By José Niño *
Contrary to the conventional wisdom held by talking heads, there is no turning back to the days of the politics of “decency” and “respectability”. The Tweedledee and Tweedledum of political parties discussing mundane issues becomes an afterthought in the age of populism.
Certainly, we are not going to see a drastic setback in government intrusions at the federal level, let alone the abolition of the litany of unconstitutional laws and regulations emanating from DC anytime soon. However, there are plenty of opportunities for states to hit Washington in the eye by overturning its laws and pursuing their own political agendas.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently received the decentralization memo when he announcement on December 2, 2021, a new funding proposal for the Florida National Guard and a plan that would resurrect the Florida State Guard, a state defense force that was disbanded in 1947.
This state defense force should to help the National Guard during hurricanes, natural disasters and other emergencies specifically occurring in Florida. DeSantis stress that Florida state custody “would not be encumbered by the federal government.” Indeed, the Florida State Guard would only respond to the governor. In addition, he would not be deployed for federal missions and would not receive federal funds.
Predictably, DeSantis’ move has sparked a cry of banshee from his political rivals and the corporate press, who are firmly convinced that DeSantis is on the verge of building a private army. Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried describe DeSantis State Guard plan as a step towards the creation of a “paramilitary force”.
Sober minds will recognize that a Florida state guard will not put the state on a fast track to full-fledged private defense. However, this is still a positive step towards devolving power from the federal government and letting the states assume the defense functions that the federal government has gradually repealed over the years.
Look no further than the federal government sloppy response Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to see what happens when the federal government is given broad powers to deal with natural disasters. Hint: It wasn’t pretty and once again showed why a heavyweight federal government is incapable of dealing with natural disasters when charities and sleeker state entities can do a much better job.
Hyperbole aside, DeSantis’ decision to potentially revive the Florida State Guard should make Fried and his ilk nervous. Here we are dealing with people who believe that a centralized military body commanded by a cabal of leaders not subject to democratic mechanisms is more legitimate than state military forces.
The funny part of the criticism directed at DeSantis’ state custody plan is that several states—From blue strongholds like California and New York to red states like Louisiana and Texas — have their own state guards. Even the territory of Puerto Rico has its own state guard which is activated in an emergency.
The attacks on DeSantis are not new. DeSantis broke away from the rest of the governing pack during his tenure as governor of Florida by effectively becoming the strongest resistance figure against the covid-19 biosafety state.
Now he’s pushing the boundaries by bringing the idea of state militias back into the public debate, institutions that have been completely neutralized by the federal government. We have long forgotten how the zenith of militia activity, especially of a private nature, took place in the first half of the 19th century, when militias were largely free from the grip of centralized militia systems.
Historically speaking, state militias functioned as independent military units unless national service was required of them in wartime. In addition, state governors have sometimes pushed back federal control of state military units.
That said, the relatively decentralized nature of the National Guard was completely marred by federal usurpation from the late 19th century, which then went into hyperdrive during the 20th century. Ryan mcmaken Noted that National Guard units were brought under the control of the federal government with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1933. This legislation effectively nationalized members of the National Guard, who were no longer exclusively under the control of the National Guard. control of state governors. Following the prevailing trend towards increased centralization throughout the 20th century, governors had lost virtually all of their autonomy with regard to the deployment of state troops by 1990.
While centralization has largely taken over over the past century, cracks are gradually appearing in state architecture. With an unprecedented speech on secession or even civil war scenarios, America is reaching a breaking point. New forms of political organization will be needed to maintain domestic tranquility.
This is not the time to deplore the fact that the federal government is getting lost. Over the past century, America has undergone several revolutions in form that made any meaningful change in Washington virtually impossible. Let’s face it, there will be no deus ex machina from the federal government to fix things.
Real change is likely to happen thanks to gangs of disgruntled citizens making do at the state level and the local level. This kind of dirty work will help create decentralized alternatives to our current political order – a sclerotic arrangement that is in desperate need of an overhaul.
DeSantis’ stewardship of Florida in the age of covid-19 may just be the political project driving the decentralization train forward. But to emulate the Florida example, people will first need to break out of their obsession with the productivity black hole that is federal politics.
* About the Author: José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Subscribe to his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook Where Twitter. Receive its premium newsletter here. Subscribe to its sub-stack here.
Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute