Institution vs. Collaboration

Another great Ted-Talk. In 2005, Clay Shirky explained, that the communication cost is rapidly falling, thus making classic organisation-structures unnecessary in many cases as decentralized collaboration becomes very easy.

One quote that really got me thinking was his comparison with the invention of the printing press. 


"The printing press precipitated 200 years of chaos, moving from a world where the Catholic Church was the sort of organizing political force to the Treaty of Westphalia, when we finally knew what the new unit was: the nation state."


The talk is five years old, now, but we can see many organizations struggle as they lose importance. People share knowledge and resources. They quickly form groups with their own rules.


National laws are sometimes inadequate or irrelevant as people cooperate all over the globe. Governments are trying to filter and censor the internet. Could it be that there will be a successor to the nation-state? Maybe cooperation of citizens who choose to be part of a virtual nation?


You may argue that the nation-state is an improvement over the reign of the Catholic Church. But the nation-state is a very dangerous institution. Nations are powerful and can be abducted by evildoers. The relatively young nation-state of Germany is an example for that.

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