Lately i’ve been gathering information and related readings about the city-states.
The city-states look appealing because its set population offers the flexibility of change and higher capacity at problem solving day to day problems.
In this century, globalism is in contradiction with how democracy and rulership works. Trade is and should be free, because trade brings wealth and innovation, however on a bigger, nation-scale view of things, things dont work as well politically and economicly, because there is this huge hierarchical, bureaucratic system that stagnates the process of problem solving, citizens need in the city they reside, in order to be happy.
There are a couple of people(that i found anyways which i will link at the end) that advocate for the return to a more efficient way of keeping people happy, to resolve problems faster and at the same time have the involvment of citizens, directly through their taxes and their political decisions in their natural habitat, the city.
Of course, people might be shocked by this idea that we’re going “backwards” and that the city-state is a thing in ancient times. Yet if you think about it, the only reason the ancient city-states fell was because of its capacity to gather resources, compared to the nation-state that could gather them much faster and invest them into military and expansion.So since resource accumulation was a problem that affected the existence and ultimatly led to the fall of the city-state, with today’s 21st century technology resources can be accumulated and redistribute at a much faster rate and easier way.Italian city states in the early medieval world emerged, because of the same problem we face today, global trade and the complex trading processes cities face
Some of you might point out that the reason city-states fell was because they were always at war with each other, which might happen if we had that today. While it is indeed one of the factors that led to the collaps of athens for example, in today’s era people are no longer interested in war or war related things, and only go on to appease big military industrial complexes and make money for a selective few.Loose confederacies can be formed in order to repeal a bigger threats for example.
The main idea here is for things like politics, finance, economy, society to go regional, rather than national because there are many people, all with different ideas and visions that cant be satisfied under a few people that are suppouse to make decisions for everyone, not a specific group of people.
The idea of a nation-state starts with the premise that resources are hard to get.Logicly, our ancestors banded up together in order to get resources faster and then share it among the people of the tribe.
This of course meant that in order to survive from with resources being hard to acquire, other smaller tribes had to be destroyed and their resources stolen. It was a situation of “Big fish eats small fish”, because in a world where you need to survive first and foremost, you must be strong and profite from those weaker than you.In antiquity city states failed at this chapter because one city would simply tremble facing a nation-state that would gather the resources and man power then channelise them into greater things at a much faster rate, usually in war at conquering the weaker city-states
The idea of a nation-state is no longer compatible with us, and since individuality was present under the form of city-states but couldnt live with the harsh environment, it failed. Yet now we have resources , that are being exploited and even wastefuly thrown away, we can go back to the simple idea of an individualist comunity withing a city-state
Later in my posts i’ll be talking about different aspects and hard hitting matters in more detail that concern the functionality of the city-state, in the meantime i highly recommend reading
S. R. Epstein, ‘The rise and fall of Italian city-states’
And listening to Benjamin Barber‘s TED presentation:
Why mayors should rule the world
His presentation is also a summary of what he included in his newly released book “If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities” Which you can find on Amazon.com!
The next links are miscellaneous subjects about city-states, which i think you’ll enjoy!