Monday, July 6, 2009

Europe in 2020?

Map Source: Chirol, at Coming Anarchy

Secession should be one of the hallmarks of the coming era of negative mood, according to socionomic theory.

With that in mind, I suggest you check out this posting over at Coming Anarchy:

Microstate Madness - Europe in 2020
by Chirol at Coming Anarchy
Building on one of my favorite subjects, devolution, the decline of the state and the proliferation of microstates, I’ve put together a map of the future of Europe in 2020. It is purely speculative and in no way a firm prediction, but rather a sketch of the possibilities and list of the most likely cases. It is by no means exhaustive and you’ll notice seemingly obvious states such as Wales, Sicily, Crete and others are not listed. This is in part because I will argue that two local conditions are necessary for a viable movement and successful independence.

First, the state must be well off economically and able to hold it’s own, i.e. it must have more to gain than lose. Hence, states like Baden-W├╝rttemberg and Bavaria are the two richest in Germany, essentially subsidizing the rest would have more motivation than the poor underdeveloped east German states which feed off the rest. The second condition is that the region must have a well developed and unique identity which comes in the form of a strong dialect or different language, history of independence or autonomy and other characteristics that go into defining a culture. Thus, Bavaria (which is actually what most people think about when they think of Germany) is both rich and has a long cultural past and different identity. It has its own dialect, a history of independence and a host of other unique traits including traditional song, dance, clothes etc that other regions lack...

The gents at CA are very sharp and their site is a must-read, in my opinion, as they focus on the fault lines and fracture points on the geopolitical map - the exact spots where the results of this coming Great Bear Market will be felt first.


David said...

Have you any ideas on what this sentiment looks like in the USA, where 230 years of "melting pot" optimism has shuffled people together geographically, but where a Grand Supercycle bear will reveal a hundred and one fissure points along which conflict can (and will?) travel?

Frankly, this concept scares the wits out of me, as people in the USA prepare to fight (politically, and with weapons not so rhetorical) over race, religion, money, property, and every political division we might name.

Flagg707 said...

@David: I have sentiments, but no clear picture of where the USA is headed as part of what I think will be a great devolution in political authority.

The optimist in me thinks there could be a Second American Revolution of sorts, where after a period of signficant unrest a new governing structure arises that is loose enough to keep the various states together for the most part - maybe losing Alaska and Hawaii.

What I really expect to happen, should this era of negative mood plunge as deep as I fear, is that we would see significant secessionist movements flare up. I think the first ones would be the sort of "expected" movements - Texas, some sort of "New Confederacy", the West Coast, etc. I expect those to be mostly "parlor pink" type affairs - a lot of internet babble, a few extremists "camps" get attacked by federal troops, some IED action, etc.

I think the second round of movements to be the ugliest - and most successful. These would coalesce around ethnic groups, I fear. Southern California and much of the rest of the Southwest might not be the healthiest place for an Anglo, I fear the Southeast could really boil over into something ferocious - with plenty of historical anger and bad karma to be paid off. Frankly, taking a look at census data and seeing ethnic breakdowns might be one way to forecast where the ugliest fighting or at least tension could play out. As a wise man once said "blood is thicker than water" and it seems we humans are hard-wired to put a lot of importance of "us" vs. "them" and the reversion to this survival trait may end badly.

Who really knows? I think geography will play a big role as well. The Mississippi River could return to its role as a major dividing line - and artery of commerce in a much more simplified type world.

If we were to use Chirol's criteria, I'd think that Texas would be a serious candidate for independence - they have oil, ag and a history of independence to fall back on. Maybe the Pacific Northwest is a close second.

We'll see. I hesitate to speculate much further as whenever I analyze it, I see no good near-term ending to this sort of thing. The political entities that grow up from this collapse might be happier and even prosperous, but getting there won't be pretty.

Benh said...

Good points Michael. I think it's still too early to tell what's going to happen but we can say that is social mood continues to decline, the probability of more secession movements increases. Have you heard about the Republic of Lakota? They seceded back in December 2007 (nice date eh?).