Back in the early eighties, when I was publishing my newsletter The Tortoise Report, the thought crossed my mind that the crumbling American Empire might eventually break up into smaller pieces — similar to the path chosen by the Roman and British Empires.
When it comes to maintaining control over your subjects, bigness tends to be a handicap. The most recent example of this is the former Soviet Union. With its satellite countries biting at its ankles at an accelerating pace and its troops bogged down in Afghanistan, the bitter truth finally came to the surface: Notwithstanding its military might, Moscow couldn’t stop the disintegration of its empire.
When I first started thinking about the possibility of the U.S. breaking up into independent states or regions, it seemed to me that people in places like Wyoming and Utah would simply grow tired of supporting welfare states like California, New York, and Maryland.
But I now realize that it’s a lot more complicated than that. The problem with my vision was that it didn’t take into account that, through the magic of gradualism, all fifty states are doomed to ultimately yield to the disease of collectivism.
Some years back, a leading Russian political analyst, Professor Igor Panarin, predicted that the United States would eventually break up into six regions based along cultural lines, as follows:
- The Pacific Coast, with its growing Chinese population.
- The South, with its Hispanics.
- Texas, where independence movements are already on the rise.
- The Atlantic Coast, with its distinct and separate mentality.
- Five of the poorer central states, with their large Native American populations.
- The northern states, where the influence from Canada is very strong.
Panarin saw the breakup as a direct result of a total collapse of the U.S. economy. Further, he believes that China and Russia will replace the United States as “regulators of world markets.” And he may be on to something, because both of those countries have one big advantage over the United States: Their politicians don’t have to fight for votes!
Instead, they maintain power through the use of force. Though it’s a bit offensive to those of us who prefer persuasion over force, the truth is that Machiavelli’s advice on the subject of keeping the masses in line is remarkably effective. Dictatorships (and to a great extent Russia is back in that mode) violate the rights of their citizens, repress free speech, and can be brutally harsh in meting out punishment.
Hmm … come to think of it, that sounds a bit like the United States, a country that routinely violates the rights of its citizens and is moving rapidly toward the elimination of free speech (i.e., the elimination of conservative and libertarian free speech). But, in all fairness, it’s not yet nearly as harsh as countries like Russia and China when it comes to crushing dissent.
In any event, I agree with Professor Panarin that the U.S. economy has barely begun its collapse, and that there is no way it can sustain the government’s insane fiscal policies. Regardless of whether we have a deflationary or inflationary collapse (or both!), millions of folks are certain to become downright hostile toward Washington as their standard of living continues to decline.
And if that hostility leads to “civil disobedience,” a dictatorship could be the government’s only way of maintaining control. But even if that should happen, I doubt it would last very long. The U.S. government is too much of a clumsy giant to maintain authoritarian control for very long, because there are still too many Americans who take Patrick Henry’s words literally.
The reality is that no one knows for certain how things are going to play out in the coming years, but I, too, believe there’s a real possibility that the United States could eventually break up into a number of independent states or regions. Let’s face it, most Oklahomans are as different from Californians as the Kurds are from the citizens in Baghdad.
The primary reason Iraq has been able to force the Kurds to remain under its control is because of its small geographical area (roughly twice the size of Idaho) and its relatively small population (about 28 million). And, of course, it helps to have the freedom-loving U.S. and other Western countries insist that the Kurds not be set free.
Remember that paragon of wisdom, Rodney King, who once asked, “Why can’t we all just get along?” The answer is because thousands of years of human history have clearly demonstrated that people of different cultures don’t particularly like to be around each other.
I said cultures, not colors. In this day and age, I believe a majority of people don’t care much about skin color. But they do care about the social and cultural mores of their neighbors. The fact is that diversity, contrary to the propaganda drumbeat of the globalists, is not a strength; it’s weakness. Which brings me back to a possible breakup of the U.S.
If it should occur, I don’t see it happening along the lines Professor Panarin suggests. I believe many states would secede individually, and a number of them would work to weed out the evils of big government and return to Jeffersonian principles of government.
In other words, ideology would be the driving force behind such a breakup. Which would probably make Panarin’s view accurate in some respects — e.g., on ideological grounds, it might be convenient for such states as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine to stick together in the Northeast, and California, Oregon, and Washington to form a coalition of some kind on the Left Coast.
To paraphrase the signers of that long-ago-forgotten document, the Declaration of Independence: It is the right of the people to alter or abolish the government and institute new government. It is not only their right, but their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.
Of course, Rodney King’s thinking was correct — it would be much simpler if we could all just get along. But based on the hatred and violence the Radical Left has displayed of late, what odds do you think Las Vegas bookmakers would give on that ever becoming reality?