A couple of notes in the margin as the speed wobbles get more intense and the American Empire careens along the path to the Crash:
The grotesque yet totally predictable spectacle of the Great Post-Election Tantrum has kicked up musings about civil war and secession. Most of this is is hot air from big talkers — but it is symptomatic of a couple of very real phenomena: Substantial portions of our citizenry distrust and even despise the Republic’s institutions and acknowledge and abide by them only when they serve their desires. We saw this in 2016 (“Abolish the Electoral College!”) as well as in 2020 (“Declare ‘limited’ martial law and overturn the election!”).
And our citizenry is deeply and perhaps irrevocably divided in what those desires entail. As Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. So… what then?
RIR reader Barry McKnight scouted up this interesting piece from Aeon on The Return of the City State:
This is the crux of the problem: nation-states rely on control. If they can’t control information, crime, businesses, borders or the money supply, then they will cease to deliver what citizens demand of them. In the end, nation-states are nothing but agreed-upon myths: we give up certain freedoms in order to secure others. But if that transaction no longer works, and we stop agreeing on the myth, it ceases to have power over us.
So what might replace it?
Worth the time.
This right here seems to me to be a canary in the coal mine.
Wall Street has begun trading water as a commodity, like gold or oil. The country’s first water market launched on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange this week with $1.1 billion in contracts tied to water prices in California, Bloomberg News reported.
The market allows farmers, hedge funds, and municipalities to hedge bets on the future price of water and water availability in the American West. The new trading scheme was announced in September, prompted by the region’s worsening heat, drought, and wildfires fueled by climate change. There were two trades when the market went live Monday.
“Climate change, droughts, population growth, and pollution are likely to make water scarcity issues and pricing a hot topic for years to come,” RBC Capital Markets managing director and analyst Deane Dray told Bloomberg. “We are definitely going to watch how this new water futures contract develops.”