I’m wondering, whether a completely different approach to structuring governments would be possible.

To me it seems that most civil wars are caused by the fact that ethnic group A gets suppressed by ethnic group B (who is currently in power), or by the feeling by ethnic group C that it is underrepresented in the the nation. Ultimately, this problem is caused as governments automatically rule over territories, and not over social groups. So if you live on “my land” then you’re under my jurisdiction, even if you “don’t want to belong to me”.

Would it not be possible to install another type of government, where you’re under the jurisdiction of a certain group (which could be a tribe or an ethnic group) but this jurisdictional unit is not per se automatically linked to a geographical area?

Why does a nation need a well-defined territory?

Groups of people agreeing on certain ethical values or sharing a certain heritage are a very real and concrete things. But borders between nations seem so completely arbitrary. Why does so much of my life depend on which side of some line I’m on?

I could pay my taxes to “my nation” wherever I live. Then, to use a service which belongs to another group me or my nation would have to pay the other nation who constructed the service. Some mechanism would be needed to ensure a certain solidarity between the groups/nations, to help out the weak groups/nations. Maybe certain criminal laws would have to be universal, but other “non-local” laws, such as tax law, could be defined by each group.

One of the problems I could see would involve one large (or rather rich) group buying all the world’s property. So then we’re again back to the problem that land causes conflict.

It’s a tough problem, but I still consider it worthwhile thinking about alternative organizational structures, as this would have the potential to solve so many conflicts in the world (e.g., the current crisis in Kenya or the tensions in the Kurdish regions).

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