By Patrick J. Deneen for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC

The New York Times reports today of a growing (if likely largely symbolic – but perhaps not entirely so) “States Rights” movement that is moving both Right- and Left- leaning State Houses to assert their sovereignty in the face of federal encroachment. A growing interest in the Madisonian-Jeffersonian action of “nullification” (originally defended by these statesmen against the vile “Alien and Sedition” Act), in which a State government can declare an federal act to be unconstitutional or inapplicable to the State.

Elsewhere, Sean Scanlon reports on the overwhelming response to efforts in Wisconsin to permit the sale of “raw milk,” that is, milk that has not been processed with methods of Pasteurization and Homogenization (these two processes, in a nutshell, might be seen as representing modernity itself – a process of killing off what we regard to be harmful in nature without awareness of destruction we do to nature and to ourselves, and the effort to reduce natural diversity to a homogenous, standardized and predictable mass. At his lecture at Georgetown two weeks ago, farmer Joel Salatin had choice words about Pasteur and his indiscriminate hatred of germs, and the modern avoidance of thinking holistically of ways that we could strengthen the human organism rather than simply trying to kill off germs.). Scanlon writes of a fascinating coalition of “organic farmer hippies with dreadlocks and pierced noses sitting next to rock-ribbed, Republican farmer Oles and Lenas” – what we’d like to think is a kind of “Front Porch” coalition that is gaining traction in light of the bankruptcy of today’s Left and Right.

Averting our eyes for a moment from the pre-orchestrated wrestling match that is the Washington D.C.-choreographed administrative State, there are interesting things happening out there in the provinces. From there – and not from the Center – interesting possibilities are a-borning.

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