Civil war or Breaking into an EU-Style Union look increasingly inevitable
As a fan of American Nations by Colin Woodard (2011) and Nine Nations of America (1981) by Joel Garreau, it is increasingly apparent that culture is the key insight underlying everything in politics in America. Simply put, America no longer shares a culture that can be used as the basis for governing.
As a middle-aged man who grew up on the west coast, large sections of the United States feel more foreign to me than many countries in Europe. National politics at both the federal and party level have…
It’s really hard to look at the state of the United States Federal Government and conclude that it’s really working for… well… anyone.
The Federalist Papers made the original arguments for the need for a strong federal government. In the wake of the Great Depression and World War II, that federal government transformed the nation, dramatically shifting the focus from states toward centralization.
Step 1: Hire ~100 thugs to disrupt polling locations in key states. A few thugs are apprehended, but there is no clarity as to who hired them, motivation, etc.
Step 2: Ensure that the footage of these thugs is widely disseminated, through a partisan major media network. The other networks follow suit, but there will be no clarity about the nature or purpose of the thugs.
Step 3: Trump and friends use this thuggery as an excuse to declare the election invalid or otherwise in dispute. They take it to the Supreme Court.
Step 4: After whatever period — days…
One of the rather major mysteries when doing comparative national politics is the extraordinarily obvious emergence of similar patterns.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — the urban areas, representing a more cosmopolitan, vigorous support of the actions of government for social programs and management of powerful interests, find themselves embroiled against an alliance of socially conservative nominally rural voters and anti-government business leaders.
These basic two coalitions exist in one form or another in virtually every large nation. In multiparty systems, the parties wind up coalescing into two coalitions to get a majority. In two-party dominant systems…
Here’s the thing about a potential war involving some (or all) of the oil countries — aside from the dreadful human cost, it would probably spell the end of Middle East oil as a strategic resource.
As of this writing, there is tremendous pressure to reduce oil usage by virtually all of the powers. The geopolitics are ugly — both in terms of climate change and the grim reality that both side lose when dealing with the resource curse.
The smarter oil countries know that if the price of oil goes up, it just makes renewables much, much more cost…
It’s possible that the reason that Donald Trump doesn’t want anyone to see his taxes is that it would be instantly clear to any and all analysis that he is effectively bankrupt.
Under this theory, he is able to maintain the fiction that he is wealthy only so long as his creditors remain unaware of the true state of his affairs.
This theory does fit the available facts, including:
CNN is reporting that the Russian military jammed GPS signals during a NATO training exercise.
That’s… really weird.
The idea that the opposition would take out satellites and other information technologies is pretty much a given in modern warfare. It’s why the Chinese blew up ASAT, generating a ton of very hazardous junk. The Chinese are trying to show that they can be very dangerous, and it was worth it to them to do that.
That’s basically just doing the training exercise a favor — every officer in NATO can now tell the kids again not to depend…
One trick to understanding modern US politics?
Forget everything that happened before, say, Carter took office in 1977. All of the stuff from before then is just weird old stuff. NATO. WTO. Great Depression. Actual fascism. Actual, Soviet Union-style communism.
World War II, Korea, Vietnam. JFK.
It’s all fallen away from the consciousness. Just dreams and mists and a bit of nostalgia.
So, when Trump talks about nationalism, while on the one hand, he knows. …
A friend told me a story from one of her MBA classes. It was a class on doing business in foreign (read: not the US) countries.
The topic of the day in the class was corruption and bribes. India and China were both specifically cited as being highly problematic.
The students from India and China were confused. One raised a hand, and this led to a conversation between the students and the professor. After a bit of back and forth, the students smiled and said, “oh, you mean facilitation payments.”
To those students, brib… ahem… facilitation payments… were just…