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Political Play
Zulfiqar Shah
Making of Twenty First Century State 22 December, 2014
States and wars are an outcome of each other. A state has justified legitimacy over the use of violence to maintain peace and order in a justice oriented manner for the healthy regulation of socio-economic activities.
Wars are the history (or 'his-story' in terms of feminism) of our generations. The notion of a peaceful, harmonious, war-free, non-racists, non-extremists and non-chauvinistic world however has to find an appropriate path for the materialization not through the slogans but essentially through the real, practical and pragmatic transformations and reforms within and around the human society, and essentially within the state apparatus of the countries.

Juxtaposing to the theoretical aspects of anarchism, the time has not yet come for human society to cede from the institution of the state, because it will ultimately happen through the evolutionary process of transformation in and around the human society and the societal institutions. Therefore, a new world would be impossible without certain sets of reforms within existing state-apparatus in the various human societies. This ultimately would change and re-determine the nature and health of society-state relation and interaction.

Unmaking of wars

Wars, in the form of feuds, historically were the business of collective communities in the pre-class formation of society. Later on, this role was undertaken by the warlords of the fiefdoms and tribes. Due to industrialization and urbanization of human society on the broader scale, wars became a fundamental characteristic of the early nation-states. Today, war-making is no doubt a sole realm of the state authorities. The decisions of war-making today are taken in accordance with the proclaimed national, regional, continental and international interests.

In the political course of contemporary socio-economic history, a twofold set of stakeholders has emerged around the world that have a decisive say in the war-making process - the inter-dependence of weapon and natural resources industry, and narrowly limited states owned think tank groups.

The contours of this twofold phenomenon are basically the practices of a non-representative process of determining and defining the national interests, and the unsustainable strategies to attain these interests. An unsustainable strategy is a prolonged international engagement in a region or country which does not have appropriate exist strategy; has lesser or no human damages; minimum or no specific impacts on the ecology; and the indigenous population friendly framework. The broader loopholes in the strategic engagements, war-making around the world and unsustainable strategies for attaining interests have given birth today to a kind of global anarchy.

There can be two important aspects of possible global transformation in the context of state-society relations, and particularly with reference to the broader world peace. The world powers and the countries that have heavy-weapon industry may consider the investment and industrial infrastructure transformation to certain extent from weapon industries into soft defense technology so that at least niche of the trade and market demand factors behind the war-making may be minimized. 

Since the developing countries are gradually becoming self-reliant in the basic heavy weapon industries, which is mostly owned by the states in the developing countries, the weapon industry into the developed world would ultimately shirk in upcoming decades due to natural reduction in the demand.

Besides, there is a highly important role of think-tanks in the statecraft, however one should not forget that without certain level of freedom as well as diversity of opinion and schools of thoughts, a think-tank institution or group would be unable to contribute appropriately to the state or the states. Thus, the degree of independence, if not neutrality, of these think-tanks is a prerequisite for the safer world.

In fact, a war-free world would only be possible if and when primarily the citizenry of the states and diversity of independent thinking process is also taken into consideration. This becomes a matter of high importance, when it comes to decide as well as define and redefining the national, regional, continental and global interests. Moreover, states should also consider redefining the state-private entrepreneur relationship.

Globalization disparity

The communication revolution and technological transformation has already started changing characteristics of the social classes. The globalization of the socio-political entities including class, technical and intellectual elite or the process of converting socio-political, technical and intellectual workers into the globalized elite is an outcome of the contemporary economic-relations and mode productions -- soft, hard, virtual and physical.

The current phase of industrialization and steady and voluminous process of urbanization in the world needs to be reflected and thought over through the deep analysis in a manner that a true and real phase of globalization based on the regional and continental parity almost everywhere be initiated.

Simultaneously, the globalization disparity among the various sections of a single human society, among the developed and rest of the societies and between the global north and the south needs to taken into analytical consideration so that a more appropriated and healthier process at the planning level may be kicked off.

Although this is bound to happen in the certain course of time since the technological and communication revolution would ultimately take human society towards that direction; however states, political groups, media and the social leadership of various nations need to foster the ingredients of the globalization-parity, vertically as well as horizontally, within and among the human societies.

Intellectual dilemma

There is a big difference between the degree and nature of freedom of thought before and after the Second World War. Human societies have no doubt successfully acquired the greater degree of freedom of thought both in terms of rights and collective responsibilities in the post world war scenario. However, the nature of freedoms has shirked, particularly after the mayhem of 9/11. This can be comprehended through the corporate and mainstream media, curbs on social media, state-defined matrix for the most of think-tanks and virtual control mechanisms to resist the freedom of thought.

Until nature of the freedom of thought is not redefined around the world, the transformation as well as reformations of the human societies as well as states institutions around the world would be impossible.

A new class

Over the period of last three decades, the class formation of human society is gradually acquiring the news layers - the social virtuality. It means that although the classical class composition, according to the Marxist interpretation does exist; the new aspects of the classes have emerged due to transformative shift in the mode of production and the technological revolution.

Thus, the new class characteristics can also be defined today as the 'virtual elite', 'virtual middle class' and 'virtual poor' for those whose position, influence and nature of work even contradict with their socio-economic realities of the class. It means a poor can also be considered elite if he is powerful in certain social realms more than rest of the poor or middle class person of his / her society or the contemporary poor or middle class person from the other parts of the world.

Creation of new states

The world today is victim of the overall trend of the global statuesque. This situation has caused ecology of international politics in which many a rotten and decades long world issues stands unresolved. The global as well as state level statuesque can be witnessed hitherto from non-resolution of the more than five decades old issues like freedom of Kurdistan, Tibetan autonomy, reconciliation between Tamil and Sinhala in Sri Lanka, and freedom of Sindh and Balochistan from Pakistan. These are the issues that have attracted lesser international consideration and media attention.

On the other hand, the issue of the futuristic transformation of Afghanistan is still not appropriately addressed. The recent handover of the training component of Afghan National Army to the Pakistan Army is one such example which essentially contradicts the principle of healthy transformation of Afghanistan because Pakistan has been the destabilizing and destructive factor for Afghanistan during the ISAF engagement in the war-fatigue land of Afghans.

This global as well as state level statuesque has deep roots in the non-representative determining of the national, continental and international interests. It also involves the issues like security at various level; globalization-disparity; the newly emerging virtual identities of 'powerful' and 'weaker' classes; and finally the nature of freedom of media and the individual liberty.

Reforms in the international community

United Nations (UN) not only needs to be reformed structurally, it also needs to undertake some essential reforms. A real United Nations would only be possible if and when it also forms a tier for the culture and civilizations in the broader fold of the UN in which various cultures that does not qualify the status of nation-states may also get an accredited membership in that United Nation's subordinate layer. This would encourage dying cultures; oppressed societies, social segments; ethno-linguistic groups; and representatives of faiths as well as ideologies to engage with the international community.

Besides, the procedures for the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice needs further to be eased up at the level that crimes against humanity may easily to be taken to the international courts. Moreover, a forum for the federating state also needs to be created in the international body, where the intra-state issues may be addressed without any bloodshed or use of violence.

At the same time, a regional, continental and economic level permanent and non-permanent membership into the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) also needs to be introduced in accordance with the changing world. This will give an opportunity to offer the permanent seats in UNSC for emerging powers like Germany, India, Australia, South Africa and Brazil as well as permanent but non-veto seats of SAARC, ASEAN, Middle East, African Union, and Common Wealth of Independent States (CIS) of ex-Soviet states as well as Commonwealth of previous British colonies.

All these aspects of contemporarily required reforms are inter-dependent. Making a new world would be impossible without making a new state apparatus, and creating a free human society in twenty-first century, where all have their say within the international community forums.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Zulfiqar Shah is a stateless activist, analyst, and researcher. Although he is a refugee, and living a life in exile, he is a born Sindhi and South Asian. Currently he lives in India.
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