Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Final Death Throes

I think we are beginning to see the final death throes of the nation state known as the United States of America.

A state, as you will recall from your Political Geography, requires three things:  Territory, Borders, and Sovereignty within those borders.  A nation - again, recall your Political Geography - is a group of people that has a shared language, culture, and mythos or founding story.  As a way of example, the Kurds for many years have been a nation but not a state, while German speaking peoples both a state (Germany) as well as a nation (Germany, Austria).

From the state side, the US still has territory but it has limited (if any) control of its borders.  It's sovereignty exists (although parties in the government and society are actively seeking to raise international law above national law).

It is the nation side that is rapidly falling apart.

For 40 plus years - my lifetime -we have slowly lost the nature of shared language.  Now, we are completely losing any shared sense of culture or a founding myth or story.

As a people, we are rapidly reaching the point where we have anything in common -even, any more, symbols of the nation.

Ponder that statement for a moment.  Imagine a country where there is nothing binding the inhabitants together except the fact they all live under a particular set of laws and in a particular geographic location.  That is all.  No shared sense of belonging to the place in which they live.

What happens under such a scenario?

No longer am I my brother's keeper - after all, we no longer revere the same things.  I have no more obligation to help him than I do to help someone in a nation far away, as we share nothing in common.  An attack on the state - not my issue as I no longer have a sense of a greater thing beyond my circle.  I am only going to be more and more concerned about myself and my own the community that I have around me.

Such a scenario will be played out across thousands of cities and towns and rural areas.

What comes out on the other side?  Perhaps something better, but only through an incredible period of disruption and hardship.  But maybe not something better - there are no guarantees.

We have finally slipped over the cliff.  Our rate of fall may be slow or fast, but I feel it is predetermined at this point.  We are actively chopping out the rafters that support the roof over our head, forgetting that the whole edifice will fall directly down when it does fall.

5 comments:

Vera said...

Sad times for the USA, although I don't think the UK is faring much better even after Brexit so I am glad I am living in France!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Vera, how it is in France, if you do not mind me asking? I do not know that we get a great deal of coverage (good or bad really, except for when bad things happen).

LindaG said...

Sadly, I think you are absolutely correct.

I see your share tags, so I think I will. If I am incorrect, please let me know and I will delete the share.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you for much asking, but please feel free.

LindaG said...

Thank you. Your post is very well written, and I can always hope that something will change someone's mind.