The alternatives we’re moving toward, I’d like to suggest, will for many reasons bear more than a passing resemblance to what we’ve already seen—cities emerging as the most salient unit of physical and political organization; self-governing, economically independent, and culturally unique.
In short, we’re due for the rebirth of the city-state.
…city-states and national boundaries can coexist, as historical example shows: In the 15th–19th centuries, trade along the northern coast of Europe was dominated by the Hanseatic League, a sophisticated commercial network of almost 200 cities in what are now 16 countries, which included pacts for mutual defense against interference by rival powers.
Taken together, these trends point to a picture of the city as a more insular ecosystem than we’re used to experiencing — on a physical level at least—where we’ll try to keep as many urban life support systems inside it as possible.
Building daily-use objects in our own homes, claimed Anderson in a talk he gave as part of the Long Now Foundation’s seminar series, will “reverse the arrow of globalization,” halting the constant search for lower labor costs involved in the race-to-the-bottom of outsourced manufacturing, and bring in a renaissance of small-batch fabrication. Like local energy production, it will also steer cities toward self-sufficiency, as the convenience of either making goods yourself or obtaining them from a fabbing workshop across town will outweigh the cost of shipping them in from elsewhere.
If the above turns out to be true, the effects of the shift will run deeper than just the way we physically organize our cities. To borrow from the always-relevant doctrine of Karl Marx, a change in the dominant mode of production that underpins a society will inevitably alter the social structure itself, giving birth to new forms of social relations while sweeping aside the old.
“When you have more people who are educated and don’t have to do mundane and routine daily work in order to survive, there’s a lot of time to think about shared spaces and efficiency of government. Our current systems aren’t fit for modern purpose and they won’t last, especially when we have more automation, and people have more time to define their ideas for how they want to live in harmony with other people.”
For the next few hundred years it’s improbable that we’ll see the death of the nation-state altogether, but the power of cities both large and small is in the ascendant, and they will almost certainly move closer to self-governance.
“One way or another, we’re going to end up with a collection of city-states or clusters of megacities,” Rhys-Taylor told me. “But how they’re arranged in relationship to one another — whether it’s a hierarchy or a meshwork — really depends on the political framework through which they evolve.”
“It’s a tough one to call, though,” he added. “We’re in interesting times at the moment.”
domingo, 17 de julio de 2016
El renacer de la "ciudad–estado"
Los círculos concéntricos… el encanto de lo pequeño gestionable y como su réplica alrededor (cómo los círculos concéntricos de
una muchas piedras cayendo en el agua) podría ser una nueva forma de solidaridad sin naciones (nacionalismos) que la impidan.
The Rebirth of the City-State — How We Get To Next