It’s 20 years ago that Bruce Sterling drew a connection between ↑cyberpunk in the nineties and Jules Verne: ‘↑Captain Nemo was a technical anarcho-terrorist.’ (Sterling 1991: 39) By chance last night I stumbled over a passage in Verne’s ‘↓20,000 leagues under the sea‘ I had marked some time. It is part of a conversation between Ned Land [picture Kirk Douglas] and Professor Arronax. Together with Arronax’ trusty servant Conseil they in effect are prisoners aboard Nemo’s submarine ‘Nautilus’ and now speculate about their jailors’ origin:
“My opinion is formed,” replied Ned Land, sharply.
“They are rascals.”
“Good! and from what country?”
“From the land of rogues!”
“My brave Ned, that country is not clearly indicated on the map of the world; but I admit that the nationality of the two strangers is hard to determine. Neither English, French, nor German, that is quite certain. However, I am inclined to think that the commander and his companion were born in low latitudes. There is southern blood in them. [...]” (Verne 1870: chpt. VIII)
Is this where the concept ‘↑rogue states‘ has its roots?