Expectation has changed from the great achievements of government at a federal level:
The global peace and economic structure after WW2; the era of civil rights legislation and court decisions of the 1950’s through the first decade and a half of the 2000’s; the bold movements forward in education after the Russians launched Sputnik in 1958, etc., have had their day in the sun.
Our recent history and near future are cycling through to a new vision:
We are returning to ancient Greece for inspiration. There, we see the marvels of human genius and grit play out in what was called the city state. This was the time of Athens and Sparta.
These cities acted like nations. There was no end to their great achievements: humanity’s first attempts at democracy; their eye for symmetry in architecture that has made the entire world more beautiful; their brilliance at self-reliance and defense, having held back empires when each was a mere city; their success at creating the foundation of the university system that today feeds all meaningful human and technical progress worldwide.
Was there nothing these city states did not try and succeed at five centuries before the birth of Christ? All that we have become in our modern world we owe to the brilliance of Athens and Sparta.
Today, the complaint is that the United States Congress no longer acts. And because of this we are in peril of becoming weak and vulnerable as a country. But, I say, don’t worry, American city states are in the process of acting like nations.
For example, I now live in a mid-sized city of Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m blown away at what these people are doing at a local level:
The city is situated in a desert. It has no seaport. It’s 790 Miles away from the nearest ocean. There are no waterways. So, what is it doing? It has imagined a “dry inland port.” Not just any dry inland port, but most likely, the largest dry inland port in the world.
Foolish? Over the next twenty years it will add billions of dollars of new revenue coming into the state.
For example, the largest transporters in the world are the Chinese. Right now, a percentage of Chinese shipping companies are thinking of jumping bottle necked Los Angeles/Long Beach Port Authorities; and instead, putting their cargo on trains, and letting Salt Lake City become its port authority to clear customs.
Salt Lake City not only becomes a city state with that development, but a GLOBAL city state as well. I call it local globalism.
A new global economic civilization is in the making.
According to the Brookings Institute and JP Morgan Chase Bank study entitled the Global Cities Initiative, Salt Lake City is not the only city thinking and acting globally. At least twenty other mid-sized cities are becoming global city states as well.
Probably, your city is on that list. Look it up. Google: Global Cities Initiative.
The new age of global localism is here.