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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

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I read this piece yesterday and I am glad you commented on it. What a load of hogwash. Anyone who studies history on the grand scale knows that certain things are much more durable than this sort of thing suggests. Particularly durable are ideas or institutions. It has often been argued that the main legacy of the Roman empire was the Catholic church. Still with us. In the dark ages (500-750) there was the concept of the 'Latin West'. And we still have the idea of Western Europe, bound together by a common set of languages derived from Latin.

The USA, forgive me if I am completely wrong, I see as set of people of diverse racial origin, bound together by a common vision and set of principles. You may deride these principles, but you cannot deny the common belief, nor the passion with which it is believed. It always surprises me when I go back to the US, or when I see someone from the backwoods interviewed on international TV, of how passionately and sincerely and touchingly ordinary Americans believe in values like country, the presidency, and the basic principles of American democracy. This sort of thing is far more durable than any arbitrary arrangement of state or country or border. For this reason I see America persisting for hundreds or thousands of years, not collapsing in 2010.

However I do see hard times ahead, and I see a questioning of certain core values (or rather a questioning of how those core values were subverted and corrupted or exploited).

Even if the US were to split (and obviously, I don't see that happening in the near future), I doubt the various divisions would fall under the control of foreign powers. I imagine that the proposed "California Republic", for example, would be able to fend for itself.

If this Russian is right, then even though I can't return to my homeland, part of the States may come to me here in East Asia...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Isaac Asimov did not do political science any favours when he wrote the "Foundation" series. Be that as it may, and recognizing that we enter now the world of SF with further speculation, if the USA did break up south of the Canadian border such that Alaska found itself adrift I submit that joining Russia is the last thing the culture, politics, ethics and aspirations of the present occupants of Alaska would likely motivate the people of Alaska to do. Far more likely would be the erection of an independent state. If circumstances compelled the Alaskans to seek admission into a larger political polity their first choice would likely be the devils they know best who are most advantageously placed with respect to Alaskan interests and that would be the Californian Republic; after that their second choice would likely be joining Canada, especially if, as Mr.Panarin suggests, the Central North American Republic were also to join, or be under the influence of, Canada.

O,

I posted the map as a joke, though it is not a joke that many Russians (I am told) believe the USA is about to collapse. You're right: it's hogwash. It is silly to suppose that the Canadians are about to grab Northern states, and even more silly to suppose that the Mexicans, who can't even control their own territory, are preparing a landgrab in the Southwest. And one year from now! Absurd.

But what about all these Chinese restaurants I see springing up? In my own little community there are three! Are the ChiComs using these places as fronts for an imminent takeover of California and Arizona?

This is much more likely, even without Stirling's sudden change in the laws of physics:

http://hem.bredband.net/b104699/books/sunrise/sunrise_m.html

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