State, sovereignty, law and economics
in the era of globalization




Taken from my lectures as a Teaching Fellow in International Law, these reflections highlight how State sovereignty and International Law are profoundly influenced by globalization, economic integration and digital technologies, raising fundamental questions about global governance, State autonomy and the adaptation of legal structures to new economic and technological realities.


Part IV

Hegel’s political legacy


The titanic struggle between the Lord and the Servant, interpreted through the Marxist lens, highlights the parallel between the feudal lord and the capitalist master. Just as the feudal lord appropriates the products of the Servant’s labour by consuming them directly, the capitalist master strips away the material labour of the worker, converting it into the abstract form of surplus value, the source of his profit. Consequently, the entrepreneur emerges as the adversary of community fabric and its ethical closeness, introducing the cold distance of the abstraction of exchange value.
This analysis overlooks the fact that every trend toward a new feudalism, observable in every projection that privileges the tangible in an era dominated by the abstract, is inherently anachronistic. It presupposes a return to borders in a boundless age, to land in the epoch of space, reinstating demarcations in a universe devoid of constant reference points.
The contemporary reaction to globalization, which inclines towards the recovery of national and community identity, the rediscovery of ethical authenticity devoid of external comparisons, the valorisation of the tangible devoid of commercial exchanges, and of relations devoid of political commitment, reflects a strong political inclination. In this context of total mobilization, the opposition to globalism does not offer a path to emancipation but rather anticipates the birth of new dominators who, exploiting abstraction, leave the current and future Servants to fight for a soil and an existence unalienated: 1) a soil made unproductive not by domination, but by the obsolescence of a thought that seeks legitimacy exclusively in the land; 2) an aspiration to non-alienation that, at the heart of the system, highlights a theft, the alienation of real labour for the gain of capital.
The challenge of globalization cannot be addressed by simply opposing and attempting to reverse positions in the name of values, since even values fit into the logic of the same domain being critiqued. Capitalism is based not so much on the exchange value and the importance of the consumer but on the remuneration of risk and the capacity for entrepreneurial initiative.
The real dynamic between State and market lies in the mutuality of services, a relationship that encompasses the economic, legal, and relational. Contrary to the isolation of the subject theorized by neoclassical economics, the actors in the enterprise are those who enter into a relationship of mutual openness in the market. And on this particular point, the philosophical debate on the relationship between Lord and Servant has much more to explore.
The renewal of the Hegelian conflict between the dominant and the subaltern manifests in the contrast between mobile and globalized individuals and those static, confined to a State or territory. On one side are the Lords who can choose the legal conditions most advantageous to them, on the other are the Servants, anchored to a territory, who therefore suffer increased taxation by impoverished States.
Hegel had already interpreted this conflict as a confrontation between the abstract and the tangible: the Lord, having at his disposal money and language, dispenses with the concreteness of things, substituting them with symbols, just as money does. Instead, the Servant, devoid of substance, possesses only a language and a dialect, incapable of communicating on a universal scale. While the Servants remain anonymous and without public recognition, the Lord, not even needing a surname, is universally recognized.
Money and language emerge from the willingness to risk physical presence, including one’s life. This courage characterizes the entrepreneurial bourgeoisie, admired by Hegel, who celebrates the maritime peoples pioneering in risky trade, such as the Dutch, the English, and the future nation of the United States of America, born from a sea journey. Hegel also admires the Revolution for its capacity to form a state of Servants emancipated from feudal subjection through enterprise rather than arms, introducing intelligence (Geist) into the traditional economy, tied to the land and agriculture. The State thus becomes an expression of this intelligence, overcoming the individualism of particular interests.
Hegel’s reflection on politics and law, filtered through Marxism, identifies the Lord as the master of capital and the Servant as the worker, reduced to a new serf by economic exploitation. However, according to Hegel, emancipation does not occur by replacing the Servant with the Master, a move that historically has generated new Masters, but by breaking the determinism of Marxism through the unpredictability of entrepreneurial initiative. In this perspective, the market reveals itself not as a mere arena of exploitation but as a space where the abstraction of finance can expand the entrepreneurial capacities and social wealth, overcoming the predation of the globalized economy.
Finally, globalization should not be seen merely as a predatory dynamic but rather as the stage on which such a dynamic unfolds, serving as the means through which the predatory action manifests and nourishes itself. The war of techno-finance is not fought through traditional conflicts between States but rather through strategies that exploit States for personal advantages, operations that go beyond traditional territorial boundaries, acting in a parallel cybernetic dimension, without the need for physical movements or advanced armaments.





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