14 07 2007

Cross posted from   Debbie at Right Truth

Mexico dissolving as a Nation-State?

With the United States making few, if any, efforts to control our borders; and with the rise of the North American Union, the suggestion that Mexico may dissolve as a Nation-State by 2008 is very interesting.  From The OIl Drum via email today:

Jeff Vail, our former Navy Intelligence officer and geopolitics expert, wrote about his concern for Mexico in “Mexico: A Nation-State Dissolves?“:

In my annual new years predictions , I said that the most significant, and surprising, development of 2007 would be the collapse of both Mexico’s economy and its very existence as a viable Nation-State. While there hasn’t been a spectacular, single event confirming my prediction, there has been a steady erosion on all fronts—with five months left in the year, I’m not yet willing to push back my prediction of Mexico’s “collapse” to 2008. The decline of the Mexican Nation-State is a bellwether for the massively complex network of geopolitical influences sometimes termed above ground factors. It provides some insight into how symptoms of oil scarcity already being felt in poorer parts of the world will increasingly spill over into our own back yard…

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2752

The question becomes, what does this mean for the United States?  I’ll leave that to you readers.

Mr. Vail goes on to define exactly what he means by the collapse of a Nation-State:

… When a Nation-State collapses, the cities don’t all catch on fire simultaneously whilst roving hoards pillage the countryside and the population starves. Nation-State collapse is not the apocalypse—it is exactly what it suggests to be: the collapse of the notional union of Nation and State under one central, viable government.  {snip]

Mexico’s Oil Production is Collapsing

Production from Mexico’s Cantarell field is collapsing, and production from new fields are not making up the difference.  It appears very likely that Mexico has permanently passed its peak oil production.  On top of that, domestic consumption is rising, creating the classic Export Land effect: declining production and rising domestic consumption equal accelerated declines in exports. Taxes from these export revenues generate the largest share of revenue for the federal government. Recent reductions in the tax rate that the government applies to PEMEX, the state oil company, shows that this key source of revenue is failing. The collapse of Mexican oil production has been extensively discussed elsewhere—here it is only my aim to highlight this as a component in the collapse of the Mexican Nation-State, and the positive feedback loops between the two events.

Mexico’s National and State Boundaries are Separating

The core proposition of a Nation-State is that the boundaries of the Nation and the State will coincide, allowing the State to effectively provide for the security and welfare of the Nation, and leading in return to the Nation giving their allegiance to the State (See Philip Bobbitt’s “Shield of Achilles,” the seminal work on the Nation-State construct). While no Nation-State is a perfect example of this ideal, Mexico’s proximity to enticing US labor markets, and the resulting massive emigration of Mexicans, is increasingly distorting this overlap. While “Mexico” remains a powerful cultural concept, that concept is increasingly dissociated with the geographic borders of the Mexican state. People can be wholly “Mexican” in Los Angeles, or, increasingly, Alabama.

The State of Mexico is Failing to Provide for its Nation

While the dissociation of the boundaries of a Nation with the borders of a State makes it more difficult for a notional Nation-State to provide for that part of its Nation outside its State borders, Mexico is also failing to provide for its nationals inside its borders. Recent protests over tortilla prices are just one example of the extreme poverty suffered by much of the nation (and, not entirely coincidentally, largely the result of scarcity in global oil markets driving demand for corn-ethanol). Similarly, while the average Mexican’s wealth is increasing, there are shadow factors at work—people like the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, now the richest man in the world at $68 Billion net worth, are skewing the statistics.  Without remittance payments from emigrants, Mexico’s poverty situation would be far worse. When a State can no longer provide for its Nation, there is no longer any incentive for that Nation to voluntarily give allegiance and support to their State. The only remaining tool to exert control is coercion through a State’s theoretical monopoly on violence, and in Mexico even that is breaking down.

I’ve included more of this excellent article here than proper blog etiquette allows, so please go to The Oil Drum and read the rest of the article.  Also check out the other excellent articles on their main page.

Other Oil News at The Oil Drum:

Jeffrey Brown, a petroleum geologist, discusses “Net Oil Exports and the ‘Iron Triangle'”

As Matt Simmons pointed out several years ago, the critical problem with post-peak exporting regions is that we would have two exponential functions (declining production and generally increasing consumption) working against net exports. From the point of view of importers, it is quite likely that we are facing a crash in oil supplies. In my opinion, what I have described as the “Iron Triangle” is doing everything possible to keep this message from reaching consumers.

In an essay posted on The Oil Drum blog in January 2006, I warned of an impending net oil export crisis, and I used what I called the Export Land Model (ELM) to illustrate the detrimental effect on net oil exports of declining production and increasing consumption.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2767
****
Jerome Guillet discusses that the IEA boss denied and confirmed peak oil in same breath

It seems that the International Energy Agency, the intergovernmental energy watchdog, has been going in overdrive lately. First, we had the interview of its chief economist warning us that we were going toward a wall without Iraqi oil, then the recent publication of their yearly outlook report predicting shortages within 5 years, and now we have another disquieting interview in Le Monde, the big French daily, with Claude Mandil, the head of the Agency, who pulls no punches, despite an apparent denial of “peak oil”. Follow me below the fold for a translation.

http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/2761

Others on immigration:

Senate hearing On July 17 Re:  Ramos & Compean, Conservative Common Man

States Doing The Job American Congress Won’t Do, stickNstein

***This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII).  If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.***

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