by Andrew Yeoman
[Note: I have been corresponding with the author of the recent SF Gate piece about getting the Bay Area independent. Here is the most important part of that correspondence so far.]
In my opinion, the Bay Area would have to be a confederation with a large amount of autonomy given to local areas like San Francisco and Marin/Sonoma that have very different political agendas. I’m sure a mutually beneficial agreement could be reached with Sierra authorities for water supply. I was at a pagan camping event a couple weeks ago near Reno and one of the locals made the opinion known that in their view California stops south of the Sacramento border! I didn’t quite agree but since he is an old school Californian I could understand his vantage point.
The National Anarchist solution I was thinking of would allow the existence of democratic tribal and local neighborhood councils that could be based on various ethnic or lifestyle interest groups (gay, Asians, blacks, whites, Indians, or no Identity if so desired, etc) that would work in tandem with an economic advisory council that would coordinate economic and labor issues and a parallel board of natural resources. They executive could hold sessions in their local communities and meet at San Francisco City Hall for monthly or quarterly meetings. It would seem to make sense to have police and judicial jurisdictions the same as they are now, unless otherwise needing to be updated. An area like the Bay Area will always have strong demand for tourism, young professionals, shipping, and technology and those would be the base economies to drive economic growth or sustainability.
I think the biggest obstacles are political rather than cultural. Culturally, the Bay Area is ripe for this to happen: most Bay Area residents view themselves as Northern Californian and have no real connection to Southern California or Sacramento. Creating the political will to make this happen is a different story: most people have never conceived of not having a Federal or State government and presenting new thinking to the public is extremely difficult. Their would have to be tangible immediate benefits from doing so. Lower taxes would appeal to many but I think most people would rather have the security of paying high taxes rather than switch to an unknown. I go running a lot and I notice lots of signs with for sale and sitting empty. Another thing that would appeal to many besides lower taxes is no longer honoring housing defaults to the banks. That would cause the financial system an enema and get lots of support from residents.
To make it look realistic a mock Bay Area Authority would have to be established and have representatives from the various cities and hold due process and rules of order and all the other (not fun!) tasks of government. With a track record of “open source” and orderly proceedings the BAA could then be viewed as a plausible alternative to the present system to a segment of the population and make symbolic proclamations (say, gay marriage for San Francisco, issue non binding marriage agreements, etc). The key to this working would to prevent the ambitious to making the BAA their personal dictatorship so the highest post such as a Secretary may make the most sense unless authorized by the councils.
If a SHTF scenario ever made the legit authorities unable to work the BAA could step in for disaster relief, etc. The key is to just not take actions that would be viewed as a rebellion by government authorities as like myself I’m sure you value your personal freedom!