The state can be understood as an entity of governance whose mission is to make citizens out of human beings. Put briefly, citizens are inhabitants of a defined space. We are really citizens of Earth spinning through the heavens in the middle of nowhere. Bounded by our universal freedom and not by the physical maps of modern nations. Star children born in these spaces live only in exploration, imbued with untamed curiosity. To make a citizen of the state, discovery has to be replaced with domestication. The children of society have been domesticated in the best interest of preserving the institutions of the state. To do this a charter is set up to perpetuate control over land and its subjects. In exchange for state protection, humans in these jurisdictions are conditioned and forced to settle for certain privileges. Enslaved in duties and state service, we surrender our liberty for a basket of cultural goods.
The very first pristine states were represented by a collection of elder wise men, a gerontocracy which more or less cared for their people. Driven to manage and control their expanding territorial perimeters, the first states were forced to centralize power. Decision making was left to a very qualified few on the top. The success of centralization has deep roots in theocracy. With God himself as the recognized head of state, the ruling clergymen can manipulate people into submission. For thousands of years, we have been granting authority to the church with its acquired paternalistic powers and God-like will.
Stateless societies like the hunter gatherers allowed more liberty to the individual. With its assortment of seasonal fruits, nuts, and grasses, growth and output were left to mother nature. In this foraging system, the universal plan sorts itself out. Humans gathered and organized to collect the offerings of the land. North-American Eskimo hunter-gatherers sit in a circle of 30 to 40 people, with no particular authority structure. They talk to each other directly without an agenda. After this meeting, every member of the group knows exactly what to do. The success of the hunter-gatherer system is based on clan member contributions. In such small societies manipulation and deceit among its constituents are never possibilities. Reciprocal balance with each other and nature is at the core of this system. 190 thousand years afterward, the Neolithic revolution confined small and mobile groups into sedentary societies of villages and towns. With the introduction of specialized food-crop cultivation, the human environment changed radically. Food-crop cultivation became possible because of innovation in irrigation, labor diversification and merchant trade for surplus. This revolution is what we know as agriculture. In agriculture human beings domesticated the land, controlling its output and production. This gave way to ownership, land rights, and chiefdoms. The leaders of the first agribusiness were charismatic, intelligent, and despotic individuals who enforced authority over the rest of the community in their small circumscriptions.
Chiefdoms expanded their territories and created the first city states. These city-states had jurisprudence over all land and its production within a full day’s journey by horse. Specialized bureaucrats occupied positions of control within the city state. With the territorial expansion of states, a giant hierarchy of administrative offices occupied by full-time specialists also expanded. Through history, this bureaucratic system has set the course for humanity and has imposed its hierarchical institutions of knowledge. Be it monarchy, tyranny or democracy, the state provides a grid that can accommodate any ideology. The first state represented a culture of patriarchs who created laws to defend territorial interests. The defense of land and family is at the root of special interests, a pervasive virus that has infected and corrupted the governing hubs of humanity throughout the bloodlines of statehood. This idea of power over others lends itself to deception and abuse as individuals inside ruling elites lose their integrity and become corruptible by the illusion of control. The enforcement of control has corroded the moral integrity of state for millennia with intrigue, conspiracy, and autocracy in the interest of preserving the status quo. History is full of abuse of power, directed by top down commanders who use state terror to control. With little to no concern for the rest of the population, tyrants use deception to assault our intrinsic freedom and inalienable rights.
As part of the deception, the state feeds people the necessity of “an authority” to make decisions. In modern nations, if we did not have leaders or a political agenda we would feel very anxious. To rule us, the corporate state propaganda machine sells us worthless, powerless and empty notions. They want to make decisions for you; they want you to live in fear. The latest transition in this cultural experiment, the global corporate state, might be the biggest system of oppression to date. A solution to this would be a grassroots system of global villages, with small governments led by residents of neighborhoods. Special interests and taxes would give way to a new age of freedom in a gift society. Never before have the words of Thomas Jefferson resonated more clearly:
"Every man and every body of men on earth possess the right of self-government. They receive it with their being from the hand of nature."
In these uncertain times, we are facing the dissolution of the nation state. An “Orwellian” police state is taking over and becoming the new world government. If we telescope into the future, the deployment of a global state will lead to a new priesthood of corporate power, the mega-computer. If this happens we will have lost our universal given liberties to machines, and we will live oppressed in the age of the cyborg state.
Humanity needs to unleash a mutiny aboard this blue spherical vessel. For the sake of our children, we are here to live our star given potential, to think in immeasurable ways, to live by the purest of self-references and to admire the miracle of this universe which is reflected in us. How did we, as a collective, ever lose sight of the spectacular entitlement that is, to be alive? How is it that we gave our lives away to the gangsters of the land? We are not here to be controlled nor to yield to what state institutions oblige and take. This does not have to be the case; the hunter-gatherers left us a different heritage. We do not have to be a citizen of any state. The state does not define us. If we take our life into our own hands, sovereignty takes on its true dimension of responsibility and integrity. It’s an essential God-given choice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlos Cuellar Brown is a New York City media artist and essayist who has written on new media, social theory and metaphysics. His essays have been posted online by Opendemocracy, The Global Dispatches, The Pelican Web, Kosmos Journal, and STARDRIVE.
In 2013 his essay “Intermedial Being” was published by A Journal of Performance and Art PAJ #106 MIT Press Journals. In 2015 Mr. Brown was nominated for the TWOTY awards out of the Netherlands for his essay “Blueprint for Change”. He has been a regular columnist for Second Sight Magazine and Fullinsight.
His book, In Search of Singularity: Reflections and Chronicles from the End of Time, published 29 January 2017, is a series of reflections on the current cultural evolution from competition to cooperation, from patriarchy to reciprocity between humanity and the human habitat.