Iraqi Kurdistan exists, in whatever form, in dangerous and shifting surroundings. But that has been the case since 1991, when it first got extreme autonomy, thanks to the no-fly zone imposed by America and its allies. Since then, it has steadily entrenched itself as the rest of Iraq has fallen apart, especially after IS grabbed a chunk of it. Never before has Turkey been so friendly to Iraq’s Kurds. Never before has the government in Baghdad needed the co-operation of the Kurds in Erbil so badly. Now, surely, is the Kurdish moment.
“If we don’t decentralize, the country will disintegrate.” Iraq.
Quotes from Artur Mas on Catalan independence.
The U.K., Spain, and Gibraltar
Do immigration and demographics put a time limit on Quebec separatism?
More Chinese warnings to Taiwan to stay put
Top Chinese official in Tibet wants temples and monasteries to spout propaganda, raise Chinese flag.
Vice with a great piece on the Yemeni conflict and with a focus on the southern secessionist role to-boot. Recommended. A piece:
This version of events fits into a popular narrative of a war in Yemen made up of two neat coalitions: on one side the Houthis, an Iranian proxy backed by Saleh, who hopes he can use the current conflict to restore his family to power. On the other, Sunni Yemenis from the north and south rallying around Hadi who are backed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and intent on restoring Hadi to the presidency. It’s a story that helps make a complex country easier to understand. The problem for the Saudis is that many of those doing the fighting in the south have long shared a single goal — one that Hadi has said, explicitly and repeatedly, he does not endorse: independence from the north.
Mike Gibson thinks technology will render governance models optional in the future:
The next 15 years will not pit the Washington Consensus against the Beijing Consensus — or other authoritarian models — but both of these against the Nakamoto Consensus. The diffusion of the smartphone, strong crytpography, and peer-to-peer decentralized public ledgers will weld individuals, networks and voluntary hierarchies into single units of sovereign power capable of opt-out and opt-in governance without precedent
Thiel’s comments on peaking globalization from his conversation with Tyler Cowen:
If you want a long/short blue-state trade you want to be long California, short New York. The long/short red-state trade by the way is you want to be long Texas and short Virginia… Both Texas and California are actually sort of very inward-focused places. California, both the Hollywood version and the Silicon Valley version are sort of very focused in on themselves and Texas is also a very inward-focused place. And what D.C. and New York City have in common is they are centers of globalization. Finance is sort of an industry that is fundamentally leveraged to globalization and D.C. is fundamentally leveraged to international geopolitics. I would bet on globalization sort of slowly being in abeyance. With the benefit of hindsight I think we will realize that 2007 was not just the peak year of the finance boom but also the peak year of globalization.
Arnold Kling on Thiel. The Economist weighed in last December. Trade as a % of world GDP has indeed stalled at 60% the last five years or so, although this has occurred a few other times in the post-war era. Here is a chart I made using World Bank data.
Charles Murray’s new book thinks rolling back federal power through traditional means is futile and advocates civil disobedience and legal defense funds to litigate legislation to death.
Speculative thoughts on shareholder cities
Check out the Voice & Exit conference in Austin, TX in June
Musings on nations and national identity
Spontaneous order and traffic lights. Video on the town of Poynton implementing a shared space intersection, as mentioned in the article:
How socialist were the Incas?
Anti-immigrant attacks are spreading in South Africa.
Newsflash: The Southern states are still distinct.
Libertarian defenses of Confederate secession are incoherent.
“Liberty Cities” in Texas
Tiny Caribou, Maine is making progress on a split