By Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the February 2014 Socionomist
[Ed: The February 2010 Socionomist noted that major declines in social mood trigger anger, which is often expressed in secessionist sentiments. In this updated excerpt, socionomist Chuck Thompson shows examples of how the negative social mood trend in the US and Europe is fueling secession movement.]
The Quest for a 51st State
Figure 1 shows the trends of real US stock prices from 1950. In conjunction with the latest down trend, 11 Colorado counties held referendums in November on a proposal to create a new state called Northern Colorado. Five of the 11 counties approved the measure. If they decide to proceed with secession, they will need the approval of Colorado voters as well as Congress.
Regarding the Colorado vote, Bloomberg Businessweek said,
… the polarized red state-blue state mindset that has dominated American political discourse for the past few decades has now dissolved further into red county-blue county. And instead of cooperating, groups that find themselves in the minority have decided to go live by themselves.
In northern California, Glenn, Siskiyou and Modoc counties also want to secede from their state. They are part of the State of Jefferson movement, which seeks to convince counties in northern California and southern Oregon to form a new state called Jefferson. People in this area actually appointed their own governor in 1941, in the depths of a bear market. But their efforts to secede ended when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the US unified against a common enemy.
In December, technology investor Tim Draper unveiled his plan not only to create a state of Jefferson but to divide California further—into six states (see Figure 2). His Six Californias movement has a website and is seeking volunteers.
On the opposite side of the country, five rural counties in western Maryland want to secede from their state. Scott Strzekczyk, leader of the Western Maryland Initiative, said, “We think we have irreconcilable differences, and we just want an amicable divorce.”
Similar sentiment can be found in northern Michigan and Wisconsin, where the Free State Superior Project seeks to form a new state called Superior. In the 1970s, a proposal to form a new state from northern Michigan almost made it out of the Michigan State House.
Independence is also a hot topic in Texas, where Barry Smitherman, head of the Texas Railroad Commission, is preparing his state to exist on its own if the US collapses. Smitherman said,
We are uniquely situated because we have energy resources, fossil and otherwise, and our own independent electrical grid. Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an “island nation” if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.…
In the full seven-page report, Chuck Thompson reviews secessionist movements in Vermont, New York, Arizona, and Florida, as well as in communities in Scotland, Italy, Belgium, Catalonia, Western Australia, and the Middle East.
Thompson reveals that the degree of secessionism will depend largely on the depth of negative social mood. Are you prepared?
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