This “Chapter Fourteen” is part eighteen of Truthout’s continuing series of excerpts from Gar Alperovitz’s “America beyond Capitalism.”
By Gar Alperovitz, Democracy Collaborative Press | Serialized Book
truthout.org, Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:44
Americans committed to a renewal of democracy are likely to discover this can only be meaningfully achieved in units of scale smaller than a continent, but also of sufficient size to be capable of substantial semiautonomous functioning: the region.
The Pluralist Commonwealth model attempts to deal seriously with long-standing arguments that the sheer continental size of the United States and its very large population are ultimately inimical to a robust system-wide vision of democratic practice. Community-oriented strategies appear to be within the range of realistic political possibility in coming years. What of the larger and seemingly utopian idea that much more far-reaching – indeed, radical – decentralization is both necessary and possible?
Five major considerations suggest that, contrary to conventional assumption, the logic of regional restructuring is likely to become of increasing importance as the twenty-first century develops. These include trends in Supreme Court and congressional decision making; an explosion of state-based initiatives; the impact of global political-economic forces on the current federal system; very large-order projected changes in the economy and population; and new trajectories of expanding ethnic political power concentrated in key regions experiencing economic distress.
Phi Beta Iota: The “search for security” as Col Dr. Max Manwaring and others have documented so ably, is rooted in legitimacy. When authority, in any form, loses its elgitimacy, it is incapable of suppressing the power of the public once aroused, focused, and actualized. 2012 is the chasm year between the Industrial Era reaching is maximum size without accountability, and the beginning of the Information Era where accountability is embedded in every communication.
Joel Garreau, The Nine Nations of North America (Houghton Mifflin, 1991)
Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (Monthly Review Press, 1997)
Dante Chinni, James Gimpel, Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the “Real America” (Gotham, 2011)
Colin Woodard, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (Viking, 2011)