Igor Panarin, a former member of the KGB, and today a professor at the Foreign Ministry Academy (school for future diplomats), has been toying with a theory for the past few years; one that has gotten bigger play from the media instead of just the usual crackpots: that by 2010, the United States will slip into civil war, or some such calamity, and will disband. His specific prediction:
California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of “The Texas Republic,” a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls “The Central North American Republic.” Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.
It goes on. It wouldn’t be a recession without a little apocalyptic prophecy.
Allow me to take a moment here:
1. I don’t wholly disagree that the United States is in for a “civil war” like moment. I really don’t suspect that it will be a war in the traditional sense of the word. If it is, given the support of the military for the so called “red states”, I would be worried if I lived in New England, the Great Lakes, or the Pacific coast (oops, guess I do live there).
2. The event I more likely predict is a little further down the road from 2010. As we reach and pass peak oil, and see that there are going to be major changes to our society happening in a rather short amount of time, I suspect there is going to be upheaval. Whole industries will disappear, and will likely not be replaced. For one, air travel will become a far rarer event.
3. Speaking of air travel, the focus of American military power is in its ability to project military strength through: air power. That will not go away as quickly, but it will start to go away.
4. As long as China’s government remains as it is, it will not be too much a center for investment.
5. As long as Russia is run by its mafia and other unsavory forces, it too will be restricted in terms of how much money people will freely put into it.
6. I can more easily see Europe and Japan becoming bigger financial centers. India could as well, but that will heavily depend on its ability to make peace with Pakistan, et al.
It is sad to see that there are going to be some almost unthinkable hard times ahead, and that there are a lot of Americans who are not going to be ready to handle them. While I disagree that we will see the physical fragmentation of the United States as this “expert” claims, the next 20 years will be far from the happiest.