Kevin Kelly discusses the possibility of an "unthinkable" breakup of the USA. After all, notes Juan Enriquez, "no US president has ever died under the same flag that he was born under."
The most recent breakup scenario was noted today in the Wall Street Journal in a piece about Russian professor Igor Panarin, who predicts the breakup of the US in the year 2010. He has been predicting the same for the past decade but is now getting an audience. The logic of his scenario goes like this:Breakup of the USAHe predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.With his Soviet KGB background it may be no surprise that in Panarin's scenario the breakaway "countries" all succumb to foreign influence and are not really independent. In contrast American scenarios of breakup envision the resultant countries -- like the Pacifica coast -- as vibrant independent influences themselves.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.