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The United States: an idea whose time has passed

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  • David Graeber
    (please feel free to forward widely) In the light of recent events I d like to promulgate a proposal: I remember reading in The Nation some years ago, after
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2004
      (please feel free to forward widely)

      In the light of recent events I'd like to promulgate a proposal:

      I remember reading in The Nation some years ago, after Dukakis'
      defeat, that really we have to come to terms with the fact that
      there's two countries here, a scary reactionary fundamentalist
      country called America and a relatively sane area which should
      properly be referred to as Southern Canada. This most recent
      election has made clear that the cultural and moral gap between these
      two countries is simply unmaintainable. We are literally living in
      different universes. Therefore I propose that the blue states all
      immediately secede from the union and join Canada. Let's make
      it legal. There is, I think, a potential legal precent: if I am not
      the Turks and Caicos (sp?) islands are negotiating to join Canada
      even now. The results would be a contiguous nation. And the
      advantages - even apart from the obvious one of freedom from
      Bush and everything Texan -are endless. Consider:

      * we'd all have health care
      * we will be more, not less, economically viable as
      the red states leach off our tax money anyway
      * we would no longer have to lie and say we're from
      Canada when we go overseas; it will actually be true
      * Canada can give up Quebec and it won't really
      matter much
      * the new, scarier rump America will find it much
      more difficult to terrorize the world since it will have half
      the resources and population

      with as far as I can see only one possible drawback:

      * the (admittedly not inconsiderable) possibility of civil war

      The other obvious problem with this plan is the resulting country -
      the present vast expanses of Canada plus two fang-like
      and densely populated extensions - would instantly
      become the largest and wealthiest state on earth, in a
      position, eventually, to become yet another predatory super-power.
      For this reason it might be preferable to adopt an alternative
      strategy, one I would dub the "deconstruct America" approach. California
      and the southwest could go back to Mexico. It wasn't legally annexed
      (Texas in theory could too but I wouldn't wish Texas on anyone.) The
      Plains are a disaster anyway, economically unviable, supported by
      massive welfare, and steadily losing population; I'd say give them
      back to the Native Americans. This would mean a much smaller, relatively
      harmless rump America roughly equivalent to the former
      Confederacy (minus Louisiana, if that's fused onto Quebec, but
      all that's of course negotiable, and possibly Florida, which might
      be better as an independent Caribbean-style state of its own, perhaps
      something along the lines of Cuba.) The details of course can be
      worked out. The point is that continent-sized super-states are simply
      a thing of the past. The current election has demonstrated that they
      are not viable, and are intrinsically, threats to world peace. Just as
      huge multi-ethnic empires like the Ottoman Empire or USSR have been
      breaking up over the last century in the name of democracy, the time
      has come that empires based on extirpation, rather than colonization,
      should really follow suit. A fundamentalist-dominated, aggressive,
      and militaristic rump USA could perhaps become a dangerous rogue state
      for much of the 21st century, particularly if ended up with most of
      the nuclear missiles - however as an anti-intellectual theocracy, it
      probably, like the former USSR, soon loose the ability to successfully
      up with military technologies and become, effectively, containable. But
      thing is certain: this state would be a far smaller threat to world
      peace, or
      indeed human survival, than the current, obviously untenable, United
      States of America.
      David Graeber
      Deconstruct America Campaign

      (btw, I'm looking for someone who can print up a few hundred thousand
      stickers saying "No Longer Under US Jurisdiction". I figured we could
      distribute them everywhere.)
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