The repeated spectacles of impending government shutdowns are symbolic reenactments of the death of the nation-state. The issues over which the shutdowns almost happen are indicators of what we collectively think will destroy the nation-state.


9 thoughts on “Shutdowns”

  1. I was pleasantly surprised that Schumer was willing to include funding for the wall in the spending bill. That deal didn’t work out, but it’s good to see Democrats are willing to cede that.


      1. As the link shows, funding gaps didn’t result in actual partial shutdowns with furloughs until the Carter administration in 1981.

        The furloughs are a stupid, unnecessary gesture: Furloughed full-time federal employees ALWAYS end up getting full pay for the time off, although sometimes the payments have been delayed — so basically they’re getting a paid vacation while the government just looks ridiculous.


        1. It all looks completely ridiculous. Newschannels feature huge red countdown clocks as if this weren’t a story that repeats every year leaving everybody utterly indifferent.


  2. From outside the US they almost seem like dress rehearsals. Everybody’s excited and then not much happens which gives people confidence in junking the whole enterprise of the nation state.

    The post nation-state is a little like early stage capitalism in eastern europe (at least Poland), everybody knew that 90% of new businesses would fail but everyone was convinced that they would be in that magic 10%….


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