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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Starobin: Divided We Stand

Please read this article from the 6/13 edition of the WSJ.


...Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.

There might be an austere Republic of New England, with a natural strength in higher education and technology; a Caribbean-flavored city-state Republic of Greater Miami, with an anchor in the Latin American economy; and maybe even a Republic of Las Vegas with unfettered license to pursue its ambitions as a global gambling, entertainment and conventioneer destination. California? America’s broke, ill-governed and way-too-big nation-like state might be saved, truly saved, not by an emergency federal bailout, but by a merciful carve-up into a trio of republics that would rely on their own ingenuity in making their connections to the wider world. And while we’re at it, let’s make this project bi-national—economic logic suggests a natural multilingual combination between Greater San Diego and Mexico’s Northern Baja, and, to the Pacific north, between Seattle and Vancouver in a megaregion already dubbed “Cascadia” by economic cartographers.

Devolved America is a vision faithful both to certain postindustrial realities as well as to the pluralistic heart of the American political tradition—a tradition that has been betrayed by the creeping centralization of power in Washington over the decades but may yet reassert itself as an animating spirit for the future...

Interesting times, these.


Blogger Ed Rasimus said...

Might have to dust off the Articles of Confederation in that case--that's the form of government being described, a confederation.

June 18, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that would be absolutely fantastic on so many levels.

June 19, 2009 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger pdxr13 said...

"Cascadia" is the region bounded by the Cascade Mountain Range to the East, Pacific Ocean to the West, Canadian border to the north, and *at least* as far South as Grants Pass. NorCal (the State of Jefferson) may want to be part of Cascadia, and culturally, they would be welcome.

The Inland Empire with the capitol at Spokane spans from the Snoqualmie Pass (interstate 5) East to Montana, South to Nevada, and to the Canadian border. The culture of Eastern Washington/Eastern Oregon/Idaho/Western Montana are almost seamless in their rural ranch/farm/extraction/small mfg. economy, and stand in distinct contrast to the Eugene/Portland/Seattle Axis of old-hippie/high-tech socialism.

As a former resident of Seattle and current resident of Portland, I thank the founders of our States for including geographic and political diversity to keep our cities from becoming Chicago or NYC on the Left Coast. Look at what happened to formerly-free SFO.

Only the Federal Government can stop this break-up. But, they won't, because it would require them to voluntarily diminish their power to keep some. Instead, they will lose all, while we lose the useful functions of a central government (and how many dead?).

Who gets the nukes, bases, posts, ports, dams (like those sweet BPA dams all up the Snake and Columbia), transmission lines, pipelines, formerly-USDA-managed properties, water rights, etc.

Wars have been fought over much less. Some new States/Regions/Confed's will be stronger than their neighbors. People are still the same.


June 20, 2009 at 12:41 AM  

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