Rowan Williams on Terror and Consent

Rowan (Don’t Call Me the Pope of Anglicanism) Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury reviewed Philip Bobbitt’s book Terror and Consent.  So did I.

I like that is exploring these topics.  You can compare our reviews of his work (with some theological inflections in both?).  I just think it’s cool that the Archbishop of Canterbury is reading Bobbitt.

His review here.  Mine here.

On the theme of Williams’ wide ranging thought, he’s just come out with a book on Dostoevsky.  Interview with BBC on it here.  Williams has a deep and abiding love of Russian Orthodox Mystical Theology among other things.  It’s always been such a huge waste to have him in the role of Archbishop, particularly now.


Bobbitt Redux (Re: Terrorism and McCain)

I mentioned Philipp Bobbitt’s work in this previous post; here he is on Conversations with History discussing his most recent book Terror and Consent.

I really dig Conv. with Hist. but the interviewer (Prof. Kreisler) always begins with personal bio/love of history, which I usually find less than interesting.  If you’re like me in that regard, the meat of the conversation begins at about 13:50.

As I stated in my last post, I think his understanding of state formation is pretty much unparalleled.  He has a genius ability for the coining of new phrases/terms.  But unfortunately his new book has some major deficiencies in its understanding of terrorism.

Follow me after the jump as I detail how/why… (more…)

Holonic State Formation (Integral meets Philip Bobbitt)

From p. 215 of Philipp Bobbitt’s magisterial The Shield of Achilles:

The nation-state has accumulated various responsibilities.  The legitimating promises of earlier, precedeing constitutional forms are often inherited by successive archetypes as entrenched expectations and entitlements.  The princely state promised external security,  the freedom from domination and interference by foreign powers.  The kingly state inherited this responsibility and added the promise of internal stability.  The territorial state added the promise of expanding material wealth, to which the state-nation further added the civil and political rights of popular sovereignty.  To all these responsibilities the nation-state added the promise of providing economic security and public goods to the people.

Bobbitt’s historical framing of those shifts is roughly as follows:

Princely States (1494-1648, i.e. The Peace of Westphalia)
Kingly States to Territorial States (1648-1776, i.e. Declaration of Independence)
State-Nations from 1776 to 1914 (WWI) when the Nation-State becomes the dominant reality.
2001?–>The Shift from the Nation-State to the Future Market-State (I’ll discuss that in a number of later posts)

Now to get back to the quotation.  It would be correct to call these iterations paradigm shifts–remembering that paradigm shift is actually a different way of doing business, a different praxis (often military, economic, technological, reading/scholarly praxis) which gives rise to a new worldview.

By understanding paradigm shifts, applying integral theory, the process of emergence/development works via envelopment/unfoldment:  i.e. transcend and include.  The include part is what Bobbitt is calling “inheritance” from the earlier iterations to the later ones.  The later paradigm shifts build on the platform already created by the previous incarnation of the state.  i.e. In integral-speak, Holarchy.

What this also brilliantly opens up is a way to chart state progression across the globe.  States can be roughly correlated along this axis.  e.g. China is classically moving in a very difficult way through the very difficult transition from a territorial state to a state-nation, which the Chinese urban middle class is navigating carefully.  Or someone like Ron Paul, whose Revolution, would consist of returning to the US to a state-nation status–i..e undoing the entire Welfare State.

I’m reading Shield of Achilles so that I can read Bobbitt’s new tract, Terror and Consent.