Saturday, June 13, 2009

Secessionism is going mainstream

... as in this opinion piece by Paul Starobin published in today's Wall Street Journal. Especially interesting is the tone of the piece, which ranges from neutral to downright favorable.

Mr. Starobin thinks that secession is realistic:

"Devolved America is a vision faithful both to certain postindustrial realities as well as to the pluralistic heart of the American political tradition—a tradition that has been betrayed by the creeping centralization of power in Washington over the decades but may yet reassert itself as an animating spirit for the future. Consider this proposition: America of the 21st century, propelled by currents of modernity that tend to favor the little over the big, may trace a long circle back to the original small-government ideas of the American experiment. The present-day American Goliath may turn out to be a freak of a waning age of politics and economics as conducted on a super-sized scale—too large to make any rational sense in an emerging age of personal empowerment that harks back to the era of the yeoman farmer of America’s early days. The society may find blessed new life, as paradoxical as this may sound, in a return to a smaller form."

"Still, the precedent for any breakup of today’s America is not necessarily the one set by the musket-bearing colonists’ demanded departure from the British crown in the late 18th century or by the crisis-ridden dissolution of the U.S.S.R. at the end of the 20th century. Every empire, every too-big thing, fragments or shrinks according to its own unique character and to the age of history to which it belongs."

Nor is it necessarily the one set by the War Between the States (the example most commonly cited in my discussions).

"The most hopeful prospect for the USA, should the decentralization impulse prove irresistible, is for Americans to draw on their natural inventiveness and democratic tradition by patenting a formula for getting the job done in a gradual and cooperative way."

We are living in interesting times...!

Virtual buckeye to Old Rebel at Rebellion.

1 comment:

PRS said...

I just finished reading the WSJ today and came directly to my computer to Google the Middlebury Institute which led me to this blog for the first time. I am quite encouraged to read your blog post about the article.