Tuesday, 15 January 2013

United States

Last week - as it would be by the time this post goes out - I retweeted an article by the Huffington Post on the calls for secession of US States, and how the White House - despite continued petitions - had said that the States would remain united. I purposely retweeted it and said nothing, as I'm not entirely sure what I think of it.

On one hand, states secession is an awful idea for America. As I would state if I ever had an EU rant, the problem with the EU is that we don't work together. You may say "but the states don't really work together either", but they do. Nothing is ever going to work perfectly, and you've got a country comprised of 315,102,000 people. There is probably never going to be a moment when everyone agrees with a decision, but you elect senators and representatives so at least your views are heard. And it's worked, it's worked since 1788. I don't think people should be calling for secession just because people believe we all deserve more, and yes, that's all it is: (in an, I admit, crude way) modern culture making people think they're worth more.

Ah, but yes. I am a politics student, and we're told to analyse (a lot, and I'm very bad at it). So here's the analysis: maybe you should be worth more. Back in 1790, the USA had a population of 3 million people living across the then 13 states. Back then, your vote basically would have been worth over 105 times more than it is now. "Hey! Zahra, you're missing turnout!" you might yell, and yes, when you factor in turnout, your vote back then would be worth even more when compared to now, as only 1.3% of people actually voted in the 1788 election. But I can't be bothered to work out the maths, so let's just say your vote is worth a tiny amount of the 1788 equivalent.

Yet that's true across the world, and you don't see the rest of us complaining.

On the other hand, secession of US States would be fantastic news for the rest of us. The US, if you didn't know (I say this is an "of course you know" way and am not being patronising), is a world superpower. This means that every major event that happens in the US basically indirectly effects the rest of the world in some way. If a large number of states suddenly seceded...well, it wouldn't be. Countries which already are or are expected to become superpowers in the 21st century are: The USA, Brazil, China, the EU, India, Japan and Russia (a list I just quickly nabbed of wikipedia...). Brazil I don't know enough to comment on, China is obvious, the EU will never be a superpower at this rate (I blame parties like UKIP), India is again obvious, as are Japan and Russia.

Look, this post could go on for a while - and maybe I'll come back and build on it some day, but right now I have a massive headache and want to sleep - but in a tl;dr style-y way: compromises are always made for power, and I'm afraid that if the US wants to remain a relevant global superpower, you cannot have mass secession of states. Oh, and because apparently "socialist" is a dirty word over the pond...look at all the so-called "socialist" countries on that superpower list ;)

See you next time (and I promise to say that word less :P),
Zahra.

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