Sean over at I aim to misbehave has an interesting post, asking the question "How long do you think the United States has, and if it does break up - how will it happen"
I opined a bit in his comments, but I thought I'd mumble on a bit more over here in my own blog.
As a Patriot, I find thinking about the disoloution of my country a very hard thing to ponder. I *love* this country. I love what it stands for, the strength of the system that was designed long before I was fathered, and the idea that it may indeed stand the test of time.
However, I believe that I am becoming one of a minority. Call my Conservative. Call me old fashioned, or what have you. It is clear to me that there is a large group of people in this country that do not ask the question put to them by John F Kennedy - that being "What Can you Do for your Country" but instead, "What can my Country do for ME?"
The values that made this country a super-power - that gave it a production capcity unrivaled anywhere in the world, and the will to use the might it granted have been slowly erroded. I'll leave the why's to another post. Suffice to say its happened. Its still happening.
Is all for naught? Are we bound to go from this limited Republic to something that resembles not the Free, but United States of America - but instead the Socialist States of America?
I don't think so. But I don't think it will be easy. Many people have come to believe they are entitled to things - forgetting that nothing in this life is free. Life is purchased dearly by Pain and Discomfort, both on the part of the Mother, and the Child. That free healthcare you want? Public Education? You may not pay taxes, but *someone* does. And those taxes are paying for your 'free' ride.
All that said, if the Federal Government was to faulter and fail, and I woke up one day to find North Dakota independant from its neighbors, I wouldn't immediately fret. While my job may find itself suddenly missing - I live in a state that produces no small amount of things. North Dakota is one of the leading exporters of Coal, there is a fairly robust supply of oil thats been found locally, and of course - North Dakota is a grain belt state. We have market leverage galore, if we can hold together, and chose to use it.
Would it be fun? No - probably not. It would be hard, and the changes to both this country, and my life would be epic. And I don't pretend that such a thing would happen without bloodshed. Be it because the remenants of the Federal Government come waltzing in, or because a few thousand Federal Penitentary inmates suddenly find themselves free to do as they please.
In the end, I see the states that have similar interests banding together in a great States collapse. The East Coast, with its many centers of learning, and some bastions of industry (some of which would be re-opened much to the Green's dismay) would band together. The Deep South, with its shared heritage, and similar industry would become an agrigate, the grain belt -stretching from the Dakotas to Texas might become the Great Plains Republic, and so forth.
Sadly, I do not see such a land as being stable. The United State's power is such because it is United. I don't have to worry about shipping something in from overseas, or have fifty different treatys to get my goods to the world market.
But - whatever comes, will come. For good or ill, I think Sean is right in one thing - and that is that this great nation will not be the same nation I grew up in, when my children grow old. I don't know what shape the country will have taken in that time - but, much as the Forefathers of old may not recognize that which they wrought - in a generation or three, Standing or Not, we will likely not recognize this Union either.