Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Constitution and Secession

A very good piece on the original Constitution, Federalism and the current crop of "back to the Constitution groups:

The Tenthers are fighting valiantly to reverse the 220 years in which that last item in the Bill of Rights has been emasculated and rendered effectively irrelevant, and they may even be gaining some attention, particularly in the states’ growing resistance to Obamacare. But it seems most unlikely that, with the other centralizing tools at their command, the Federal courts will give it much consideration.

And then when they finally see their beloved amendment in shreds, maybe then the Tenthers and other Constitutional-Firsters will begin to see that the U.S. Constitution, by the centralists, of the nationalists, and for the Hamiltonians, is not a document that will lead them to liberty and sovereignty. The only method for that, let us hope they finally realize, is secession.

This issue of secession has been on my mind for a couple of months. I think the US is fast reaching an inflection point. There are huge demographic changes going on. There is a vast gulf between generally liberal "coasters" and the "rest of the country". The former living relatively high on finance capital who generally don't produce anything necessary to live and the latter decimated by the exporting of low and semi-skilled labour and the importation of immigrants to fill other kinds of jobs. Usually those directly tied to manual labour and those things necessary to live.

The belligerence of the Tea Party right can be understood if you understand that the America they know and knew slips away (as they see it) by a ruling class (as they see it) that is quite arrogant and dismissive of those persons that are deemed "racist", "homophobic" and quite a few other "ists" and "ics". Of course they do not serve their cause by stomping on the heads of women. But they are mad. And if you saw what they saw as they see it, you'd understand the anger. Even if you disagreed with it.

In any case, historically when countries get to this point, one of two things happened: Mass killings of the dissenters or secession. The US went down the latter road in it's infamous civil war. As civil wars go though, as has been pointed out by authors more qualified than I, that a total victory of one side over the other is unusual. Usually there is some kind of negotiated resolution . Typically though, in a time when there was plenty of land available people "went and sat down somewhere" and a new country is formed. Like most nation-states, that country has it's own folklore and heroes (the ones who kicked butt). They usually have a common religion, language, monetary system and other things that we commonly call culture. Indeed the founding of the US is part of that rebel, move, settle, form nation pattern. What makes US is unique is that it claims to not be a land based on being "from the land" but being made under law. It is not "Our ancestors the Gauls" but "No taxation without representation" that supposedly bound the nation. There is supposedly no 'shared culture" just the law of the land and alleged freedom to live as one chose. Indeed such patterns played out. For example the Amish had an entirely different way of living and didn't even fight in the revolutionary war on religious grounds. They generally went and lived in Pennsylvania following the similar patterns of people with like culture deciding to live together. Indeed there were areas of America that were essentially transplants of Germany and other places.

We do know that at some point that there inevitably arose a dominant culture. That dominant culture, by and large has been WASP. Some of the hallmarks of the emergent US culture was Belief in a Christian God as an assumed thing. English language proficiency was expected of all regardless of what was spoken at home or where one arrived from. Newcomers learned it or had serious problems. Beauty standards, etc. have generally been under the dominant WASP ideology. Everyone who entered was expected to conform to this standard. The last 60 or so years has seen a direct challenge to these "norms" of US dominant culture. Notably the rise of immigrant groups who appear to have no interest in "assimilating" or "following the rules" and who demand rights that a generation ago would not have even passed the sniff test.

Wars in countries where there are actual concerns of civilian casualties (Yes that is some odd stuff).

The building of Mosques near where "enemies" killed Americans (something that wouldn't even have passed the suggestion phase 50 years ago).

And of course the black president.

"Real" White Americans, particularly males are at a point where they are asking "what about me? Where am I represented?" It's a funny question when you can see that white males as a group are well represented, in terms of numbers at least. But one has to see that the white man on main street small town USA doesn't necessarily see himself on Wall Street. He doesn't see himself on the pages of Forbes. He's NASCAR. He's Football. He's the "sexist"commercials on TV. He's laid off of outsourced jobs. He's 'patriarchal" and believes he ought to be able to provide for his family but His wife appears to have better employment prospects than he does and he's upset about these women telling him and his wife that something is wrong with their arrangement. His male children are made to feel inferiorized in school because they are energetic and wont sit down and read like the girl "model citizens" in school. He sees his masculinity attacked by "feminists". He sees his religion being mocked on TV by "liberal media". He is the global bad guy but sees nothing but "minorities" on TV committing crime and they are who he sees as getting special privileges are getting ahead. He. Is. Not. Happy.

So he first elects President Bush. Bush seems to be like him. Bush seems to share his values. After Bush he sees the Tea Party as representing his interests as he sees them. And his interest is getting his America back and his 'rightful" place in it. So here's the problem: If he doesn't get to a position where he sees that he has a stake in the country, by electing people who represent his interests and there's nowhere else to go, what is he going to do?

Now we understand why there is a rise in militia groups and rising "hate crimes". As I told some people who were mocking Christine O'Donnell, don't be so dismissive of her appeal. A lot of the more sane things she has said is common culture for a lot of people. Particularly Christians. When liberals mock these ideas, they are actually mocking a segment of the American people. And if liberals say "that's un-American" then they are saying to those people that they are no longer under consideration as a segment that has a stake in the country. It's very dangerous talk. It's dangerous because if they don't feel they have a stake and they can't go anywhere else (or don't wish to because it's their land too.) then the violence begins.