Monday, July 12, 2010

Bay Area Anarchy?

My good friend Carson, who currently resides and works in Silicon Valley, sent along an editorial from Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle advocating political independence for the Bay Area!
It is clear that Sacramento can't solve California's problems. It is also clear that California's voters are unwilling to force real change, preferring merely to add to the state's thicket of ruinous, gridlock-inducing initiatives. Meanwhile, the mess in Sacramento is threatening the Bay Area's economic future.
That is why the Bay Area needs to start thinking like a city-state. In an age when nations have become so large that their citizens no longer identify with distant governments, city-states are political units large enough to have a global economic impact but small enough for even the most casual citizen to understand the relationships that make their city-state work. Politicians are local and thus more inclined to pragmatism and constructive action. Businesses understand that their fortunes are tied to the success of the local community. This balance between effect and size and the tendency toward social cohesion make contemporary city-states like Singapore and Hong Kong bright spots in an uncertain global economy.
While calls for local sovereignty have drastically increased in frequency since the financial crisis began, this is one of the first I've seen from a "blue state" - in fact, you could argue that the Bay Area is perhaps the bluest region in the bluest state in all the land.

The thought of the Bay Area governing itself is equally intriguing and hilarious - that's something I would absolutely pay a ticket to see.  Most striking, though, may be the measure of social mood this represents, as we're now seeing almost universal disgust with government at many levels - Federal and State, in particular, across the United States.

Some libertarian minded gurus, such as Doug Casey, believe that technology will ultimately be the downfall of the nation-state.  Casey argues that with technology liberating the individual, the need for a centralized government to provide for its citizens is greatly diminished.

If this is true, we could potentially have two anti-state trends coming together at once.  With the second being general dissatisfaction with the "New Deal" way of government, which dominated most of the 20th century in America.  When the Bay Area is onboard with this type of sentiment, you can be sure the fervor is running pretty deep among the American populous!