The End of the Nation State

Borders, sovereignty, and neoliberalism are now a lethal combination

Mike Meyer
10 min readDec 24, 2019


Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ December 23, 2019

The entire concept of the nation states and the various systems of government predicated on citizens granting authority to govern evolved from the European Renaissance and Enlightenment. This complex, evolved, sociopolitical set of systems is broken and its failure is occurring in the primary founding cultures of the West.

The American Experiment was the first and most extensive of the early modern representational government attempts based on these principles and so it came to influence the next hundred and fifty years of government evolution. We are now experiencing the end of that era.

Because of this, its failure would affect far more than just one large nation’s government. While the American model considers itself preeminent, the range of modern governments is more likely to be based on the parliamentary systems of England and France. But all of these are strongly linked to the rise of modern nation states in Europe’s 17th and 18th centuries. They share the same base assumptions on sovereignty, popular authority, and the process of representation.

If the preeminent representational governments are now dysfunctional some basic structural changes are occurring as a result of changed planetary variables. That suggests that all modern, national governments are at risk.

We know that we are beginning to deal with a range of technology driven paradigmatic cultural changes now increasingly overshadowed by the climate crisis. The steady rise of information and communication technology, particularly over the last forty years, has seriously stressed the existing form of human social structures.

These structures were built on and assumed severe limitations of access to information and were designed to overcome the barriers of distance and personal conversation with more than a few people at any time. This produced an unspoken contradiction in the fundamental acceptance of government based on the people as authority for that government.

Because there was no way to address the people on any issue and to determine their position or agreement in…



Mike Meyer

Writer, Educator, Campus CIO (retired) . Essays on our changing reality here, news and more at