I have never been a fan of large urban areas. Today, I have even less reason to think good about them. Massive urban areas with millions – even tens of millions – are NOT necessary for “civilization.” Indeed, even smaller urban areas (a few hundred thousand people) prove, time and time again, to be places where the inhumanity of man towards man is demonstrated on an hourly basis, and in which liberty and civility are degraded and destroyed. This is more the case in 2019 than ever.
To me, one of the greatest concerns about urban areas are the physical and mental health of the inhabitants. Now and when they collapse.
When the mental health of a city (especially its leadership and elite portions) deteriorates to a dangerous level, urban collapse is approaching. We’ve seen it happen in Jerusalem multiple times over the millennia, in Rome, in Nineveh, in London (the Great Plague), in Paris (the Commune), Mexica-Tenochtitlan (Cortez’ conquest in 1521), Berlin (1945) and many others.
Consider the City and County of San Francisco, one of the greatest of American cities for 150 years. Now rapidly collapsing into unlivable conditions that rival the worst pest holes of India, Africa, or Latin America.
The Blaze reports that the City of San Francisco has cut business ties with nearly half the states in the country because of those states’ ‘restrictive abortion laws.’ Never mind that SF depends on “imports” from many if not all of those states to maintain its standard of living. It is claimed that California (and its cities, like San Francisco) have the right to “democratically” decide and overturn state and federal rules. Yet, they think that a city of less than a million (and population dropping) can dictate to states with ten or twenty times more population and resources.
San Franciscans themselves recognize the insanity – and the resulting physical health crisis – which their city (and entire region) have. And the catastrophic results of that mental and physical illness. Consider what a former San Francisco mayoral candidate states in a Fox News story: years of liberal policies have caused the homelessness ‘tragedy’ exploding in the city and the entire Bay area.
The rolling blackouts to prevent the massive wildfires which devastate California virtually every year are another example. Instead of having the fires destroy property, kill and injure people, California government and companies have chosen to do it in other ways: by cutting off essential power with little or no warning. Insanity.
Of course, California and San Francisco are not alone in this. The upheavals and trials of Chicago with its violence, political madness, and economic illness are well-known (and just highlighted by Trump again). Indeed, it more and more resembles the fictional Gotham City+. A situation in which lawlessness, hopelessness, government corruption, and sheer stupidity on the part of government, other institutions (including religious and educational ones), private business, families and individuals shatter the foundations of society.
Another example can be found in Ohio, where a Fox story tells us about the ‘Most ridiculous thing ever’: Ohio officials split building in two to solve property dispute. It appears that city officials have been driven mad by their lust for power.
And of course, the hideous example of Detroit should never be forgotten. There are the hundreds of blocks of deserted and collapsing buildings. And the hundreds more blocks where buildings have been demolished and are now empty land. Making that city resemble Stalingrad or Berlin after their destruction in WW2. Detroit is more like the “failed nations” such as Somalia, Libya, or Syria than ever.
But many other large American cities face imminent collapse as well. And they are, at best, kept viable by massive federal government subsidies. Consider Baltimore, especially the former district of E. Cummings, and how it has sucked up billions in federal dollars (each stolen from a present or future taxpayer). Yet it is still described (by many from both old parties) as a third-world setting. Look at Houston, which still has not recovered from the (indirect) ravages of Katrina.
California cities are far from alone in the risk that they pose to their residents, and to those who live in their suburbs. Whether or not those suburbanites work in the core cities or not.
What is the solution? For the individual, for the family, the real solution is to get out of town. Leave the urban areas – especially the ones that present the greatest risk to you as far as physical health, injury, property, and mental health. You may not be able to find a living in the small towns or cities – although rural and frontier areas in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas need good people. But even moving from a large urban area like Houston to a smaller one like Lubbock or Amarillo, or from Detroit to Grand Rapids, is a world of difference.
For the cities and their States, the real solution is probably not possible. Decentralize and eliminate government. Wipe out thousands of pages of laws and regulations that try (and fail) to control every aspect of life. Eliminate taxes and fees and regulatory oversight that prevent investment, improvements, and sometimes survival. If you can’t eliminate government then reduce it to the bare minimums. Sell off infrastructure (utilities, roads, especially) to private business: to cooperatives if you don’t trust for-profit companies). Set communities (local neighborhoods mostly) free from massive state, county, and/or municipal control. Don’t try to end corruption by seeking vengeance against the perps: starve them out by taking away power and funding.
Do I think that 99.9% of urban state and municipal governments and societies will peacefully do any of those things? No, of course not. So if you must remain in or near the big cities, for family or work or health or whatever reasons? Prepare for the worst. For decay at an ever-increasing rate. For sudden termination of vital services. For more and more government (and quasi-government) organizations and employees to go rogue and do more and more stupid things.
And don’t expect the rest of the country to be as sympathetic as we have been in the past.