Worldchanging: The Last Viridian Note
Rather than “thinking globally and acting locally,” as in the old futurist theme, I now live and think glocally. I once had a stable, settled life within a single city, state and nation. Nowadays, I divide my time between three different polities: the United States, the European Union and the Balkans. With various junkets elsewhere.
The 400-year-old Westphalian System doesn’t approve of my lifestyle, although it’s increasingly common, especially among people half my age. It’s stressful to live glocally. Not that I myself feel stressed by this. As long as I’ve got broadband, I’m perfectly at ease with the fact that my position on the planet’s surface is arbitrary. It’s the nation-state system that is visibly stressed by these changes – it’s freaking out over currency flows, migration through airports, offshoring, and similar phenomena.
Wikipedia link to Westphalian System:
Westphalian sovereignty is the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on two principles: territoriality and the exclusion of external actors from domestic authority structures.
It’s not just the music business that is changing so fast that it’s hard to get a new foot-hold in the wall of time… As Sterling points out the basic system of nation-states is evaporating. Transcend and include. Families to tribes to alliences of tribes to cities to states to nations… and now the step(s) to a world-culture of some sort, with people moving between states and countries and continents with as much ease as salesmen used to move from village to village, city to city.
But, at the same time we have to find a way to honor and value the here and now, which starts with the location, the sense of place, querencia, heimat, home – even if home is where you lay your hat, or home is where my guitar sleeps… (((the working title for my next album might be “Querencia/Heimat”. But that’s all I am going to say now. If I were to describe my inspiration to you, you might think I am carzy…))) In other words, I feel we need to expand in two directions at the opposit ends of this double-sided arrow: a new structural layer above (but including) nations that allows us to move freely between countries, and at the same time a reclaiming of the local sphere: oral history, local foods etc.
One can only hope that nations slip into the future with more agility and wisdom than the music business, but that is most likely not possible…