Yves here. While the author makes an interesting point about rejection of community institutions and collective obligations as steps on the path to secession, I have to differ a tad on the implicit claim of national identity. I spent six months to three years in mainly small towns in different parts of the US when growing up. Despite the veneer of American cheerfulness, these areas had distinct cultures. Local and area stores were much more important than national chains. Even mid-sized cities like Dayton, Ohio had a morning and evening paper. Most subscribed to at least one, if nothing else for the classified ads. The national broadcasters, CBS, NBC and ABC, and the weekly magazines Time and Newsweek articulated what was supposedly a broadly-held centrist position. But most families were at lease as concerned about their area and region than national and international affairs.
And when I first visited Alabama,
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