Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 475, July 6, 2008

"What was left to celebrate?"

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(Dis)Union and Empire
by A.X. Perez

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

A while back Rex May commented (in a letter responding to an article supporting the citizenship rights of 'anchor babies') that open borders would eventually lead to the creation of Aztlan. Let me assure him that the creation of Aztlan makes this inhabitant of Chucoztlan's blood run cold.

For those of you who are not conversant with southwestern radical politics, Aztlan in this context refers to an independent nation inhabited by persons of Mexican descent carved out of the territory of the US. The idea was started back in the late Sixties by various loud mouth Chicano radicals. some have pushed for creating Aztlan by Mexican citizens "voting with their feet" and reclaiming the territory the US conquered in the Mexican American War.

To reassure Mr. May and mock La Raza Unida, MAPA, MeCHa, and others, it ain't happening. The majority (90 some percent) of legal and illegal immigrants coming up from Mexico don't want to make the US an extension of Mexico, they are fleeing everything that is wrong with Mexico and have no wish to bring it with them. They like the US just fine, muchas gracias.

And yes, they do bring problems. I grew up in a neighborhood where houses were regularly burglarized by kids from Ciudad Juarez who would take their loot back to Mexico. The seizure of sovereignty over American land from the US just isn't one of these problems.

Knowing all this, I fear Aztlan. I fear it the way I fear that Robert A. Heinlein was a reliable prophet when he described the balkanization of the US in Friday, or that L. Neil Smith was calling it right when he wrote of the division of the US into Western and Eastern America in Pallas. Almost as badly do I fear the United States finally taking the last step and becoming a true empire as Rome was (Assuming we haven't crossed that line already.).

I can visualize Aztlan forming from a United States tearing itself apart in a Second and Third Civil War. I can see it forming as a nation risen from the ashes of a collapsed US Empire. And these visions frighten me.

I also can visualize a United States that lives up to her founders' ideals, and by living up to the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, persuades other sovereign territories to voluntarily join her, or form a federation or commonwealth of nations of free people with her.

I'm sure Mr. May and others like this last vision best of all. Maybe we'll even create a state of Aztlan on a terraformed Mars or give that name to some other planet we settle on some distant star.

Make no mistake, dissolution, empire and decadence, or growth by living up to our best dreams are our choices. Which are you going to live by and work for?


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