A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.
He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.
This is interesting. Oh, not that the US will split up, because I can't see that happening, but that someone is willing to discuss the notion seriously outside a novel. I had dinner with an old friend and her new sweetie earlier in the week, and they asked where I thought the US economy is heading--when in 2009 would things improve? It was a very nice restaurant, with people talking in low tones. Nonetheless, I grinned and said cheerfully, "Oh, 2009 will be a total PIGFUCK!"
But I simply couldn't think of another word, and 'pigfuck' is not something to say sotto voce. I think the next few years (yes, years, not months) are going to be...different. I think we could be looking at as much as (or more) than a decade to recover. And the worst is still to come. In 2009.
America is huge. America is rich. America is mostly sound--and, at the same time, America is very, very vulnerable at the moment, with deep fracture lines. If Obama had lost, 2009 would have seen panic and violence and civil unrest. As it is, well, for some people it's going be brutal and for many it will be ugly. Most of us will be fine. But we'll have to pay particular attention to those already on the edge, and we're going to have to play nicely and be especially kind, even to those we don't know. We're going to have to assume good intent, and we're going to have to behave as though we believe it. Because these will be fragile times. But not apocalypse; all the essentials are still there.
So don't panic. Don't get angry. Don't get mean. Get humane. And have fun imagining the US in six parts. How would it look? What might be cool about it?