posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 11:37 PM
I think it could happen.
Back in the early Internet days of the 1990s, this was a common line of speculation among the conspiracy/finge circles found on archaic interfaces
such as Usenet, BBS boards, and mailing lists. A lot of people saw decentralization in the future, and given events like Waco, Ruby Ridge, and
Oklahoma City there was a great deal of antagonism to the Federal government. Even the cheezy pop culture of the time (think the movie The
) painted a picture of a decayed, anarchic America ruled over by a fragmented patchwork of neo-militia-style groups. Books like The
Disuniting of America
took such ideas into the realm of academic respectibility. The intellectual millieu of the 1990s was steeped in ideas of
cultural relativity, identity politcs (ethnic-racial-gender, etc.) and so forth, which made the vision all the more compelling to many eyes.
These ideas seemingly evaporated with 9/11. Many of the elements that had been heading down the decentralization road snapped to and fell in line with
the new patriotism. Suddenly it was "with us or against us" and the nation experienced a unity of purpose unknown for decades. Rebellion against the
government was no longer hip, and aggression was channeled outwards against a hostile (or seemingly hostile) world.
It's an old historian's chestnut that the organizing principle for any society is war. Without war, the bonds holding society together are loosened.
This is what happened in the wake of the Cold War, giving rise to the ninties-era speculations of post-Fedral America. War (in the form of 9/11) put
an end to this. Of course the US is still at war, but it touches fewer people not directly involved than it once did, and the patriotism of the
early-2000s is growing frayed in the face of new isses -- economic decline, the internationalization of busines and communications, the porosity of
boarders, the further decay of traditional culture and communities. I believe we are on the road back toward a "decentralizing theme" in the national
dialogue. It will be interesting to see how far this advances before the pendulum swings the other way...or whether this time there will be no
swing-back. I expect to see states and communities goring conspicuiously
bankrupt in the days ahead -- inturruptions of basic services and the
total breakdown of infrastructure in the face of severe budget constraints. When this happens, it will add another impetus to the decentralization
edit on 1/19/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)