Yesterday I published a story about Utah’s declaration of financial independence, and have recently posted Ellen Brown’s stories on independent state banks. In this context, bioregionalism is a word we may be hearing more of; I certainly hope so, as this way of looking at “boundaries” reconnects us back to Earth.
From Yeats, The Second Coming:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Remember that poem? How many of us quoted it to each other back in the late ’60s, when Uranus and Pluto conjuncted for the first time since the Civil War and all hell broke loose? Well, Uranus and Pluto are at it again, from 2011 through 2015 dancing through the opening square (90 degrees apart) that follows that fabled late ’60s conjunction. Get ready, get set, go!
Once again, “Things fall apart; the center does not hold.” And while it’s still true that the worst “are full of passionate intensity,” so, once again — finally! —are the best. Rather than seeming to lack all conviction as passive, despairing observers of hijacked tea-party rage, we are beginning to occupy our own bodies and souls and localities. Our own passionate intensity is erupting from the deeps, non-violently, respectfully, in a sacred shared ceremony of innocence round the world.
I imagine there will be a number of ways that we will be looking at redrawing the map of the Americas. And as we do, let’s remember that boundaries are not “real,” but conceptual. Let us visual boundaries as membranes, thin, quivering, breathing in and out, beautiful forms to focus and facilitate perception, understanding and communication, rather than instruments of control and domination.
Thanks to opednews.com.
The New York Times ran a recent article about income disparity in the U.S., this time focusing on geography. It seems that the Atlantic corridor, centered in New York City and Washington, DC, has far and away the greatest concentration of household wealth per square mile, and has benefited also as income disparity has turned into a runaway freight train.
That, of course, is as expected; a natural result of the politics of no-holds-barred financial capitalism with a criminal, taxpayer subsidized underpinning to ensure its continuity. Only the wealthy need apply.
U.S. financiers and their co-conspirators in Washington have fine-tuned the art of sucking the economic life out of the rest of the country. Institutionalized fraud is now an accepted way of life among those who make the rules.
First there were the trillions of dollars in 2008 bank bailouts. After massive popular resistance to then Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson’s railroad act, Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, decided that he should hand out additional trillions more discretely, meaning without informing the public. So he very discretely turned on the printing presses.
Mission accomplished with no more of that messy interference from voters as their wealth was diluted and transferred to the East Coast to prop up domestic and foreign banks, river boat gamblers, thugs and other assorted criminals.
A far less expensive and less destabilizing alternative might have been for the government to find a way to guarantee pension funds lost in the morass and then allow the banks to fail. But there was no time for thinking. Mr. Paulson, grifter in charge, insisted on action NOW, and those bought-and-paid-for lackeys in Congress agreed without hesitation. Ominously, there was no daylight between then-Democratic front runner Barack Obama and Hank.
The second thing that has enriched the East Coast are our tax dollars that pay inflated government salaries and benefits to millions of Washington-based employees, contractors, retirees and military.
When the average salary of border patrol agents in Texas was $92,000 in 2009, plus health care, pension, cost of living and “locality” adjustments, you’ll have to guess what all those high-level managers and super managers in D.C. bring home and into retirement because official information is hard to come by. Undisputed is the fact that there has been enormous inflation in the number of federal uber-managers in recent years. A common personnel tactic to compensate for a salary freeze is to simply promote.
How long will the East Coast governing and capitalist classes get away with enriching themselves while depleting the rest of us?
As demonstrations break out in the U.S. and across the globe, protesting joblessness and an often IMF-imposed decline in the standard of living; as race/ethnic and class polarization marches on, voices answering “Not for long,” are beginning to sound reasonable. At the far end of the looking glass, somewhere in the foggy distance, the dissolution of the 50 united states may be lurking.
The first person on record to predict the disintegration of the United States was a Russian professor named Igor Panarin, who survived the 1990s collapse of the USSR, took another look at its nemesis on the other side of the globe, and predicted the future: the U.S. was no more likely to go the distance than his country had. He believed that the US was headed for extinction because of capitalist excesses leading to high unemployment and the virtual shutdown of entire cities, as well as the problem of financialization: too much money in too few hands, too few manufactured goods, too much in personal losses.
He says now that a number of other factors are also contributing to the fragmentation of the U.S., including political stalemate, civil dissension and a lack of unified national laws.
He left out the rest of it. In addition to politics and the economy there is also geography.
The U.S. stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific — from sub tropics to the frozen north — and encompasses four time zones.
It contains tens of thousands of square miles of cultural differences, from the financial and governing centers on the East Coast, to the wide Hispanic band along the southern border, to the Asian enclaves of California, to the one-off culture of the Pacific Northwest. There are other unique areas: the Great Lakes, Texas, the High Plains and the mountain states, and the Great Plains, once known as The Great American Desert (Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner). Toss in incipient problems with water resources, the disappearance of the oil economy, the weakening bonds of a unifying national language, and come face-to-face with the possibility of an eroded nation-state.
If Professor Panarin is right and the 50 states are destined to eventually dissolve into autonomous regions, we should expect bumpy times ahead since the U.S.A. is no more likely to allow peaceful secession now than it did in 1861.
As others have noted, there is no reason to expect a different response at home than the U.S. government often uses to get its way abroad: Those weapons of mass destruction, paid for with our tax dollars, may be used domestically, along with the many thousands of jobless, returning military vets who might be happy to earn a living subduing unrest in the streets.
But there will be resistance. In no other Western nation is the population so armed and prepared to defend itself.
The U.S. is far from the only nation facing upheaval. From Cairo to Tel Aviv, from Madrid to India to China, anti-government demonstrations have been everywhere this year. According to the New York Times:
“[Demonstrators] are taking to the streets, in part, because they have little faith in the ballot box. … protesters say they so distrust their country’s political class and its pandering to established interest groups that they feel only an assault on the system itself can bring about real change.”