Monday, November 08, 2004

Le rouge et le bleu, Part 1

Via Drezner, an extremely insightful post on red vs. blue states from a political scientist. His conclusion (which I wholeheartedly agree with):
This is the effect of life in a major metropolitan center -- diversity is lived in daily dealings, it cannot be escaped, it inspires forms of cooperation and reciprocity grounded on something other than common belief and common tradition.

Now, sharing a common faith is a good thing, and its value cannot be denied. And the pace and rootlessness of life in an urban center can be confusing, frustrating, even overwhelming. But the rural life makes for a different ethos than the urban; each produces, in effect, a different world-view. My point is not to praise the urban life unqualifiedly (With some qualification, I willingly defend it, and would emigrate to red America only to the blue colonies that are college towns.) My point is that there are different value systems clashing in this country, and that the conditions that produce them are enduring and probably insurmountable. I believe we are indeed in the midst of a 'culture war', a religious war, and we should bid the lessons of Westphalia before we find ourselves in a Thirty Years War. No, I don't mean secession, but I do mean a return to federalism, especially when it comes to the collection and use of taxes.
Read the whole thing. It makes you understand how inevitable the values-divide is. And it helps you understand and appreciate the inherent advantages and flaws of both urban and rural life.

No comments: