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Bye, Bye, Miss American Empire | Orion magazine

In North America, Uncategorized on August 13, 2007 at 2:03 am

The devolution wagon is once again on her way. Nobody knows when she will arrive, but she wont be looking back. South Carolina is on her way.

“Secession is the next radical idea poised to enter mainstream discourse—or at least the realm of the conceivable. You can’t bloat a modest republic into a crapulent empire without sparking one hell of a centrifugal reaction. And the prospect of breaking away from a union once consecrated to liberty and justice but now degenerating into imperial putrefaction will only grow in appeal as we go marching with our Patriot Acts and National Security Strategies through Iraq, Iran, and all the frightful signposts on our road to nowhere”.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

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Frank Bryan: The Case for Vermont’s Secession

In North America, Uncategorized on August 13, 2007 at 1:23 am

Frank Bryan is a Vermonter who wrote a book on his home state’s peculiar institution, the town meeting, entitled Real Democracy. The following essay appears in projectalberta.com.

Over the course of the twentieth century the United States were replaced by a confederation of special interests. Indeed, at the center America re­sembles a League of Interests more than it does a nation. Loyalty, resources, policy, passion and even principle—the elements that comprise the public weal—are now magnetized and drawn not to the commonwealth but to the iron pegs of special interests that have been driven deep into the heart of the republic.

 

Consequently, the American national government is imploding. In many respects this is a worldwide phenomenon. The age of nation-states is ending. In my recent book Real Democracy I put it this way:
With nationalist structures on the wane, new smaller unions (often bio-regional) are emerging. The work of nation-states will shift toward their roles as part of larger, transnational structures, and their attention will be siphoned away from the micromanagement of their own societies. In this vacuum lies the future of democracy.

 

The intellectual infrastructure for this dynamic is not prevailing. But it is ascendant. Some of the most respected political scientists in America, like Robert Dahl (as early as 1973), Daniel Bell, and Alan Ehrenhalt, are among those credited with its advancement. The idea is that the work of government should be spread out and thus become more democratic. We must decentralize, deregulate, and reim­power, not under the assumption that this will mean less government, but under the knowledge that it will spawn a more participatory politics and a thicker, stronger, more democratic governance. This vision is touted, for instance, by Harvard’s Robert Putnam.

 

To achieve this vision, the world desperately needs a nation with the democratic infrastructure and requisite resources to lead a peaceful transition away from the quest for empire and toward a global union on the principles of peace, justice, and equality—not a global government but a federation satisfied with insuring that within its protective cocoon a seething beehive of diversity, ingenuity, and (especially) a fundamental variety of governance structures and public policies will prevail.

 

At its best America could and should be that nation. But America is not now at its best and it hasn’t been for some time. The problem we face is much deeper than George Bush and the war in Iraq; if our passion and commitment is fired only by that furnace, we are doomed. America’s problem is as much a fault of the liberals as it is the conservatives. It is as much a fault of the Democrats as it is the Republicans. The problem is that we have systematically undermined the natural homelands where citizens are born, raised, and trained in the art of governance, and with them has gone our democracy. The current buzzword for this lost capacity is social capital, but whatever you call it the result is the same: a continental monolith uncontrolled by its own citizens.
Over the course of the twentieth century the United States were replaced by a confederation of special interests. Indeed, at the center America re­sembles a League of Interests more than it does a nation. Loyalty, resources, policy, passion and even principle—the elements that comprise the public weal—are now magnetized and drawn not to the commonwealth but to the iron pegs of special interests that have been driven deep into the heart of the republic.

 

Consequently, the American national government is imploding. In many respects this is a worldwide phenomenon. The age of nation-states is ending. In my recent book Real Democracy I put it this way:
With nationalist structures on the wane, new smaller unions (often bio-regional) are emerging. The work of nation-states will shift toward their roles as part of larger, transnational structures, and their attention will be siphoned away from the micromanagement of their own societies. In this vacuum lies the future of democracy.

 

The intellectual infrastructure for this dynamic is not prevailing. But it is ascendant. Some of the most respected political scientists in America, like Robert Dahl (as early as 1973), Daniel Bell, and Alan Ehrenhalt, are among those credited with its advancement. The idea is that the work of government should be spread out and thus become more democratic. We must decentralize, deregulate, and reim­power, not under the assumption that this will mean less government, but under the knowledge that it will spawn a more participatory politics and a thicker, stronger, more democratic governance. This vision is touted, for instance, by Harvard’s Robert Putnam.

 

To achieve this vision, the world desperately needs a nation with the democratic infrastructure and requisite resources to lead a peaceful transition away from the quest for empire and toward a global union on the principles of peace, justice, and equality—not a global government but a federation satisfied with insuring that within its protective cocoon a seething beehive of diversity, ingenuity, and (especially) a fundamental variety of governance structures and public policies will prevail.

 

At its best America could and should be that nation. But America is not now at its best and it hasn’t been for some time. The problem we face is much deeper than George Bush and the war in Iraq; if our passion and commitment is fired only by that furnace, we are doomed. America’s problem is as much a fault of the liberals as it is the conservatives. It is as much a fault of the Democrats as it is the Republicans. The problem is that we have systematically undermined the natural homelands where citizens are born, raised, and trained in the art of governance, and with them has gone our democracy. The current buzzword for this lost capacity is social capital, but whatever you call it the result is the same: a continental monolith uncontrolled by its own citizens.

 

Thus it is the imperialism of Washington inward against its own nation that must be stopped before America can be restored as the planet’s best hope for a just and peaceful world. The problem is not that we don’t know how to lead the world toward democracy; the problem is that we don’t know how to lead ourselves. We don’t even trust ourselves to let ourselves lead ourselves. We have destroyed our own democracy. By what logic can we now argue that we are intellectually and morally equipped to “export” democracy to other regions of the world? Export what democracy?

 

Continued at freealberta.com

SOUTH CAROLINA LEAGUE OF THE SOUTH φ

 

An Eye on the Gulf: Forward Vision by Mike Vine

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2007 at 2:15 am

South Carolina is destined to be a free and prosperous country. With four million of the best people on earth our future looks bright.

No, South Carolina doesn’t have oil. That’s what super tankers are for.

When it comes to governments, small is better in more ways than one.

An Eye on the Gulf | Aug 02nd 2007

Take a close look at the Persian Gulf. Which states are growing, and which are failing? What I’ve noticed is that the small city-states are outpacing the large nation-states in most regards. Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and glistening Dubai have all managed to pursue quasi-free market policies and allow relatively open societies while neighbors such as Iran wallow in theocratic authoritarianism. Full disclosure: this discussion has to be couched in the reality that no government in the Middle East is close to ‘limited.’ The city-states praised herein practice extreme state capitalism. Of course, in this regard they are not that different than the self-righteous Western governments.

Read more:

An Eye on the Gulf « Forward Vision by Mike Vine

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