Is the United States in danger of collapse?  A Russian academic and a now defunct Nashville hip hop group say it is possible.

It’s really hard to stay positive with so much bad news flying about.  So the apocalyptic overtones of a December article in the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.’ certainly aren’t helping to brighten my day.

However, daily accounts of the economic implosion we are enduring hit much closer to home now.  The signs have been prevalent here in Detroit for quite some time, but even more people are losing their jobs amid what is now a global economic crisis.  Can we even consider the possibility that the United States as we know it may soon disappear from the face of the map?

According to the Journal article, Russian professor Igor Panarin has been predicting the collapse of the United States for a decade.  Former KGB analyst Panarin says economic strife will cause the nation to disintegrate.

He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls “The Californian Republic,” and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of “The Texas Republic,” a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls “The Central North American Republic.” Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

The Journal article implies that a good dose of anti-American Russian nationalism informs Panarin’s scholarship, but the news from the frontlines isn’t so good these days.  Detroit is ground zero for the economic meltdown, and we must report that things aren’t going well here.  Companies have been shedding employees like snakes shed their skins, and the outlook for a recovery in late 2009 may be wishful thinking.

A series of bailouts by the federal government have failed to change the downturn’s direction.  Even Democrats fear that President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package doesn’t go far enough.  Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers are concerned that there aren’t enough tax cuts in the bill.

I won’t harp on what I believe to be the causes (The Pirate Class led by the Bush/Cheney administration and their wholesale plunder of the U.S. Treasury for one), but if we are to reverse course, and avoid the fate Panarin predicts for us, we’ve got to make some radical changes.  Obama’s centrist approach may create unity among the U.S. elite, but will it really solve the problems the rest of us are facing.

This question brought to mind a musical fable created by now defunct and sadly underrated Nashville hip hop group Utopia State.  “Death of Sam” from their epic 1999 album “Where Y’all From” speaks of the destruction of “Samuel” who falls victim to his own greed.

Is the Unites States in danger of collapse?  What do you think?

Utopia State: Death of Sam

Wall Street Journal – As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.’

Blues Talkin'

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