Friday, April 6, 2012

So, what kind of Polis are you having today?

I really can't see the continent-spanning empires lasting much longer, at least not in the format that we currently have with a centralized federal structure and subservient state and local structures.  It just doesn't make sense.  The energy need required to stitch such a ungainly contraption and keep it pointed in a direction (you will note, I did not have the temerity to use the term "right direction") is truly enormous and looking more and more fragile as the months and years pass by.

I have always thought that the US would fragment, I was almost certainly premature in the predictions that I made to Locutius et al in the early 1990's ( I thought that we would be fragmenting by 2012, though Locutius swears I said 2015).   I am very curious about what form the fragmentation will take.   So, let's take a crack at running the process though and getting some ideas about how things may (or may not) proceed.

The first stage of the process may consist of legal challenges to the Federal Government to the roles that it has grasped in the recent past (read here >1932 C.E.).  I am watching the health care debate with great interest.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why this one raised the folks ire on "government intrusion into people's personal lives"  when the Patriot act put it to shame.  But there is the possibility that it will be the peak of federal government power here in the US.

The party system here in the US does have analogies in the Europe of the Ancien Regime.  The Democratic Party more closely resembles a royal court.  With an absolutist monarch being replaced by a Federal government with overweening powers and nearly constant troubles with money.  The Republican party resembles the dukes and barons and counts that resisted the royal intrusion into their affairs, trying to keep the wealth and power in their own hands.  
We are looking at nothing more or less than a struggle for the way that government is structured in the US.  The democrats/blues are striving for centralization of state functions at the federal level to assure that a minimum of their desires for a new order are kept across the country.  The republicans/reds are striving to break the federal stranglehold on power and return to a less-federally dominated power structure.

What I find interesting is the means that the reds seem to be taking for the process.  They seem to be bent on creating an oligopoly instead of the confederacy that the hoi polloi in the mass movement seem to envision.  By stripping the federal government of powers, while maintaining taxes and funneling the money into corporate pockets, the end product appears to be headed toward a modern version of the four hundred rather than a return to the Articles of Confederation. 



Martin said...

Since you seem to have been around for awhile (like myself), I wonder whether you've heard of - or perhaps even read - The Nine Nations of North America (I think I've got the title right) and/or Ecotopia? Both were published in the 70's/early 80's and provided a look at the possibility of a dissolution of The Republic into smaller units.

I've carried a vision of Ecotopia around in my head since I first read it and have often thought - at times out loud - "...what if...". Then I sigh and just keep on keepin' on.

russell1200 said...

The Patriot Act did not take any money out of peoples pockets, while the Health Care Bill, in too obvious of a way did.

Nothing that the Republicans did under Bush W. indicates to me that they were very interested in reigning in the Federal Government- granted the Tea Party was not around yet.

There of course are many scenarios for fragmentation through collapse, but a political scenario is really tough. It may involve arguements that haven't even been started yet.

A just as likely scenario to my mind is that a State(s) passes laws that the Feds find odius. When the Feds send them a cease and desist, the State flips them the bird. At that point, depending on what the issue is, you might get all sorts of coersive strategies by the Feds.