Re-localizing Our Focus in a Collapsing World
Thanks to a comment on this week's Ecosophia post, I came across this article
Which discusses the Fall of Rome and how so many historical writers get the aftermath of that collapse wrong. Yes, the central government of Rome went away but this didn't result in a age of darkness but a re-localization of political power and community action. The article also goes on to argue that the Fall of Rome directly lead to the golden age of the Renaissance because of this re-localization allowing many options to be tried.
But its this paragraph about modern day American politics that really grabbed me.
"At the national level, “policy work is increasingly being done by people with no training in it, and who don’t care about it, because they’re drawn into national politics purely as culture warriors,” I was told by Philip Zelikow, of the University of Virginia, who worked as a national-security official for both Presidents Bush. “There’s a fiction that mass politics is about policy.” The reality, he said, is that national-level politics has become an exercise in cultural signaling—“who you like, who you hate, which side you’re on”—rather than about actual governance. Meanwhile, the modern reserves of American practical-mindedness are mainly at the local level, “where people have no choice but to solve problems week by week.”