Secession!: The First Order

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail


III. The First Order of Business

The first and foremost task for any newly-liberated people is to determine the form that their new government will take.

Contrary to American propaganda, there exists more than one legitimate form of government. In fact, from the Rule of One, to the Rule of Many, to the Rule of None—history is awash with different political systems, none of which, in the end, have proven foolproof. And, with a broad enough historical perspective, one can see that said systems (and their countless variations and mutations) go in and out of vogue over time much like moustaches and miniskirts.

So which form of government, or political system, should post-secession New Orleans adopt? The question is not an easy one, but its answer is seminal to the lasting success of the freshest playa under the international sun.

First, let us consider a few forms and/or systems that would be ABSOLUTELY FOOLISH for us to adopt:

Democracy (from the Greek demos, “the common people,” + kratein, “to dupe,” literally, “to dupe the common people”): a system where the population of a society honestly believes it controls the government.

We’ve been around the ol’ block enough to realize that this system is the biggest joke going. Any individual who believes that he or she has a say in a democracy—that his or her vote actually counts—deserves to be a pawn. Anyway, think of all the “common people” you know; do you really want them to be in charge? Let’s not lie to ourselves.

Stratocracy: a system where the population of a society is ruled directly by the military.

While Gen. Russel Honoré has recently garnered many supporters with his no-nonsense, “git R done” style of leadership, we would too soon grow tired of such a structured, regimented, clean-shaven existence, not to mention the punctuality military-types would demand of us.

Anarchy: a system (or lack thereof) where the population of a society is not ruled by any authoritative body, institution, party, or person.

This “anything goes” set-up seems right up our collective alley; we don’t need any person or group to tell us what to do—when to leave a bar, where to park our cars, how to treat each other, et cetera, et cetera. We would be just fine without rules or repercussions. Again, let’s not lie to ourselves.

Now, let us consider a few forms and/or systems that would be LESS FOOLISH for us to adopt:

Theocracy: a form of government in which the organs of the religious sphere replace or dominate the organs of the political sphere.

Since the majority of New Orleanians are by choice, or by default, Catholics, rule by the organs of the Catholic Church is conceivable. No doubt, we like to play “dress up,” and we love nothing more than frivolous pageantry. The problem, though, would be the strict, official bans that would inevitably be placed on Lenten parties, pre- and extramarital sex, and, in general, all “fun” sins. Such a state would not last one liturgical year, if for no other reason than that we’d run out of stakes at which to burn people.

Monarchy: a form of government that has a monarch, or single ruler, as Head of State, who holds his or her office for life.

We are used to this kind of rule and seem to have no problem yielding power to monarchs for a while. Can you imagine Mardi Gras without Kings and the French Quarter without Queens? The problem, however, is having only one monarch and, of course, that whole “for life” thing.

Kleptocracy (“rule by thieves”): a form of government so corrupt that no pretense of honesty remains.

We are used to this kind, too. And frankly, is there any better incentive for one to enter public service?

Finally, let us consider a two forms and/or systems that would be the LEAST FOOLISH for us to adopt:

Kreweocracy: a system where the population of a society is ruled by a collaboration, or assembly, of Carnival Krewe-like groups or parties.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Each person joins one (and only one) Krewe, or starts his or her own, and each Krewe elects or appoints a King or Queen to represent it for one year in the General Assembly of Krewes, wherein all of the business of the state is conducted. It’s monarchy without the drawbacks and the “dress up” and pageantry of theocracy without the burnings at the stake. Of course, to be able to send a representative to the General Assembly, each Krewe must have more than a set amount of members—maybe 500 or 1000—and an individual can only represent his or her Krewe once in a lifetime. One can change Krewes if he or she wishes, but the rules and regulations for such a “switchover” would be determined by each Krewe.

Sure, the kinks will need to be worked out, but the infrastructure and the instinct are already in place.

Bounceocracy: government of the Bounce, by the Bounce, and for the Bounce.

Yuh heard me?

The above are by no means our only options, nor are we required to choose only one. In fact, the answer to the question—which form of government, or political system, should post-secession New Orleans adopt?—may lie in a combination, or blending, of forms: something like a Kreweocratic Bounceocracy, which, if nothing else, sounds right.

[What think you? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to send us any comments and/or suggestions you have about the form of government, or political system, that post-secession New Orleans should adopt?]


Recent Gigs


From the Archives...

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Tara Jill Ciccarone asks New Orleanians what they want for X-Mas.  

Voodoo 2010-- Day 1

This year NOLAFugees sends Nick Mainieri to City Park to make sense of the Voodoo Experience.

Q&A with Melissa Harris-Lacewell

The Princeton professor and TV pundit has a political and personal stake in the future of New Orleans. Click here to see her on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" with the Superdome as a backdrop.


The Struggle To Make Groceries

The Circle Food Store in Treme provided one of the most iconic images of a flooded New Orleans. Four years later, one group hopes to finally resurrect it. Justin Burnell on a community's effort to rehabilitate a historic grocery.


Punch Drunk Dad: Vol. 4

In which Dad analyzes his self-worth, and has his first fight with Disney.


All Rights Reserved NOLA Fugees 2009 | design by Desire Studios