Some scholars, like Myoshi, have argued that we are in many
important ways living in a more mobile world where transient actors experience greater freedoms and decreased loyalties. Such a frame work implies a substantial decline in the significance of traditional notions of borders and the nation-state. In the field of education William Brody, the President of Johns Hopkins University, sees opportunities and constraints as knowledge and services become less connected to nation-states and physical sites. How one views the world therefore affects how one anticipates the future. This essay will examine Myoshi's suggestion that the nation-state has declined in important ways; in addition, it will discuss the future implications for the future development of media systems in the Asia-Pacific.
As an initial matter, while conceding that Myoshi characterizes the modern world as less national and more ethnically-oriented, he does not state flatly that the nation-state is non-existent or wholly irrelevant; the specific problem, in his view, that "we face now is how to understand today's global configuration of power and culture that is both similar and different vis--vis the historical-colonial paradigm" (1993: 727). This new global configuration is traced from colonization to decolonization to the modern setting. It is ironic that Myoshi refers to the decline of the nation-state in the article's title. This is ironic because the nation-state is also characterized as a myth created and perpetuated by major western powers and one must reconcile whether the decline to which Myoshi refers is to a decline in the influence of an actual nation-state or a decrease in the effectiveness or the legitimacy of the nation-state myth. A careful reading suggests that it is the myth that is in decline.
This conclusion is the most plausible for several reasons. First, Myoshi suggest that the goals and the powers have over time been rather consistent. What has changed, mostly, has been the proffered justification for engaging in exploitive behavior. The world has evolved, for instance, from the War on Communism to the War on Terrorism. The world has evolved from colonization to globalization. Labels and slogans change, but the pursuits and the consequences do not. Indeed, referring to a decolonized globe, Myoshi sees little change in terms of consequences for the exploited and the powerless, arguing that the nation-state was always a western-imposed "cartographic unit" (1993: 729), a "counterfeit reproduction" of the colonizer's own administrative structure (1993: 730), and, in effect, a contrived and disingenuous creation. Second, Myoshi argues that with the end of formal colonialism new myths and contrivances have been manufactured by capitalist powers. One set of myths has been swept under the rug and another risen to accomplish the same objectives. Third, and persuasively, Myoshi demonstrates how western notions of the nation-state and nationality conflict significantly with more local notions related to ethnicity and ethnic identity. People tend to align themselves more along ethnic lines than national identity and this suggests that Myoshi may be correct of both counts: that the