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Slag BS: I think Mexico is a failed state (17) RE: BS: I think Mexico is a failed state 14 Jan 11

Now you are making a distinction. Perhaps Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, would qualify as Western and also as participants in a most general sense, in the Civil War but the vacuum of many necessities created by the conflict included law enforcement and a uniform system of justice (which one may argue is yet to be fully realized). So I would concede that there was a period following the Civil War where it was woolly and rough. California also had an involvement in that conflict. But beyond the major towns and cities there wasn't much in the way of civilization or anything else for that matter. What you see as a failed state, I see as a growing state or rather growing states. The filling in of the map included the filling in of jurisdictions and law. The vast majority of westerners wanted, demanded law and law enforcement. As for those open places where nothing existed each person by necessity was a law unto himself and the natural law of survival was first and foremost. Such is always the case in that type of situation. Steady growth, no failure.

If the settlers had limited means of dealing with law breakers it was because everything was limited. It was raw and the justice meted out was raw but effective. Contrary to Hollywood's version of perpetual duels in the streets there are only a couple of documented cases of showdown type gunfights. Ambush and assasination, both by desparadoes and law enforcement was the prefered means of taking someone out, you know, kinda like today.

You see a failed state, I see a growing state. Mexico has gone through several periods of revolution or internal conflict and it has never been a place of consistent egalitarian society. There has always been risk of outlawry and corrupt officials associated with travel there. Conditions there are deteriorating and that is what I think of when I hear the term "failed state".

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