By Ev Bogue - October 17th 2013
If you've ever taken the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka, you've traveled through a Megalopolis.
A Megalopolis is a megaregion. It's a number of cities so linked by highspeed transit, that it's difficult it distinguish between its parts. In America, you see regions similar to this forming on the East coast around New York City from Boston to DC. Northern California from Sacramento to San Francisco from Richmond down to San Jose. There's also the Great Lakes megaregion, which has so many cities in it it is hard to count or visit them all -- it extents from the Twin Cities all of the way east to Pittsbough and Toronto --anchored, of course, in Chicago.
It's easy to travel between Portland and Seattle, but hard to travel between Portland and San Francisco.
It's simple to travel between New York and DC, but you have to take the red eye from LA to New York.
As our national government has grown more and more defunct, corrupt, and to be frank, useless. Maybe it's time to start thinking about these megaregions more as authoritative bodies than one super-large country. Then we can make Obama the president of the greatlakes megaregion, from whence he calls, and he can stop making decisions for all of us.
There are strong cultural differences between megaregions, but not strong cultural differences within them. It's hard to tell the difference between someone who hails from Baltimore, Brooklyn, or Philly. But it's easy to know if someone is visiting from San Diego. A person from Denver sticks out in Chicago, but a person from Ohio doesn't when he's visiting Milwaukee.
If having a national government is about finding some sort of agreement, maybe we can find an agreement within megaregions. Instead of always trying to find concensus between all of them, we can instead agree in a more local way. So why not make our national governments closer to home? We'll stick Obama in the Hyde Park (within earshot of all of the gunfire on Chicago's south side), where he feels more comfortable. And we can start electing people within our own megaregions to represent our needs. Instead of always arguing between very different ideals, we can instead come together to agree on what we want for our own megalopolis.
We can probably maintain peace, without a United States Federal government, if we split the country up into megalopolises. The only city that appears to be within two megalopolises is Houston. And if they want to fight it out. Well, we don't have to worry about that in Northern California or the East Coast, now do we?
The worry is, with splitting off into a handful of megaregions, some megaregions will have greater economic stability than others. But we have pretty shit economic stability in the greater United States anyway. Wouldn't some healthy competition be good for us?
The only decision you need to make, if we do in fact break the country up into a bunch of megalopolises, is this: which one do you want to live in? Will we allow dual-citizenship?
Maybe New York, Northern California, and Southern California will have good inter-megalopol relations. But will it be easy to travel between New York and Piedmont Atlantic? Will Cascadia be hostile towards Northeast interlopers looking for a more authentic hipster lifestyle?