It’s potential to defend the nation-state, regardless of its historical past of oppression, persecution, tyranny, and battle? Be aware that earlier than this current creation, life was not at all times a bit of cake for everyone both.

For a extra affirmative protection, suppose that every one people and households on earth have been supplied an air ticket to maneuver wherever they wish to dwell, no query requested. Those that like self-reliance and personal weapons may transfer to america. Those that like wine and sensuality may transfer to France. Those that like pleasant, smiling folks like in the Prisoner’s Village may transfer to the UK. Those that like extensive uninhabited areas with no weapons and wall-to-wall Medicare may transfer to Canada. Those that like strict social norms and a way of belonging may select India or Afghanistan. Those that just like the surroundings and poverty may transfer to Bhutan or Burundi. Those that wish to be liberated from selection (besides about the place to queue and learn how to survive) would transfer to Venezuela or North Korea. These are simply illustrations; please select your personal in accordance with your preferences and values. (I take values to imply preferences for states of the world, versus preferences for private consumption and actions.)

As soon as the brand new borders are drawn, the world can be composed of nation-states primarily based on actual widespread preferences and values as nationalists now think about them, versus the present actuality of largely synthetic assemblages by which coercive authorities impose arbitrary identities on most of their topics. If considered one of these new nation-states did impose a typical id, it will correspond to what all its topics need anyway. Even the woke may arguably carve out their very own nation-state the place they might dwell amongst themselves below a secular theocracy. The uniformity of particular person preferences and values would stop the voting irrationality predicated on the Condorcet paradox and Arrow’s theorem. As a substitute, the median voter would rule on a regular basis however, all people being comparable, each voter would the median voter and everyone would revel within the ensuing mediocrity.

They’re nonetheless many issues with this straightforward mannequin of excellent nation-states. The self-selection of people in accordance with their very own preferences can be tough to start out, for a way would present rulers and their clienteles discover of their pursuits to dismantle their exploitation playgrounds? However let’s disregard this impediment.

Because the relocations proceed and new nation-state configurations emerge, many people would want to relocate once more. Earlier than reaching an equilibrium, the place all people or a big proportion of them are happy and cease shifting, assuming such an equilibrium exista, the method would want many rounds. This may be seen with easy laptop simulations constructed on the well-known Thomas Schelling mannequin of segregation. Maybe a really massive variety of airplane tickets can be required—conceivably consuming all GDP. A mechanism must be devised to unravel the issue of people attracted primarily by the welfare states of the (forecasted) richest nations, as a result of parasites with out hosts just isn’t a steady resolution.

Nonetheless, if we respect “nationwide sovereignty,” many people are sure to stay discontented. There are solely about 200 nations within the phrase and barely two people among the many billions alive have precisely the identical preferences and values.

Finally, each particular person or household would want its personal nation, however the jury continues to be out on whether or not anarchy, even when fascinating, is possible. Even in our splendid self-selected nations, then, there would nonetheless be majorities exploiting minorities. The latter could also be smaller, however this could make them extra exploitable. The one resolution for excellent “nationalism,” it appears, is that every nation has some type of minimal or classical liberal state. The entire train of segregation would have solely demonstrated that the peaceable coexistence of various people requires both subjection of some particular person to others or else minimal states. As I indicated earlier than, the president of Syldavia can solely be president of all Syldavians if he drastically limits his interventions in Syldavians’ lives.

If the foregoing is right, the sensible objective to pursue can be for every of us below his personal kind of tyrannical nation-state,  to attempt to push it towards a minimal state. That is, along with impartial shifting (when potential) and a cosmopolitan outlook, the one approach to improve the variety of people whose preferences will not be always overruled. The potential of creating and sustaining geographical areas by which to pursue this objective with out overseas tyrants’ interference seems to be the one good protection of the nation-state system, though each “nation” and “state” then require scare quotes.

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