by Bernie Quigley - for Raising Kaine, 2/12/07
There was a remarkable op-ed in The New York Times over the weekend by Gar Alperovitz, a progressive historian and scholar at the
He writes: SOMETHING interesting is happening in
I wanted to point out to Virginians how this idea of regional commonwealth and independent city-state has partially evolved in the public mind in recent years. At the very beginning of the war on Iraq an ad hoc group called The Acadian Alliance, consisting of a very small number of citizens from the three northernmost New England states, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, made the claim that under Jefferson’s view of the Constitution, the states had the Constitutional right not to participate in the invasion. Furthermore, we claimed that if the
In an article in The Nation this last year Alperovitz included an idea somewhat along these lines in an article on “bold new ideas” for the new century.
From my point of view (and I was the one who started The Acadian Alliance), I’d been writing about Jefferson’s view of a republic compared with
The idea began to catch on, but not in New England, as we have largely become since 1865 a provincial extension of
My own thinking was based on Tolstoy’s ideas of a “natural state” or a natural commonwealth.
The South – or the upper states in the South – formed a natural commonwealth under colonial conditions as did
When I lived and worked in
Alperovitz’s articles here are helpful in understanding this. The “community tier” of business he speaks of should be advanced. All countries in the world except our own have “community tiers” within their borders – they are customs and ways of doing things locally that don’t necessarily transport globally, but which make us what we are as a people.
Community economies stabilize people and culture over a long period of time. A farmer in
Community economies form within federations and in no way challenge federalism. But Governor Schwarzenegger’s declaring
To review, there are two approaches to American federalism, Alexander Hamilton’s and Thomas Jefferson’s. Historian Frank Owsley explains the difference in his 1930 essay, “The Irrepressible Conflict.”
Owsley writes: “In the beginning of
Being raised here in
It was this breach between Hamilton and Jefferson, writes Owsley, that formed a “war of intellectual and spiritual conquest” in early
But now the season is changing. And now, the very same issue which divided us for centuries North and South, begins to divide us East and West.Now, for the first time since Jay’s Treaty in 1794, when Washington teamed up with the New Yorker, Hamilton, in opposition to his fellow Virginians Jefferson and Madison, putting us on Hamilton’s corporate path for more than 200 years, we are beginning to see awaken again Jefferson’s vision of a federation in Arnold’s “good and global commonwealth”; a federation of commonwealths and free and varied peoples. And in the long and conspicuous absence of Ulysses S. Grant and Tecumseh Sherman, who do they think they are going to send up against the Governator to stop him in this new wave of contention? Dick Cheney?
Alperovitz NYTs essay at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/10/opinion/10alperovitz.html
Other A;perovtiz articles at http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/alperovitz/
Article from John Parker at "Good Works" in North Carolina on rising "red state" economy at