What is your response to the ideas of Philip Bobbitt-- that we are in transition from an era of nation-states to an era of market-states and that terrorism is a consequence of the rise of the market-state?
I came across this guy from this recent article, although the article seems to be more alarmist than Bobbitt himself comes across. This interview of Bobbitt seems to do a better job of summarizing his ideas on political history from 500 years ago to the present and then if you dig around a bit on reviews of his most recent book, you get further understanding that terrorism is a necessary byproduct of the coming to power of the market-state. Maybe your search will turn up other useful summaries.
He also explains that the market-state sheds the nation-state’s directive to provide for the welfare of its citizens as well as the citizens duty to serve when the nation-state is in need. Instead, he asserts, the market-state offers a rising tide of greater efficiency and ever increasing opportunities for individuals to seek wealth and well being. Belief in the ultimate efficiency of markets, for example, means abdicating traditional Medicare in favor of vouchers in a free market with an ever increasing number of options.
Among my reactions is mainly one of finally feeling like I understand where the ground is and which way is up in this chaotic and confusing (unless you’re simply accepting what you’re told about the world today) period in citizenship. I find his ideas seductive—especially in his use of history to frame today’s changes as part of the natural order of political evolution. I question whether his assertion that the “contest” of competing political models is as organic as he portrays and whether non-Western models are ignored. I’m also kind of relieved to understand what the name of the new game is (or at least what it’s being sold as). I think there’s a degree of legitimacy to it in terms of what material conveniences we
all many enjoy relatively cheaply as a result of globalized markets. And, it provides a somewhat satisfactory response to a disposition of conspiracies in that he speaks towards similar ends while providing a more “reasonable” (sounding) explanation of the motives behind the paradigm changes. At least it provides some relief from the kabuki theatrics in politics and media circuses.
Do you agree with Bobbitt’s assertions? Thoughts? Reactions? How does it make you feel about “traditional” values such as patriotism? Do you like the idea of transitioning from a nation that provides for the welfare of its citizens (to whatever degree) to one that offers ever increasing opportunities to obtain that welfare in a free market? Do you agree that terrorism is a natural byproduct of the rise of market-states? Should we transition our loyalty from nation-state values to market-state values and align ourselves with markets and against terrorists by supporting ideals such as ubiquitous surveillance?