Is to Are: the Future of the American States

"The Doug," the most famous proposed flag for The Republic of Cascadia: a hypothetical union of British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. Other suggested boundary lines also include Idaho Northern California, parts of Alaska, and parts of the Yukon.

"The Doug," the most famous proposed flag for The Republic of Cascadia: a hypothetical union of British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. Other suggested boundary lines also include Idaho Northern California, parts of Alaska, and parts of the Yukon.

Friends,
December 2010 gives us all a taste of the political and economic upheavals of the coming new year 2011. As history’s heat turns up, my final editorial “heat” quickens to the finish line for posting my new e-book Predictions for 2011. I hope to have it out sometime before Christmas. If you’re not already on my free news bulletin list, click here on (prophecy) and come aboard so you’ll be the first to know when the book is online.

As many of you may recall when reading Predictions for 2010, I wrote about the opening aperture in time starting this October and running through the first half of 2011 as the end of a two-year probationary period. This is the time when leaders and peoples of the world needed to sincerely address systemic flaws in our economic global system or suffer a second Great Recession or even a Great Depression sometime between now and mid-2011. Predictions for 2011 continue the prescient themes of 2010 pinpointing a loss of political confidence in the US government and people to govern and reform the largest economic market of the world.

I coined a new Hogueism to describe the political gridlock and riot coming in the 112th Congress. Washington DC will become Wattsington DC, named after the Watts Riots in LA back in 1965. Clear alarms will begin ringing next year on several fronts questioning our civilization’s continued sustainability. Predictions will describe in detail from where the alarm bells will ring.

What I’d like to share with you today are prophecies about the shift of political power away from the federal government to the states. Prophets forecasting as far back as the 19th century foresaw such a possibility. Though I post this blog on 9 December 2010, I wrote it back in early 2009 and kept it in my “cellar”stock with blogs, to age like augury wine until its time.

The time to uncork these prophecies is now, as gridlock in Washington this week becomes a three-way traffic jam. President Obama was quick to bend to corporate political will, giving his two pounds of flesh to the Republican Congressional caucus to pay for a blackmailing of the unemployed. He got an increased of unemployment benefits for 13 months for the high price of keeping all Bush tax breaks extended for 24 months rather than end the brakes for the rich. This God Father Don Corleoni offer Mr. Obama “couldn’t refuse” included a corporate back slap in the head as he went out the door consisting of a defanged estate tax that further cushioned the wealthiest US citizens from paying their share of the coming deficit pain.

Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, recently defined the deal as a one-sided compromise where the rich and corporate lobbyists behind the Republican stance got everything they wanted whilst throwing “peanuts” at the middle class.

“It will cost $900 billion over the next two years — larger than the bailout of Wall Street, GM and Chrysler put together, larger than he stimulus package, larger than anything that’s come out of Washington in years.”

Today, the Democrat Party caucus in the House rejected the Obama/Republican deal-cum-blackmailing of the unemployed. So here we have a three-way political state of gridlock with Republicans, Democrats and Obama honking horns at each other. It’s enough to make Americans think twice about preserving the union of the United States, as prophecies below will show.

***

Back in February 2007, during his fourth annual state-of-the-state address, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger defined the state of California in terms that one American prophet had been anticipating for over a century:

“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta,” said the Governor, “California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta. Not only can we lead California into the future … we can show the nation and the world how to get there. We can do this because we have the economic strength, the population, the technological force of a nation-state.”

States becoming sovereign and independent of the federal government? The concept is not as new as it sounds. States rights attitudes ran high during the time of the founding of the United States in the late 18th century. US citizens then felt more like citizens and governments of nation-states collected in the European Union of today. Perhaps the influence of such thinking is more than coincidental in Schwarzenegger, an Austrian by birth.

Shelby Foote reminded us in his classic three-volume account of the US Civil War that back in the early days of the United States up to the mid-1860s, a citizen would say, “The United States are…” The issue of states rights over federal became the chief cause of the secession of the southern states from the Union. The issue of the emancipation of slaves was secondary.

Foote reminded us the purveyors of states rights fought and lost a bloody four-year civil war and afterwards the phrase “The United States is …” has become the new qualifier ever since.

That is changing. Economic necessity might manufacture a different turn of destiny. In the past, an economic expansion strengthened the popularity of federal power across the industrialized Northern States at the expense of the agrarian Southern States. The current economic necessity is negative. The Recession foments a move to more independent states rights in our time as the Federal Government seems too big, corrupt and bloated with bureaucracy to turn the economy around or follow the progressive lead in green-collar economies states like Schwarzenegger’s California pioneer.

Alaska has its secessionists; some may have been family relations to Governor Sarah Palin. The Republican Governor of Texas this year has openly spoken of pulling Texas out of the union. Few take his off-handed catharsis in public with too much salt, but that could change. Both California and Texas were once fully independent nation-states before they joined the United States. Perhaps they will start a future secession movement.

In my almanac of prophecies for the year 2008, I predicted the concept of the United States is going back to the US are. I said the states in the coming 36 years would gain more autonomy, becoming more like national countries in an ever-weaker federalist system. As Washington DC becomes ever more out of touch with the nation of states, the states will turn their back often on Washington DC, making their own alliances and coalitions with neighbor states.

After the Civil War, there were prophets in America, such as David Goodman Croly in 1888, forecasting the end game of what American state governors like Schwarzenegger give voice today:

New [nation?] states will be carved out of Texas and California. The population surrounding New York Bay — including the Jersey shore — may decide to form a separate state. (Glimpses of the Future)

Croly, the man who in 1888 accurately foresaw the rise of global mega-corporations, photo electronic presses, movies, India’s independence from the British Empire and female emancipation, visualized a contradictory sounding future where more independent US states and Canadian provinces would, like Europe, forge together a loose common market of a North American Union similar to what evolves today in Europe. NAFTA is not going away, it will become the basis for a US-EU overspreading much of the Western Hemisphere:

The US will absorb Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. (Glimpses of the Future)

The EU-USA is coming. It is unavoidable. People can make NAFTA work for them rather than become a tool for plutocrats running mega-corporations. That is also our potential future.

John Hogue

(09 December 2010)

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