Content advisory 18+ Imagine walking down the street in spring, dust sifting through the air, horns of impatient cars blasting, sad people rushing towards old buildings, tensions of all sorts smoldering in the air.
Imagine people fainting because of hydrogen sulphide in the atmosphere, and lamenting their choice to buy apartments in such a miasma.
Imagine your salary dropping down 50% two years ago, and 20% more today, with dramatic decrease in job offers and the collapse of the financial system.
Imagine that your home could be demolished in a year (well, maybe three or five years) - the flat you earned after working for 20 years in this country.
Imagine you could burn in a nuclear cloud because so-called authorities claimed the power to decide the fate of billions of people (well, sometimes millions).
Imagine a freezing winter, when most of the people in the world have never ever before experienced such gelid conditions, when the temperature drops below -4 Fahrenheit.
Imagine the country where it is a problem to use the software you prefer to chat with your friends.
Imagine that because of decisions made by other countries', your government forbids its own people from having access to the best services and products, forcing them instead to settle for the worst...
Imagine all that.
Luckily, there is no such a country in the world, right?)
Or maybe there is??
Actually, there are a number of these countries, and I have no intention of naming them here - a perceptive reader can name them on her (or his) own.
There are always decisions to make and actions to take. Decisions made by people. Their choice. The choice of the majority.
Here we come to the concept of the Empire, along with an inevitable process of degradation and ultimate collapse which every one of these Empires sooner or later experiences. Take, for example, the Persian Empire, or the Roman one. The grew up, flourished, and, finally, degraded to give room to the next generations, allowing them to grow on the ashes.
Those who believe that they live in a proper Empire should know one thing for sure: it will eventually degenerate, sooner or later. The Empire itself is an artificial construct, a mutant, combining something that may prefer to stay separated.
Moreover, this concept contradicts the way of a borderless world, as an Empire should control...oh, it is all about the Control. The future, whatever it will be, bright or as described by Peter Watts, will accept no limits and borders.
It is coming, it is in the air. All cryptocurrencies, all social networks, even Neuralink project - all of them erase borders, and it doesn't matter how hard the powers that be try to create walls, or curtains, or both. Even the spiraling, twirling movement of time goes up, creating a new world, with remote jobs and a worldwide net.
Distributed networks, tunnels, mid-orbit satellites… You can't stop the sun from shining (not now, at least).
Sure, there is a way...as Eric described in his recent post.
Hope we won't come there. Hope life will win.
One interesting fact, from my point of view, is that the European Union is a quasi-empire, which can give it the opportunity to survive, as it is already divided, yet unified.