We Require a Bioregional Hellenization Instead of an Homogeneous, Unrepresentative, Globalist, Elitist Cosmopolitanism
Castells en Tarragona, España
Dreamers of universalism tend to know very little of the repeated history of nightmares of depravities justified in its name. If they did, they would probably lie awake at night thinking about what to do about the nightmares that all empty cosmopolitan ideals create once released into the world and manipulated by imperialists--or invented and sponsored by them in the first place as conquest tools. Dreamers should wake up from the idea of this repeatedly toxic idea of a "Homogeneous World Culture." An empty placeless cosmopolitanism has been only a repeated facilitator of a dystopian degradative empire. Abstracted high ideals are useful to only high imperialism, and they encourage a rationalizing context in which an endless series of evil means are underwritten since they are claimed to justify the cosmopolitan ends, ends that never come though are postponed and delegitimated by their own hypocritical activities. To really be evil, one has to think that one's ideals are honorable and thus (the huge mistaken leap) all activities of evil are justified. Current globalist apologists like Habermas and Beck underwrite nothing more than the next unsustainable military repression. Their scholarship may be impeccable, though their farsighted ideals show them as nearsighted hacks, sponsored by psychopathic forces they fail to understand or prefer to avoid thinking about.
Instead, a Bioregional Hellenization is a better kind of global cultural ideal. First, this is because it is embedded in what most already want: a regionally representative and sustainable kind of place to live. People globally want a Bioregional Hellenization in their actions of 'blessed unrest.' Second, people globally even want a Bioregional Hellenization from the very fiber of their being, from the long-term regional cultural-genetic-and foodway mixtures in their bodies and cultures. Third, a Bioregional Hellenization is a better kind of global ideal because it is innately a form of check and balance against the dangers of placeless cosmopolitanism. This 'commons-politanism' can be built watershed by watershed in the world, and its innate polytopian reality is to be contrasted with the kind of desert mirages of placeless cosmopolitanism seen by those who destroy regionalisms for nothing more than desolations of a short lived empires. As Tacitus said, "To plunder, butcher, steal--these things they misname empire. They make a desolation and they call it peace." People chasing placeless cosmopolitanism are like those in dire thirst, mistakenly rushing deeper into the desert, fooled by a mirage that kills them the more they believe it. As Mark Twain said, "it is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Believers in any abstract cosmopolitanism are like that: difficult to convince they are being and have been fooled. However, in this short discussion, I will attempt just that.
This kind of tragic repetition of history--these mass exoduses of people abandoning their regions and rushing toward the desert to die in the service of a mirage--has a great chance of happening once more now, at least judged in historical retrospect. This is because on the whole most powerful historical actors prefer to be ignorant of the common tragic patterns they recreate. On the other hand, an equally common trend is the triumph of regional wisdom, as people begin to see the mirage for what it is and rush backward out of the desert. This is a plural cacophony of followers that reject as a mirage the lies of leaders marching toward placeless cosmopolitanism. This has repeatedly happened in world history as well (see below), and we can and should improve on it for durability. That is the point of the Bioregional State, the Ecological Reformation and Bioregional Hellenization: to codify what is to be done in response and in defense against these ongoing tragic waves of human self-delusion in service of a placeless cosmopolitanism.
A Bioregional Hellenization is the addition of multiple levels of regionally autonomous institutions for democratic and commons representation, for material commodity sustainability, for durable educational and cultural regional sustainability, and for local currency financial sustainability. This four-fold Ecological Reformation in a Bioregional Hellenization worldwide innately provides checks and balances against such runaway abstract ideas that have hardly served people well in the past since they have been used only by military conquerors to destroy the real vestiges of the common issues we all share: the desire for regional sustainability and representation, worldwide. These kind of open-ended global historical dynamics are reviewed below.
What began this discussion was that I was riled--riled like only one can be riled when you have much in common with a thinker though you differ on many small points. Only small points of disagreement between like minds seem to prickle sharper for their rarity. They go against what you thought was a common smooth grain shared between like minds. However, sometimes a tiny painful splinter rushes unexpectedly up into the moving hand or eye across the page. It seems to be at an angle so unexpected and dissonant, because the interruption of a trusting caress is always harsher than the total dissonance of another you never took into your confidence in the first place. The writer I am talking about is Manuel Castells.
I was reading his theoretical introduction to his ideas of a "network society." I could care less about the ideal of this HUGE Catastrophe (otherwise known as the Homogeneous, Unrepresentative, Globalist, Elitist Cosmopolitanism). This quote sparked my "interest" or flame perhaps:
"The Habermasian-Beckian project or a cosmopolitan culture to create a constitution for the citizens of the world, laying the foundations for democratic global governance [sic, nothing of this sort will ever exist--its an oxymoron to put these ideas together], identifies correctly the central cultural-institutional issue of the network society. (Habermas 1998; Beck, 2003). Unfortunately, this vision proposes the solution without being able to identify the process by which these protocols of communication could be created, given the fact that the cosmopolitan culture, according to empirical research, is present only in a very small part of the population, including in Europe (Norris, 2000). There is, indeed, no real European identity in the minds of most Europeans." (p. 39; in "Chapter 1: Informationalism, Networks, and the Network Society: A Theoretical Blueprint," The Network Society: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, 2004)That topic has been addressed by the bioregional state before: a stronger bioregional loyalty is savored strongly across Europe, across the world, and even in the deep interactions of our species-being (to use an antiquated Marxist term).
We all have a bioregional palm line, so to speak. It is in our past: that millennia-old empirical interaction of evanescent changing culture, biologically changing genes, and more stable backbones of physically different regional foodways, soils, and other ongoing material choices that both anchor and braid our ecologies, cultural choices, and genetics into a bioregional DNA. This genetic-bioregional-cultural 'triple helix DNA' in us all is best described by Nabhan in his Food, Genes, and Culture: Eating Right for Your Origins.
Such empirical symmetries are a topic only a few have fathomed: that most of us are homo bioregionalensis instead of a cosmopolitan and homeless homo sapiens.
We require a more realistic story of ourselves that a biologist's reductionism. This has been occurring at least from the start of our more settled agricultural populations in the past 10,000 years. Distinct chemical signatures of chosen foodways have built themselves into our bodies, in our bodies' blind and random attempt to find ways to metabolize as best they can given different regional situations instead of this being planned design.
Genetically, the majority of us are the regional product of a long genetic trial and error, and it is a mistake to ignore it because it is the key to health to fit ecologically instead of to fight against it.
It is in our present: the ones that metabolized best over time created such a triple-braided DNA, creating us as homo bioregionalensis. And it is in our future: if we are to have a future. The only stable future is to learn to respect the bioregional interactions of cultural variety, a non-consolidated commodity arrangement, and the ecological and market diversity that hold it in place. However, much of human history is the attempt to ignore repeatedly these wisdoms in the headlong rush to forget our origins in various larger states, empires, and cosmopolitan entities. These faiths in larger structures of humanity that malign our origins always have been temporary fevers of the brain that have harmed our bodies and our ecologies.
Nor indeed, alas, no real common human identity exists in the minds of most humanity despite much genetic overlap and despite common shared slight variations per bioregion as the 'commons-politanism' we share. However, and without irony, it is that bioregional diversity which should be the basis for our common(s) understanding: an understanding of our real grounded commonalities, and our real shared past, present and future. Our innate Bioregional Hellenization of the world and ourselves is a durable existential condition of humanity. This 'commons-politanism' should be a formal ideal to defend ourselves against the existential threats of various mirages described below.
The Occasional Amnesia, Repression, or Economic Shakeout of Our Bioregional Heritage--and Future
First, sometimes our innate bioregional world is punctuated by occasional amnesia--temporary faiths about larger abstract cosmopolitan or nomadic existences of the mind. These universalisms of the mind have always flowed like an ebb tide, back and forth. Sometimes they flow higher and wider in time and space, in larger mental conceptions of ourselves and projected futures yet always such monocultural projects like a mirage ever recede as they lead us into the arid deserts of the mind from whence they came, until what is left is a coterie of awakened survivors rushing back to the bioregion once more, conscious of what we have lost and neglected, whiles such abstract faiths and abstract future images are demoted. We are homo bioregionalensis instead of an abstract biological humanity, so we should change narratives to reflect that. We should stop expecting any ideals of placeless cosmopolitanism to be anything except a dead-end project, unless it is that aforementioned 'commons-politanism' wedded to recognizing that bioregional grain of our lives worldwide. In Toward a Bioregional State, it is called our required sense to mobilize on background in a "Bioregional Hellenization" in our lives: to take bioregional principles and recognize them as the only ecologically rational political economy for the future, since it has made us what we are in our genetic/health variations around the world. We share that bioregional diversity. When we forget it and move against it, we get sick bodily and ecologically.
Second, sometimes our innate bioregional world is punctuated by repression, i.e., without universalizing beliefs animating the change. Instead large militaries make fast work of divided and easily conquered multiple bioregions that rarely cooperated on any projects even though they have and could more regularly choose to do so. That would be an ideal kind of bioregional state rarely attempted in history, though with several examples or precedents to learn from for more durable improvement discussed below. However, instead of these collaborative bioregional options, an expanding empire may attempt to divide, to subvert or to co-opt the strong jurisdictional leadership powers of regionality in our cultural lives--ideologically and materially--to give a distant nomadic state elite fresh jurisdictional power, fresh wealth/taxation powers, and fresh extraction capacities. In other words, someone's foolish or psychopathic behavior for temporary glory in a jurisdictional alliance with such placeless military tyrants--whether for empire or for regional accommodation--tends to send humanity on a wild goose chase of supporting a military consolidation. This can kill the golden goose of bioregional security over time.
Within that second point, there is a third point that is the real tragedy. Sometimes various consolidation projects even if motivated by the best of cross-regional intentions ignore that this consolidation of jurisdiction may lead later to economic shakeout and crony state-level consolidation of the political economy over time by people more corrupt than them who follow them. This is something hardly driven by originating attitudes (case one) or by intentional consolidating behaviors (case two), or even likely conceived or planned at the outset. Instead, it is an ongoing systemic drift of so-called success: such larger scales of economic institutions built from market prices undercutting and bankrupting more regionally suited markets and competitions, related larger scales of land tenures and wealth with economic shakeout and from bankruptcies and debts consolidating land tenure and capital, and from the clientelistic consumptive scales of ever larger cities as sites of refugees of the former trends. Some even rationalize they are willingly going to larger cities instead of being pushed by the above factors as well eroding their other options for a short-term good life.
Therefore, more often than otherwise in comparative retrospect, such ongoing economic shakeout comes about by larger states encouraging a crony consolidation within them over time that comes to be defended as novel shifted principles of politics, cultures and material supply itself. This political cronyism and political primacy of developmental trends toward sponsoring and subsidizing short term consolidation is combined along with the innate consolidations of 'market economics' to yield increasingly unrepresentative and inefficient arrangements that cause ever more externalities and ever fewer choices, etc., in a feedback loop of sorts, that require and demand ever higher subsidizations or ever larger violent and repressive defenses of such political consolidations against ever larger groups experiencing the wider externalities of such relationships who want to change their politics, cultural hegemonies, and material relationships. However, the hegemony of a crony consolidated political economy is more likely than otherwise unable to course correct itself. This is because its policies to maintain and to extend further consolidation and further reduction of choice innately see their enemy as our very capacity to choose and to changing course. Therefore, short term policies may be undertaken that further distance the whole organization of political economy them from any representation or sustainability in the name of maintaining such an organizational systemic drift unchallenged and ever subsidized. In the process, political/civil and consumer material desires for choices are reduced and winnowed into forced clientelism to such large consolidated properties that become key to everyone's "survival" in the short term. However, this is only serving the purposes of ever larger supply-side managed short-run projects of further consolidations with greater externalities and greater bankrupting subsidizations attempting to maintain unchallenged that engrossed scaled organizational arrangement that hardly had economics as the source of its origins in the first place instead of just cronyism at root. In this way, the active reduction of choices--ideationally and materially--becomes the sick principle through which that consolidated and administrative clientelism is kept in place against public political and consumer demands by that ongoingly winnowed lack of options. Options may keep bubbling up from below regardless due to human inventiveness, and it is an open historical question whether there can remain in the long term a strong enough power to keep repressing them over time as people attempt to give themselves wider choices against such a toxic delimited arrangement in their lives.
Let us look environmentally now--at the ecological implications of ever growing attempts to shore up an unrepresentative and unsustainable political economic crony consolidation by subsidies, violence and reduction of choices intentionally (instead of this consolidation coming innately from markets and as a legitimate choice). This means ever larger biodiversity loss, regional cultural loss, and regional material market/diversity losses. If such economic shakeouts paint ourselves into a corner, then such cultural shakeouts and ecological shakeouts make it a triple corner (in the market sense of the term 'corner,' as well) of leaving only a tiny number of delimited species, cultures, and material commodity 'choices' (sic, so called) that serve ongoing consolidated wealth management and rent alone. Market competitions 'as ideology' become a strong appeal to legitimate and to distract from such growing non-market privatization and non-market consolidation. However, real markets are increasingly a materially extinct context given a few or little choices and an equal number of consolidated suppliers. People can come to exist in a winnowed desert of options, while statist ideologists distract and call it choice and freedom that has led to such consolidated commodity and organizational choices alone. Some people may even believe such propaganda, since in thee cultural shakeout and material choice shakeout, people may have been unexposed to any other cultural ideas of interpretation, and by material shakeout have been driven out of our heritage of different material uses and even memories of how to recover them.
All three issues tend to come together. A combination of the fever of abstract images of the future, delusions about the durability of military consolidations, and ongoing triple shakeout erosion (economic, cultural, and ecological/material options) of other living choices lead us toward self-selected collapse only. This may lead to elites turning on each other, fighting over the remains of such a crony edifice. This potential elite pact breakdown may lead toward an increasing martial and nepotistic context in a neofeudalized world of consolidated wealth, powerful and legally untouchable dynasties of recidivist psychopaths and militarists fighting for jurisdictional autonomy for themselves, fighting each other and revolutionary citizens themselves in their attempt to keep dominating an ever larger captive consumer and civic politics. This may mean an ever larger phenomena of urban cities and common shared consumption, instead of feudalization being equated as being such a rural place.
However, from within such divisions of crony elites, an opening for grassroots bioregional expressions begins to exist. It may be sponsored clientelistically by different elite factions despite themselves, as they are looking to maintain themselves factionally against each other and thus factions of elites increasingly may come to sponsor greater regionalized input into their faction to survive against other elite factions (that may be encouraged to do the same). Thus, all these different regionally sponsored leaderships once securely on one faction's or another's side (or even reforming lower-class militaries originally sponsored by such factional elites though now sick of them) may soon find that they as a group can reformulate their jurisdictional alliances against past elites now. They may seize the chance for themselves against divided and weakened universal elites, by developing more representative regional arrangements against them that cease to require them as leaderships at all.
So in such a divided elite context absorbed in their greed in picking up the last crumbs for their nepotistic selves, if they fail to seriously attempt to reestablish a novel stability, the abstract ideals of their past states and global empires may collapse into this unrepresentative and degradative crony arrangements of neofeudalism, past or present. This path choice tends to leave a large "dark age" in which many people have little cultural desire to believe in any of these wider state/cultural delusions anymore as required in their lives. People have been rendered immune to such false futures for a time. This path choice tends to leave a large "dark age" (or "bright age") in which ecologies recover along with bioregional cultural and material familiarity. So in many ways such a context of declining states and empires can be a bright future age since it is a context of both ecological and cultural regeneration and recovery on the rich compost of empires.
However, more regularly in retrospect, in such periods humanity snaps back into bioregional place only after such mistaken futures are attempted over and over in human and environmental history. It has been more of a default instead of a project in other words. I am suggesting with the Bioregional Hellenization we should make it a project. I am suggesting with the Bioregional State, it provides added thoughtful required checks and balances that were missing in the past, elements missing that encouraged such corruptions of the state into crony unrepresentative and degradative consolidations of political economy. I am suggesting in Ecological Reformation a four-fold reinvention of our social lives is required instead of only added state checks and balances being enough to get there. A future for durable democracy and sustainability is beyond simply thinking about state-level checks and balances, though involves thinking about cultural and regional checks and balances in education, in consumption, and in finance as well.
Without these, in comparative retrospect, we encourage repetitive tragic drift into crony consolidation, feudalization, degradation, and ever more repressive situations typically chosen to keep it in place.
However, after generations, lessons learned the hard way more by default and plan, may be easily forgotten in the next segment of a headlong rush into a mistaken future.
Another path would be such consolidations built on cross-regional alliances--against other militaries or against decayed elites. Such examples of more ideal bioregional states were like the Swiss Confederation fighting against the Holy Roman Empire, the 'golden' period of the early Athenian-led Greek city alliance against the Persians before they won and set up the greed of an Athenian empire over its allies that led into the Peloponnese Civil War destroying the undue greed of Athens, the Iroquois Confederation merging to fight off other groups, or the early United States merging to fight off the British Empire--before the U.S. Civil War ended that experiment.We should find ways of making this path more durable, because it is the only path that is a future without an ongoing tragedy. That more triumphant path is toward a Bioregional State, a Bioregional Hellenization, and an Ecological Reformation.
Back to the False Future of Cosmopolitanism, Now at a Global Scale
However, to the contrary of the claims of Castells, Habermas or Beck, any close encounters with these three kinds of cosmopolitanism at this global state of affairs would be a global tyranny instead of their "global democratic governance." You are unable to have a democratic globalization or a democratic world state, period. There are five interactive better options for a better future.
 Instead, multiple fluxing national states are a regime to keep for achieving three ideals for the future. First, a national state is a wide enough context for articulating democratic expression and improving it for a cross-bioregional framework, and thus is much better than bioregional autarky. A federated bioregionalism is better than secession for many rationales. Even if secession is a natural right of self-determination, that fails to mean that choosing it leads to better outcomes instead of a divide and conquer context more likely to fail entirely in the face of consolidated military consolidation.
 Second, a national state is a plural enough context allowing for changing fluxes of identity easily in communities over time, and,
 third, is a way to keep any sense of individual freedom that depends on plural national states to move defensively in and out of, looking for better options, instead of depending on single corruptible states to protect people.
 Fourth, true cosmopolitan ideals of universal human civil rights are a form of check and balance themselves. However, universal human civil rights are different and yet come from the senses of contextual individual freedoms, that themselves only come from a combination of that nation state plurality and an individual global freedom of movement and relocation in the context above. First, universal civil rights are unable to be supported by an intruding nation state or a globalist state. This is because of the corruptions in these ideals that this entails, mentioned above. For instance, how many sick cynical tyrannies have NATO, the US, and other countries of Europe created worldwide under the false pretext of invading for some other group's 'human rights violations'--even to the extent of merely pretending such events were occurring, or sometimes even horrifically creating or funding real humanitarian disasters or terrorism first in other countries just to have a pretext for their imperialist invasions later while falsely claiming to remove them instead of just create them by their own invading actions? All offensive war is destructive of universal human civil rights. Second, true cosmopolitan ideals of universal civil rights can be facilitated only by the contextual individual freedoms created by living in the context of the other three better options, above. So singular states or empires are unable to create or protect universal human civil rights since these are a cultural project, period, and only a context of plural national states and their contextual human freedoms maintain such a culture. Singular states or empires attempting to justify their actions by appeals to such cosmopolitanisms destroy them.
 This innately means that a global human freedom of movement is required. This falls somewhere inbetween being a principle of the true cosmopolitan ideals of universal human civil rights and the contextual individual freedoms (that catalyze greater contexts of the former). However, first, a global human freedom of movement fails to mean a singular global jurisdictional state will protect or project it, instead of innately erode it and manipulate it into its own forms of tyranny. Second, that global human freedom of movement hardly means that people should 'expect' that any local national state will respect such a right either. After all, such freedom of movement in and out of different jurisdictions depends on the plural national context between states, instead of depending on any singular national state either. Then how to encourage it, you might ask? Well, the best encouragement would be simply the ongoing plural national state contexts itself: vacating of tyrannical frameworks toward reassembling better arrangements, because of two interactive effects from that. First, like minds create novel areas of community toward such better and more representative ideals for themselves, as well as because in the inverse, second, the 'suction' of a loss of people (whether lower class labor ethnicities or minorities, or other groups) tends historically to force unrepresentative leadership to reconsider a change of their repressive policies, toward such better more representative ideals.
So, to summarize, what if there is a conflict between different national and/or bioregional community standards and such universal human civil rights? Then the national or bioregional community standards prevail, yet in a context in which people are allowed the freedoms of global international movement and vacating from such potentially local cultural tyrannies. Only this kind of 'voting with one's feet' to leave a tyrannical civil rights context is a tangible check and balance against it, and only that kind of mass flight from it may encourage contexts of internal reforms toward it and catalyze external social movements (ideational and geographical) toward it as well.
What if some people want to use the ideas of global freedom of movement to apply to commodities? No, freedoms of movement apply only to human beings instead of commodities. Different nations and bioregions have increasing priority to set their own higher localized standards on commodities and material issues, instead of these principles of freedom of movement capable of being enforced tyrannically from the outside (whether on people or on commodities). The latter is only a supply-side ecological tyranny.   
Thus national plurality is required to continue in the interests of an open future (instead of a closed one), in the interests of individual civil freedoms (that can only exist when multiple rule systems exist for individuals to choose and to travel freely among--particularly if one goes sour and repressive), and in the interests of regional representation and multi-ecological feedback. All three points would be demoted by a tyrannical world state.
Thus the bioreigonal state supports a form of nationalism though hardly a singular nationalism though the context of a plural nationalism as a check and balance against tyrannical projects of a world state that would innately curtail all three points above and be less optimal, or even a repetition of the tragedies of past cosmopolitan empires that are unsustainable. Why begin a doomed global cosmopolitanism?
Why create something that innately creates that triple tyranny? (Referenced above in the inverse, the triple tyranny many globalists want would be  the demotion of plural national states,  the demotion of universal civil rights and freedoms of movement,  and the demotion of capacity of national, regional, and any kind of ecological feedback against their unrepresentative, degradative global ecological tyranny. You see the globalists' growing global ecological tyranny enshrined in the global neofeudalism of frameworks of the GATT/WTO and various other current projects like the TTIP and TPP.
Thus enshrining a fluxing plurality of multiple nationalisms is required for an actual future into triumph for communities, environments, and individual freedoms, instead of a new world order's triple tyranny. Cosmopolitanism has always been an excuse for a triple tyranny historically, from Achamaenid Persia or the Roman Empire onward into the Roman Catholic Church's Empire, the Mongol Empire, the Venetian or Genoan Empires, the Spanish/Hapsburg Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the Dutch Empire, or the misnamed Pax Britannia, Pax Americana, mission civilisatrice, the Russified Empire of the USSR, or NATO. This includes the unelected cosmopolitans covering up widespread pedophilia and child rape of those driving the white tanks of the United Nations. This includes the misaligned green globalist movements that lack any sense of actual communities they are protecting instead of grandstanding and carbon-profiteering over. The Club of Rome is not your friend, it is your enemy humanity--one in a long line of similar sounding cosmopolitanisms designed to take you on a short ride to nowhere.
Castells thinks that this is only an "ancestral fear of the other". To the contrary, this is a pragmatic and real fear. Our ancestry is repeatedly inventing images of the cosmopolitan future that delude ourselves into justifying the worst of crimes at ever larger scales. Based on past history, all cosmopolitan futurisms encourage the worst of unrepresentative and degradative power relations, and thus they plant only the seed of their own failure in the three ways mentioned above. In every case, cosmopolitanism in the past (and the present, in faux green cosmopolitanism) has sold a false bill of goods for a crony unrepresentative and degradative arrangement in whatever ideology encourages the proper suspension of disbelief of the horrors unfolding in its name. All empty cosmopolitanism have left a depraved and sickening wake of destruction behind since 'the end justifies the means.'
So far, human and environmental history is a repeating tragedy with small highlights of triumph where multi-regional bioregional arrangements choose to cooperate against such cosmopolitan tyrants. Such cosmopolitan tyrants however tend to have refusal to acknowledge the horrific means they use to push the loftiest of interventions over the real communities and regions which have always been the only hopes for humanity.