Saturday, March 10, 2018


The US is an assembled country.

Until I ran across a reference in a "tweet", I hadn't thought about a new civil war in America, though I had considered whether it might be wise to divide into "eco-territories," esp. to keep the coasts from dominating the mid-continent.   

I googled and this is a list of the first "page" I got from them.  (You know, of course, that if you google or I google on a different day or from a different computer, I'll get a different list -- which is why I'm posting this.  There's a good deal of sameness in these articles, which I'll consider after you've had a chance to read them as I did.)

The first thing I notice is that these writers are all leaving out much of America in their focus on political division.  That is, nowhere is there a mention of Native American reservations, which are nations within nations with varying motivation to rebel or diverge.  Thinking about rezzes and tribes means going to the heart of the issue of sovereignty, a discussion which is relatively subdued in the States but is on fire in Western and Northern Canada, kindled by energy pipelines that cross borders.  The consequences for the people who live close by these resource projects are major, whether they are dramatic oil-spills or the gradual erosion of health by toxins and decimation of animals by interrupting their migrations and birthing grounds.

To bigshot fat cats who live in major cities when they aren’t on their tropical estates, no one lives in those wide seemingly empty spaces and, if they object, they have no power anyway.  This is no longer true in a time of video and internet.  The power of “seeing,”  empowerment by witnessing and testifying, have made Inuit grandmothers more potent than guns.

The other aspect of the internet is that it has disrupted the assumption that governance is a matter of territory and that no governance can be achieved without drawing boundaries.  In fact, the autochthonous peoples of the planet have been making common cause, even across oceans.  One of the articles above talks about WWIII starting from the secession or capture of Hawaii, which has been quite active with continental language recovery programs among tribes.  A network with no single capitol is a new kind of nation.

If governance is defined by boundaries, edges, in another sense it is defined by distribution of resources, esp. food.  This is why infrastructure is so crucial but I don’t see it mentioned in these essays.  If states were motivated to harden their borders, then what happens to the grain shipments to the planet?  How do we get fruits and vegetables in Montana where the growing season is 8-10 weeks?

Interpenetrating loyalties have been disruptions in the past, but their diasporas — if challenged hard — can rise up in unity if the issue is vital enough.  One of the most potent (!) is sexual.  As a nation we seem to shrug off powerful men who force and attract sex as a demonstration of their entitlement, until suddenly we don’t.  Just where the tipping point is seems to be coming closer.  We tolerated JFK, we sort of tolerated Bill Clinton, we elected Trump, but . . . now #MeToo draws the line lap-tight. 

Worse is being denied sex education, contraception, abortion, and all the family safety nets necessary now that legal marriage has come uncoupled from fertility and sex.  In fact, it could be argued that the deadly stigmatization of unwed mothers has dissipated, their children are as entitled as any others, and that sex has been totally redefined as decriminalized, no longer hidden, not confined to a male/female pair or any pair at all.  The system of entitlement as proof of power, the fantasy of droit du seigneur that some corporate heads, teaching masters, and celebrated artists seem to assume, is passé.

Actual armed force, such as police, military bodies, citizen militias, and underground organized criminals are fancied by malcontents as a spectacle of rebellion full of explosions and car chases.  In a world where a small drone can carry a bomb specifically to your house, or an innocent stroller can pass by, giving you a quick little injection with the tip of their umbrella that leaves you sprawled on a park bench — deadly action is quite different.  Far more specific, risk-free, and undetectable.

All accurate targeting needs is a GPS, which is signalled by one’s ever present cell-phone.  But the other thing they need is the satellite infrastructure that is orbiting the planet and that is another reason for reliable governance.  Because gathering up money and re-deploying it on behalf of everyone is another key reason for government.  We need more attention to the criminality of hoarding money.  As we challenge boundaries drawn by nations, we should challenge money devised by nations.  There must be better systems than IOU’s and gambling on futures.

What some of these essay say is that the whole big picture has changed since the most recent civil wars.  Then why civil wars persist in the Middle East or SE Asia?  And what is Russia muttering about?

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