I am proposing that America must change and the changes must be radical. In order to preserve itself America’s ship of state must steer abruptly and hard to an alternative direction. I am committed to this project myself and although I have very little left really have committed much of my own lingering resources to this project as well. I have of course written quite a bit about which direction all of this ought to take in other blog postings. These postings do come from a life experience and therefore have some rootedness and connection with some relevant political thought and action but they also represent, in many ways, a kind of exorcism of hope. That of course is theologically a great sin. However, in the political realm I think that it is fairly innocent more often than not. As Elton John sang (and still sings) “When all hope is gone, a sad song is saying so much…. When every little bit of hope is gone, a sad song is saying so much.” The truth is that there is often enough in history a point at which one must put forward a program or ideal regardless of whether there is any hope for the program to be realized. For those interested in Greek history the case of Demosthenes was one that loomed large in the thoughts of leaders of Western Civilization for many centuries. But the great orator Δημοσθένης is hardly alone in proclaiming a cause or an agenda which he believes is unlikely to be adopted. Within more recent times we also have another of these great failures Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg z u Beilstein. This Austrian Prince is usually referred to simply as Metternich in the brief writings of political historians writing in English. Like Demosthenes and others he stands before the destruction of the thing he loved — that great Empire which (despite reams of officially titled documents of great importance) never really achieved a single well received name. I mean the Austrian Empire, the Later Holy Roman Empire, The Hapsburg’s Eastern Empire, the Hapsburg Empire, The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Great Germano-Slavic Power, The Central Power of the White Peoples and half a dozen other names describing roughly the same rather impressive entity that could afford many niceties besides and without a clear and definite identity. Metternich ‘s great fault was failing to secure a more honest and prominent part for the democratic element in what he clearly thought should be in some sense a mixed government. But like most others in his position he was working within many tough and severe limitations. Positive, warm and optimistic as his writing can be it holds a secret. Rich, privileged and fulfilling as his biography seems to be it holds the same secret. The man is writing to us and all his audience from hell. He is smart enough to see that between the things his Sovereign cannot accept, those which people cannot accept in various duly constitutional communities and what his power’s enemies will not allow there is not a path to success or even survival for the civilization he wishes to save. For a man writing from the infernal interior addresses of genius he does a very good job.
In the United States of America we must do a lot of hard things quickly to save ourselves and transcend our crisis. We must bring together groups of people who have not been friendly in a common cause which recognizes the profound diversity of this society. Even stating that objective in a simple sentence is rather convoluted and difficult. I have written of the Thirteen Major Compacts and the Constitutional Jurisdictions and the Direct Imperial Government I think we need to add to our maps, hearts and constitution but even if that is not the exact final arrangement something like it would be necessary to lead us to a secure path.
Let us revert to the model that I have set out for the sake of argument and to keep this specific and because it what I am advocating. I have suggested that half the seats of the lower chamber of Compact Assembly of each legislature be reserved for those seated from the newly created Rolls of Kindreds. I also believe that another five to fifteen percent of each Lower Assembly (as well as possible variable offices in the Council of Nobles where appropriate) should be reserved for various organizations forever if they are willing to take their cultural capital as it exists now and invest it into the revolutionary change of bringing these things to be. So there would be seats in the lower assembly forever elected from within the ranks of certain groups and not open to outside votes or competition. But who would those groups be?
Well in The Louisiana Purchase Compact, The Confederate States of America Compact and the Spanish Borderlands Compact there would be seats for the same three organizations in differing quantities along with other groups. These three would be CODOFIL, Congres Mondial des Acadiens, and Action ‘Cadien all would have more seats in the first of these three Compacts. Also in the Louisiana Purchase Compact would be the Organization of American Historians seated under its old title as the Mississippi Valley Hisotrical Association and others. In the Spanish Borderlands Compact would be La Raza, several Cowboy culture organizations and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Order of Friars Minor. In the Confederate States of America Compact would be the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, The Sons of Confederate Veterans, ( a single reformed and amalgamated and duly chartered incarnation of) th Ku Klux Klan, The Southern Baptist Convention, a single organization of Southern Herittage for the Five Civilized tribes, the SEC and a polical office of the Ursuline Nuns. In the Compact of the Possessions one would definitely have seats reserved for groups associated with the Black Panthers, Buffalo Soldiers, and several black athletic associations. These are just a samll number of the Compacts and not all the groups in any compact. Just on skimming through these it does not seem likely that they would all be able to work together even a little bit until after the structure pressured them to do so. Of course without working together the structure is unlikely to ever emerge. I realize all this quite well. But I believe America must become really American or else become extinct so I keep writing these little essays. We will overcorrect a bit as all revolutions must from an absurdly simplified system to one too complicated in purist terms. But the change is not excessive. These groups will not have all the power even as a sum total. However, they will help our very complicated and diverse country to stay in touch with the difficult and demanding reality of who we are.
If the new American story emerges then we will have less boundless optimism and less promising to be first and best in everything. We will have more people reminding us of our costly and often tragic greatness who are not willing to throw it all away on the slight chance of some new reality we cannot even articulate. It will be difficult at first even if it happens. Europe will likely ridicule these Compacts with small powers and many seats and Asian powers will be uncomfortable with unexpected change in directions they had not plotted. The Americas will want to downplay the things they like from memory of past disappointments and play up the things they fear for political reasons. So we would have to do all of these difficult and challenging things not to fit in better but because we were convinced that they were necessary for our survival and development.
Demosthenes and Metternich are high company but if one chooses very obscure references it is almost worth leaving them out. So this sort of change is really what I think we need. I am not certain we will not get it but it seems unlikely.