The sub-nations, or ex-nations, struggling to be born or break free include Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque country of Spain, Corsica, northern Italy and Quebec in the West. Iraq, as we have seen, is a composite of peoples divided by tribe, ethnicity and faith -- as are Iran, Pakistan and India. Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs, with a minority of Bedouins.
Lind argues that not only are nations subdividing, losing their monopolies on the love and loyalty of their peoples, but they are being superseded by "non-state actors" that are challenging the monopoly on warfare enjoyed by the nation-state since the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War.
Among the more familiar non-state actors are the Crips and Bloods, Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13, the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, the Zapatistas of Chiapas, the racial nationalists of MEChA, the white supremacists of Aryan Nations, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah, the Maoists of Nepal and the Tamil Tigers.
Among the central questions of our time is a central question of any time: Who owns the future?
Of late, the transnational vision has lost its allure. Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and most of Latin America reject the NAFTA vision of Bush and Vicente Fox. French and Dutch voted down the EU Constitution, which now appears dead. The Doha round of world trade negotiations is headed for the rocks. Hostility is rising to bringing Turkey into the EU.
Arabs and Turks in Europe identify more and more with the Islamic faith they have in common and the countries whence they came, not the one in which they live and work.
So, too, do millions of illegal aliens in the United States. They march defiantly under Mexican flags in American streets demanding the rights of U.S. citizens -- while an intimidated political class rushes to accommodate and appease them, assuring itself this is but the latest reincarnation of Ellis Island.
As the Old Republic trudges to its death, less and less do we hear that incessant blather about the American Empire, "the world's last superpower" and "our unipolar moment."