Historians will want to know how and when this seismic shift occurred. It started shortly after 9/11 with George W. Bush’s ill-considered response to 9/11. Today it’s all smokin’ and jokin’ about waterboarding, torture and war crimes according to reports of a recent roast of Dick Cheney, which Joe Lieberman, Donald Rumsfeld, Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz attended. "A very sentimental night," said one attendee, according to Ben Smith’s BuzzFeed report, but it will not end with this public embarrassment. Because these abominable events, fully endorsed by Senate leadership in both parties in 2002, brought America’s pivotal and fundamental fall from grace.
Khanna writes: "... though most of us might not realize it, ‘nonstate world’ describes much of how global society already operates. This isn’t to say that states have disappeared, or will. But they are becoming just one form of governance among many ... A quick scan across the world reveals that where growth and innovation have been most successful, a hybrid public-private, domestic-foreign nexus lies beneath the miracle. These aren’t states; they’re ‘para-states’ — or, in one common parlance, ‘special economic zones.’”
It is what, to quote Johnny Cash's cover of the song “Hurt,” we have become. We no longer really live in places. We live in “para-states,” and “special economic zones.” How closely they resemble Aldous Huxley’s vision of the Brave New World: the individual as thing, less human even than slave, a cog in a global economic process, adrift with others without time, tradition, place, or influence, displaced and existential, shifting from station to station at the whim of Wall Street, Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the IMF’s Christine LaGarde.
Rising conservatives and libertarians hold promise of restoring America again to a Jeffersonian vision of real places. And that is what Catalonia seeks, and Scotland and Wales and the Basque Country. Texas does too, as well as portions of Appalachia and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, places desiring to live without doubts and without dominating globalist abstractions hovering overhead.
The loss-of-place neurosis began here in 1913 with the passing of the 17th Amendment, when the American states lost their Senate seats to Wall Street and special interest lobbyists. But these, the free states, gave structure and support to America, and without these pillars of stability America became vulnerable to collapse.
The late David Smiley, Wake Forest University professor and biographer of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s (R) mentor, Kentucky freedom fighter Cassius Marcellus Clay, once suggested that when America went to centralization and nationalism in 1865, the world immediately followed suit. It may be construed that as America enters Jeffersonian devolution and a return to the states, the world will follow our lead as well.
It is doing so already.