Liquid Threats

For people who are saying they are “tired” of hearing about ISIS and Ebola: the way in which a market-state legitimates itself is by proving that it is capable of protecting citizens from 3 things:

1. International terrorism in its most liquid form;

2. Global epidemics in their devastating fluidity;

3. Consequences of natural disasters that, more often than not, will have to do with water, as well. 

There will be two major ways of addressing these threats. One will be an outdated nation-state “let’s close the borders” approach. I just heard this sentiment expressed on Fox News Radio’s discussion of Ebola by people who are not catching on to how obsolete and useless borders have become. An alternative (and much more productive way) will consist of battling the fluidity of these threats by becoming even more fluid than they are. 

14 thoughts on “Liquid Threats

    1. Fault lines do not respect natural borders. Neither do volcano eruptions. Hurricanes, earthquakes and volcano eruptions WILL disrupt a water supply to a city because all of the pipelines are underground. People never really stay in an area where there is no water to be had or transported in, especially not at high population densities.There goes your border.

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      1. Well, it’s not like natural disasters are new. If them displacing people was such a problem, national states with borders and etcetera would never have even formed, no?

        I am not entirely sure how one would become more fluid than terrorism or a waterborne/airborne disease, either. The reason they’re an issue, i.e., aren’t merely local phenomena or whatever, are because you can get on a plane and travel anywhere. A disease’s transmission or the reach of a terror cell don’t have a flat speed, it’s a function of the speed of the network you’re using. So increasing the speed of that network would do what, exactly? 🙂

        The proposition’s one of trying to outrun yourself. Those work out about as well regardless of whether you’re sitting still or moving like the wind.

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        1. “Well, it’s not like natural disasters are new. If them displacing people was such a problem, national states with borders and etcetera would never have even formed, no?”

          – Nation-states started to form at the time when the idea of individuals, displacement and the value of an individual life was not even fully formed, yet alone commonly accepted.

          “I am not entirely sure how one would become more fluid than terrorism or a waterborne/airborne disease, either.”

          – The good news is that we don’t have to figure it out. This is the government’s function now. The bad news is that this is the only function of the government. Everything else we will have to do on our own. In 10 years, what I’m saying here will be a boring commonplace. But please do remember where you heard it first. 🙂

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  1. For those who haven’t read those books, could you explain the meaning of “becoming even more fluid than they are”? How do you become more fluid than global epidemics? Does it mean going to the source country/ies and treating people there? After all, as long as the epidemic continues to rage in the specific area, it won’t stay there, according to your post. Even more involvement in other countries?

    I read about Ebola and arrived to two conclusions:

    1. closing the borders of the diseased area would help, instead of letting everybody travel there and back without any limitations while talking about fluidity. Hasn’t Guinea done exactly that at some point? But one needs to seal the area hermetically before the disease spreads, not afterwards. Ebola isn’t something new in the area, but it usually stops there.

    2. because of the low level of culture and development of Guinea’s people, they contributed quite a lot to spread of the disease. For instance, touching the diseased bodies in burial rites, claiming Ebola doesn’t exist (!) and *killing* government’s workers who came to help.

    May be, sending numerous special army forces (to protect doctors from murder and let them treat people, take diseased bodies away, etc.) to the area would help, together with the information / teaching campaign.

    If as long as they keep dying, the Westerners would keep dying too, should new Western liquid governments treat Guinea’s people at gunpoint to stop the epidemic? What can one do with them in practice? Westerners can’t and won’t move Africa from stone age (*) to the first world level.

    OK, I know those people were raised in the third world country and it’s not fully their fault that they may think their own government spreads the disease. I just became angry that their ignorance leads to people dying elsewhere and am not ready to be in that danger too. Israel has numerous refugees from African countries.

    // Consequences of natural disasters that, more often than not, will have to do with water, as well.

    Hasn’t it always been so?

    (*) Not all African countries are in the stone age, but the Guinea seems to be there. Deeply.

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    1. “I read about Ebola and arrived to two conclusions:

      1. closing the borders of the diseased area would help, instead of letting everybody travel there and back without any limitations while talking about fluidity. Hasn’t Guinea done exactly that at some point? But one needs to seal the area hermetically before the disease spreads, not afterwards. Ebola isn’t something new in the area, but it usually stops there.

      2. because of the low level of culture and development of Guinea’s people, they contributed quite a lot to spread of the disease. For instance, touching the diseased bodies in burial rites, claiming Ebola doesn’t exist (!) and *killing* government’s workers who came to help.”

      – I thought the most extreme conservative position was the one at the Fox News radio station but no, you just outdid them. 🙂

      “should new Western liquid governments treat Guinea’s people at gunpoint to stop the epidemic?”

      – Man, you have disturbing fantasies.

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        1. “What can one do in practice?”

          – My whole point is precisely that it is not one’s role to do anything. The new state-form will now prove its chops by trying to figure this out. The state will not be doing much else for us, so let’s at least sit back and enjoy this demonstration of its productivity.

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      1. “My whole point is precisely that it is not one’s role to do anything. The new state-form will now prove its chops by trying to figure this out. The state will not be doing much else for us, so let’s at least sit back and enjoy this demonstration of its productivity”

        I’m assuming their short term plan was to make sure it got into the country (not necessarily the case in question but I assume they wanted it in the US sooner rather than later) so they can study real world transmission more closely in better conditions than in Africa and fiddle around with possible treatments (bypassing usual medical research protocols because it’s an emergency).

        It might work. A bit rough if you’re one of the eggs to be broken for the omelet though.

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  2. Fearing Ebola, Israel will not send medical teams to Africa
    Israel is already sending medical aid to Ebola hit countries, but has decided not to send medical crews, set up field hospitals, citing fear of infection.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4577246,00.html

    From comments:

    Despite recent proclamation [by Obama., et., al.,] that the Ebola virus presents a “growing threat to regional and global security…” the Obama administration is NOT recommending travel restrictions to areas affected by the virus. Source: Breitbart.com.

    If it’s true, it’s so weird.

    Other news:

    ” Sweden’s ambassador to Israel has been summoned for a reprimand meeting on Monday at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, after Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced on Friday his intention to recognize Palestine.

    “We are not talking about a diplomatic dwarf, but a serious and important European state. This signifies an unwelcome trend which should worry Israel,” said a senior political source. Jerusalem is concerned that other European nations will follow Sweden and declare their intention to recognize a Palestinian state. ”
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4577618,00.html

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  3. // – I thought the most extreme conservative position was the one at the Fox News radio station but no, you just outdid them.

    I am not alone. Here is an article by

    “Dr. Steven Beutler is an infectious-disease specialist with more than 30 years’ experience. He has been chairman of infection control committees at several hospitals and is currently involved with Ebola preparedness at Redlands Community Hospital in California. He graduated from University of Chicago Medical School in 1977.”

    We Should Quarantine Everyone Coming From Countries With Ebola Outbreaks
    An infectious-disease specialist says the time for half-measures is over
    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119874/ebola-flight-ban-makes-sense-says-infectious-disease-doctor

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