We already know the fault lines of an American breakup because regional economic and social activities are distinct.
Student Voices: US Social Fragmentation
As individuals travel for personal or business reasons, they show us which areas are connected socially. Studying the network of connections is a powerful way to determine separation into groups and the natural breakpoints between them . Figure 1 shows A) the density of Twitter activity that is centered in cities, B) areas that are the domains of individual cities extended into the suburban and rural areas that are linked to them and C) larger areas of the US that are separated by boundaries that have less travel across them. While these urban areas have been identified previously , the larger domains between the urban and national scale may be the important domains of social fragmentation.
There are 20 such areas (Figure 1 C). Similar patterns have been detected by analyzing mobile phone calls . Some areas represent single states, like Florida, Texas or Michigan. Other areas comprise multiple states. New England is mostly a single area, and so are the Carolinas or Georgia and Alabama.
…Our analysis suggests that the US fragmentation should not be viewed as just forming two groups, often called red/blue aligning with right and Republican versus left and Democratic . Instead there appear to be approximately 20 groups reflecting the selectiveness of social interactions.
Looking at this alone you would not predict a breakup of America. Regionalism exists all over the world. However, this is not the cause of breakup, rather a picture of potential fault lines. Instead, the first question is social mood. Will American social mood rise or fall in the coming decades? IF it falls, secessionist tendencies will grow. This doesn’t necessarily lead to a full breakup, but it might lead to states ignoring federal mandates. There could be a slow collapse in central power rather than an official breakup. The official language in California might be Spanish, Alabama might ban abortion. Racial segregation could become law again, and federal court mandates to overturn it ignored or even approved. Racial segregation is growing in popularity on college campuses and what’s popular on campus often becomes mainstream 20 years down the road.
Leaving mood aside, there is history and precedent for a breakup or an end to democracy, because multi-ethnic nations do not survive. They break down into their component parts, especially in a land mass as large as the United States.
Der Spiegel: “It’s Stupid to be Afraid”
Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people’s position. In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I’d run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that…
SPIEGEL: … and that turned Singapore de facto into a one party state. Critics say that Singapore resembles a Lee Family Enterprise. Your son is the Prime Minister, your daughter-in-law heads the powerful Development Agency…
Mr. Lee: … and my other son is CEO of Singapore Telecoms, my daughter is head of the National Institute for Neurology. This is a very small community of 4 million people. We run a meritocracy. If the Lee Family set an example of nepotism, that system would collapse. If I were not the prime minister, my son could have become Prime Minister several years earlier. It is against my interest to allow any family member who’s incompetent to hold an important job because that would be a disaster for Singapore and my legacy. That cannot be allowed.
A breakdown in democracy or a political breakup, or both, is coming to the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religion United States. It has never not happened in world history. If social mood rebounds, America will increase immigration and increase political fragmentation, such that the next great decline in social mood will break the nation apart or end democracy.