Networked-States: The Transition Away From The Nation-State

1 yr (edited)
7 Min Read
1381 words

There is some discussion starting to arise from those who look at what is taking place. Many who understand what blockchain are realizing how the transition away from the Nation-State is underway. It is a process that will take many decades yet is beginning to become evident.

In fact, it did not start with the introduction of Bitcoin 12 years ago. This is something that began many decades ago, without most of us realizing it.

Here we will investigate what happened and how things are rapidly changing. We are facing the likelihood that the Nation-State as a governance entry is completely eradicated by the end of this century.



There is little doubt the impact of these systems in our lives. For the past few hundred years, we saw the world transition to this governance model. The world was divided up with imaginary lines drawn. This determines what system people operate under.

As we can see, it was designed in the physical world. There was no digital back when all this was unfolding. Thus, institutions were material in nature.

Governments, while real but not physical, did reside in buildings. They established a monetary system which was something people could hold. Banks were required to store (and protect) the physical assets. Police physically patrolled areas to keep everyone in line. Jobs were done in person, providing some type of physical labor.

Disputes that were not settled diplomatically escalated to physical confrontations. For much of the last few hundred years, this was usually a fight over physical land. We saw both sides lining up to fight each other. It was all in keeping with the times.

Over the years the power grew. After all, they did have the guns and jails (more physical items). Those who strayed outside the approved code of conduct often found themselves entering this institution. Of course, that is if they were lucky. Often, termination was an option regularly used.

No matter what the system of governance, Nation-States only became more powerful. They also took on a life of their own. There was nothing to rival them, thus change, if any, was to come from within. What is the saying about a leopard and its spots.

Few of these institutions, over the centuries, willingly relinquished power. Instead, they just grew in scope, becoming more, in the view of many, abusive. It is certainly hard to argue against this point with the events going on today.


Roughly 40 years ago, we saw a massive change with the introduction of the digital world. While archaic at that time, it moved very quickly. The introduction of the personal computer changed the world. It was, however, only a preview of what was to come.

By the end of the century, the Internet was staging an invasion. Here again, we see something that was going unnoticed yet did not take long to make a major impact.

Probably the first Networked-State was Microsoft. This was loose in form since it was still operating in a non-networked environment. The digital nature of what it was involved in allowed it to expand at an unprecedented rate.

This was quickly followed up by the likes of Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Today, it is not hard to see how the power of the later rivals most, if not all governments. The estimated monthly user base is larger than the populations of the two biggest nations combined.

For many people, a change in the terms of service from an entity like Facebook affects them more than the passage of a bill from their government. What is known is the impact is immediate.

Look at what happens when one of the major social media companies bans an account. If that was used for business, it is done. This is why so many beg to get their accounts back. The Networked-State is very powerful in their lives.

The Pace Of Change

We see how the transition that was done so far took place in only a few decades. This is remarkable when we consider the fight to establish the Nation-State occurred over centuries. There were many battles to wrestle control out of the hands of the Church and different monarchies. The feudal state did not die rapidly.

The Nation-State seems impossible to topple. It is large, ever present, and, quite frankly, scary. This is not an entity that people typically want to cross.

However, there is a challenge. Nation-States are also slow and inefficient. The Networked-State operates at a much faster pace. Also, the Nation-State is ill-equipped to operate in the digital realm. It was designed in (and for) the physical world. In short, it is truly a fish out of water.

Few believe this to be the case. When we have hundreds of years of history, it is difficult to buy into transition. Nevertheless, if we just look at the smugness of Mark Zuckerberg when testifying in front of Congress we gain some insight. While he is that way with most, the fact that he was being interrogated by people who were completely clueless is very telling.

In fact, parody often points out the reality of what is taking place.

Here is a SNL clip of the recent Facebook Whistleblower hearings. It is hilarious as well as sad.

What it does emphasize is the fact that those who are trying to maintain the Nation-State are completely clueless about what is happening. The likes of Zuckerberg are well aware of this.

Of course, all of this is the level we are at in 2021. Where will things be in 2030? We know that governments will not get more efficient, politicians any smarter, nor bureaucracy any less.

Decentralized Networked-States

There is little doubt that the transition so far is akin to jumping out of the skillet and into the fire. While one system was oppressive and tyrannical, the second one is equally as bad. In fact, some make the case it is worse due to the speed that things operate.

Nevertheless, the Networked-State is not going away. It will only grow in power, with many rivaling the powers of government. If Facebook is bigger than the population of any single nation, then we see the ability to supersede much of what the government does.

The one main difference is that some governments, at least at this level, have the ability to print money. That gives them a leg up in their ability to fund the causes that keep them in power.

Of course, the same is quickly becoming true for the Networked-States. In fact, Facebook is in the process of rolling out the Diem, its own digital currency. We can only guess the impact this will have on many governments around the world.

It also emphasizes the quandary that is forming. While people were hindered by being under the control of the Nation-State, they are no better off in the networked world that emerge. Essentially, we just swapped tyrants.

Here is where the Decentralized Network-States enter the picture. Again, it is hard to believe, but within a couple decades, this will have severe impact upon the networked environments we are presently operating under. These will end up spreading more rapidly than this generation of Networked-States since technology tends to speed up over time. The fact we are starting roughly 30 years after the digital realm started means we are at a powerful point.

None of this should be overlooked. Facebook was a nothing when it first was introduced. The clip parodies MySpace. Many viewed what Zuckerberg was doing simply as a replacement for that.

However, we know things changed enormously. Now, consider the fact that Facebook is not even 20 years old. It is, perhaps, the most influential entity in the world yet it has not been around for 2 decades.

In closing, we see the transition underway. We will cover some of the particulars of this situation in the next article.

The key for now is to step back to see what already happened. This provides enormous insight into what is going to unfold over the next couple decades.

If you found this article informative, please give an upvote and rehive.

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Centralised nation States prints money too. Their Wealth makes no impact to the common man, it's purely oligarchy in nature. I'm grateful for how we have slowly transitioned, it'll become even better.

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That is true they do. They had a monopoly on it. Now we are seeing how it is starting to expand away.

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Exactly, this monopoly is gradually fading, it's obvious, the shift is happening and we're not just part of it.

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Awesome educational post.



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Excellent article! Something that I have been gravitating towards lately is the fact that all kingdoms/empires eventually fail and fall, only to be replaced by another. As you put it, the nation-state is slow and not very efficient in the digital world. Power shifts as people's mindsets shift. When one outperforms another on every level, who still looks to it? Only those who are "it".


They do over time. It has to be embraced by a decent part of the population, not even the majority.

It will take some time.

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The Facebook whistler blower allegations is nothing but a huge show for politics. I don't really see anything wrong with Facebook pursuing profits since when have they not? As a business focused on profits, its only logical.

This is why we decentralized versions of these. Assuming we keep the distribution of benefits kind of even to the community, then we probably won't run into the same issues.

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We just have to keep pushing for more decentralized solutions and supporting them.

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It is obvious that the end of the nation-state structure will come. We must be prepared for this. The preparation that needs to be done is to develop blockchain and similar-based chains as much as possible and deliver them to more people.


Mostly agree , inspiring post!

Just not sure about the point that state-nation power was based just on physical things like army an jails

I think the real power of the states was relying in controlling people's mind
First with religion and later with media and tv , holywood cinema etc

And while is probably true that new generations have Internet which opens them the access to unlimited information sources

I also think there is a psychological barrier which scares people to think by themself , and get out of the mainstream thinking

Specially for young who may feel lonely and lost


Of course, the nation-state and religion often conflicted.

In fact a case could be made that the nation-state wrestled a great deal of control from the religions of the world.

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Right , but my point is that physical power is just a secondary tool nation-states use to control people
So when you say that nation-state will disappear ( I agree on this)

But I am not sure to agree on "institutions were material in nature" , actually education systems in western Europe are compulsory until you get to a certain age

So , you learn to draw the borders of your "country" , the "history" of the winners and the language of your nation

Most people did not start using Facebook to escape the control state had of personal communications , but because many people used it

Even very clever people get scared when they get sick or happens a natural catastrophe, and they need to believe in a god , in science or technology

So at least technological advance gets to the level of change people psychology I find hard to see a massive change in society

Anyway , DAO will probably bring more freedom , but what will stop a new "DAO Facebook" manipulating society?

But out of this point I find your points really enlightening!


The SNL clip was a refreshing break. I chuckled a little until Lindsay graham and I busted out laughing.

It’s was the funny kind of sad after that. Thanks, !BRO


I think private governments will be smaller, and more efficient. We might see taxation end as a concept for subscription services to governments.


The United Hives of the World

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1 yr

interesting and funny show


Decentralization seem to be the way out of the holes of the centralize governce system... decentralization will Reed the world of government Monopoly and polical and control giving all individual the opportunity to grow at their own paste. But it comes with a price only God knows


Large controlling governments that have understood that the transition process has no way back, try to apply restrictive measures to impose themselves. But this goes beyond , and the information is already in the hands of those who manage the network and to the extent that this continues to happen we will continue to see major changes .


Interesting point of view. Making you think about all the mega-corporations movies you have seen lately. Truth to be told, the Big Five (Google, Face, Amazon and so on) got enough power to consider themselves above the state. They are like locusts, when they finished getting all the profit from some country/area, they just move to another corporate friendly area. Watch for the like of Coinbase and Binance next. Not to talk about the 'invisible' ones, like Alameda Research for example.


At least there was no mention of Hive as part of Web 3.0 I give you points for speaking the truth by not speaking untruth 👌


A nation-state won this battle:

Geo-restricted SNL clip


So, I'm genuinely wondering something here...

How many people commenting have their own fully private drinking water supply?

And how many here rely on a government entity to supply their drinking water? (Municipal, State, National?) And pay a water bill to cover the cost of resources to do so?

Governments can be utterly shit, but they also have more aspects to them than some realise. A portion of those aspects in many places are critical and are positive for the great majority of us

In my nation, water is mostly treated and supplied by local and state government entities

In places where the operation of the water supply has actually been sold off and privatised, like in my home state, the quality of the service has reduced dramatically, while the overall costs have increased

I know this because I've seen it happen first-hand, working in the field

It's conceivable that a networked-state could supply it's constituents water, but who among us is going to build that system and maintain it over time?

Perhaps I sound sceptical, but I'm actually just really curious


dont know about water systems
But would you say that food production and distribution would work better if controlled by the state?


Hmm... that's a tough one. There's so much nuance that can't be covered in a few comments. It really depends on how the system is designed. It could potentially be more efficient with less waste but at the cost of less variety overall

And it would require people with integrity to run it, and complete transparency. Not an easy thing to systematise

I'm talking things I know very little about now, but this would amount to a centrally planned economy and could be abused to oppress people

"Communist" nations past and present often have food shortages and people starve, as far as I know (never lived in one myself, though, so this is just from what I've read)

A government monopoly on food production and distribution...


Looking at my country, it's a commonwealth nation with a federal system of government. The water supply throughout the country is run by state and local governments, depending on the location. The word 'state' in the previous sentence is used in the sense of a province or territorial division within the federation

So, there's many government water monopolies, some of them hundreds of years old. In all that time, none of them have abused their power to harm the citizens they supply water to. No one has gone without water, that I know of. There are locations in my state not connected to the water network, but landowners in these places are not billed by the water authority. People living in these places generally do have their own private water supplies, sourced from groundwater or rainwater

Maybe this is the key: having smaller government entities existing within, but separate to, the larger federal government superstructure

As far as I know, there's never been one singular federal monopoly on water in this nation

I want to say as well, the statewide water supply where I live was built by a government starting 170 years ago, and in the last 20 years, parts of it have been privatised, to its overall detriment. This is contrary to the neo-liberal line that privatisation automatically makes things better or more efficient. If it was originally built by private-sector economic actors, this decrease in quality may not have occurred. However, I seriously doubt it would've even been built at all if it was 'left up to the free market,' as there would be no surplus value for a private entity to capture as profit in the process

So many factors. So much nuance...

Far too easy to oversimplify

It's interesting to think and write about. I've been enjoying the process of reconciling my experience with what I've read on economics to form my reply

Thank you for your comment!

Please, share your thoughts as well. I'm eager to see your perspective

What's the situation where you live?


Wow , Thanks for your extensive answer

I live in south Spain , water in an issue here , the distribution network was started 1000 years ago by Arabs , of course have changed a lot in the last 100 years

Water system is mainly public .Water for house consumption is ok , works well and not too expensive

A different issue is water for the olive and almond fields , that is organized by small public area organizations

I came to live my town a couple of years ago , the first day went to work on the olive trees the owner of the field next to mine came to ask me if I wanted to buy his olive trees which are watered , pointing out that was the only way I could get water for my trees , since no new water point access are given since decades ago

Next to my olive trees there are other fields with water access but which are abandoned for years and nobody works on them

Next day I went to the water company to check if that was true , they used mainly mechanical typewriters (2 years ago! ,we have 500 MB fiber in most houses! ) , toke 1 hour to check field maps looking into hundred papers, they confirmed what my neighbor said ,no new water access are possible even if half of the watered fields are abandoned and havent worked on it for decades

Said this , I understand a 100% private system could be potencially dangerous but I guess some kind of miked system could work better

Related to food ,I think that any cuban or venezolan can tell u if they like a 100% public controlled system

Anyway I agree with you that is a complex issue


Wow, a real painful and frustrating experience you've had there...

If I was in your shoes, first thing I'd do now is track down the relevant legislation and see what that actually says

You should be able to talk to the same people in the water office and ask them to provide the name of the specific act or law from which they derive their authority on the matter

At best, you might find a way forward

At worst, you'll find out that the people in the water office have actually done their job right; that is according to the law...

In which case, next step would be to change the law

No small feat, but it is possible

Out of curiosity, this water point access you're after, would it be permission to use groundwater (by digging a well or drilling a bore) or would it be permission to pump from a river or other above ground water source?


This is very good work, I love it.


In my opinion I think the tech of blockchain will destroy the environment in the countries that doesn't use the Alternative energies like the sun and air power but on the other side it is realy helpful in many other ways like the speed , privacy and low trancachen payment .


It really depends on the consensus mechanism used. Blockchains that use proof-of-work use up enormous amounts of energy, whereas blockchains that use proof-of-stake or delegated-proof-of-stake (this is what Hive uses) don't have big energy requirements. And blockchains can phase out many, many activities that are currently being done by people and so lower the harmful emissions and destruction of the environment.


More than informative, it has given me a different vision of the information, from a very different point of view and very successful, I had not considered the option seeing it from the evolutionary point of view


Really good article!
Emphasizes the importance of knowing what's really happening behind the scenes & getting people to act together.

We are actually working on a Decentralized Goverrnance Dapp. Please feel free to come & learn & share your experience & wisdom.

We don't really know what the future has in store for us but if we work together anything can be accomplished.

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