Politics is musical chairs. Wherever you sit when the music stops is yours, more or less, depending on how fat your butt is. In the case of our political map, the music stopped about 1948, with the demise of colonialism in the aftermath of WWII. With only a few exceptions, boundary changes since then have been the result of realignment, not conquests or land grabs. Circumstances like these have a life of their own, following topographical boundaries and ancient animosities. Most of the action of the last century has been the break-up of empires, first the medieval Habsburg and Ottoman, then the colonialist British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, and finally the Communist Soviet and Yugoslav states. These fixed borders just might be the cause of much tension and stress, the fact that some countries have much land and few people, and that the ability to change that situation is limited. It’s even gotten a bit ridiculous with the situations in Timor, Biafra, Nagorno-Karabakh, and others, but laudable, in my opinion. If there’s ever to be a world government that’s truly effective, then there will have to be world political units that are meaningful. If Dixie tries to secede again, though, then that’s going too far.