Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 3No. 2


The End of Sovereignty

 Thomas Martin

Abstract It becomes more apparent every day that the traditional concept of sovereignty, which has dominated our view of nation—states and politics for four hundred years, is on its way out Some observers fear this development as an invitation to chaos Others welcome it as a harbinger of anarchy. Classical liberalism reveals the essential flaw in the theory by proposing that it is possible for the ruled to be the rulers—a paradox to which anarchists reply that true democracy is not accomplished by the transfer of power from one ‘sovereign ‘to another, but by the elimination of power itself. Sovereignty is destructive to human society and peace, to the natural environment and to individual freedom. As it disintegrates, we can begin to see its origins, structure and consequences with a new clarity, and we can begin to think about alternative ways of ordering society and politics.