America Will Be Twelve Countries Very Soon

It’s inevitable and here’s why

A map of the USA, re-imagined as 12 nations.

Written by Jared Brock and published in Medium.com 11/16/2021

Have you been following the situation in Ethiopia?

Of course you haven’t.

No one has the time or mental fortitude to endure the unending amount of conflict that happens between human beings on planet earth.

The only reason I keep up with Ethiopia is that’s where my wife grew up.

Briefly: Colonialists left Africa in a terrible state, in which various tribes were smashed together into single nations, while others sought to grab new territory in the wake of colonial retrenchment.

Ethiopia is one of those latter places (but also was kinda-sorta colonized by Italy, which is why it still has such great pasta. It’s complicated.)

Home to five official languages and eighty different ethnic groups, Ethiopia is a powder keg for conflict with a growing population and depleting resources. One people group has already managed to splinter off: Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia came at the high price of 250,000 people dead.

Now, essentially two tribes in Ethiopia — Tigray in the north, Oromo in the south — are trying to destroy each other. The Tigrayans are an ancient Spartan-style warrior tribe, and they’re so desperate for self-rule that they’ve started killing Ethiopian citizens. Things have gotten so bad that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia has ordered all military to protect the capital from falling, and is sending in Turkish combat drones. In twenty years, we might look back on the conflict and call it the next Rwanda.

It makes you wonder:

Maybe Ethiopia would be better off as two, ten, or even eighty smaller nations.

It’s the same all over the world:

  • Spain’s arcane monarchy oppresses several nations including Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Basque Country, Castile, Catalonia, Galicia, León, Navarre, Valencia, and Aran Valley.
  • Anglophone Canada just celebrated its 150th anniversary a few years ago, but it rules over a French-speaking nation that’s 400 years old.
  • A certain 1.45 billion-person Eastern nation that cannot be named rules over at least four other countries with brutal authoritarian force.
  • Want peace in the Middle East? Try a nine-state solution.
  • The United Kingdom is a laughable misnomer. The Welsh hate the English. The Scottish hate the English. The Cornish hate the English. Half the Northern Irish just call themselves Irish. The United Kingdom contains at least five countries, and all are essentially colonies of the City of London Corporation.
  • There are more than five thousand Indigenous nations across the globe, totaling nearly half a billion people.

The gig is up

Young people are waking up to an obvious fact that many older folks (especially those who murdered people who carried a different team flag) simply cannot fathom:

Nations are legal fictions.

Just bits of paper and a bunch of people who agree to play by the paper’s rules.

Yes, there are some benefits to nationalism.

There are also heavy costs.

People are rightly starting to question the value of nation-states as they are currently arranged.

What is the purpose of a nation?

To preserve a unique culture?
To express a political ideology?
To propagate a religion?
To organize an economy?

At the end of the day, I believe every nation is just an experiment in what it means to live well.

And currently, almost every nation on earth is on a downward trajectory, if not failing miserably.

The end of big countries

Large nations are unwieldy.

The bureaucracy it takes to run a 300+ million person nation proves economically inefficient in the extreme.

Democracy crumbles because it’s hard to get real representation at scale.

And there are so many disparate opinions that disagreements become intractable.

When working together inevitably fails, one party dominates through coercion, violence, or worse.

In a nuclear age where going to war will destroy everyone and everything, there’s no longer a need to have a vast population to defend your borders.

We just don’t need big countries anymore.

An introduction to Tinyism

“Tinyism is a political philosophy that believes current empires and nations should be fractured, shattered, and dissolved into thousands of independent micro-states and city-states. This action would vastly improve democracy and enhance economies — recent statistics indicate small nations are usually the happiestwealthiest, and most peaceful.” — Hank Pellissier

Here’s my prediction:

Within one hundred years, there will be at least one hundred new nations on planet earth.

But there could be plenty more.

After all, there are 650 major ethnic groups, about 9,800 cultural-ethno-linguistic groups, and up to 24,000 unimax groups.

(Plus there are 108,000 publicly-listed corporations, all of which will be chomping for a private domain in the years ahead… and not one should get it.)

Why shouldn’t ethnic groups have the right to self-sovereignty, especially for the hundreds who’ve had their sovereignty stolen? Isn’t it inherently racist for one ethnicity to impose its will on another ethnic group?

After a major disruptive event — a colossal economic depression, a cyberwar or solar flare that knocks out the grid for a year or more, or a supervolcano that causes years of winter — we could see the emergence of tens of thousands of new sovereignties.

And that would be a very good thing.

In praise of tiny

When you have a smaller population, you can have a smaller bureaucracy.

When you have a smaller population, you can have more representation and democracy.

When you have a smaller population, you can avoid getting pushed around by groups that don’t share your values.

When you have a smaller population, you can better preserve unique cultures, races, religions, economic systems, histories, societal structures, and experiments in what it means to live well.

When you have a smaller population, you can have fewer rules, fewer laws, and more freedom.

And if you don’t like your tiny country, you now have far more other options to choose from.

“But what about national defense?!”

It’s a legitimate fear, but it’s worth noting that small nations are some of the safest nations on earth.

And luckily, returns to violence are drastically decreasing in the digital economy. There’s just less stuff to steal and fewer resources to exploit.

Quite paradoxically, being more “vulnerable” makes you learn to get along. New sovereignties will do well to form an alliance with hundreds of other city-states. Like NATO, attacking one would be like attacking all. Plus, new sovereignties will move swiftly to ink trade deals with hundreds of other nations to further increase the cost of war and the value of peace.

Pretty soon, everyone will get along because there’s no other choice.

The return of the city-state

The world is urbanizing and power is accruing to cities. Already in America, we’re seeing mayors defy state and national mandates in order to protect and defend their citizens (or just rebel for political reasons, depending on your point of view.)

There’s no reason to think that many cities won’t eventually just become laws unto themselves.

I’m excited for this to happen. After all, some of the most beautiful places on earth started out as tiny little cities, and their historic urban cores are still beautiful all these centuries later:

  • Paris was 25 acres.
  • Athens was 35 acres.
  • Lille was 60 acres.
  • Vatican City is 109 acres.
  • Oxford was 115 acres.
  • Old Jerusalem is 225 acres.
  • The City of London is 330 acres.
  • Monaco is 499 acres.
  • Rome was 608 acres.
  • The walls of Avila, one of the most gorgeous sights on earth, surround just 77 acres.

What will become of America?

Nearly half of all Americans want to secede from the union in one direction or another.

And that’s perfectly within their rights as human beings.

Others protest loudly that the union must be preserved at all costs. But they never seem to answer the all-important question:

What are we actually trying to preserve?

Our lack of shared values?
The sham of democracy?
McDonald’s and apple pie and baseball?

Think long and hard about this question — no matter what conclusion you reach, you’ll find that it simply doesn’t resonate with the majority of Americans.

And what’s preferable: A few dozen independent countries, or another civil war?

(31% of Americans think a civil war is likely within the next five years, with Democrats thinking it’s more likely.)

So why not take the bloated carcass that is the American corporatocracy and carve it up into a handful of actual democracies?

With any luck, we could see some pretty amazing things come out of the USA:

  • Washington and Oregon will become Cascadia and rebuild the rainforest.
  • Utah will rename itself Deseret and grab a chunk of Nevada.
  • New England will be the world’s purveyor of blueberries, maple syrup, and winter skiing adventures.
  • 32% of Californians already support Calexit, which will make it the fifth-biggest economy in the world (ahead of the UK, France, Italy, India, and hundreds more.)
  • The Plains Nation will continue to feed the world as a giant agrarian commune, likely swarmed with bitcoin-loving libertarian “sovereign individuals.”
  • Texas (or rather, the Hispanic-majority República de Tejas) will have the eleventh largest military on earth, the tenth-largest economy, its own power grid, and enough solar and wind power to be a net clean energy exporter.
  • Las Vegas will obviously become the American Amsterdam.
  • Minorities will pour out of Dixie, plunging the Deep South into social chaos and economic depression — and perhaps the Confederacy will finally learn the lessons they were supposed to learn from the Civil War. (Or maybe it becomes New Afrika and all the whites head for Florida.)
  • New York City CorpTM (12th-largest economy) will become the first city-state with skyscrapers to be fully underwater due to rising sea levels.

What’s compelling about Tinyism is that the more experiments we run, the more we’ll discover what works and doesn’t work. Clearly, Sweden is better than North Korea. But is the Texan way better than the California way? With Tinyism, we’ll know pretty quickly. In that sense, Tinyism is almost free-market, with the political “market” being democracy itself.

“But it’s unconstitutional!”

So?

Tinyism is inevitable

Have you noticed that society is fracturing?

Do you think that extreme left wokies are ever going to find common ground with ultra-right Q-Anoners?

It’s just not going to happen.

There will come a day when the USA falls apart.
Will it be a massive economic depression?
The Yellowstone Caldera finally erupting?
Donald Trump becoming President whether he’s elected or not?

Even without a mega-event, there’s an unstoppable tide that all but guarantees a breakdown of these united states: Individualism.

Individualism, by its very nature, is an anti-culture.

As Russ Linton put it:

“Decentralization and blockchain tech will ensure this happens. Fiat currencies will be worthless and with that, the power of a nation-state largely evaporates. DAO communities, both digitally and geographically-bound, are what the future holds.”

We in the rich West have enjoyed a lifetime of unlimited selection, and this atomization mentality will eventually seep its way into politics. As the speed of change escalates, it could happen far sooner than we think.

And that’s okay.

I believe in the unconditional right of cultural and communal (but not corporate) sovereignty, and support all independence efforts toward Tinyism, so long as the leaving party takes their fair portion of the national debt and repays all federal infrastructure investment.

The key will be to have some kind of pre-agreed-upon sorting/transition process, like a peaceful version of the Hindustan breakup into India and Pakistan, followed by hopefully-less-dysfunctional EU (but without a shared currency) so the states all get along as the founding fathers intended.

Obviously, none of this is going to happen. The corporate predator elites who control the USA have a vested interest in keeping America together so they can wield its collective might overseas. Tinyism in America will only work once Tinyism sets in everywhere (especially in Ch!na.) We need a huge drop in returns to violence before unique cultures can become sovereign nations. Only then will smaller countries be allowed to flourish. And do you know what? It’s going to seem impossible until the very moment it seems obvious. Change is a long time coming and then it happens overnight.)

(But let’s be honest: It’s probably just as likely that we’ll all be dead from climate change, nuclear winter, or widespread “free”market-induced poverty.)

Still, Tinyism could create a great leap forward in human innovation, creativity, and culture-making, as real democracies create real diversity, reversing our long and boring descent into multinational sameness.

I’m cheering for a twenty-nation America and a 10,000-nation earth.

It’s either that, or we become a corporate-controlled one-nation earth where everyone conforms or gets crushed.

And no one wants that.

Are Democrats Fading?

Why America’s Losing Faith in the Democrats

What Biden’s Plummeting Approval Rating Really Means

https://eand.co/why-americas-losing-faith-in-the-democrats-4e2f92b180ba

Written by Umair Haque and published in Medium.com 8/31/2021

You don’t have to look very hard to see something troubling. Joe Biden’s approval ratings are beginning to plummet. They’ve fallen 16 percent since the beginning of the summer. That’s a tremendous decline. Just 46% of Americans now approve of the job Biden’s doing, while 55% disapprove.

This is a stunning reversal in political fortunes. Biden rode to power on a remarkable wave of goodwill, at least from the centre outwards. And while the question of “approval” is in a very real sense a reductive and foolish one, still, American politics is made of such folly. So: is Biden’s reversal of fortune a blip — or trend?

Let me begin on a note of caution. Biden’s fans are becoming something of a cult. They brook no criticism, and don’t want others to, either. They expect an atmosphere of relentless positivity, not free thinking and reason. This is going to be a critical essay, like most essays should be. It is not going to go easy on Biden. As much as I like the man, reality is what it is, and Biden’s approval ratings are indeed cratering. And so, even if his most ardent fans don’t want it to be, the question now urgently needs to be asked: why is America beginning to disapprove of Joe Biden?

Pundits will tell you that this is probably no mere blip. They’ll point to three key areas of disapproval. The disastrous exit from Afghanistan, which has humiliated America around the world. Yet another wave of Covid, surging across the nation, Red States again becoming some of the world’s hottest plague zones. And the economy, which, despite appearances, beyond headline statistics, is still a thing of daily strife and struggle for the vast majority of Americans, who are underpaid, overworked, exploited, demeaned, devalued, and made to feel (and end up being literally) worthless.

On the surface, those three answers are correct. Biden has misjudged these three crises. And yet the issues here cut much, much deeper than that. How deep? Existentially deep, for the Democrats.

The Democrats won the last election not because Joe Biden was Joe Biden. But because he wasn’t Donald Trump. There is a very big difference between those two things. The nation wasn’t particularly hungry for Joe Biden as much as it was disgusted by the fetid, rank taste in the mouth left after the fascism, corruption, and obscenity of the Trump years. Joe Biden pitched himself — smartly — as the anti-Trump: calm, competent, friendly, kind.

Through all that, the Dems managed something remarkable — at least for American politics. They cobbled together a coalition of the centre and the left. Of young and old. Of black and white and beyond. This was a true “big tent,” as the phrase goes. There was room, it seemed, for everyone who wanted to be in — even if tensions simmered once they stood awkwardly shoulder-to-shoulder under the canopy.

This was a remarkable feat because it very, very rarely happens in American politics. It’s business as usual in Europe and Canada — the centre and left are smart enough there to know that they must be united to defeat the right. Yet there “centre” and “left” mean different things, too, just as in America, right wing basically means “gun loving fascist,” or close enough to it. The Dems rode to power by pulling off, at least for American politics, a minor-league political miracle — they united the centre and left, who are usually at each others’ throats.

Usually, what happens in American politics is the opposite. If the Dems do make inroads, and win power, it’s by winning over the right. They tack right, as Clinton did, turning punitive and harsh, saluting free markets, and celebrating individualism and materialism. Uniting the centre and left is so rare in American politics that the Dems should be given credit for doing so.

But not too much credit. I don’t say that to be mean, just to be realistic. America — at least half of it or so — was literally ready to vote for anyone who wasn’t Trump. It’s a testament to how weak the Dems appeal really is that they didn’t do better at the last Presidential election, which wasn’t a landslide, even if it was a decisive victory. It wasn’t the sweeping rejection of fascism America needed, in just that way. A majority of white Americans still voted for Trump — that is how badly Biden is and was rejected.

If you grasp all that, then you should also see the following conclusion coming. For the Democrats to retain power — and that means both winning the House and another term for Biden — they have to keep on pulling off a political miracle in America. They need to keep their fragile coalition of centre and left, of young and old, of black and white, from shattering.

That’s no easy task. Because these two groups under the same big tent — center and left — have very, very different agendas. Often opposing ones. Ones that are in direct conflict with each other. And right about now, what is happening is that those differing agendas and visions of these two wings of the party are coming into direct conflict — and the Democrats’ fragile coalition is starting to splinter.

Let’s take the issue of Afghanistan. American leftists are giddy that the war is over. They celebrate the end of “imperialism” (which is wrong, because the Taliban is one of America’s imperial armies, one which spun out of control, but that’s a different topic.) But the centre is not so sure. They wonder about Biden’s competence. His backbone. His will and vision and purpose. Did it have to be this way, they ask? I’ll come back to that, in just a moment, in case it’s not clear.

Then there’s the economy. The centre seems alright, if not overjoyed, with the job Biden’s doing. They like the infrastructure plans and stimulus and all those big headline numbers that pop up often now. They are optimistic and excited by America investing in itself again.

But the left has been waiting for more — much, more. And it’s sharply disappointed that the Dems have caved on several key issues. They haven’t cancelled student debt. They haven’t raised the minimum wage — at least not fast or far enough. The left understands, too — at least the smarter elements in it — that those big headline numbers aren’t enough. Not to bring American investment levels to Canadian or European levels. That, comparatively, they lift American investment by a tiny 5% or so, if that — when it needs to rise by 25%.

Then there’s Covid. The left believes firmly in mask mandates and basic public safety measures. It goes further than that — and its more intelligent elements, again, believe that vaccines should be a true global public good, not a patent protected money-making scheme America defends at the WHO because billionaires stand to make even more. The centre, though, seems largely complacent. It seems resigned to the idea that Covid will go on forever, that everyone will need a booster shot, that it will be a bonanza for capitalism, that nothing much more can — or should — be done about it. The centre has little will to continue taking on Covid.

I could go on. The left wants bold, direct investment in “climate change” — sorry, I mean global warming — a Green New Deal. The centre is complacent and reluctant to kill the golden goose of the American economy, which is plastic junk and carbon emissions. And so forth.

What does all that mean, though? What does it say?

Something like this.

Fractures are beginning to crack through the Democrats’ fragile coalition. Ones which were there, from the very beginning — mere ripples, threatening to harden and widen into true fissures. Now all that is becoming very real.

The left is growing embittered and disillusioned on one side, and the centre on the other. More precisely, exactly what embitters and disillusions the left is what pleases and satisfies the center — and vice versa. Afghanistan — left, leave, center, not so sure. Climate — left, invest, center, don’t kill the golden goose. Economy — left, more, center, that’s enough, thanks. And so on.

The natural opposition between left and centre is arising again. It’s the issue which has bedevilled American politics from time immemorial. Yesteryear’s leftists were profoundly opposed to slavery and segregation — and the centrists shrugged, called it wrong, profited from it, and blithely let it all go on anyways. You see the problem. A divided left and centre are why America is such a backwards country — and a united centre and left are, by contrast, why Europe and Canada are able to make real progress, over and over again.

When what pleases one faction of the party is also exactly what angers and causes resentment and rage in the other, a political coalition is unlikely to be able to hold. That is the true challenge the Dems face — navigating this Scylla and Charybdis of American political waters. Few have been able to do it (and even more viciously, those few who have, like JFK and Lincoln, were killed as a reward for it.)

The Democrats’ nightmare scenario goes like this. Their coalition goes on fracturing, and finally splinters. At the next set of elections — Presidential and Congressional — an embittered, resentful left stays at home. That means young people and minorities, who don’t turn out. Meanwhile, some portion of the vast majority of American whites go back to their long-standing pattern — they vote Republican again, as they and their parents and grandparents always have. The right wins easily, and — hey presto — Trump’s back in office.

The Dems don’t know what hit them. Just like that — snap! — Joe Biden’s a one term President.

We’re not there yet, at the nightmare scenario. But we’re moving one step closer to it, day by day. The fragile Democratic coalition is fracturing. The natural tensions between left and centre are not being resolved. They are simmering into open conflict. Meanwhile, Biden’s much-vaunted competence is being called into question, which creates doubt among all those centrists, who want just want a polite, competent enough middle manager of a declining empire, not a man on a moral crusade to change the world.

The resentment and bitterness among the left is growing each and every day. And on those issues where the Dems please it — like the chaotic departure from Afghanistan — they manage to alienate and sow the seeds of doubt in everyone else.

In the end, it might not be possible to hold together a coalition as fragile as this. The American left is impatient, demoralized, and angry — while the American centre is craven, overcautious, compromise on anything and everything, from rescuing a dying planet to investing enough in the future, as long as they get their big TVs and SUVs and low, low taxes.

Many have tried walking this tightrope before. Few have succeeded. And like I said, those tiny, tiny few who did succeed? Well, they were killed for it, anyways. Those are the stakes, my friends.

My feeling? Biden has the toughest job in the world — and it’s only going to get harder from here.