Very cool editorial in the New York Times by Gar Alperovitz on the future of the US (and a strong contender for how the market state might emerge). Seems he thinks Schwarzenegger has the decentralization bug:
Something interesting is happening in California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to have grasped the essential truth that no nation — not even the United States — can be managed successfully from the center once it reaches a certain scale.He quotes George Kennan, who correctly pointed out the contradictions that would unwind the Soviet Union, pointed to a problem of our own:
Decades before President Bush decided to teach Iraq a lesson, George F. Kennan worried that what he called our “monster country” would, through the “hubris of inordinate size,” inevitably become a menace, intervening all too often in other nations’ affairs: “There is a real question as to whether ‘bigness’ in a body politic is not an evil in itself, quite aside from the policies pursued in its name.” Kennan proposed that devolution, “while retaining certain of the rudiments of a federal government,” might yield a “dozen constituent republics, absorbing not only the powers of the existing states but a considerable part of those of the present federal establishment.”He sums it up with a quote from Schwarzenegger:
“California, the nation-state, the harmonious state, the prosperous state, the cutting-edge state, becomes a model, not just for the 21st-century American society, but for the larger world.”Perhaps he is reaching with this article, but I take it as a sign of hope that we could regain much of the flexibility we need to do exceedingly well in the future -- which may be a very decentralized, community-benefiting economic system. Of course, it would get there faster when decentralization becomes both the progressive and conservative mantras.