An ism can be defined as something we believe, but may not express. Whether those beliefs are true or not is a factor completely independent of their ismness, which is driven entirely by fluctuating social fashion. Thus an objectively accurate belief that was not an ism yesterday may be one tomorrow, and become verboten retroactively.
That’s the crux of the current statue offensive. None of those immortalized men were indicted during their own age. But isms exist on a perpetually sliding scale that is wholly unknowable to a living creature. Thus any and all men–no matter their opinions–are subject to ex post facto prosecutions into perpetuity. And since social fashion is destined to stray beyond every contemporary expression, we are assuredly ALL ism criminals in the future. Some of us simply expedited the process.
I mention this as a result of having drinks last weekend with a couple of old friends. I think most people have far fewer friends than they imagine, practically none of whom interact with them over Facebook. Or maybe my criteria are just unusually strict. To me, a friend is one who can hear your entire ism portfolio and respond with appropriate stunned outrage: Wait, did you only put six beers in the cooler? Reprehensible!
So after a pleasant period of polishing heirloom stories, the conversation turned to current events. One asked my prognosis for America. The same as whatever tribe of people occupy and control it. We have abundant evidence on what results from each.
He then asked if I remained enamored with federalism, a concept for which I had previously expressed admiration. Of course by Federalism I mean sympathy with the anti-federalists, who presciently predicted the now routine predations of a supreme federal government and its serpentine court system. As an aside, it is particularly ironic that nearly every one of today’s outspoken conservative disciples of the Constitution would have been bitterly averse to its intrusions in the 18th century. As always, it’s an unselfconscious journey from opposition to adulation.
Though the concept of a limited central government with most powers delegated to regional sub-units is one I did previously find reasonably palatable. But as a result of the 10th Amendment being written in invisible ink, it’s unfortunately not the government we received. And in hindsight, I don’t think we ever could.
So the answer to my friend was “no.” I would not advocate federalism. Not because it is a poor model for government, but because it is poor model for humanity. We can list decisions and events that obliterated state sovereignty, and made the Enumerated Powers say: Everything. But if not for those events there would have been others. The flaw of federalism is its presumption that people in Massachusetts will ever permit those in Mississippi to live differently in a manner with which they disapprove. They will not. Either steel or relentless agitation/demonization will always be pulled from the quiver. And though north-cornerites have historically been blessed with noses long enough to cross many state lines in search of other peoples’ business, this is a universal observation.
There is an unflagging portion of western minds whose function is to eradicate other people’s isms. In contrast, harmonious federalism demands a benign insouciance to the customs of our neighbors. This being a posture of tolerance I have yet to see actually manifest itself on any meaningful scale. The fact that inter-state mobility means no one would actually be trapped in unsavory jurisdictions has in no way moderated the zealot’s enthusiasm for smashing them all into an indistinguishable paste. And that–not live and let live–is our determining psychic trait.
As a result, the artifact of the federal framework I’m most interested in retaining is a sovereign border defended by checkpoints and machine guns–a healthy percentage of which being pointed at approaches from states like Massachusetts. It is an act of colossal malice to insist that traditional conservatives–I mean nazis–must share a country and its future with the bolshevik chuds in Boston and Berkeley. This is what separate countries are for. And separate countries are why American antifa are only attacking Americans.
Thus I wholeheartedly support California’s Los Zetas secession movement, and would encourage the trend in other areas until there is some modest alignment returned to nation and state. Liberals want to live in a leftist Lagos. They may consider me their white ally.