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The cultural project of nationalism embraces modem technology—the ability to broadcast at a distance the resonant symbols of power and purpose, permitting governments to address citizens remote from the center and detached from the state's administrative representatives. The creed of shared burden and ambitions, the exhortations of a charismatic leader, the iconography of flag and battle, the claim of danger and challenge—the central symbols of nationalism—are brought forward through technology.
But the new technology of the Internet allows a more whimsical speculation for the utopians among us. If a liberal constitutional state depends on shared commitment and a common political project, can this be negotiated through the Internet even among individuals who live apart? If there is telecommuting in our working lives, could there be telegovernment in our political lives? If the requirement of democracy is the determination of a general will, can't this be done by Cyber-balloting? Can a state be virtual? Must it be located anywhere at all besides Cyberspace?
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