MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘secession’

The Borders Between US States Are Obsolete | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 9, 2023

It’s been more than 150 years since most state boundaries were drawn on the US map. That’s an eternity in political terms as can seen by consulting a map of Europe or Asia from 150 years ago. Since then, factors such as domestic migration, foreign immigration, urbanization, industrialization, and the rise of the federal welfare state have enormously changed population and settlement patterns across most states. The idea that today’s state lines drawn so long ago represent the “correct” borders should be regarded as absurd and obsolete. 

https://mises.org/wire/borders-between-us-states-are-obsolete

Ryan McMaken

In recent years, we’ve seen the issue of changing US state borders come up repeatedly. For example, activists in some Colorado counties in 2013 proposed breaking off to form a new state. Since 2021, a similar idea has persisted in having Weld County, Colorado join the State of Wyoming. In 2016, California activists sought a vote on splitting the enormous state into 6 states. It failed to get enough signatures, but in 2018, a similar proposal for 3 new states did get enough signatures. A statewide vote was only avoided because the State Supreme Court panicked and pulled the measure form the ballot with little legal justification.

This year, voters in San Bernardino County in California approved a proposal to “study” secession as a first step in separation. Meanwhile, in Oregon, voters in 11 counties have voted to direct county officials to pursue “relocation of the state border.” In Illinois, activists in Madison County (near St. Louis) have led an effort in which voters in three counties have voted to “explore” secession from Illinois.

When activists propose changes to the current boundaries of US member states, a common reaction from supporters of the political status quo is to scoff. “Not gonna happen” is what they often say, and it’s assumed that such measures are both impractical and unnecessary. As usual, we’re told that “democracy” will somehow magically solve any conflicts that have been growing between the states’ metropolitan cores and their distant, outlying frontiers far from the seats of power.

The knee jerk opposition we so often encounter to such measures is rather odd given that the nation’s current state borders were drawn, in most cases, well over a century ago. In many cases state boundaries were drawn more than two centuries ago. During that time, changes in migration, demographics, and political institutions have re-drawn the political landscape in a myriad of ways. Nonetheless, state boundaries are often treated as if they were created by the hand of the Almighty, and that it would be an unspeakably radical move to simply allow modern state boundaries to reflect modern demographics and populations. 

This policy of clinging to the lines on a map drawn many decades ago is a recipe for political conflict and resentment.

State Boundaries Have Become Functionally Obsolete 

Functional obsolescence occurs when a something no longer serves the function for which it was originally designed. For example, a bridge can become functionally obsolete when it becomes too narrow or too weak to support the types of new vehicles most people now drive. A canal can become functionally obsolete when it is too narrow to allow passage for the types of ships preferred by merchants. Historically, houses could also fall prey to similar problems. For example, a home with asbestos, ancient wiring, or a coal furnace no longer is compatible with modern needs and realities.

Such is the case with many state boundaries as drawn decades or centuries ago. After all, we can see the arbitrary nature of state boundaries out west where many boundaries are simply straight lines drawn by committees. For example, when Colorado residents sought to form a separate territory—which would later become a state—the mapmakers more or less just drew a big trapezoid around the Denver area. Much of the boundary between California and Nevada is similarly arbitrary. And, of course, the state lines that are also international borders—such as the border between Arizona and Mexico—is simply the product of a treaty born out the US’s brutal war of conquest against the Mexicans.

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On Secession and Small States

Posted by M. C. on October 13, 2022

if you give up one of the two principles [i.e., universal rights and local control] you risk giving up liberty. Both are important. Neither should prevail over the other. A local government that violates rights is intolerable. A central government that rules in the name of universal rights is similarly intolerable.

https://mises.org/wire/secession-and-small-states

Ryan McMaken

[This article was adapted from a talk delivered at the 2022 Supporters Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.]

The international system we live in today is a system composed of numerous states. There are, in fact, about 200 of them, most of which exercise a substantial amount of autonomy and sovereignty. They are functionally independent states. Moreover, the number of sovereign states in the world has nearly tripled since 1945.  Because of this, the international order has become much more decentralized over the past 80 years, and this is largely due to the success of many secession movements. 

The new states are smaller than the ones that came before them, however, and this all reminds us that there is a basic arithmetic to secession and decentralization in the world. Since the entire surface of the world—outside of Antarctica, of course—is already claimed by states, that means that when we split one political jurisdiction up into pieces, those new pieces will necessarily be smaller than the old state from which they came. 

During the decolonization period following the Second World War. Dozens of new states were formed out of the territories of the old empires they left. This meant the new status quo had a larger number of smaller states. The same thing occurred after the end of the Cold War. As the Soviet Union collapsed, it left 15 new smaller states in its wake. 

So in the current world, secession—when successful—is an event that reduces the size and scope of states. It reduces the territory and the populations over which a single central institution exercises monopoly power. 

Secession and State Size as Two Sides of One Coin

So, if we’re going to talk about secession, then, it’s also important to explicitly to address the issue of “what is the correct size of states.” Is smaller better? 

Now before we go further, I know my audience here, so there’s no need to come up to me afterward and say “well, states are bad so the correct size of states is that they don’t exist at all.” I get it. I agree that’s the end goal. Moreover political communities don’t have to be states at all. They could be other types of non-state polities. But that’s all for another speech.  

For now, we’ll stick to talking about states, as we are already saddled with living in a world composed of states right now.  Until the day comes that a majority of the population wants to abolish all states, it makes sense in the meantime to look to ways that will reduce the power of states, localize that power, and take at least some of it out of the hands of some of the most powerful ruling state elites. 

And the reason we have to address the issue of the size of states, is because many people do believe that bigger is better. They believe that larger states are essential for economic success, for peace, and for trade. Also, many people think that state size doesn’t matter at all. They think every problem of conflict within a political jurisdiction can be solved with democracy. Just let people vote, and there is no need for people to have political independence or a separate polity of their own. People who believe that are going to heartily oppose secession. 

And, of course, states’ agents themselves will oppose it because states want to be big. Being big and getting bigger is an important goal of every state. It’s a major part of what we call state building. States want to consolidate power, annex territories, increase their taxable population. What we want is the opposite of that. We want state unbuilding. State demolition. 

For many in the public, however the idea that bigger is good, or at least that size doesn’t matter, has its limits. For example, most people already have in their minds some upper limit as to the “correct” size of states. To see this, simply ask a person if he or she wants to live under a single global state.

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On Secession and Small States

Posted by M. C. on October 10, 2022

By Ryan McMaken

Mises.org

On an instinctive level then, many people recognize that something more local is necessary. Partly because of this instinct, radical decentralization in the form of many diverse polities has been the norm throughout human history.

https://mises.org/wire/secession-and-small-states

[This article was adapted from a talk delivered at the 2022 Supporters Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.]

The international system we live in today is a system composed of numerous states. There are, in fact, about 200 of them, most of which exercise a substantial amount of autonomy and sovereignty. They are functionally independent states. Moreover, the number of sovereign states in the world has nearly tripled since 1945.  Because of this, the international order has become much more decentralized over the past 80 years, and this is largely due to the success of many secession movements. 

The new states are smaller than the ones that came before them, however, and this all reminds us that there is a basic arithmetic to secession and decentralization in the world. Since the entire surface of the world—outside of Antarctica, of course—is already claimed by states, that means that when we split one political jurisdiction up into pieces, those new pieces will necessarily be smaller than the old state from which they came. 

During the decolonization period following the Second World War. Dozens of new states were formed out of the territories of the old empires they left. This meant the new status quo had a larger number of smaller states. The same thing occurred after the end of the Cold War. As the Soviet Union collapsed, it left 15 new smaller states in its wake. 

So in the current world, secession—when successful—is an event that reduces the size and scope of states. It reduces the territory and the populations over which a single central institution exercises monopoly power. 

Secession and State Size as Two Sides of One Coin

So, if we’re going to talk about secession, then, it’s also important to explicitly to address the issue of “what is the correct size of states.” Is smaller better? 

Now before we go further, I know my audience here, so there’s no need to come up to me afterward and say “well, states are bad so the correct size of states is that they don’t exist at all.” I get it. I agree that’s the end goal. Moreover political communities don’t have to be states at all. They could be other types of non-state polities. But that’s all for another speech.  

For now, we’ll stick to talking about states, as we are already saddled with living in a world composed of states right now.  Until the day comes that a majority of the population wants to abolish all states, it makes sense in the meantime to look to ways that will reduce the power of states, localize that power, and take at least some of it out of the hands of some of the most powerful ruling state elites. 

And the reason we have to address the issue of the size of states, is because many people do believe that bigger is better. They believe that larger states are essential for economic success, for peace, and for trade. Also, many people think that state size doesn’t matter at all. They think every problem of conflict within a political jurisdiction can be solved with democracy. Just let people vote, and there is no need for people to have political independence or a separate polity of their own. People who believe that are going to heartily oppose secession. 

And, of course, states’ agents themselves will oppose it because states want to be big. Being big and getting bigger is an important goal of every state. It’s a major part of what we call state building. States want to consolidate power, annex territories, increase their taxable population. What we want is the opposite of that. We want state unbuilding. State demolition. 

For many in the public, however the idea that bigger is good, or at least that size doesn’t matter, has its limits. For example, most people already have in their minds some upper limit as to the “correct” size of states. To see this, simply ask a person if he or she wants to live under a single global state. 

Most people—not all, but I would suggest a sizable majority of people worldwide—would be opposed this. Most people, just from casually observing the world, suspect that placing global governing power in the hands of some distant elite from another culture, a different continent, and which uses a different language, might not actually produce a desirable result. 

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The Myth behind the Federal Power to Strike Down State Laws

Posted by M. C. on July 9, 2022

Again, the distinction here is purely arbitrary, and relies on convenient fictions such as claims that a farmer in Idaho and a lawyer at the Supreme Court are “all Americans” and thus the former must submit to the political power of the latter. These pretensions toward American solidarity only apply in one direction, of course, and are never employed to actually limit federal power. Such ideas endure, however, because they conform to the ideological whims of those who successfully mold and propagate public opinion. 

https://mises.org/wire/myth-behind-federal-power-strike-down-state-laws

Ryan McMaken

For more than a century, the process of political centralization and state building in the United States has entailed convincing a large portion of the population that the federal government must be the final arbiter of the moral righteousness of every law and policy adopted in every state. The idea began as a novel concept in the nineteenth century when federal policy makers began to use it as a tool of asserting federal control over states. If federal institutions regard a state policy as conforming to federal notions of “rights,” then the policy is allowed to stand. If, not, then the federal government deems the law to be null and void. This negation of state and local policies, of course, is backed with real or threatened coercive force applied by federal institutions.

Over more than two centuries, the regime’s written constitution has been repeatedly reinterpreted to create powers of “judicial review” and enhance federal veto powers over state and local laws.  Today, this power is accepted without question by the overwhelming majority of Americans. 

Moreover, the idea permeates all corners of the political spectrum, so that conservatives and progressives alike can routinely be heard calling for the federal government to step in and overturn local laws by force when those local laws are not to the liking of activists. The modern Left, of course, has long called for federal intervention in every state and local government right down to the local school board. Through this process, for example, even school prayer at a high school sports game has been turned into a federal issue. Conservatives, meanwhile, demand that the federal government void state and local gun laws where conservatives regard these laws as overly restrictive. 

This is even a common notion among self-described libertarians, many of whom insist that it is entirely proper for one government—i.e., the federal government—to impose certain laws on another government—namely, the state and local governments. 

Among advocates of this sort of thing, whether progressive, conservative, or libertarian, it is justified on the grounds that federal intervention must be allowed to “protect rights”—with the federal government also defining rights to fit federal preferences. Moreover, the central government in these cases is to be the sole judge of its own laws and policies, and not subject to any intervention from any other government for purposes of protecting rights, or anything else. 

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Texas GOP Convention Pushes for Referendum on State’s Secession in 2023

Posted by M. C. on June 21, 2022

https://sputniknews.com/20220620/texas-gop-convention-pushes-for-referendum-on-states-secession-in-2023–1096491234.html

Following President Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 elections, the Republicans have increasingly floated the idea of secession. In 2021 Texas Republican Rep. Kyle Biedermann filed a bill calling for state-level secession from the US as “the federal government is out of control and does not represent the values of Texans.”

As Texas Republicans ended a three-day convention in Houston on June 18th, they revived the call for a referendum on whether the state should secede from the US, according to the Texas Tribune.

This was one of a plethora of measures called for in the Texas GOP’s new party platform, which states under a section titled “State Sovereignty”:

“Pursuant to Article 1, Section 1, of the Texas Constitution, the federal government has impaired our right of local self-government. Therefore, federally mandated legislation that infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified.”

The document continues:

“Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto.”

The platform also reflected the Texas GOP’s demand that state Legislature pass a bill at its next session “requiring a referendum in the 2023 general election for the people of Texas to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”

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You Support Ukraine’s Independence? Then You Support Secession.

Posted by M. C. on April 30, 2022

But even if they were allowed a vote, the Ukrainians understood what antisecessionist Americans refuse to admit: cultural minority groups that are out of favor with the central government’s elites have a better chance at true self-determination through secession rather than unity and democracy. Although Ukraine was the most important non-Russian component of the USSR, it was nonetheless in the minority. At the time, Ukrainian separatists believed Russian ethnics would dominate politics within a post-Soviet democracy. They were probably right.

https://mises.org/wire/you-support-ukraines-independence-then-you-support-secession

Ryan McMaken

By now, it should be abundantly clear to all that the official US regime narrative on Ukraine is that one is supposed to be in favor of Ukrainian political independence. That is, we’re supposed to support the idea that Ukraine is a separate state that is politically independent from the Russian state. By extension, of course, the idea that Ukraine is a sovereign state also implies it is separate from all other states as well.

But how did Ukraine get that way? States, of course, don’t appear out of nowhere. They generally come into being through one of two ways, or a combination of both. States can be formed out of two or more smaller states through a process of conquest or voluntary union. And states can result when a part of a state secedes to form its own state.

In the case of Ukraine, it is a state that was created out of a piece of the Soviet Union thirty years ago. This occurred via secession. Indeed, Ukraine was part of a remarkable trend toward decentralization and secession that occurred in the early 1990s. These secession movements, of course, were opposed by the “legitimate” central government in place at the time.

Put another way, to “stand with Ukraine” today is to “stand with secession.” But don’t expect to hear it phrased this way on MSNBC or at the New York Times. No, the “s word” is still a no-no in political discourse in America. Also a no-no is to advocate for the process that brought about Ukrainian secession: to hold an election—against the central government’s wishes—as to whether a region will secede.

The Ukrainians did that, and today we’re supposed to cheer that and accept that election’s outcome. Many American pundits even believe it’s worth fighting a war over. But to suggest something similar for a region of the United States? Well, we’re told that’s just plain wrong.

Ukraine Formed Out of Secession

The modern Ukrainian state was necessarily born out of secession because the Ukrainian state was not always separate nor sovereign. The history of Ukraine is a long history of various territories and polities that were, over time, incorporated into the Russian Empire beginning in the seventeenth century. What we now know as Ukraine more or less only came into being in the late nineteenth century. But then it was subject to the Russian czar and (later) to the Soviet Communists. Consolidated, sovereign Ukraine came into being only in December 1991, when a referendum was held and a majority of the voters voted for independence.

Ukraine soon after enjoyed both de facto and de jure independence because the Soviet State was too weak to do anything about it. Ukraine was not alone. By late 1991, the Baltic states had already declared independence, in moves that were opposed by the Soviet state and deemed illegal. A total of fifteen new states were carved out of the Soviet Union during this time. Secessionism extended beyond even the USSR, with Slovenia declaring independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. In 1993, Czechs and Slovakians both seceded from their state, dissolving Czechoslovakia altogether.

[Read More: “Nationalism as National Liberation: Lessons from the End of the Cold War” by Ryan McMaken]

It is instructive to note that the United States regime and American pundits generally opposed these secession movements. Washington was late to recognize and accept the independence of the Baltic states. This was in spite of the fact the US had never even officially recognized the Soviet Union’s annexation of the states after the Second World War.

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The Last Americans To Believe in the Voluntary Union of the States

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2022

One wonders what the world would think today if say, Vladimir Putin’s generals decimated entire Ukrainian cities occupied only by women and children in this way, after which they were given “honors” and hailed as heroes by Putin himself.

By Thomas DiLorenzo

“If there is to be a separation [i.e., secession of New England], then God bless them [the two countries] both, & keep them in the union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better.”

  • Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John C. Breckenridge, Aug. 12, 1803, regarding the New England secession movement

“No state . .  can lawfully get out of the union . . . acts against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary . . .”

  • Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

“Extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least of the trouble, but the people [of the South].”

  • Letter from General Sherman to his wife, July 31, 1862, explaining his purpose in the war

Anyone who knows anything about the War to Prevent Southern Independence has heard of General Sherman’s “march to the sea” through Georgia, a pleasant euphemism for all the rape, pillage, plunder, murder, arson, and terrorism of the civilian population by Sherman’s “bummers,” under his direct, personal supervision.  It wasn’t just a pleasant springtime march through the South with bands playing “Yankee Doodle” and “John Brown’s Body.”  Less known, however, is what Sherman’s rapists, plunderers, and murderers did in South Carolina.  A new book by Karen Stokes entitled South Carolina in 1865 compiles letters and diaries by South Carolinians of the day describing what happened when Sherman’s “army” went through Columbia, Charleston, and other South Carolina towns.  (Stokes is an archivist at the South Carolina Historical Society).

Since South Carolina was considered to be the birthplace of the Southern secession movement (A half century after the 1801-1814 New England secession movement culminating in the Hartford Secession Convention of 1814), Sherman had an especially murderous hatred for the people of that state.  In other words, the previous generation of Yankees believed what all Americans believed – that the union was voluntary; the people of the free and independent states were sovereign; that they created the Constitution of the federal government as an instrument to serve them by delegating certain powers to it; and that that they reserved the right to reassume those powers should the federal government interfere with their “happiness.”  Secession was “the” principle of the American Revolution, declared Massachusetts Senator Timothy Pickering, the leader of the New England secession movement who also served as George Washington’s secretary of war and secretary of state. As such, they debated secession for fourteen years, but in the end remained in the union.

The next generation of Yankees sought to destroy the voluntary union of the founding fathers, and they did.  They did not “exterminate” all of the Southern people, as Sherman desired to do as seen in the above letter to his wife, but they did manage to murder one fourth of the Southern male population of military age, maiming for life more than double that number.  Karen Stokes quotes a Walter B. Edgar who reflected shortly after the war of how “Some 60,000 sons of Carolina entered military service . . . .  Of these, 21,146 (35 percent) were killed, a percentage twice that of England, France, Germany, and Russia in World War I when Europe ‘lost’ a generation.”

But South Carolina in1865 is about how Sherman waged total war on the civilian population of South Carolina after the Confederate Army had evacuated.  It was truly an orgy of rape, pillage, plunder, and arson.  In Columbia and Charleston, rockets were set off to announce the beginning of the war crime sprees, proving that Sherman himself, and all the rest of the Union Army high command, including Lincoln, knew of it, orchestrated it, and approved of and celebrated it.  “About six in the evening their work of destruction began,” wrote Josephine LeConte in a letter to her son on Feb. 28, 1865.  She was referring to how Sherman’s “bummers” set fire to almost every single home and building of any kind in Columbia.  “One or two rows of buildings skirting the town are all that are left by that Vandal horde,” she wrote.

The Yankees, meanwhile, made their first stop at any and all liquor stores, and had a riotous good time burning down the town populated by women and children and elderly men.  “As each house was enveloped in flames,” wrote Mrs. LeConte, “their demonic yells of delight coupled with the shrieks and screams of widows and orphans who sought the lawn for asylum in front of our house for protection beggars description.”  Hospitals and churches were not spared either, she wrote.

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Why We Need Secession – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2022

The Federalists thought they knew better, and they gave us such nonsense as Madison’s claim that an extended government was a “cure” for faction, not one of its main causes. The tragic result of their efforts was the terrible War Between the States. Let’s not make that mistake again. Let’s try peaceful secession while there is still time.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2022/02/lew-rockwell/why-we-need-secession/

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

The leftists who control Washington, D.C., with brain-dead Biden as their figurehead, want to impose a totalitarian dictatorship on America. The tyranny of Covid vaccines, mask mandates, and lockdowns, and preparations for war in the Ukraine are the latest signs of this, but the leftist plans have long been in the making.

Ordinary Americans don’t want this, and their resistance has generated to so-called split between Red and Blue States. Actually, the leftists control a few big cities through corrupt machine politics and pandering to minority and immigrants mobs, and the rest of the country resists them. The leftists are determined to crush this resistance. As Bill Sardi explains: “Democrats ‘own’ the cities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.); Republicans ‘own’ the space (rural land).  That is maybe why fires razed through rural areas in California as the Red zones were burnt to the ground.  This may have been a covert attempt to force Republicans to move into cities.”

The federal government’s agenda to impose its draconian measures on the Red States goes far beyond this. Mike Adams supplies the details: “With illegitimate occupier-in-chief Joe Biden waging outright war and economic terrorism against red states (see examples below), the leaders of those red states must now nullify federal government overreach in order to prevent their own citizens from being mass murdered by D.C. swamp policies that are intentionally designed to achieve depopulation.

Some of the ways the Biden regime is waging war on red states include:

  • Economic terrorism: Unleashing OSHA to destroy all businesses that won’t enforce vaccine mandates by levying fines of $70,000 per day or even higher.
  • Engineered medicine shortages: Biden recently announced restrictions on shipping monoclonal antibodies to red states in order to maximize covid fatalities in those states.
  • Vaccine mandates: Through vaccine mandates, Biden is committing medical genocide against every American, working to achieve a mass die-off that will leave states in a worsening economic crisis (and humanitarian crisis) as the deaths unfold.
  • Border invasion: The Biden regime and its corrupt DOJ are actively fighting against sensible border security, openly allowing a land invasion of states like Texas and Arizona in order to flood the nation with replacement Democrat voters.
  • Money printing madness: Every dollar printed by the Fed and distributed by the Treasury is actually an instrument of debt that steals purchasing power from the hard-working Americans who produce things. Those producers tend to live in red states, while blue states are the welfare states where more people get handouts that were essentially stolen from the producers in the red states.
  • Election rigging: Biden and other Democrats like Newsom are now institutionalizing never-ending election rigging in order to make sure the will of the people is never honored in any election. Although their own disastrous policies are wildly unpopular they can continue to maintain power by cheating in elections, just like they cheated in 2020.
  • Outlawing of medicine that works: Notice how the D.C. swamp has attacked ivermectin and made sure no hospital prescribes it to patients? This is also part of the medical genocide agenda, and it’s a war on humanity.
  • Punitive taxation: Under the Biden regime (which is actually run by Obama), the IRS will be handed a mandate to raise taxes on productive American workers, punishing them for having jobs, all while handing out more welfare and entitlements to the illegals who are allowed to invade America by the hundreds of thousands each month.”

Even if we succeed in rolling back the current totalitarians, this won’t be enough. There is a structural problem in the American government that won’t go away, even if the current mob in Washington is replaced with “good guys.” The government is too big. The American population is around 330,000,000. States like California and Texas are bigger than many countries. How can a nation that vast be governed by a few people? The situation is even worse if we think about the division between the Reds and the Blues that I mentioned before. As Stephen Marche puts it, “Each side accuses the other of hating America, which is only another way of saying both hate what the other means by America…. On both sides, the sense of being under occupation dominates…. Every political faction operates under a siege mentality…. Everyone wants to build a wall of one kind or another. The geographical divide between the competing American Utopias means that, in every election, whoever loses comes to feel like they’ve been dominated by a foreign power.”

Clearly, we have a disunion, not a union, today, and we would do better to recognize this and act accordingly. The problem is nothing new. When the Constitution was up for ratification, the Anti-Federalists pointed to the danger. In the fifth volume of Conceived in Liberty, Murray Rothbard quotes one of the most eloquent of them, Patrick Henry: “Shall we imitate the example of those nations who have gone from a simple to a splendid government? Are those nations more worthy of our imitation? What can make an adequate satisfaction to them for the loss they have suffered in attaining such a government—for the loss of their liberty? If we admit this consolidated government, it will be because we like a great, splendid one. Some way or other we must be a great and mighty empire; we must have an army, and a navy … When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object. … But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire. … Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government. What can avail your specious, imaginary balances, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances? But, sir, we are not feared by foreigners; we do not make nations tremble. Would this constitute happiness or secure liberty.”

The Federalists thought they knew better, and they gave us such nonsense as Madison’s claim that an extended government was a “cure” for faction, not one of its main causes. The tragic result of their efforts was the terrible War Between the States. Let’s not make that mistake again. Let’s try peaceful secession while there is still time.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail], former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com. He is the author of Against the State and Against the Left. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Is Democracy Dying or America Disintegrating? – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on January 28, 2022

And, again, if the preconditions of democracy are vanishing, and the preconditions of nationhood are disappearing, is not secession of some kind inevitable and even desirable?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2022/01/patrick-j-buchanan/is-democracy-dying-or-america-disintegrating/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people.”

What did John Adams mean when he wrote this to Thomas Jefferson in 1815, after both had served as president?

Adams was saying that America, the country that took up arms and fought for its independence from the British, was already a nation — before 1775.

America preexisted the Constitution, Adams is saying. America had been conceived and born before he and Jefferson began to write its Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776. America had come into being even before Lexington and Concord in 1775.

A corollary of what Adams wrote is that America, and the republic created by the Constitution, are not the same thing.

While America is a country, a republic is the form of government created for that country in Philadelphia in 1787.

“A republic if you can keep it,” said Ben Franklin to the lady who had asked what kind of government they had created for the already existing nation, when he emerged from that constitutional convention.

What, then, are our elites bewailing when they say that populists, rightists and Trumpists have put “our democracy” at risk?

Answer: It is not America the country or America the nation they are referring to, but our political system as it has evolved.

And what is the nature of the threat they see?

A precondition of democracy is that the results of elections be recognized and respected, and if repeatedly challenged, this is a mortal threat. And this is the present peril.

Yet, there are other preconditions, not only for democracies but for countries, that were enumerated in The Federalist Papers:

“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs … ”

“This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.”

John Jay was describing the preconditions of a nation, a country, a people. Do these preconditions still exist in America?

“One united people”? “A band of brethren”? A common ancestry, common religion, common language, common customs and manners?

That may describe the America of 1789. Does it describe the America of 2022? Or does Jay’s phrase, “a number of unsocial, jealous and alien sovereignties,” better describe the America of today?

Hillary Clinton once wrote off half of Trump’s supporters, nearly one-fourth of the nation, as “a basket of deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic … bigots,” who are “irredeemable.”

Assume that our elites, who often echo what Hillary Clinton said of the populist Trumpist right, agree with her.

Why would virtuous liberals wish to continue in political association with people like this? Why would they not declare that, if an election again delivers rule to such people, we want no part of the system or polity that produced so intolerable an outcome?

Why would the capture of all three branches of government by people such as Hillary Clinton describes not be cause for dissolving the Union?

How could democracy be a superior form of government, if it could deliver the republic to people such as these, and perhaps twice?

If the progressives’ enemies are “Nazis” and “fascists,” why would progressives not rise in resistance and reject their rule, rather than cooperate with them in the governance of the country?

Why would good people not battle to overturn an election that produced a majority for such “deplorables”?

Do the commands of democracy take precedence over the demands of decency? Rather than govern in concert with people like this, why not get as far removed from them as possible?

The point here: Not only may the preconditions of democracy be disappearing, but the preconditions of nationhood may be disintegrating.

Again, the American right is today routinely compared to Nazis, fascists and Klansmen. Why would good liberal Democrats accept an electoral victory and future rule by Nazis and fascists rather than seek to overturn it, by whatever means necessary?

And how do you hold up American democracy as a model to mankind if, after two centuries, it has produced scores of millions of citizens like those described by Hillary Clinton?

And, again, if the preconditions of democracy are vanishing, and the preconditions of nationhood are disappearing, is not secession of some kind inevitable and even desirable?

Ultimately, the logic of our situation must lead us to consider something like this. Western Maryland’s attempt to secede and join West Virginia, and Eastern Oregon’s attempt to secede and join Idaho, may be harbingers of what is to come.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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It’s Time to Break Up New York State

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2022

Some might ask what’s the point of an article about a failed proposal aside from it being interesting. The point was not to talk about the success of the movement, but to highlight that there is a hunger for creative and unorthodox solutions in red America. Tens of millions of people feel the tendrils of leftism and authoritarianism tightening around their throat. They are ready to consider solutions they would have scoffed at just a decade ago.

https://mises.org/wire/its-time-break-new-york-state

Nicolas Gregoris

Neil Sedaka said it best – “breaking up is hard to do”. Ask any 16-year-old and they’ll tell you that’s certainly true, but Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) recently made headlines when she suggested not just a breakup, but a “National Divorce” on social media. Of course, there was the typical incoherent shrieking and pearl clutching from progressives, neoconservatives, and other lizard-people, but there was also general acknowledgement from many regular folks that a “National Divorce” may be the only long-term solution.

We Need to Talk…

It should go without saying that our current political arrangement is not working. 2020 saw not just the Covid-19 insanity, but political violence where people were literally shooting each other in the street. Add to that the disturbing new polling data that revealed 48% of Democrats support “quarantine camps” for those who won’t take the recommended “medical interventions” and it seems like the only solution is to exit this abusive relationship.

But the focus on a national divorce perpetuates the same folly that has plagued libertarians and our allies on the right for years: focusing on the national to the exclusion of the state and local. The title of “county executive” may not be as sexy as “President of the United States”, but if the past 22 months have taught us anything, it is that these local offices matter insofar as they can determine how “normal” and free your day-to-day life is. Rather than talking strictly of a national divorce, we should be advocating small-scale secession as well.

Counties leaving their current states and cities leaving their current counties to join neighboring areas that more closely align with their politics should be a part of popular political discourse. Often the biggest barrier secession movements face is the widely held (albeit ludicrous) belief that our current set of lines on a map are sacred and must be preserved, and anyone who would change these lines in any way just pines for the good ‘ole days when they could own other people as property.

Secession in the Empire State

New York state has always been ripe for secession movements. Extreme political division between Downstate (“the city”) and Upstate (not “the city”) have prompted several movements aiming to split the Empire State in two. The secessionist movement of 1969 saw New Yorkers unhappy that upstate had so much control over their politics at the state level and proposed that New York City become the 51st state. 2003 and 2008 saw similar pushes from downstate citing “paying more than they receive” in taxes.

Talk of separation didn’t stop there. In 2015, the push for breaking up was led by Upstate, rural and red, against Downstate, urban and blue. Upstate has not been represented in state level politics for some time – the S.A.F.E. Act (a slew of draconian gun control laws) passed in 2013, and in 2014 Governor Cuomo banned hydrofracking (an important industry for upstaters).

Upstate New York is also burdened by the absurd regulatory schema implemented and maintained by downstate voters and politicians – case and point, these people are talking about banning gas powered lawn equipment for God’s sake. Many upstaters blame the region’s decaying economy on these regulations.

In other words, upstate New Yorkers are being governed by urban elites – people who not only have completely different values and worldviews but look upon them with disdain and derision.

This should sound familiar to you. The situation in New York is eerily similar to that of the United States as a whole. Comparing the electoral map of the 2020 presidential election and the 2018 New York gubernatorial election (both victories for the ‘Dems) make this abundantly clear – big cities dictate policy to the detriment of everyone else.

Here is the 2020 electoral map (by county):

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And here is the 2018 New York gubernatorial race electoral map (by county):

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The recent secession movement generated three main proposals: the first was the generic two-state solution; the second involved several counties in the Southern Tier (right above Pennsylvania) becoming part of Pennsylvania. Both ideas ran into an enormous roadblock called the Constitution. Per Article IV Section III, anytime a new state is to be created from an existing state, or parts of one state leave for another state, the approval of both state legislatures and Congress must be obtained. This is a daunting task, to say the least.

The third proposal comes from the Divide NY Caucus and would circumvent the Constitution –in a good way…not a “Commerce Clause” sort of way. There are no constitutional barriers if no new state is being created, so the Divide NY plan would split the state into three autonomous regions – New York (NYC), Montauk (NYC’s immediate suburbs), and New Amsterdam (everything else).

Partition Instead of Secession?

Each region would basically be its own state, responsible for electing its own governor and legislature, as well as dictating its own policies and taxes. But here’s the kicker, “New York State”, as recognized by the federal government, would still exist. The current “governor” would occupy a position akin to that of the Queen of England, but all federal representation would remain the same. There would be no changes to the number of states in the Union or the territory controlled by each state, so Congress is not involved, and since no other state is involved either, the bill would only need to survive one legislature.

Divide NY’s proposal became NY Senate Bill S5416 and dealt with many of the issues commonly associated with secession movements – namely, who would get what. The exhaustive 24-page bill details how the state’s university system, prisons and courts, and roadways would be divided. Sadly, it didn’t make it out of committee, but has been introduced again for the 2022 legislative session.

The proposal isn’t perfect, since it likely means that awful federal representatives like Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand would keep their jobs, but virtually all New Yorkers would be better off. Downstate would free themselves from what they perceive as the “free-loading moochers” Upstate, and Upstate would no longer have to answer to the insane hypochondriacs and left-wing ideologues Downstate. But even if it didn’t make everyone better off, man is entitled to self-determination, and that right should be respected and exercised. Period.

Some might ask what’s the point of an article about a failed proposal aside from it being interesting. The point was not to talk about the success of the movement, but to highlight that there is a hunger for creative and unorthodox solutions in red America. Tens of millions of people feel the tendrils of leftism and authoritarianism tightening around their throat. They are ready to consider solutions they would have scoffed at just a decade ago. They are looking for solutions at every level – solutions that the liberty movement had embraced long ago. It might be up to us to spread the message of separation and rebuilding. A message that says, yes, even though mommy and daddy love you very much, they just can’t live together anymore. Author:

Nicolas Gregoris

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