The antebellum South: "Non-integrating gap"?

Have been mulling over Tom Barnett's paradigm that divides the world into an integrating core group of states and a non-integrating gap group - this, in light of Civil War history.

If you've drunk deeply of literature'sFugitives and their meme of Southern resistance to economic integration and business culture, Barnett's idea tends towards this motif, especially his claim that "Disconnectedness defines danger. "

I'm not sure I'm ready to post on the antebellum South as a non-integrating phenomenon: more thinking and reading is needed. However, the openness of statements like "diconnectedness defines danger" can be misleading, for Barnett is a hardened determinist. Witness: "...it is always possible to fall off this bandwagon called globalization. And when you do, bloodshed will follow." If the Fugitive critique works, that last statement would explain the inevitability of the Civil War. But some of us are not in the market for inevitiability in historiography.

Thus, if you are not a determinist, the Barnett package may not work for you.

Unfortunately, Barnett's blog is frivolous to the point of being unreadable, perhaps a side effect of his years of two-minute TV and radio interviews. His books and articles offer better.

Meanwhile, Neptunus Lex this week published notes from one of Barnett's briefings and they are worth looking at (including reader comments under the posting).