You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s all gone…. Apologies to Joni Mitchell
Readers will recall the story about the emergence of Bear Nation. As a reminder Mama Bear, after the Goldilocks Affair, organized a Federation of ten separate and distinct Principalities…. each one headed by a Bear Leader from the founding family.
Work was soon underway to formulate By-Laws that would capture the essence of the new organization
Firstly a democratic system was universally adopted including one person, one vote.
Secondly, document drafters soon realized that the Principalities were dissimilar and that one size did not fit all. Therefore separate agreements were necessary with each one.
Next delegates to the many conferences wrestled with a concept of sharing resources amongst the Principalities. Agreement established a concept that all citizens would have the resources sufficient to enjoy an equal quality of life.
Another need was generating acceptable governance structures. Outcomes included a Central Secretariat, duly elected by all citizens of Bear Nation. Each Principality would elect a governing body in their own right.
As well distribution of responsibilities needed clarification. Results included the Central Secretariat dealing with the national; the individual Principalities responsible for those of a local nature.
Bear Nation was underway. The Federation prospered as creative, dedicated bears went to work on all things bears do from coast to coast to coast.
Over many years the conditions that originally dictated the nature of the Federation changed.
For example not all bears are the same. There are Grizzles, Kodiak, Polar, Black, and Brown to name a few. No surprise they should differ on matters influencing the Federation.
Like bears flocked together.
Issues Influencing the Federation’s responsibilities clashed head on with those of the Principalities. The economy, ethnicity values, technology, globalization, business conditions and immigration were controversies that contributed to an angst that became more and more prevalent.
Credit goes to the Bear Nation governance system. Disagreements were often referred to a third party for resolution.
Influencing the founding of Bear Nation was the desire to have a united front in case of encroachment by a powerful Kingdom to the south. Prophetically an attempted invasion did take place and was thwarted because of this united front.
Solving internal differences continue to consume resources and energy as the Central Secretariat argued with the Principalities and the Principalities argued amongst themselves.
From coast to coast to coast, Bears debated the nature of the Federation. They conceded that the political, social and economic circumstances effecting the Nation were intensifying.
One outcome was a withering of centralized power and the resulting capacity to resist external influences. Unintended consequences of diminished influence were rearranging many existing understandings, contractionary or otherwise.
A sleuth of Bears speculated on a possible outcome and proposed the following scenario.
Suppose, during a period when Governance has been totally seceded to the Principalities a severe economic hardship is encountered by one or more members of the Federation.
The southern neighbor requires fresh water; the economically challenged Principality to the north has a surplus and a need for revenue from export trade. Exporting the fresh water is good for the Principality but not particularly good for Bear Nation as a whole.
Nonetheless the water flowed. A weak and ineffective central Government invites external intervention that can divide a nation politically or otherwise.
Joni could well be correct….the Bears of Bear Nation will not know they’ve got ‘till it’s all gone.