly-centric, with a number of company towns (city-states) distributed across a continent or the globe? Distributed knowledge, control and assets. Distributed firepower.

Previous Western city-states were markets created by aristocrats where production flourished. No city-state will currently be allowed to survive if it is not Cathedral compliant. Some live in fear that 'terrorists' might get nukes. Can some live in hope that Capitalists will do the same?

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