1. The European Age.
2. The Bourgeois Age.
3. The Age of the State.
The supreme power then … covers the surface of society with a net-work of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting.
a) The impotence of technology. Large super-scientific States with massive arsenals found themselves in the position of “hunting bumblebees with an elephant gun.” And they no longer dared, as Napoleon had, to line up the cannons and fire on rioters.b) The democratization of warfare. The resistance movements of WWII presaged popular warfare carried out by small private groups. It had already been proven that no State could prevent incursions by air. In 1970, Lukacs wrote that they would be unable to prevent foreign incursions by land. “I am not thinking only of guerrilla and commando raids,” he wrote, “I am thinking of the sudden migratory pressure of large populations, sloshing across frontiers.” The result will be a blurring of the line between war and peace: fighting may diminish or intensify at times, but will never entirely cease. States will be unable to negotiate and enforce a peace because there will be no State authority with which to negotiate.c) The deterioration of sovereignty. Toward the end of the Modern Ages, Popular Sovereignty began to subvert State Sovereignty as the main legitimizing authority. Both Hitler and Mussolini claimed their authority directly from the People, not from the constitutions of the Italian or German states. Even tyrants now stage election kabuki to claim rule in the name of “the People.”
©2014 Michael F. Flynn