Joe Brewer: Global Revolution in Alternate Reality? - by Kevin Carson (p2pfoundation)
Back in the late ’90s, cyberpunk writer Neal Stephenson introduced the concept of “phyles” in The Diamond Age. Phyles filled the void left after encryped commerce and digital currencies had deprived the Westphalian nation-state of most of its revenues, and most of the world’s states were either substantially hollowed out or had collapsed altogether into Balkanized collections of city-states. The phyle was a distributed, non-geographically-based, global civil society, providing — much like the medieval guilds at the height of their vigor — a range of support platforms for its members: reputational rating systems and quality certification, cooperative buying and marketing, assorted benefits like health and unemployment insurance, legal and security services, encrypted currencies and virtual marketplaces, and so forth.