I spend a lot of time trying to figure out which aspects of sovereign rights concept actually make sense and which should be consigned to the “dustbin of history” 😉 It is increasingly clear that the sovereign powers which nation states and the other states acquired over the last couple of centuries go in the face of running smoothly an ever more integrated global world. Yet, knowing our soft and sentimental identity issues rather well, I understand that the groups of people, however we define them, need a certain shelter and feel a need of protection in running their own affairs. However, this calculation seem to come ever less frequent in favour of keeping the present concept of sovereignty in place as the idea of “own” keeps changing. How can you run your “own” affairs in an interconnected world where your actions have consequences that don’t belong to you only, and are impacting someone else’s affairs equally as they do yours?
As I spend lot of time thinking about things immaterial, I started comparing the present (or past) concept of sovereignty with the immaterial realm and a few thoughts occurred while I was listening to some early ‘70 stuff… When was the last time you’ve listened to Al Stewart? It is clear that the concept of full power over a clearly delimited territory does not make much sense in the world full of overlapping claims (think Chino-Japanese Diaoyus-Senkakus haggle). We ought to be smarter than that in running our finite resources, as the planet is getting ever smaller. When I compare these issues with the present thoughts that societies seem to be developing over the immaterial domain, it seems ever more important that the powerful concept of sharing is enshrined in our creaky legal systems. In other words, it appears to me that one of the roots of the problems lays in the fact that our instincts are inhibiting us from more clearly affirming the advantages of sharing in our understanding of the traditional property.
This would mean that we need to accept that sharing material property actually immaterializes the title to a real property at stake. Should we have a clear rules of sharing of material property we would enable the competing claims to coexist much more smoothly and would, as a consequence enable overlapping of multiple interests an a chunk of material property. This may lead us to a perception of a real property becoming less material and thereby more similar to the immaterial kind we are ever more frequently encountering as a principal type of property in modern societies. As we can see, the very same modern societies seem to be indicating that they prefer sharing this type of property instead of keeping it strictly monopolised. Of course this thought needs further elaboration, so do expect another article sometimes, comparing the development of the immaterial concepts such as legal persons, money uncoupled from gold, human knowledge-based creativity output and other strange new Frakenconcepts being squared with the quaint English-garden variety of property.
This gives me a strong hunch that we should start treating the traditional property in modern ways. While I believe that property is a natural force and is here to stay with us as we go immaterial, I think that we are getting ready to deconstruct our notions of traditional property and make it more similar to the immaterial type that will soon prevail as a dominant form of owners’ feelings. This will surely spell the end of the concept of sovereignty over the pieces of territory and the concentration of power that goes with it once you claim that you are running that show. The tribes will then start to roam freely!