Virtual Nations or Telecommunications. (Commentaries and Response)

By Bugliarello, George | The Futurist, July-August 2002 | Go to article overview

Virtual Nations or Telecommunications. (Commentaries and Response)


Bugliarello, George, The Futurist


For a number of years, the meta territoriality made possible by telecommunications has intrigued us with its potential to escape the national sovereignty of states. Virtuality creates new kinds of communities, which may acquire some of the powers and prerogatives of existing sovereignties.

With ever more rapid and powerful technological advances in telecommunications and information technology, many virtual communities have come into existence. Some are very evanescent, and some are more lasting and powerful. The Internet has become in some sense the ultimate enabler of metaterritorial communities, with enormous potential for collaboration as well as for conflicts.

The new communities, if unsupervised, can lead to chaos. Will they, as they increase their power, assume some of the social responsibilities exerted today by nations or states? Also, will they lead to new kinds of conflicts? Community against community? Tax-collector communities against taxpayer communities?

The imperative will be to create a new social discipline to preserve the discipline that today is exerted by the state. As new telecommunities arise, some important questions are, What elements of their virtuality will need to be translated to the physical world? How will the virtual communities interact with the necessary institutions and communities on the ground? How can a virtual community protect the real community of live bodies without relinquishing some of its virtuality? …

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