After America

This post on Marginal Stasis got a ton of comments and so did the Sailer commentary on it at his site. What makes this interesting is not what is said in the comments or even what’s in the source article. The comments are mostly people reworking their favorite cheers with regards to immigration.

The libertarians chant about riding unicorns to their castles in the clouds. The patriots chant about the cultural collapse that would be an inevitable consequence of transporting the world’s peasants to your neighborhood. Then a fight breaks out and before long someone is calling the patriots racist.

That’s all fine, but why does everyone assume America would remain a country as currently constructed? More important, why is it assumed that immigration would play out the same everywhere? California has had a vastly different experience with immigration than Texas. Virginia has had a much different result than Maryland or Delaware.

A great book to read, if you like reading this blog, is called American Nations. It covers the history of the people who settled the Americas, breaking them into unique “nations” that have ties back to the old country. New England, for example, was founded by Roundheads mostly from a handful of towns in England. They imposed their culture and new arrivals were forced to assimilate. Later, Yankees migrated west settling in what is now the Midwest.

The neat thing about the book is he ties this together with the country’s history, so we get to see how those old regional differences played out in the Civil War, for example. I like the book primarily because it jives with my view of history, but it is a great read and very good introduction to understanding the HBD view of history. For the record, I doubt the author would agree with it being HBD history, but that’s my take.

Anyway, wholesale immigration to America is not going to play out the same everywhere. It has not played out that way so far. New England has been far more welcoming to Irish immigrants than Hispanic immigrants. The town system allows them to pack people they don’t really want into ghettos away from everyone else. This puts a natural cap on immigration from places that are too ethnically different from the natives.

California, which has always been split between a mild and tolerant south and a Yankee influenced north has largely been overrun by Hispanics, but mostly in the South. Northern California is getting whiter while the state gets browner. Similarly, Virginia has absorbed a lot of Hispanics, while West Virginia has absorbed very few. Those Appalachian Mountain people are not friendly to outsiders of any type.

I think if we ever go for open borders, we’ll see three things happen. One is the native populations will begin to move around with a sense of urgency. Yankee transplants living in North Carolina will find a way to move back. We’re already seeing Midlanders who migrated to California heading to states like Colorado fleeing the Hispanics. I think the American nations will consolidate back into their natural zones again.

Another thing is each region will adjust to make sure the native population maintains control of the local power structure. This is something you see in California. The state looks like Mexico, but the state’s political leaders look like Vermont. In New England, this means a compulsory assimilation which will serve to scare off immigrants. In the Old South a return of the highly stratified caste system will make its return. The South will look a lot like South America or the Caribbean.

Finally, I think we would probably see the country break up. New England, most of New York and New Jersey, big chunks of the upper Midwest will either leave for Canada or become a separate country. The South and the Tidewater would most likely welcome it, breaking off as their own country. The Northwest would probably join Canada, but I could argue they would follow New England and the upper Midwest. The middle part of the country and states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia are hard to figure, but they could band together with Texas and Oklahoma or join the South.

The reason for thinking the country would break up is it has come close over much less. In the 19th century New England was close to leaving the Union, but the end of the War of 1812 put a halt to that. The Civil War is the best example. If the South had not attacked Fort Sumter, the North would never attacked. Instead, the South would have been permitted to leave.

We are currently unified as a country only because Yankee culture dominates the political, cultural, and financial high ground. One reading of American history is that it is the fight for control by Yankeedom. If the Yankee north can no longer dominate the rest due to massive immigration, they would look to leave and that would cause the rest to break apart too. The result would be four or five countries, maybe in some sort of federation to modulate trade, borders, and defense.

15 thoughts on “After America

  1. Pingback: Thursday morning links - Maggie's Farm

  2. “We are currently unified as a country only because Yankee culture dominates the political, cultural and financial high ground.”

    Perhaps this is subsumed in your comment, but more accurately we are currently unified as a country only because the Federal government, in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, has the capacity to print money from thin air.

    Modern America is best viewed as a monetary union rather than a political union. The individual States, formerly sovereign, have progressively exchanged their sovereignty, bit-by-bit, in exchange for the comforts provided by printed dollars flowing from the Federal government. Blue states have done so willingly and enthusiastically; red states reluctantly.

    The moment of reckoning will come if and when the dollar loses its status as the reserve currency for the world’s financial system. I am 50 and do not expect this to happen in my lifetime–it’s simply too easy to foment the kind of chaos in the rest of the world that leaves the global financial system no choice but to retain the dollar as the reserve currency.

    At present, the Federal government can paper over the financial consequences of cultural differences with printed money. No sane conservative should live in deep blue states like California, New York, or Illinois, yet millions do in large part because wealth transfers from the Federal government, primarily in the form of welfare transfer payments, insulate residents from the financial consequences of their state and local leaders’ political choices.

    This game stops if and when the dollar loses reserve currency status and the Federal government can no longer fulfill its role as the monetary sugar daddy to state and local governments. When productive residents of blue states like California, New York, and Illinois have to face directly the crushing tax burden required to maintain the blue state model they will flee these states in droves for greener (i.e., redder) pastures. That’s when the cultural and political sorting of America, which has already begun, will ensue in earnest.

    I view this as entirely positive. Once the cultural sorting of America works itself out there will be little need for an overarching Federal government. The United States can then revert to a Federal structure akin to that which existed prior to the Progressive Era. Financial history will have followed its arc.

    Thank you for indulging my comment. Your blog is one of the best on the Internet–always thought provoking and enlightening. Keep up the excellent work.

  3. I am inclined to agree with your line that nations are not going to stay the way they ‘always’ have been. A historical map of Europe, and indeed one of the British Isles, shows more than a few shifting boundaries and re-identifications. What is interesting is how, when the fracture comes, it will fall.

    The vastness of the States would have made it almost impossible to manage had better communications not come along at the ideal time. The telegraph and the railroad came along right on cue as it were. Orders could be issued from an off-centre capital (or even more off-centred financial powerhouse) and put into action in far-flung places, and equally reinforcements and equipment — plus news which cemented the event — could be dispatched with haste. All that meant unity could be maintained.

    But when that unity crumbles and the dissolving eventually comes (and I bet no president wants that on his CV) it will be fascinating to see what groupings form. I agree with Kathleen about not wanting to be stuck with the lunatic left (this worries me in England if all the ‘liberal’ dolts in London finally wake up and decide that the submerging of the capital into a third-world slum means they will rush to my neck of the woods) and all sorts of questions will arise about who can go where.

    If you find yourself in a state that wants to carry on as if nothing untoward has happened and the wholesale embracing of crazy ideas carries on, the question becomes how do you move away from your new home? The break up of a country will mean new borders and some are almost certain to be considerably tighter than the sloppiness that has gone on for the past twenty years. I would think a number of new ‘nation’ states will openly dislike immigration and once free of central control (either Washington or Brussels) will soon put up their own stout fences.

    The best bet is to hope that while free movement currently exists you can relocate to a place where, with luck, you will find yourself among the right people. But, it is a gamble.

  4. In a lot of Civil War era newspapers it’s spelled ‘Sumpter’. Isn’t this book a re-working of Joel Garreau’s book “The Nine Nations of North America? Or Albion’s seed, by David Hackett Fischer?

    • There’s a lot borrowed from Albion’s Seed, conceptually. It’s America-centric so the focus is a bit narrower. Frankly, I think Albion’s Seed was a good book, but way too long. I think it is pretty much another version of Joel Garreau’s book, but from a slightly different angle. Reading both together is not a bad idea. Woodard appeals to me a bit more because I suspect we hold the same view of Puritanism. I’m a Roundhead-basher from way back.

  5. I got half-way through the comments. Maybe one in ten even tried to address the essay. The rest was just double-plus ungood duckspeak.

    This is why I read very few blogs these days. Perhaps one in twenty can write something grammatically and syntactically correct. A further one in twenty of those can analyze and critique an argument. The rest just repeat what someone else told them, usually poorly.

    Now I’m going to spend the next few days pondering the marching morons again.

    • A reader sent me note the other day pointing to a free republic post about me. Someone there says my writing is something close to poetry. How about that?

      • The people with the most creative political minds are the ones who have first given up hope, which ironically clears the path to optimism.

      • Your writing is very good – and I don’t usually do spelling errors – but jives for jibes and Fort Sumpter for Fort Sumter literally leaped off the page.

        I guess the spelling nanny surfaced today!

        Keep up the interesting blogging. Have already recommended you to thers.

        • My rules on spelling and grammar for this blog are 1)If I catch on the second read I’ll fix it, 2) If the error is funny to me I leave it (gorilla/guerrilla) and 3) If the spell check on the device is going to fight me over it I let the device win. This is a blog, not a legal brief.

          Sumter is a good example of #3. There must be a “Sumpter” in the dictionary of which I am unaware. Jibes/Jives just makes me laugh.

          • Poetry?

            “He’d sell a rat’s asshole to a blind man for a wedding ring.” or something about like that, IIRC, by Richard Brautigan.

            I think I prefer the ZMan.

        • Although the fort was named for General Thomas Sumter (the fighting gamecock) of Revolutionary War fame, the Sumpter name is far more common in the midlands & low country of South Carolina among the former slaves.

  6. I’ve often thought that maybe after a major upheaval, such as a severe economic collapse coupled with the cultural disintegration we’re currently witnessing, the country would break apart. One day Uncle Sugar may run out of money. We have ceased to be a unified country, values-wise. But then again, thinking about state sovereignty, what we really need is a severely weakened federal government. We could remain 50 states, each sovereign but belonging to a loose and weak federal confederation. I like this idea much better than the country breaking apart, mainly because I don’t want to end up behind the lines with the Marxists/Leftists.

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