Personally, I would like to see the abolition of the concept of "a country".
Why might a radical liberal want to abolish even the concept of a country? One part of the answer runs as follows.
In the late 1400s, humanists like Pico della Mirandola began to define humanity in terms of self-creation. We are distinctly human, and at the apex of existence, wrote Pico, because we are free to determine for ourselves our own being.
This argument implies, though, that anything which impedes "self-authorship" is a denial of our true humanity. And the list of such impediments is long.
Over time politics came to be directed toward the liberation or emancipation of people from impediments to self-authorship.
At first, much of the focus was on unchosen forms of authority. The authority of kings and priests (and later of fathers), which could not be individually contracted or assented to, was the primary target of early political modernism. The French philosopher Denis Diderot expressed such aims in the 1700s by declaring that:
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
The logic of liberal modernism, though, went far beyond the rejection of uncontracted forms of authority.
Whatever is important to us, but which exists through tradition or biology, implies a limitation to self-authorship. Therefore, liberal moderns have tended to reject the influence of our biological sex. They have commonly argued either that there is no naturally occurring masculinity or femininity, and that such qualities are merely social constructs, or else that we are influenced naturally by the fact of being born man or woman, but that this must be made not to matter.
Similarly, and here we get back to Brett, liberal moderns have come to view nationalism negatively as a restriction on the self-determining, autonomous individual.
The poet Shelley pushed the modern view as long ago as 1820 when he praised the coming "new man" as someone who would "make the world one brotherhood" and be:
Sceptreless, free, uncircumscribed, but man
Equal, unclassed, tribeless, nationless,
Exempt from awe, worship, degree, the king
over himself ...
For Shelley the aim is to be "uncircumscribed". He wants to be unrestricted, not only from the authority of kings (sceptreless) and churches (worship), but also from membership of a tribe or nation.
Why might he think that membership of a tribe or nation would restrict him? If the aim is to create our own self-being, then a national identity can be thought of as an impediment. We don't get to create for ourselves such an identity, as it's something we inherit (passed on to us as a long-standing tradition), and as it often involves a shared ancestry and kinship, which is a biological reality we don't determine ourselves.
So Brett is following a larger pattern of modernism in rejecting the very concept of countries. It's interesting, though, to read Brett's further development of the liberal idea. On his own website, Brett explains to us that he has a dream:
I dream of a time when medical technology allows us to transcend the notion of being human.
I dream of a time when there are "simple" and effective procedures exist, which are probably automated, to allow us to change any physical facet of our being that we choose. The notion of a third arm, green skin, multiple eyes or any host of body modifications is possible, doable and acceptable. To go further, features that we see in nature could be adapted and included: imagine having the ability to breathe underwater, to live and work in an undersea world, or to have the eyes or wings of a falcon?
But more than that, I dream of a time when our basic bipedal form, replete with somatotype and genetic heritage means nothing. I love the idea of a world where "humans" can come in any shape, size and form, from those who choose to live in a purely "conscious" form (i.e. non corporeal), to those who might augment their bodies beyond recognition with mechanical prostheses, "other parts" and who knows what else.
But most of all, I love the idea that shape and form means nothing to anyone as it's (potentially) only ever transitory.
But the changes need not be only physical ... I dream of a time when there are vast interpersonal information networks which are as ubiquitous as todays internet. I dream of a time when information flows so freely that the boundaries between people start to blur, and antiquated concepts such a countries no longer exist.
And of course, I dream of a society which supports all of this.
Here the liberal idea finally consumes itself. Our humanity itself is now identified as a restriction on the act of self-creation. It is now the fact of being human which we are to be liberated from. Our bodies and brains are held to limit us and therefore must be transcended.
What started out in the 1400s as an attempt to glorify the status of man ends up here as a dream of post-humanity.
I'm not alone in connecting an intellectual thread beginning in Renaissance humanism to the "transhumanism" of today. In the wikipedia entry on transhumanism we find one of the leading transhumanists claiming something similar:
In his 2005 article A History of Transhumanist Thought, transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrum locates transhumanism's roots in Renaissance humanism and the Enlightenment. For example, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola called on people to "sculpt their own statue".
The effort to deny or suppress gender difference, the call to abolish the concept of countries, the desire to overcome a human existence - all of these flow from the same intellectual presuppositions.
It's these intellectual presuppositions we need to challenge. I don't see much point in trying to rescue countries from a modernist like Brett, when he has already given up on the idea of corporeal existence.