An extract from Chapter 11 of the book Transcending Politics:
11. Nations and supernations
I started this book by covering two reasons why politics urgently needs to be improved:
- Bad politics is obstructing the development and application of important solutions to human problems; via both incompetence and malice, it hinders or forbids what actually deserves to be enabled and encouraged; conversely, it accelerates what actually deserves to be restricted
- Bad politics is creating problems of its own; via misguided overzealous pursuits of half-truths, it increases the likelihood of social alienation, group conflict, and national catastrophe.
As I’ll argue in this chapter, the problems and opportunities of local politics are mirrored and magnified by the problems and opportunities of international politics:
- Bad international politics, via both incompetence and malice, is preventing the adoption of optimal regulatory policies which, in order to be fully effective, would need worldwide endorsement
- Bad international politics is creating problems of its own; via misguided overzealous cross-border pursuits of half-truths, it increases the likelihood of global schism, military conflict, and planetary catastrophe.
In each case – the local and the international – the basic solution is the same: harness technology more wisely and more profoundly than before. To improve politics, what’s needed is a compelling integrative vision setting out the progressive application of enhanced technologies of abundance and enhanced technologies of collaboration.
Improving local politics is an important start, but will ultimately be fruitless unless we can also improve international politics. Even if a country is at peace with itself, it will face numerous risks if the countries around it are plunging deeper into chaos. Borders provide no respite from radioactive fallout, no shelter from extreme weather, and are of little use against determined cyber-intruders.
So let me rephrase the sentence with which I opened this book. There’s no escape: the journey to a healthier society inevitably involves international politics. More precisely, that journey involves the positive technoprogressive transformation of international politics.
If successful, this vision will slow down and then stop those existing political initiatives that are pulling humanity in separate, fractious directions; instead, it will enable a renewed focus on building a comprehensively better future in which everyone benefits.
Assessing international politics
As a prelude to discussing international politics, let’s briefly remind ourselves of the constructive role that politics can play in society. Politics is the process of collectively agreeing which constraints we put on each other’s freedom…