Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think the US is itching for self-destruction.

From this side of the ocean, it's bizarre just how much parts of the US hate the other parts. The centre hates the coasts, the coasts hate each other, the south hates everyone, and everyone hates Washington.

This isn't, as you say, good for stable politics.

But nothing will happen unless there's a direct challenge to federal government, or federal government is stolen by any one faction.

Even then, if the states try to leave, you have too much infrastructure and too much mutual dependency to make the attempt anything other than extremely messy.

It would - not so ironically - be like the sudden appearance of the Berlin wall. And it would likely have to be enforced in much the same way.

So while I'm sure the will is there, I'm not sure the practicalities make it possible - at least not while a joint military exists.

Historically, a military coup is more likely, with martial law of a relatively mild sort used as an excuse to limit personal and commercial travel and to harden the state boundaries.

If that happens the US is more likely to collapse outwards than inwards. The military will be the last thing standing, after the rest of the population has been devastated and state boundaries don't matter any more.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 21st, 2010 at 05:34:43 PM EST
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