State of Noland
Denis Maksimov | Avenir Institute

This episode of Pythi­an School of Futures sets off to envi­sion a form of state which nei­ther occu­pies land nor holds bor­ders. The title of the episode refers to a project done by the Avenir Insti­tute in which artists aim to bypass the bureau­crat­ic con­ven­tion of nat­u­ral­iza­tion. The sym­bol­ic pro­to­col to obtain cit­i­zen­ship does not require any paper­work but pay­ing a vis­it to the web­site of the state: www.stateofnoland.info 

The host of the pod­cast, Denis Mak­si­mov puts the con­cept of state under scruti­ny to dis­cov­er how the out­dat­ed notion of state­hood could be rede­fined accord­ing to the needs of the new world that is to come. He dives into spec­u­la­tive future sce­nar­ios to pose ques­tions about how states could be use­ful rather than forceful. 

Episode Notes:

         1. The first arti­cle with­in the state­ment of prin­ci­ples describes the state of noland as a state of mind not aligned with any geopo­lit­i­cal enti­ty and a state-after-state, a con­stel­la­tion of prac­tices that replace polit­i­cal monop­o­lies. The state­ment of prin­ci­ples are avail­able at:


         2. The nation-state is an ide­al in which cul­tur­al bound­aries match up with polit­i­cal bound­aries. Accord­ing to one def­i­n­i­tion, “a nation-state is a sov­er­eign state of which most of its sub­jects are unit­ed also by fac­tors which define a nation such as a lan­guage or com­mon descent.” It is a more pre­cise con­cept than “coun­try” since a coun­try does not need to have a pre­dom­i­nant eth­nic group. 


        3. The process in which a notion­al­ly non-Euro­pean sub­ject (be it a cul­ture, a lan­guage, a city, or a nation) adopts sev­er­al Euro­pean fea­tures (often relat­ed to West­ern­iza­tion). Euro­peani­sa­tion in polit­i­cal sci­ence has been referred to very gen­er­al­ly as ‘becom­ing more Euro­pean like’. More specif­i­cal­ly than this, it has been defined in sev­er­al ways. One of the ear­li­est con­cep­tu­al­iza­tions of the term is by Ladrech (1994, 69), who defines Euro­peani­sa­tion sim­ply as ‘an incre­men­tal process of re-ori­ent­ing the direc­tion and shape of pol­i­tics to the extent that EC polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic dynam­ics become part of the orga­ni­za­tion­al log­ic of nation­al pol­i­tics and policymaking.’


        4. Peace of West­phalia, Euro­pean set­tle­ments of 1648, which brought to an end the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Dutch and the Ger­man phase of the Thir­ty Years’ War. The peace was nego­ti­at­ed, from 1644, in the West­phalian towns of Mün­ster and Osnabrück. Some schol­ars of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions cred­it the treaties with pro­vid­ing the foun­da­tion of the mod­ern state sys­tem and artic­u­lat­ing the con­cept of ter­ri­to­r­i­al sovereignty. 


        5. Leviathan, is a book writ­ten by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and pub­lished in 1651. Writ­ten dur­ing the Eng­lish Civ­il War (1642–1651). Its name derives from the bib­li­cal Leviathan. The work con­cerns the struc­ture of soci­ety and legit­i­mate gov­ern­ment and is regard­ed as one of the ear­li­est and most influ­en­tial exam­ples of social con­tract theory. 


        6. Sov­er­eign­ty is the supreme author­i­ty with­in a ter­ri­to­ry. In any state, sov­er­eign­ty is assigned to the per­son, body, or insti­tu­tion that has the ulti­mate author­i­ty over oth­er peo­ple in order to estab­lish a law or change exist­ing law. In polit­i­cal the­o­ry, sov­er­eign­ty is a sub­stan­tive term des­ig­nat­ing supreme legit­i­mate author­i­ty over some poli­ty. In inter­na­tion­al law, sov­er­eign­ty is the exer­cise of pow­er by a state. 


        7. Mega Man, known as Rock­man in Japan, is a Japan­ese sci­ence fic­tion video game fran­chise cre­at­ed by Cap­com, star­ring a series of robot char­ac­ters each known by the moniker “Mega Man”. The orig­i­nal Mega Man series con­sists of eleven main games, a side game titled Mega Man & Bass, as well as all Game Boy, Sega Gen­e­sis, Sega Game Gear, and oth­er con­sole games fea­tur­ing the orig­i­nal design of Mega Man. Mega Man, released for the Nin­ten­do Enter­tain­ment Sys­tem in 1987, was the first in a series that expand­ed to over 50 games on mul­ti­ple sys­tems. As of Decem­ber 31, 2019, the game series has sold 36 mil­lion units worldwide. 


        8. Jamal Ahmad Khashog­gi (13 Octo­ber 1958 – 2 Octo­ber 2018) was a Sau­di Ara­bi­an, jour­nal­ist, dis­si­dent, author, a colum­nist for The Wash­ing­ton Post, and a gen­er­al man­ag­er and edi­tor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Chan­nel who was assas­si­nat­ed at the Sau­di con­sulate in Istan­bul on 2 Octo­ber 2018 by agents of the Sau­di gov­ern­ment, alleged­ly at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashog­gi fled Sau­di Ara­bia in Sep­tem­ber 2017 and went into self-imposed exile. He said that the Sau­di gov­ern­ment had “banned him from Twit­ter”, and he lat­er wrote news­pa­per arti­cles crit­i­cal of the Sau­di gov­ern­ment. Khashog­gi had been sharply crit­i­cal of the Sau­di rulers, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


        9. Wik­iLeaks is an inter­na­tion­al non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that pub­lish­es news leaks and clas­si­fied media pro­vid­ed by anony­mous sources. Its web­site, ini­ti­at­ed in 2006 in Ice­land by the orga­ni­za­tion Sun­shine Press, claimed in 2015 to have released online 10 mil­lion doc­u­ments in its first 10 years. Julian Assange, an Aus­tralian Inter­net activist, is gen­er­al­ly described as its founder and direc­tor. Since Sep­tem­ber 2018, Kristinn Hrafns­son has served as its editor-in-chief.


        10. In moral and polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy, the social con­tract is a the­o­ry or mod­el that orig­i­nat­ed dur­ing the Age of Enlight­en­ment and usu­al­ly con­cerns the legit­i­ma­cy of the author­i­ty of the state over the indi­vid­ual. Social con­tract argu­ments typ­i­cal­ly posit that indi­vid­u­als have con­sent­ed, either explic­it­ly or tac­it­ly, to sur­ren­der some of their free­doms and sub­mit to the author­i­ty (of the ruler, or to the deci­sion of a major­i­ty) in exchange for pro­tec­tion of their remain­ing rights or main­te­nance of the social order.


        11. Gilles Deleuze was a French philoso­pher who, from the ear­ly 1950s until he died in 1995, wrote on phi­los­o­phy, lit­er­a­ture, film, and fine art. His most pop­u­lar works were the two vol­umes of Cap­i­tal­ism and Schiz­o­phre­nia: Anti-Oedi­pus (1972) and A Thou­sand Plateaus (1980), both co-writ­ten with psy­cho­an­a­lyst Félix Guat­tari. His meta­phys­i­cal trea­tise Dif­fer­ence and Rep­e­ti­tion (1968) is con­sid­ered by many schol­ars to be his mag­num opus. Although he once char­ac­ter­ized him­self as a “pure meta­physi­cian”, his work has influ­enced a vari­ety of dis­ci­plines across the human­i­ties, includ­ing phi­los­o­phy, art, and lit­er­ary the­o­ry, as well as move­ments such as post-struc­tural­ism and postmodernism.


        12. Rhi­zome as a philo­soph­i­cal con­cept was devel­oped by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guat­tari in their Cap­i­tal­ism and Schiz­o­phre­nia (1972–1980) project. It is what Deleuze calls an “image of thought”, based on the botan­i­cal rhi­zome, that appre­hends mul­ti­plic­i­ties. Deleuze and Guat­tari use the terms “rhi­zome” and “rhi­zomat­ic” to describe the­o­ry and research that allows for mul­ti­ple, non-hier­ar­chi­cal entry and exit points in data rep­re­sen­ta­tion and interpretation. 


        13. The Irish Repub­li­can Army (IRA) is a name used by var­i­ous para­mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tions in Ire­land through­out the 20th and 21st cen­turies. Orga­ni­za­tions going by this name have been ded­i­cat­ed to irre­den­tism through Irish repub­li­can­ism, the belief that all of Ire­land should be an inde­pen­dent repub­lic free from British rule.