But the Nation-State
But the nation-state, the twentieth-century geopolitical entity held together by the government's monopoly on the use of force--it's finished. The Kalashnikov rifle and the Stinger missle, and the world-wide dissemination of these weapons during the proxy conflicts of the Cold War, have changed things as much as the invention of gunpowder did in the thirteenth century. A determined Third-World people can now hold out against the greatest powers--witness Vietnam--and even a loose coalition of determined clans or factions can drive away the strongest armies--witness Afghanistan [in the early 90's --daniel]--and now in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia it's been made plain that even factions at war with one another can, with their left hand, as it were, stalemate the U.N. in its efforts to stop the fighting among them. It begins to waver and dissolve, but still it stands, humanity's mass hallucination: the vision of a planet of united nations, the great delusion that the nation-state doesn't work yet, but someday will--that the governments who killed each year of the twentieth century, on average, a million of the civilians they claimed to protect and serve, can be trusted to cease their wars.
Denis Johnson in Seek: Reports from the edges of America and beyond, pg 169-170. This book is going to Scott next.