[Editorial Voice: Have to say I’m resolutely skeptical. Sure, Portland, Oregon could be a nice city-state. But NYC? Bloomberg’s “personal army” positioned as the only force “protecting the safety of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” Sounds horrible.
What about Oakland? I don’t think I would call the Oakland police force “inherently pragmatic”. Rather, inherently, mindlessly authoritarian. They don’t even know why they’re shooting people in the head with rubber bullets. They’re not even protecting wealthy landowners, at least at this point. They’re just doing it because there’s no one to tell them not to.
I hate to toe the anarchist line, but it seems odd to think that simply re-drawing the sovereign border is going to fundamentally change how sovereign power works.
But still—this is something for the New Politic to consider, because it may not be a choice.]
“Sovereign nation states have conspicuously failed to cooperate well enough to deal with increasingly global problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, and organized crime, Barber said. Nations focus on their borders, which are seen as competitive zero-sum games.
“But if we shift our gaze, in thinking about global governance, from nation states to cities, things suddenly become possible that seemed impossible. Cities are apart from one another, separated by wide spaces. Their relationships are based on communication, trade, transportation, and culture. They are relational, not in a zero-sum game with one another.”
“Cities are inherently pragmatic rather than ideological. “They collect garbage and collect art rather than collecting votes or collecting allies. They put up buildings and run buses rather than putting up flags and running political parties. They secure the flow of water rather than the flow of arms. They foster education and culture in place of national defense and patriotism. They promote collaboration, not exceptionalism.”