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The Nation State



     WAIS Fellow Sam Huntington wears several hats. One is chairman of the Harvard Academy for international and Area Studies, which promotes area studies, much battered in our discipline-bound universities. He is best known for his views on culture clashes, views which I personally strongly support. One consequence is that nations must have a culture which glues them together, Applying this to the United States, the journal The Social Contract views fashionable muliculturalism with alarm, and is especially concerned about our "open borders", which the winter 1999-2000 issue describes as "a gateway for criminals and terrorists."
     These views are anathema to U.S. Hispanics, who want to increase their numbers and thereby their political clout. Their organization which promotes this calls itself La Raza, while anyone who questions its activities is denounced as a racist. Speaking recently at the Baker Institute of Rice Institute, Professor Rodolfo de la Garza of the University of Texas attacked Sam Huntington, who pointed out, as WAIS has repeatedly, the problem of divided loyalty. In a glossy defense of George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice today glided over this and other critical issue of foreign policy. Houston, home to both the Rice Institute and the Bush campaign is a multiethnic city, with a mixed record.
     This brings up the question of federalism, or confederation.. Switzerland, held up as a model, is officially the Swiss Confederation. In Spain, the word federalism brings up black memories of the first republic, which broke up within a year. For José María Aznar, it is almost a cuss word. At the same time today, the E.U.'s Council of the Regions was meeting in Brussels, and the Spanish regions were thrilled to get more seats on its executive board. Aznar must have viewed he news with dismay. Tony Blair's Council of the Isles promotes a variant of confederation, and the issue is a burning one in Indonesia.
     The United States is neither a confederation or a true federation. Canada is closer to the federal ideal. It is therefore curious that the important little European journal on this subject, The Federalist, published in Pavia, Italy is inspired by Hamilton's journal of the same name. The main article in the second issue of 1999, by editor Francesco Rossolillo, is devoted to "European and World Federation."

Ronald Hilton - 2/16/00


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