Christopher Ketcham

Break Up the USA


Christopher Ketcham, a freelance reporter and writer for many venues including, discusses modern American secessionist movements like the Second Vermont Republic, the drawbacks of centralized power and possible pitfalls of radical decentralization, his upcoming article for Radar about federal plans for martial law and upcoming movie about corruption in Brooklyn.

MP3 here. (53:16)

Christopher Ketcham, a freelance reporter based in Moab, Utah, writes for Harper’s, Mother Jones, GQ, Salon and many other venues.

7 thoughts on “Christopher Ketcham”

  1. Scott I listened to the secessionist show. I think you may want to change your argument a bit regarding the Articles of Confederation because of 2 points:

    1. The full/complete name of the AOC is, “The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.” The title alone suggests that secession was not intended by the writers. Of course some might say that it had so little centralized power no none would want to seceede from it

    2. Technically the AOC are still in effect because of Article 6in the US Constitution:
    “All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.”

    Since the AOC qualifies as an “Engagement entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution,” it is still in effect. I once had it explained that it was kind of like DOS is still the operating system running Microsoft office, but no one knows about it.

    Also 2 points of related trivia;
    1. according to the book, “In the Absence of the Sacred” by Jerry Mander, the AOC were heavily influenced by the Iroquios Confederation.

    2. The Great Law of the Iroquios Confederation (NOT the US Constitution) is the longest-running, continuious constitution still in effect today. It is about 600 years old and pre-dates Columbus

    Love the show

    Joey King

  2. I can’t resist:

    Now how about some comparison with:

    The European Union (pretty functional but currently moving to further centralization and additionally getting into control freakery, alas). Decisions are rather “local” to each country (though not local enough for some, see Belgium, a federation of two quite different regions), with recommendations to adapt national law coming down from Strasbourg. So if Berlusconi things that kleptocracy is cool or Tony thinks war is okay, not everyone is affected. I also think the level of shame among peers in such a disparate setting is easier to keep at a reasonably high level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.