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Myth & Revival of National Security — Anyone?

Under the umbrella of cybersecurity, it has become more and more common and accepted to discuss national security and indeed push forward the concept of nationalism. Research around the globe is moving the attention towards state security, highlighting its importance and sometimes even discussing its diminishing in a tone that indicates sympathy, like a loved one was sick and needed urgent treatment. Yet these tones rarely seem to recall what kind of consequences the past world wars did have in the terms of nationalism. Under the umbrella of cybersecurity, the old memories and connotations dissolve and the motive for security move away from people to the state. What is the state afraid of? Is the question existential, and if so, is it really because of cybersecurity, or is cybersecurity still just an innocent catalyst while the raising nationalism as an unintended consequence?

Surely there are issues around global economics that require some concept of securing actor and the people need to be able to get on with their life even when much of the transactions did move online. However, there is little to none reasoning to assume that it was inevitable and required to secure the state as such. In fact, very few points in the world indicate that the present form of governance and international order was nothing permanent. It would be foolish to assume that this was the case either. Still, much of cybersecurity research and literature discuss how to build safeguards for the state as a prerequisite for the wealth and indeed the life as whole for the people. This kind of methodological nationalism is getting a foothold in the science and society, and getting reflected or inspired from the casual rising nationalism. Yet on the global scale and on the regional level, new institutions, castles and spheres of influence are emerging. People across the globe are identifying themselves more and more with issues and things which are not born of, managed by or controlled by the legacy nation. Of course, in the halls of power, old caliphates are worrying about what is happening and how to get the old authority and obedience back. What could be the more appealing case for them to start the fight than Facebook, Network Blocks, and indeed domain names and numbers? Then somebody comes up with the concept of cybersecurity. Cyber comes from the Greek language. Yes, the Greek which becoming more and more to be a confrontational proxy force between the caliphates Merkel and Putin. Cyber means to govern. So cybersecurity is actually about Security of Governance, if not even has turned someone’s head to Security of the Nation. Really, that is what can be read from the literature but also from the recent press. And the European Union is collapsing to the hands of nationalists, closing borders and pushing up national pride. They do this perhaps because they are afraid. Afraid of what? About their very own existence, as they feel — have been thought to feel — that their very existence is dependent on the State. Through systems like pension, wages and state-run healthcare, people across the continent have grown to be dependent on the state — an unintended and shameful consequence of the industrialisation. Now, as the state is losing its significance on the global level, and as various threats are appearing, it is only natural for people to turn back to the old concept of nationalism from which they think they will get the security, healthcare, food and pension. However, most probably they never will. Except if they put their eyes on the new emerging power structures, and are able to give up from the past.

“There is ongoing re-arrangement of power in the world” — said one freelancer journalist recently. Various parties are endowing fear and terror on the people, in order to gain their control or cause chaos. What can ordinary people do? Resist the fear appeal framework from targeting themselves. An integral part of the global war is the terror, imposed from nation-states as well as from emerging institutions. Yet, deep in their heart people know that they can resist the fear and construct the necessary security for their surroundings.



Kristo Helasvuo, Guest Author.

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