The USA Cannot Balkanize

In 2014, the paleoconservative luminary Pat Buchanan asked, “Will the U.S. become Balkanized?” For better or worse, the coming Second American Civil War or incipient Balkanization of the United States has been a common theme on the intellectual fringe with some spill-over in the mainstream. Everyone from black to white nationalists seems to be counting on some kind of spectacular political break-up in the next half-century, if not a profitable one then at least an apocalyptic one. Secession and segregation are integral parts of the vocabulary of American politics, and even some Hillary voters aren’t averse to asking Red Staters to just secede already and leave the good Blue States alone to enjoy their Starbucks-brand democratic socialism.

Such a flare-up would not be without precedent. The United States came asunder in 1861, so it is clearly not invincible, although the fault lines are almost certainly not the same. The ethnic, demographic, religious, economic, and geopolitical causes for the first American Civil War are not perfectly understood, but identifiable. Bloggers like JayMan have done an excellent job aggregating and explaining maps and data that show America’s different cultural streams, including the ones that went to war seventy years after independence from Britain. Here is a link to the ‘American Nations’ series, which will give you a basic rundown.

With the Republican frontrunner predicting riots, clever schemes to rework the political boundaries of the United States to reduce social tensions have been something of a fashion among aspiring thought criminals. There is the Six Californias proposal. The anarchists at the All Nations Party. Southern separatists who want the Old Confederacy back. Black separatists who want an African-American state in the Mississippi Delta or the Black Belt of the South. White separatists who want a white ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest (if nowhere else). Latino separatists trying to reclaim Aztlan. Libertarians want to move to New Hampshire and turn it into a small-government paradise, although most of them aren’t advocating open secession yet. Most aspiring separatists are gracious enough to offer Utah to the Mormons, and haven’t they pined for their Deseret long enough?

As I pointed out more than two years ago, despite widespread and increasing societal tension, the United States is simply not polarized enough to actually Balkanize or collapse into civil war. North America is becoming increasingly diverse and increasingly non-European, but diversity alone is not enough to drive a civil war or other major political rupture. For that, you need not just diversity, but concentrated diversity, and America’s diversity is deliberately diffused throughout the entire country.

Before Ukraine entered an official state of civil war in 2014, it had two clearly identifiable poles pulling the country East and West, respectively. Click here for a great map that illustrates what I’m talking about. In the West of Ukraine, the inhabitants spoke Ukrainian, wanted integration with the countries to the West in the EU and NATO, practiced Eastern Rite Catholicism on occasion, and had a history of being ruled by Poland, Lithuania, and Austria. In the East, the inhabitants spoke Russian, wanted re-integration with Russia, practiced Orthodox Christianity, and had no history except that of Russian conquerors and colonists in the territories around the Black Sea and Caucuses.

These cultural differences manifested in pre-Euromaidan presidential elections. Western regions voted upwards of 90%+ in favor of pro-Western candidates, while Eastern regions simultaneously voted 90%+ in favor of pro-Russian candidates. There was not much of a gradient either, as most regions voted 60-70%+ in favor of their particular candidate. The Donetsk region, which is now the core of the Russophone rebellion in Ukraine, voted for Viktor Yanukovych in 2004 with a margin of 96.2%. The Lviv region in the West (where half the population is Catholic) voted for Yanukovych’s opponent with a margin of 91.8%.

For comparison I’ll quote my original article:

…only a handful of U.S. states were >60% for either Romney or Obama in the 2012 Presidential election. Heavily Mormon Utah only managed 72% for Romney, and even Obama’s extremely liberal birth state of Hawaii only just barely managed to break the 70% barrier. Those were the only two states with >70% returns for either candidate. Take a look at that map of Ukraine again.

If you want to imagine an America that is going to split apart, imagine an America of 25 Utahs and 25 Hawaiis – but that is still not exactly as polarized as Ukraine was in 2014.

Even if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, I doubt that Republican vs. Democratic vote margins in the 2016 American presidential elections will vary much from their typical 51-49 or 55-45 counts. Take a look at this map of the results of the U.S. presidential election of 1860 one year before the Civil War began. Notice anything funny?

John C. Breckinridge, running on the ballot of the Southern Democratic Party, won almost the entire South, while Abraham Lincoln won almost the entire North and John Bell of the Constitutional Union ticket won three states in the center of the country, including Virginia, which coincidentally fell apart very soon. What were the victory margins then? Did they more closely approximate today’s American victory margins or the highly polarized margins in Ukraine?

Not a single ballot was cast in favor of Lincoln in 8 out of 10 states that Breckinridge won, and not a single ballot was cast in favor of Breckinridge in four Northern states, including the big ones of New York and Pennsylvania. The South had a three-way race between the Northern and Southern Democratic parties and the Constitutional Union Party, while the North had a two-way race between the Republican Party of Lincoln and the Northern Democratic party. The country was de facto holding two totally different elections. In other words, it was already de facto two different countries.

Looking at election results and JayMan’s extensive collection of maps showing regional dialects, climate, religion, etc., it is very difficult to discern any particular geographic poles that exist in contemporary America. There are certainly regional tendencies, but there is nothing that even comes close to approximating the level of polarization (bi- or multi-) necessary to catalyze a civil war like that of Ukraine in 2014 or the States in 1861. An election map of the United States reveals that America is not divided between Red and Blue, but is rather an almost continuous purple. The purported borders of cultural differences of America’s eleven nations are even more vague when examined on a map. Even a Mormon state is a bit far-fetched when only around half of Utah is Mormon.

Ultimately, America cannot Balkanize because America’s diversity problem is not regional, but national and ubiquitous. The main political division in America is not geographic or territorial, but a caste division between Brahmins and Vaisyas. If the political turmoil in America worsens significantly, it is very unlikely to lead to secession, Balkanziation or civil war. The geographic conditions are simply not there. It is, however, very likely to lead to a patchwork of increasingly autonomous local governments – on the order of counties or municipalities – and widespread low-level political violence. At the moment, the United States seem destined to remain united even as they disintegrate.

Mark Yuray is verified on Gab. Follow him there and on Twitter.

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35 Comments

  1. 'Reality' Doug April 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Well done, Mark. Global homogenization seems to be better implemented than I thought. I don’t know where the weakness in the grand scheme lies, or that it will save many, but I expect this effort will fail at stable consolidation like all the rest. PUA is the way. Likability could save your life. We are a nation under the rule of people not laws or principles.

    1. The author states, “Ultimately, America cannot Balkanize because America’s diversity problem is not regional, but national and ubiquitous”

      So what would you call the City of Los Angeles demographics? National?

      4 Largest Los Angeles Race / Ethnic Groups (From 2010 US Census)
      • The Los Angeles Hispanic population is 1,838,822 persons or 48.5%.
      • The Los Angeles White population is 1,086,908 persons or 27.2%.
      • The Los Angeles Asian population is 420,212 persons or 11.1%.
      • The Los Angeles Black population is 348,283 or 9.2%

  2. Laguna Beach Fogey April 22, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    The Age of Warlords.

  3. In 1986, you couldn’t have found one respectable pundit in a hundred who would have said that the Soviet Union would break up within the lifetime of anyone then alive. Five years later, it was gone.

    If they can do it, so can we. In fact, the Balkanization of the United States is not only possible, but inevitable. The evidence presented here suggests that it will not happen neatly along presently-established state lines (as it did in 1861), but I already knew that.

    Much like Yuray’s last article, this is a complete misreading of reality, almost certainly caused by an overdose of ***THE BLACK PILL*** – which like Rick James’s cocaine, is a hell of a drug. Also like Rick James’s cocaine, it makes you say and do some really bizarre shit.

    1. You left out why Balkanization is inevitable.

      1. Well, off the top of my head: irreconcilable political, philosophical, cultural, and religious differences; incompatible economic interests; the fact that the countryside is getting very, very sick of taking orders from faraway megacities; America’s unfinished history with secession, which gets more unfinished every day as the descendants of the winners open up old wounds out of short-sighted, overconfident vindictiveness; the fact that the nation’s largest ethnic minority has long made very public rumblings about “reconquista” and separation; the fact that homogenous places like New Hampshire and diverse places like California increasingly have *nothing* in common with each other on which a nation can remain built; the fact that nations become ungovernable over a certain scale without either a lot of homogeneity or a lot of force, and the truth is that we no longer have the former and the latter can’t last forever; the related fact that FedGov is quickly becoming so corrupt and incompetent that it couldn’t hold the country together even if it wanted to; the fact that a diverse population without long cultural and historical roots in this country won’t fight to keep it together on principled grounds (i.e. Jose and Felipé aren’t going to leave East LA and take a bullet in the chest in order to keep Vermont – which they barely know exists – in the Union because muh founding fathers); the fact that if our military was any good at quelling guerrilla uprisings, Iraq would be the placid American colony that Paul Wolfowitz promised it would be.

        How’s that?

        1. Also, no single group really trusts another. Speaking very broadly: Feminists hate men, men abandon marriage, blacks want reparations for stuff they don’t understand, hispanics (as you said) want the entire southwest to themselves, native americans don’t trust anyone, LGBTs hate non-LGBTs.

          If the right spark hits the country, it won’t devolve into nation-states, at least not immediately. Eventually the country would consolidate into regions that make more sense, but they’d never really be at peace with each other. The black south would constantly try to do harm to the white midwest, etc.

          But first, I think the country would completely dissolve into chaos and horror.

          1. “But first, I think the country would completely dissolve into chaos and horror.”

            Yes, that’s what this article is saying.

        2. The us military is excellent at crushing rebellions and what not

          the problem in iraq/ a-stan isn’t not a matter of know how or firepower but a political class that holds them back. Something they will not do when/ if the military is used against White men, w omen and children

          ideological lines are ethnic lines. Germans tend to vote like Germans (and vote liberal) no matter where they are. Same for Poles etc etc

          Speculating on how things could play out…. well I reckon you will see States ignoring the Fed’s more and more. We see that now with weed but what happens when times have been hard for say 10 years? Really hard like folks are cold and hungry and angry and some State like NC is looking at the natural gas off its coast? Money and jobs they can’t get to because the Fed’s say no?

          I can see the usa going more like Argentina then the Balkans but with a lot more violence.

      2. Also, I’ll remind you that in the lead-up to World War I, many people said that a war like that would be impossible, because Europe had far too many economic, industrial, and cultural ties for it to happen, and also that Europeans had grown too civilized and used to peace in the hundred years since the Napoleonic Wars had ended. Their cases were logical, fact-filled, and convincing.

        Then, all of a sudden, the war actually did happen.

        1. Yeah. Also one of the basic things people don’t remember about the Yugoslavian crack up is how close the groups lived to each other, The national lines were convenient but it was very common for Muslims and Christians to have lived next to each other, worked together and known each other, Than one day, BOOM!

          In any case, I’d argue that the US has already begun its collapse (c.f Detroit, the entire rust belt) is preparing for all out civil war (c.f recent gun, ammo and military training sales) and that sooner than later, once crisis or another will simply disable D.C.’s power base.

          At that point, natural orders (States, local whatever) will reassert themselves and you’ll have a full bore collapse

          1. “Also one of the basic things people don’t remember about the Yugoslavian crack up is how close the groups lived to each other”

            In Bosnia. Not in Serbia, not in Croatia, not in Slovenia, not elsewhere.

            Croatia was 70% Croatian before the war. More Croatian than Utah is Mormon. Now it’s 90% Croatian. They ethnically cleansed their Serbian population pretty quickly.

            Bosnia was split three ways and suffered the most. Lots of low-level violence, lots of village genocides, lots of confusion and death. The problem was never solved. To this day Bosnia is a failed state with two failed sub-national entities with winding, screwed-up borders that is only held together by EU money and the US military.

            What happened to Yugoslavia was Balkanization. What happened to Bosnia was not Balkanization, it was a violent mess. What is going to happen to America will not be Balkanization, but a violent mess.

        2. Warrior_Savant April 27, 2016 at 3:26 am

          Exactly. Then after WWI concluded, the survivors looked around at the 38 million dead bodies and devastation. Everyone collectively said, “My God, the horror. There is no possible way this could ever happen again. Truly this was the war to end all wars.”

          Then <20yrs later it happened again, and over 60 million died.

          So…never say never.

          The US is balkanized and grows further apart everyday and in every way (racially, economically, politically, etc.) History is the judge and if we are to learn from it…we must acknowledge that a violent upheaval against the balkanization is not only possible, but likely.

          1. The USA is not Balkanized, it is polarized.

            For it to be Balkanized the polarization would have to have an overwhelmingly obvious geographical quality. It does not. It has a very weak and almost invisible geographical quality thanks to decades if not centuries of leveling from Central Power.

      3. Frank Pecarich July 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm

        This author has left out the subjects that really explain why people like to “Balkanize” in the first place. He is relying on maps and other non-biological information that have nothing to do with the real reason separate themselves from other humans. For example, Dr. Byron Roth in his 2010 book “The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature” states that the debate over immigration policy in the Western world is critically uninformed by the sciences of evolutionary biology and psychology. In his work he examines the intersection between culture, genetics, IQ and society. He states, “Prominent among the fundamental features of human nature is a natural bias toward one’s own kind, making harmony in multi-ethnic societies problematic at best. All historical evidence indicates that “diversity” is not a strength, and that blood is thicker than water. Ignoring such biological realities leads to failed social experiments that may cause great human suffering.”

        There is a huge body of non-PC research that validates this concept however it is left in the university classrooms and not allowed to inflame the already worried believers in the myth of Cosmopolitanism.

        Most universities and colleges have departments that teach altruism, evolutionary psychology, social psychology, sociology, biology and evolutionary biology. The biosocial sciences most relevant to understanding society consists of disciplines are those that study the naturalistic causes of social behavior: ethology, evolutionary psychology, biological anthropology, behavioral endocrinology, and brain science. All these fields of study illuminate facets of human nature, especially those universal to the species. This author needs to drop by a college soon and check out reality…

    2. NoCommiesPlease May 4, 2016 at 12:22 am

      You’re comparing US to a country (USSR) where vast majority of population lacked basic necessities and could barely feed and clothe their families, where government-owned housing often had no heat in the winter, AC in the summer, or running water, and where 14 out of the 15 republics had been forced to remain a part of that mess for 70+ years, subjugated, and kept in check through fear and poverty. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

  4. Mark is mostly right on here. The U.S. is a country which is entirely distinct from the rest of the world, both in its historical development and its ethnic makeup. As much as some might pine for it, a “Balkanization” probably won’t happen. With the notable exception of parts of Utah, the U.S. doesn’t have any meaningfully coherent ethnic groups with which to Balkanize. The Old Confederacy isn’t even coherent in any meaningful way, if you disagree with me just take a road trip through the South. It’s a shell of its former self and in another generation or two might not even exist as a distinct cultural entity anymore.

    Any future Civil War or breakup of the U.S. will happen not along ethnic lines, but ideological ones. More “Blues vs. Greens” than “North vs. South”. But again ideologically Americans are so diffusely spread out that this would, at present, be impractical. If people don’t feel enough camaraderie with their fellow ideologues to live in distinct communities with them, they sure as hell aren’t going to feel enough to fight a war with them.

    I mean talk to the average citizen about where their true loyalties lie. They aren’t going to say “The Pope” or “The Great State of Virginia” or “My clan: the Scots Irish”. They’ll reference some meaningless abstraction like “America” or “The Constitution” or “Freedom”.

    There is no “soil” in America, no deep identity. Beneath the asphalt is merely more asphalt. We are a superficial people.

    1. Baraq Sanders-Clinton May 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Since when is the Constitution / Freedom meaningless? You sound like a RINO!

  5. ‘Balkanization’ is perhaps going through a period of incorrect usage, just to generally denote the dissolving of a state along various ethnic, religious fault-lines. What balkanization actually was was the disintegration of a superstate (Yugoslavia) into its constituent nations which were well-defined. When Slovenia left, there wasn’t much of a stink. It was the places of integration where war broke out, i.e – Bosnia.

    The USA really doesn’t have the demo-geographics to support exactly the situation of the Balkans, but it still will likely disintegrate into what I have termed ‘Petty States’. So, with the general weakening of the central authority due to protracted crises, power will by necessity become localized. The more power these local leaders get, the more concessions they will demand for themselves whenever the central authority does show itself. Before long, the central authority will no longer be anything of substance, and the ‘patchwork’ will emerge.

    Okay, so let us for a moment imagine a financial Armageddon during which USG simply cannot make welfare payments, SNAP card topups, etc. What happens to places like South Side Chicago, or Detroit? It’s easy enough to say “CHIMPOUT!” but chimpout is not a mode of governance. Undoubtedly a Papa Doc Duvalier will appear, with his own gang of armed Tonton Macoute thugs to take control of the streets and run things for his own profit. These thugs will be better armed than the police, who will have been sharply cut. State within a state, even if the state-in-name won’t acknowledge it.

    Whenever you have no-go areas for your authority, you no longer have authority there. This is what is starting to emerge in Europe, with the Muslim enclaves. As the central authority weakens financially, you will have more and more areas that they refuse to enter, either due to gun-toting Southern/Mountain militias who want federal gubmint off their land, or black hordes looking for the first opportunity to avenge Michael Brown.

    1. I’d agree with this future projection, though I’d question whether a no-go zone is really “without” central authority. i.e. Having a Papa Doc run Detroit like a warlord, with approval from Washington, would probably be better for the Empire anyway.

      After all, if there isn’t a CNN broadcasting the killing fields to the populace, then who would care what happens there? Papa Doc would still be under threat from a carpet bombing run and thus, still under control. It would also cost far less to supply Papa Doc’s militia instead of millions of EBT cards.

      So while it’s inevitable that the central bureaucratic machine will weaken, central authority will remain stronger than ever… It will just be more in the form of traditional Empire, where Caesar will send in a legion if one of these petty states doesn’t cough up the required taxes.

    2. For most of its history, the U.S. was a European-derived nation with a small “minority” population. As recently as 1970 the USA was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, and just 4 percent Hispanic. Although Mexican immigration (both legal and illegal) had been increasing since the end of the Bracero program in 1964, Mexican Americans were still less than 3 percent of the population, with many claiming U.S. ancestry stretching back to the Mexican-American war.

      It is only recently that the USA is getting an actual sense of what it means to be a multicultural democracy and it seems clear that the reality doesn’t meet the idealized and utopian theory for many Americans.

      Race is the key building block of any real community and the farthest meaningful grouping to which we can give our loyalty. We know that genetic similarity and kinship patterns affect our behavior every day, even in ways we don’t expect. We know that children are race conscious as early as nine months. We know that people are mentally healthier in ethnically homogenous societies. We know diversity destroys social trust, eventually, even within members of the same ethnic group. The ancients knew this, and modern science confirms it.

      Our society’s frantic efforts to escape these truths gives us the farce that passes for a public debate in a multiethnic democracy. We set up entire social systems and ideologies at odds with our most basic instincts, and wonder why the world seems to have lost its mind.

      Since its initial stirrings in ancient Greece and Rome, Western political theory has developed as if the communities to which it applied were culturally homogeneous entities with securely agreed borders. Though both ancient Greece and Rome developed from simple republics into multicultural empires, their political theories remained premised on a vision of close-knit communities sharing language, culture, and religion. Surprisingly, this homogenizing bias persisted in the democratic theory that emerged in the West in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As the political theorist Michael Walzer has put it, liberal writers were “ready enough to acknowledge a plurality of interests,” but they were “strikingly unready for a plurality of cultures. One people made one state.”

      Few questions more clearly preoccupy our era than that of how to facilitate civil, free, and democratic interaction among the citizens of multicultural societies such as the current USA and the EU. Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington has forecast a coming age of “international turmoil”, in which the grounds for conflict will no longer be ideological or economic, as during the Cold War, but “civilizational.” “The clash of civilizations, Huntington warned, will dominate global politics,” and make the achievement of an international consensus on democracy and peaceful coexistence “highly unlikely”.

  6. A lot like South Africa then.

  7. Interesting and thought provoking article. I guess the only wild card is if the financial system comes apart. Many people are surprised it hasn’t already.

    Question: it appears as though the ruling class are the most corrupt, detached and insulated they have ever been. Is that a valid observation, or does it just seem like that because of the 24-hour news cycle?

    1. That is most certainly a valid observation.

      On the other hand it’s not the same elite we had 100, 200, 300, 500 or 1000 years ago.

  8. I disagree, but I definitely agree that the patchwork manner of American politics proves a hindrance to any potential large scale political violence. One thing this author seems to ignore is the vastly increased mobility of the average person in 2016 compared to 1864. Look at ISIS, the name is practically synonymous with foreign fighters in the regions where the Islamic State is actually a reality. They issued a worldwide call to arms, and received an answer. Any insurrection that got off the ground in America would immediately receive a massive influx of people from all across the country who agreed with their goals. I can be anywhere in America in under a week, and that’s just by car.

    The vision the author puts forth in the last paragraph is definitely believable, and I wouldn’t be surprised by that, or even just a slow decline with nothing really changing at all. But there is a definite possibility that a non state entity rises in the US, declares an area of operation, and receives support from across the country as people either migrate to join it, or even just take actions that benefit it in less direct ways. This would take a massive increase in tensions, but that has been happening for the last few years, and seems likely to continue. The biggest point I would make is that “low level political violence” can turn into a proper insurrection much quicker now than it could 150 years ago. Obviously, state governments aren’t going to be declaring independence from the USA, but that isn’t how revolts work anymore.

    1. Well said and well thought out. These posts were made about 3 months ago and the political/social situation in the USA has degenerated rapidly since then. I am at a point where I believe that all the arguments have been made in the past months with millions of words, many of them volatile and heated words, exchanged between the people mired down in this deeply divided nation. All that needs to be said, has been said and by now, everybody has had a chance to speak their mind. It should be clear to all by now that political compromise has been, and will continue to be, impossible in the US.

      At bottom line, nobody is going to “unify” our country. The basic moral and value differences in the current divided US population are simply too great. What we really require is someone or some system that will allow the US to “Balkanize” in an effective and organized manner and try to avoid a second US Civil War.

      1. The South African Nationalists won independence in 1961 because they had an exceedingly strong founding mythology (“Afrikaner”) that fused together disparate groups (Boer, Cape Dutch, Anglos). Some pundits (e.g. Dan Roodt) are still pushing this Broederbond-era identity although the trend post-’94 is towards fragmentation.

        Applied to the US, this means all the kvetching about Texas’s hispanic population is bunk. The Indios will head south across the Rio within weeks of the end of EBT. The Hidalgos and high Mestizos will ally with the Anglo-Germanic core, as they do today, who will take all necessary steps to preserve government function. Seeing the emergence of an independent Texas, any libertardarians who haven’t already effected a Keene relo will flock to the new state, ARs in tow. Isolated negro uprisings can be put down in short order, and with minimal manpower (see: Rorke’s Drift).

        Basically, there’s three places to be when SHTF. The Redoubt (ID/MT/WY). The FSP (Keenesians). Or the Republic.

        1. Regardless of who wins in November, the winner will face a crisis of legitimacy, as the losers will regard the government not just as opponents, but as enemies and occupiers.

  9. My theory is that as the left becomes more openly hostile (see not just Bernie Sanders and Hillary supporters, but also the AGs trying to crack down on global warming “deniers” or seeking the donor lists to conservative organizations) people will begin to move to climates where the population is more tolerant of their views. There’s also the fact that while corporations can sanction conservative regions in the short term, if demand exists, one company pulling out is merely opportunity for another in the long run. These things will snowball and we’ll see geographic lines that match our emerging political lines.

    Hillary Clinton’s situation with the FBI will be a major turning point in this area since it will end what little credibility the federal government has left regarding its partisanship and the next Supreme Court will also be openly partisan.

  10. But America is balkanized culturally and geographically. Maybe not literally, but much less cohesive and homogeneous than most countries

    1. If you define “Balkanized” as “not cohesive and heterogeneous, diverse” then you don’t really need the word Balkanization.

      Wiktionary: Balkanization (historical, chiefly political science) A geopolitical term to describe the fragmentation of a region into several small states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other.

      The whole “fragmentation of a region into several small states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other” thing is not going to happen in America for the reasons I outlined.

      There will be no fragmentation into several states. The fragmentation will be into a thousand states, or into none at all. This is simply because the most plausible functioning territorial entity second to the federal government is not any state or region but New York City, and the rest are just smaller from there.

  11. Abelard Lindsey April 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    The U.S. constitution provides for a legal and orderly balkanization. Its called a constitutional convention. No other country I know of has this feature. In any case, I agree with the author that balkanization is unlikely in the foreseeable future. What is more likely is more autonomous local governments doing thing contrary to the wishes of the federal government (legalization of “weed” being an example of this).

  12. The question that stood out to me reading this was how long it took for that bipolarity to develop leading up to 1860. I don’t know, but my guesses are either a) it had existed since the U.S formed or b) it developed in a generation or less.

    Also, I’ve been observing an increase in bipolarity in commercial dealings in the U.S, which I would take as a precursor to geographic bifurcation. People on the edges are starting to deal preferentially or exclusively with their ‘kindred’ (whether SJW or Alt-Right), and to pressure others to do the same. If and as that scales, geographic sorting will follow, although with today’s internet dominated world, I’m not sure how that will play out in meatspace.

    One generation from here to balkanisation of the U.S? I believe that possible.

    Actually, the longer it takes, the more likely balkanisation is over general disorder.

    1. Going through the archive of election maps from 1776-1860, it looks less obvious than I expected. The elections of 1796 and 1856 had fairly clear North-South divides, but the elections inbetween seem pretty national. In other words, immediately after the revolution and immediately before the Civil War there was an obvious political divide, but from 1800-1850, the political aspect of the North-South divide was at least kept haram. This supports a view of the ruling elite managing a consensus in response to an obvious divide after the revolution, but failing to keep it together starting in the 1850’s and eventually leading to war.

      I don’t think a single generation will be enough, especially since this Millennial generation is bound to be one of the least independent and least mobile. More itinerant, but less mobile.

      The problem with your view of bifurcation is that most alt-rightists are formed by extended contact with SJWs, and the two tend to live near each other.

      There is very little evidence of political-geographic bifurcation. The bifurcation continues in thought-space without a concomitant bifurcation in actual geographic physical space. The result is more likely to be that what happens to America is what happened to Bosnia in the 90’s, rather than what happened to Yugoslavia in the 90’s.

      1. It might be what happened to Spain in the 1930’s. Meaning generalised civil war betwenn the Left Wing ™ and the Right Wing ™ with whoever wins imposing dictatorship.

        The thing might get transiently geographical, though.

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