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Author Topic: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?  (Read 29935 times)

Pat

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #780 on: June 23, 2022, 07:43:22 PM »
Firstly thank you for explaining that last point to me. I was kinda wondering why the Federal Reserve seemed to be so incompetent with respect to inflation. (Kinda think we shouldn't have dropped rates as low or cut taxes without reducing spending (Forcing us to later print money, I think?) as much as we did under Trump, though, or made it so banks didn't have to hold any money in reserve. I understand he thought we needed the boost, but still, I think in a way Biden was aided and abetted in what was done on inflation.) Also, I am now very depressed.

Working my way up your points, what stops a neighborhood from leaving Houston? What I mean is not how do you use physical force to prevent a municipality from having its rightful powers, but where do you draw the line at which say, a small group of individuals or gang can't just walk on in and say "Welp, this land's ours now, we are a government." Or otherwise prevent folks from just leaving justice behind them by declaring a gated community of pedophiles or whatever. Also, Switzerland is one thing, a small town is another. I don't know, I feel like any government needs a monopoly on defining (but not the actual) legitimate use of force and some degree of say over who can and cannot ignore the jurisdiction of the majority. If small communities were sufficient for their own governmental protection in this day and age, and the ideal top level of self-governance, I don't think things would look the way they do now. To be clear, I think power needs to be decentralized, but I think it needs to be a multi-level system like the one we have only modified with powers growing thinner as they go up, and the like.

I think Constitutions and written documentation and analysis of rights are still key, for all their faults. Because the judiciary can and has at times prevented authoritarian rule and the violation of natural rights, both at the national level and at the local levels many want to delegate great power to. And we still have some of the original Constitution despite centuries of would-be autocrats trying to tear it down. I agree that when the populous understands the Constitution, and holds it in their hearts wholeheartedly, it works better, but I still feel some guardrails against overreach and authoritarianism are better than none. (That said, I do fear unrighteous judges who knowingly dissemble and misinterpret. Those are potentially quite dangerous authoritarians at any level in any system, and I do think more should be done about that and to guard against it and see that somebody watches the watchers at least to some degree. Heck, even if it's a circle of watchers staring vaguely in one anothers' direction. There needs to be accountability, too, when you hold that much power.) 

Essentially, I think our current system can be reformed to grant power to the localities without balkanization, without secession, without a trail to utter fragmentation, and without unnecessary bloodshed.
Printing money is the way they lower interest rates. The Fed's in a trap. The traditional way to deal with inflation is to raise interest rates. Volcker raised it to over 20% to beat stagflation in the 70s, but doing that today would mean the US government would have to pay $6 trillion in interest every year (1.5 times the entire federal budget). The traditional way to deal with a recession (which seems to be coming) is to drop the prime interest rate a couple percent, which isn't really possible when interest rates are so low, because going negative is a problem. So they're trying to slowly raise interest rates, in the hopes it'll reduce inflation a bit, and give them some breathing room if a recession hits. Of course, if they raise rates too fast, it could cause the recession because the market reacts badly to rate hikes.

You might be interested to look into Switzerland. They're divided into cantons, which traditionally have more independent authority than states in the US. The smallest half a dozen have populations less than 50,000 or less, with the smallest at about 16,000. The median is just over 200,000. They function quite well, and they've done a spectacular job at defense.

There will be practical limits on decentralization, but it's not Houston.

Instead of relying purely on a Constitution, I think we need to build in better checks and balances. One of them might be to break the monopoly on the use of force.

Also, I generally favor webs of loose associations. We don't have to break the up the US entirely. We can still have a federal government, but it should be anemic compared to today, with most power being pushed to the states, and even more to the local governments. Same would apply even with a full breakup, where states (not the US type) would form alliances and agreements.

KindaMeh

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #781 on: June 23, 2022, 07:57:47 PM »
Firstly thank you for explaining that last point to me. I was kinda wondering why the Federal Reserve seemed to be so incompetent with respect to inflation. (Kinda think we shouldn't have dropped rates as low or cut taxes without reducing spending (Forcing us to later print money, I think?) as much as we did under Trump, though, or made it so banks didn't have to hold any money in reserve. I understand he thought we needed the boost, but still, I think in a way Biden was aided and abetted in what was done on inflation.) Also, I am now very depressed.

Working my way up your points, what stops a neighborhood from leaving Houston? What I mean is not how do you use physical force to prevent a municipality from having its rightful powers, but where do you draw the line at which say, a small group of individuals or gang can't just walk on in and say "Welp, this land's ours now, we are a government." Or otherwise prevent folks from just leaving justice behind them by declaring a gated community of pedophiles or whatever. Also, Switzerland is one thing, a small town is another. I don't know, I feel like any government needs a monopoly on defining (but not the actual) legitimate use of force and some degree of say over who can and cannot ignore the jurisdiction of the majority. If small communities were sufficient for their own governmental protection in this day and age, and the ideal top level of self-governance, I don't think things would look the way they do now. To be clear, I think power needs to be decentralized, but I think it needs to be a multi-level system like the one we have only modified with powers growing thinner as they go up, and the like.

I think Constitutions and written documentation and analysis of rights are still key, for all their faults. Because the judiciary can and has at times prevented authoritarian rule and the violation of natural rights, both at the national level and at the local levels many want to delegate great power to. And we still have some of the original Constitution despite centuries of would-be autocrats trying to tear it down. I agree that when the populous understands the Constitution, and holds it in their hearts wholeheartedly, it works better, but I still feel some guardrails against overreach and authoritarianism are better than none. (That said, I do fear unrighteous judges who knowingly dissemble and misinterpret. Those are potentially quite dangerous authoritarians at any level in any system, and I do think more should be done about that and to guard against it and see that somebody watches the watchers at least to some degree. Heck, even if it's a circle of watchers staring vaguely in one anothers' direction. There needs to be accountability, too, when you hold that much power.) 

Essentially, I think our current system can be reformed to grant power to the localities without balkanization, without secession, without a trail to utter fragmentation, and without unnecessary bloodshed.
Printing money is the way they lower interest rates. The Fed's in a trap. The traditional way to deal with inflation is to raise interest rates. Volcker raised it to over 20% to beat stagflation in the 70s, but doing that today would mean the US government would have to pay $6 trillion in interest every year (1.5 times the entire federal budget). The traditional way to deal with a recession (which seems to be coming) is to drop the prime interest rate a couple percent, which isn't really possible when interest rates are so low, because going negative is a problem. So they're trying to slowly raise interest rates, in the hopes it'll reduce inflation a bit, and give them some breathing room if a recession hits. Of course, if they raise rates too fast, it could cause the recession because the market reacts badly to rate hikes.

You might be interested to look into Switzerland. They're divided into cantons, which traditionally have more independent authority than states in the US. The smallest half a dozen have populations less than 50,000 or less, with the smallest at about 16,000. The median is just over 200,000. They function quite well, and they've done a spectacular job at defense.

There will be practical limits on decentralization, but it's not Houston.

Instead of relying purely on a Constitution, I think we need to build in better checks and balances. One of them might be to break the monopoly on the use of force.

Also, I generally favor webs of loose associations. We don't have to break the up the US entirely. We can still have a federal government, but it should be anemic compared to today, with most power being pushed to the states, and even more to the local governments. Same would apply even with a full breakup, where states (not the US type) would form alliances and agreements.

I appreciate the help understanding the whole economics side of things, though I must admit I may still need to look into it to better understand some of the mechanisms and events you are referencing here.

As noted, I don't have much of a problem with decentralized power outside irrational extremes, and I might look into Switzerland to understand how these cantons organize and function. Could be a good blueprint for reform maybe.

I do favor gun rights and the like, so no argument there. I did say a government needs to control the definition, and not the practical application, of the legitimate use of force.

I have made my opinions clear regarding support for decentralization and a weaker federal government. That said, I also am still not at all on board with a complete breakup, balkanization, fragmentation, etcetera as opposed to reform, and would much prefer your first option. I think things are salvageable, if perhaps not by any one person than by the character of our nation's populous when put to the test, which is very much happening now. If there were a complete breakup due to an inability to overcome the cultural, moral, and political challenges with which we are now faced, I would be devastated and mourn the future of both American civilization and the world more broadly. And I would at least hope the successor states would have the sense to make proper tiered nations with decentralized powers and protective constitutions to safeguard their rights. And that they wouldn't just be picked off one by one or alliance by alliance as the case may be.

Pat

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #782 on: June 23, 2022, 08:13:29 PM »
I appreciate the help understanding the whole economics side of things, though I must admit I may still need to look into it to better understand some of the mechanisms and events you are referencing here.
Yes, there's a lot of complexity that I'm eliding over. Here's a place to start for a high level overview of economics. It's one of the best introductions ever written:
https://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson
It's free. Not just free as an audio book or PDF, but they'll mail you a physical copy at zero charge.

If you want more on the Fed, the money supply, the business cycle, inflation, and so on... well, that gets complex. Really complex. It helps to read both the new Keynsians (loosely, the mainstream or Fed-type economists) and the Austrians, who are basically the gadflies who call out the Fed, to get the full range of views on the subject. For the Keynsians, any textbook on Macroeconomics works. For the Austrians, Murphy's new book is supposed to cover it, but I haven't read it yet, so I can't really comment on the quality. But it's here:
https://mises.org/library/understanding-money-mechanics-0
Also free. Though only the electronic versions this time.

KindaMeh

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #783 on: June 23, 2022, 08:20:48 PM »
I appreciate the help understanding the whole economics side of things, though I must admit I may still need to look into it to better understand some of the mechanisms and events you are referencing here.
Yes, there's a lot of complexity that I'm eliding over. Here's a place to start for a high level overview of economics. It's one of the best introductions ever written:
https://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson
It's free. Not just free as an audio book or PDF, but they'll mail you a physical copy at zero charge.

If you want more on the Fed, the money supply, the business cycle, inflation, and so on... well, that gets complex. Really complex. It helps to read both the new Keynsians (loosely, the mainstream or Fed-type economists) and the Austrians, who are basically the gadflies who call out the Fed, to get the full range of views on the subject. For the Keynsians, any textbook on Macroeconomics works. For the Austrians, Murphy's new book is supposed to cover it, but I haven't read it yet, so I can't really comment on the quality. But it's here:
https://mises.org/library/understanding-money-mechanics-0
Also free. Though only the electronic versions this time.

I appreciate the help, and may well look into both of these resource links if I can muster the time and effort that they likely deserve. It sounds like a lot, but I suppose if citizens like us don't look into it and have a basic understanding so as to be informed voters and hold our representatives accountable, who will? (Plus who knows, may help with personal investments and the like through an actual understanding of the economy, which can't be bad for that sort of thing.) I haven't been active on this site long, but I'm already getting a fair bit of knowledge and exposure to various new opinions out of it.

jeff37923

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #784 on: June 23, 2022, 08:22:31 PM »
I appreciate the help understanding the whole economics side of things, though I must admit I may still need to look into it to better understand some of the mechanisms and events you are referencing here.
Yes, there's a lot of complexity that I'm eliding over. Here's a place to start for a high level overview of economics. It's one of the best introductions ever written:
https://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson
It's free. Not just free as an audio book or PDF, but they'll mail you a physical copy at zero charge.

If you want more on the Fed, the money supply, the business cycle, inflation, and so on... well, that gets complex. Really complex. It helps to read both the new Keynsians (loosely, the mainstream or Fed-type economists) and the Austrians, who are basically the gadflies who call out the Fed, to get the full range of views on the subject. For the Keynsians, any textbook on Macroeconomics works. For the Austrians, Murphy's new book is supposed to cover it, but I haven't read it yet, so I can't really comment on the quality. But it's here:
https://mises.org/library/understanding-money-mechanics-0
Also free. Though only the electronic versions this time.

Bad news, they are all out of free physical copies. I'll pay for this because it looks interesting enough.
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jhkim

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #785 on: June 24, 2022, 03:03:28 AM »
To assume smaller is more authoritarian is short sighted...now if it is a blue area for god damn certain it WILL be more authoritarian, it is a feature of being blue.  The current edition of red is not so big on authoritarianism or making war.  Fine by me.    The other reality is, if some aspects present more authoritarianism that aligns directly with shared beliefs and principles, so be it.  Red rules in red states, blue rules in blue states.  Everyone is happier, healthier and more productive.

But red states are not 100% full of people who want more red rules, just as blue states are not 100% full of people who want more blue rules. Most states have less than a 10% margin of Republican vs Democrat, and even small local communities usually are not very polarized. I know plenty of conservatives here in my highly liberal SF Bay Area city.

My ideal is people able to choose for themselves as individuals how they want to live - not local government telling them how they are supposed to live. I feel that stronger local rule will lead to more government intervention telling people how to live.

jeff37923

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #786 on: June 24, 2022, 04:23:45 AM »
To assume smaller is more authoritarian is short sighted...now if it is a blue area for god damn certain it WILL be more authoritarian, it is a feature of being blue.  The current edition of red is not so big on authoritarianism or making war.  Fine by me.    The other reality is, if some aspects present more authoritarianism that aligns directly with shared beliefs and principles, so be it.  Red rules in red states, blue rules in blue states.  Everyone is happier, healthier and more productive.

But red states are not 100% full of people who want more red rules, just as blue states are not 100% full of people who want more blue rules. Most states have less than a 10% margin of Republican vs Democrat, and even small local communities usually are not very polarized. I know plenty of conservatives here in my highly liberal SF Bay Area city.

My ideal is people able to choose for themselves as individuals how they want to live - not local government telling them how they are supposed to live. I feel that stronger local rule will lead to more government intervention telling people how to live.

Bolding mine.

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oggsmash

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #787 on: June 24, 2022, 08:39:11 AM »
To assume smaller is more authoritarian is short sighted...now if it is a blue area for god damn certain it WILL be more authoritarian, it is a feature of being blue.  The current edition of red is not so big on authoritarianism or making war.  Fine by me.    The other reality is, if some aspects present more authoritarianism that aligns directly with shared beliefs and principles, so be it.  Red rules in red states, blue rules in blue states.  Everyone is happier, healthier and more productive.

But red states are not 100% full of people who want more red rules, just as blue states are not 100% full of people who want more blue rules. Most states have less than a 10% margin of Republican vs Democrat, and even small local communities usually are not very polarized. I know plenty of conservatives here in my highly liberal SF Bay Area city.

My ideal is people able to choose for themselves as individuals how they want to live - not local government telling them how they are supposed to live. I feel that stronger local rule will lead to more government intervention telling people how to live.

  You also raised hell over the "dont say gay bill".  I suspect you prefer to live where there would never be a bill like that, I prefer to live where that is the law of the land.  You live where a 10 round magazine limit is the law, I would NEVER tolerate living where a law like that was in effect.  You are going to feel some kind of way if the state decides abortions....I am just fine with states deciding it.  You are talking about current status, I am talking about a much more idealized scenario, I would also suggest local/smaller communities are MUCH more polarized than a state may indicate.    I would agree about being left alone and being told how to live....but that is wishful thinking, and I just prefer people I see eye to eye with decide on the rules.  The libertarian tone has done as much damage as the rabid left in many cases.  This is another difference, you see good where I see damage, you see damage where I see reform.   

    We do not share enough principles and values to make meaningful progress towards a unified nation, if it were just you and me and we left one another alone it wouldnt matter.  But people who have the same differences we do are trying to constantly make rules for one another.   That is going to hit a breaking point, just like a marriage can.  Best to split before people start throwing dishes or setting beds on fire is all I am stating.   I would like to see and hear the point of view on many topics from all those conservatives you know.  I have a feeling the meter for being conservative where I live looks a shitload different than where you live....I am considered a borderline leftie libertarian where I live......

   I dont think any sort of split like this ever happens.  I would imagine any future conflict will look like the "conflicts" in the history for the setting of Starship troopers.  People will only tolerate the Cheasa Boudains for so long.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 08:40:45 AM by oggsmash »

Spinachcat

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #788 on: June 24, 2022, 06:41:08 PM »
Hopefully the overturning of Roe vs. Wade will be a great step toward secession. The more balkanized we become culturally, the easier it will be to physically separate.

Huzzah!


jhkim

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #789 on: June 24, 2022, 09:28:39 PM »
My ideal is people able to choose for themselves as individuals how they want to live - not local government telling them how they are supposed to live. I feel that stronger local rule will lead to more government intervention telling people how to live.

  You also raised hell over the "dont say gay bill".  I suspect you prefer to live where there would never be a bill like that, I prefer to live where that is the law of the land.  You live where a 10 round magazine limit is the law, I would NEVER tolerate living where a law like that was in effect.  You are going to feel some kind of way if the state decides abortions....I am just fine with states deciding it.  You are talking about current status, I am talking about a much more idealized scenario, I would also suggest local/smaller communities are MUCH more polarized than a state may indicate.    I would agree about being left alone and being told how to live....but that is wishful thinking, and I just prefer people I see eye to eye with decide on the rules.

Sure, we have our differences, but to my mind they seem smaller than many of the differences that I've grown up with. When I was a kid, I would regularly encounter people who were openly racist - to the point of being concerned about black people in the same swimming pool, or regarding me as a moral wrong since my parents were of different races. Those views are much rarer now.

I'm used to living with intolerable laws, because I've opposed a lot of the laws that I've grown up with. I oppose civil asset forfeiture, as well as monetary fines (which mean the rich can break the law freely), and plea bargaining. I've been opposed to the war on drugs, and most of U.S. foreign wars. I wouldn't say that I tolerate those, but I'm not going to move out of the U.S. or call for secession because of my disagreement. I just have advocated for changing them to something I consider more just.

Historically, people of very incompatible viewpoints have lived in the U.S. In the past, our ethnic divides have been much more stark, like the divide between blacks and whites in the 1920s, or Navajo and settlers, etc.

I don't know you well enough to see whether we could get along in a community, but we wouldn't have to be  friends in order to live in the same country as each other. We could hate each other's guts - we just can't, say, burst into violence against each other. You say that gun rights and transgender issues are your two touch points. I've been close friends with people who are gun enthusiasts, even though I'm not. My girlfriend's mother was murdered by a gun-wielding domestic abuser, so in particular, I support the ban on convicted abusers having guns - but I think magazine limits are dumb. On the other hand, my housemate and their kid are both transgender, as is my sister's kid. Would you do anything if they were living in the same community, like going to school with your daughter?

jhkim

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #790 on: June 24, 2022, 09:30:21 PM »
Hopefully the overturning of Roe vs. Wade will be a great step toward secession. The more balkanized we become culturally, the easier it will be to physically separate.

Huzzah!

I think this decreases motivation towards secession at the state level. Blue states will experience no change, while red states will be less motivated to secede since they can enforce more laws without federal interference.

Trond

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #791 on: June 24, 2022, 09:38:55 PM »
Hopefully the overturning of Roe vs. Wade will be a great step toward secession. The more balkanized we become culturally, the easier it will be to physically separate.

Huzzah!

I think this decreases motivation towards secession at the state level. Blue states will experience no change, while red states will be less motivated to secede since they can enforce more laws without federal interference.

I’d say that’s probably fairly accurate. Not that secession was very likely to begin with.

Pat

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #792 on: June 24, 2022, 11:13:49 PM »
NPR admitted today that, historically, pro-abortion stuff doesn't bring out the votes. There are a few protests, and endless weepy stories and attempts to justify an unjustifiable law-by-judge. But we know that on a top 10 lists of important issues coming into the midterm, there is inflation, gas prices, and nothing else. Abortion isn't a factor for most of middle America, no matter how desperate Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer are to make it one. So there's a reasonable chance that it could just slip off everyone's radar.

But... we've already seen multiple acts of terrorism against clinics helping pregnant women, and Jane's Revenge is threatening to escalate. The media's been trying to ignore it, but it'll be all over the non-corporate/governmental press if they keep their word. And even the spinniest of spin is going to have a hard time convincing people that attacking pregnant woman and the organizations they help them is a good thing. This could get really dark.

Battlemaster

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #793 on: June 24, 2022, 11:42:11 PM »
Clarence 'Uncle' Thomas has said that contraception and marriage rights are the next targets.
Fuck the fascist right and the fascist left.

Ratman_tf

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Re: It's time for the USA to balkanize. How can that happen peacefully?
« Reply #794 on: June 25, 2022, 02:02:09 AM »
Clarence 'Uncle' Thomas has said that contraception and marriage rights are the next targets.



Now that's racism!
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