Discussing over dinner at the Embassy SF

When we say “post-nation” what exactly do we mean? A so-called post geographic nation - is this just a membership? if not, how is it different than today’s nations? We say ease of mobility, but in our communities we ‘police’ borders too, and limit immigration. Any group will have boundaries, that’s what makes it a group or community. Those boundaries are managed, and inside those boundaries is an agreed upon way of making decisions. the people we invite inside those boundaries will also be part of decision making with us.

What is the definition of a nation, a nation state, a country anyway? Do we (conversationally) even have working definitions of these things?

Wikipedia definitions of “nation,” “state,” and thus “nation-state.” also country. Useful. Actually less precise and satisfying than we might have thought. “Fielty to an abstraction and a physical territory.” (Rachel) Contractual legitimization. Permission (eg. services, zoning). Consideration: distance between particular experience and the abstraction. distance = difficulty of evaluation.

It’s not just about a NEW approach to nation states, it’s whether we need something that looks like a nation state at all. Worth looking at Indigenous groups, tribal identities. things that were PRE nation state. Also Ayatollah in Iran (?) History: French revolution, treaty of Westphalia. Carolingian - early states “Why nations fail” book “Alternative infrastructure project.” (the affirmative/positive project of anarchy— or indeed any alternative sociopolitical ideology).

Most nations are based on some notion of ideals (that’s the “nation” part - values/identity/religion) - we might have ones that feel different to us but it still fits the pattern.

So what exactly is our goal/question? What are meaningful alternatives to mainstream nation states? We should forget about nation-states for a sec and think about what we seek, period, in terms of human organization (cf. “lunar governance” project/discussions). - not just as a NOT-something. But on some level there is also a sense that many people disagree inherently with some of the fundamental assumptions of the nation-state project in and of itself (eg. privilege based on birth, conscription, etc.). In that frame, a “meaningful alternative” also includes figuring out a way not JUST to create an alternative, but to “opt out” of the nation state system as it currently stands.

Strategy - First we actually need to identify what things people specifically want to opt out of Then we can identify groups or affiliations that could help address those needs, and/or things we can do ourselves.