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Posts Tagged ‘secession’

We Are Witnessing A Last Minute Mass Exodus Before The Final Collapse Of Our Major Cities

Posted by M. C. on March 2, 2021

Deplorables separating themselves from Millennials and snowflakes.

Is this the precursor to secession?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/we-are-witnessing-a-last-minute-mass-exodus-before-the-final-collapse-of-our-major-cities/

by Michael Snyder

Americans fled the big cities “in droves” in 2020, and one recent survey discovered that even more Americans are planning to move in 2021.  The corporate media is attempting to frame this mass exodus as a temporary phenomenon, but there is nothing temporary about it.  Millions upon millions of people can see that our society is literally melting down all around us, and they want to get somewhere safe while they still can.  In recent weeks, I have written articles about the specific problems that we are witnessing in Chicago and San Francisco, but the truth is that virtually all of our major cities are coming apart at the seams, and this is motivating more people than ever to seek greener pastures.

With so many Americans looking to move, this has pushed up home prices in desirable suburban and rural areas to insane heights.

In fact, in some parts of the country it is difficult to find a decent home for sale at all.  In Bozeman, Montana one man has actually resorted to walking around with a cardboard sign asking for someone to sell him a house…

“I’m just asking for someone to sell us a home. My sign says please sell me a home,” said Sean Hawksford, a Bozeman resident.

You may have seen Hawksford strolling down Main Street with a cardboard sign, asking for leads on a house for sale.

This is not a homeless man that we are talking about.

Sean Hawksford is a family man that owns a successful business, and he has been approved for a mortgage.

He just can’t find a house to buy.

According to Hawksford, he has made 18 offers over the past 6 months, but none of them have been accepted

“It’s been about 6 months, we’ve made I think 18 offers now on different properties and haven’t had one accepted yet,” said Hawksford.

“It’s been a little bit tough with them, and all of my first-time homebuyers to be honest with you,” said Jeff Bent, the Hawksfords’ realtor in Bozeman.

I warned that this would happen.

I warned that when things started to get crazy many Americans wouldn’t be able to move because there would be a crushing amount of demand for available housing as hordes of Americans suddenly sought to relocate.  NBC News has used the term “droves” to describe the mass exodus that we witnessed last year…

Americans fled big cities in droves to escape the coronavirus pandemic — and many of them are staying, permanently or indefinitely. But escape means something different depending on whom you ask.

We have never seen anything like this before in U.S. history.  According to the Pew Research Center, about one-fifth of all Americans either moved or know someone who moved in 2020…

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center while the pandemic was in full swing in June 2020 found that approximately a fifth of Americans moved or know someone who moved as a result of COVID-19. The reasons they gave for people moving were extremely varied — ranging from being called into active military duty to college housing being closed down to, of course, sudden financial constraints.

The corporate media keeps trying to blame COVID for the mass migration, but now the COVID pandemic is fading and Americans are still moving in large numbers.

In fact, one recent survey actually found that “20% more people are planning to move in 2021 than moved in 2020”.

If I was currently living in a major city on the east or west coast, I would be highly motivated to move too.

For example, just check out what is happening in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the state’s largest city and arguably the most populous now in the United States, has become a byword for violent crime and especially the stronghold of the enormous, ultraviolent and rapidly growing MS 13 organization, routinely mislabeled as a mere “gang” in media reports. MS 13 has up to 50,000 members worldwide of whom at least 10,000, officially, and probably twice as many according to the private assessments of many police officers are in LA.

Jeremiah Babe recently went into the wealthy areas of downtown Los Angeles, and the footage that he captured was mind blowing.

L.A. has never looked like this, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Of course many would argue that San Francisco is in even worse shape

San Francisco – America’s “anything goes” city – is in even worse shape. Its most famous, historically popular and beautiful stylish locations are now swamped with aggressive, unsanitary street people who openly urinate and defecate in the streets. Public services, long superb, are now appalling.

For much more on the tragedy that is playing out in that once beautiful city, please see my previous article entitled “The Reason Why A Lot Of People Are Leaving San Francisco Might Surprise You”.

Of course it isn’t just individuals that are moving.  In recent months we have seen large numbers of businesses choose to relocate.  At one point, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made headlines all over the globe when even he decided that it was time to leave California for good

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has left California and is now a resident of Texas.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Musk said that the move made sense, amid plans underway for a new Tesla factory in the Austin area.

I certainly can’t blame him.

What rational person would choose California over Texas at this point?

On the east coast, hordes of businesses have left New York as well.  If you can believe it, even the New York Stock Exchange is thinking of leaving…

The head of the world’s largest financial market, Stacey Cunningham, floated the idea of leaving New York in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal to avoid taxes.

When people think of Florida, they often picture restaurants and shopping, the kind of business you do on vacation. But more and more, people are choosing to move down to the sunshine state because there’s no income tax, and the cost of living is low.

Perhaps they will need to rename it “the Florida Stock Exchange” if they actually pull the trigger on such a move.

Sadly, when things get really bad in this nation, no part of the country will be fully immune.

We will all feel the pain, and the suffering will be off the charts.

But if you do feel motivated to relocate, I would do it as soon as possible, because later this year global events will start accelerating at a very rapid pace.

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Some Coloradoans Want to Break Off and Join Wyoming. They Should at Least Get to Vote On It. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 24, 2021

https://mises.org/wire/some-coloradoans-want-break-and-join-wyoming-they-should-least-get-vote-it

Ryan McMaken

Last month, a group of activists in Weld County, Colorado, began floating the idea that the county should leave Colorado and be annexed by the State of Wyoming.

Weld County borders Wyoming on the north and runs southward to the northern part of the Denver metro area. It is the ninth-largest county in Colorado by population, containing more than 252,000 residents. Were it to join Wyoming, it would become the largest Wyoming county—by far—in terms of population. With a population of only 580,000, Wyoming’s overall population would increase by 43 percent were the state to annex Weld County.

The Weld County secessionists are now pushing a ballot measure that would instruct Weld County commissioners to explore the annexation with Wyoming. Even with the success of a very weak ballot measure like this, the county would still be a long, long way from an effective secession and annexation. Nonetheless, the governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, has already expressed jumped on the bandwagon, telling a Denver-based radio station that he supports the idea.

The response from opponents has been a predictable mixture of mockery and hostility. The Colorado governor, Jared Polis, told Gordon to keep his “hands off Weld County.” One local resident called the effort “ridiculous.” But hostilities between county residents and the state government are sure to remain. One prosecession activist contended the state government “is at war with three major economic drivers for Weld County: small businesses, agriculture, and oil and gas.”

These comments stem from fights between county residents and the state government over stay-at-home orders, water use, and resource extraction.

During the stay-at-home order imposed by the governor last spring, Weld County was among the few counties that refused to enforce state mandates on business closures. Governor Polis responded by threatening to withhold emergency funds from the county. The county quickly brushed off his threat and noted that it had already received its emergency funds and wasn’t planning to request any more. The county has also declared that it will not enforce state orders regarding the wearing of masks indoors.

On top of this, the administration has clashed with county officials and residents over matters of water use and environmental regulation related to oil and gas extraction, which comprises a major part of the county’s economy and employment.

What Is the Moral Argument against Secession?

Legally, a region of a state must jump through many hoops to leave one state and join another. Indeed, the US government and state governments have built up quite a legal edifice to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen. The consensus appears to be that such a move requires approval from all states directly affected, plus, approval from Congress. Clearly, unless the US is thrown into political disarray by a major destabilizing event—like a serious depression, a precipitous decline in the regime’s perceived legitimacy, or a sovereign debt crisis—efforts at redrawing state lines are unlikely to succeed.

Nonetheless, until at least one of these major crises occur—which is, of course, virtually guaranteed with a long enough time horizon—it is helpful to ask: What is the moral case, if any, against secession?

Opponents tend to scoff at the idea because they know that in the short term the political and legal obstacles are many.

But because of this, they tend to ignore the problems that come with their position.

Denying Self-Determination

One problem arises from the fact that opposing secession on principle requires the negation of the idea of self-determination. Naturally, counties, regions, and districts do not in themselves have rights to “self-determination.” These rights are only enjoyed by individuals. However, in order for self-determination to exist on a practical level, individuals must be free to assert self-governance through local institutions in opposition to the powers of a central government. Mises was careful to make this distinction in his 1927 book Liberalism:

To call this right of self-determination the “right of self-determination of nations” is to misunderstand it. It is not the right of self-determination of a delimited national unit, but the right of the inhabitants of every territory to decide on the state to which they wish to belong…. [T]he right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. 

Mises imagined this could be accomplished through plebiscites at the level of a “single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts.”

In other words, in order to provide opportunities for persons to exercise their rights to political self-determination, it is necessary to allow them to join political jurisdictions that reflect their own needs and personal views.

Those who oppose secession, however, in effect insist that it is necessary that a person move himself and his property—possibly hundreds of miles—to another jurisdiction if he is not pleased with the status quo

But how does this make sense in a region where the overwhelming majority of residents seek to exit a particular state? Should not these people be allowed to live under a state and local government that reflects their values?

What about the Minority That Prefers the Status Quo?

This brings us to a common objection among antisecessionists: What about those people who are against secession and support the status quo?

This is a common strategy employed to disparage secession, such as with the Catalonian secession in Spain or the notion of Californian secession. The Loyalists of American history, of course, opposed the American secession from the British Empire. The argument goes like this: the secessionist regions must never be allowed to leave. This is because the antisecessionist minority populations will be deprived of their right to self-determination. 

Note the inherent contradiction in the antisecessionist position, however. Antisecessionists are apparently only concerned with minority rights when it helps their political position. In our example, if 70 percent of the county seeks secession, that means 30 percent of the Weld County population wishes to remain part of Colorado. Antisecessionists naturally tell us we’re supposed to be deeply concerned about that. But at the same time, the antisecessionists look the other way when it’s a minority group that seeks secession. In other words, if a minority of Coloradoans concentrated in a particular area wish to break off from Colorado, we’ll that’s just tough luck. In this way of thinking, the antisecessionist regional minority always trumps the secessionist statewide minority. 

Secessionists, on the other hand—if they are ideologically consistent—do not have this problem. A consistent secessionist will not object if one portion of the proposed secessionist district votes to remain part of the old jurisdiction. In our Weld County scenario, a secessionist would not object if the county were partitioned to make it easier for antisecessionists to remain part of Colorado.

This doesn’t give everyone exactly what they want, of course. But it goes a long way toward expanding self-determination without forcing residents to relocate to a distant community. That is, under the status quo, a secessionist denied self-determination would be forced to completely relocate outside the community. But if the secessionist district is partitioned, then those who wish to retain the status quo are likely to find themselves needing to relocate only a few miles, or even just down the street.

Democracy Doesn’t Solve These Problems

A third big mistake made by the secessionists is their thinking that “democracy” somehow solves all these problems. The claim goes something like this: “If people in Weld County are unhappy with policies in Colorado, they should contact their elected representatives and run legislation to change things!” This is the old “vote harder” claim—the idea that a group that’s hopelessly outnumbered by another group could possibly prevail in a democratic setting by voting. 

It requires a high degree of naïveté to think that just running legislation, voting, or calling one’s political representatives is enough to get a fair shake through a statewide political process where minority groups are generally powerless. After all, people in Weld County are likely to have very different ideological views, different economic needs, and different cultural backgrounds than people in other parts of the state. Often, differing views and needs will be mutually exclusive or even in direct conflict with each other. If most residents of Weld County favor widespread gun ownership—but a majority in the rest of the state is against it—Weld County residents can’t hope for any political victories in this regard no matter how many bills they run or how many calls they make to the governor’s office. 

Unfortunately, these problems are likely to persist in the short and medium term, because Americans have grown accustomed to regarding state and national boundaries as immovable and very nearly sacrosanct. In practice, however, a state’s borders should change over time to reflect demographic and ideological realities. By denying this, political leaders are effectively saying that the rights of minority populations don’t matter.  Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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If America Splits Up, What Happens to the Nukes? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2021

The Israeli state is an important and illustrative case. This is a country with a GDP smaller than Colorado’s and a population smaller than that of the US state of Georgia, yet Israel is thought to maintain a nuclear triad of sea, air, and land-based warheads. In other words, this is a small state which has taken full advantage of the relatively economical nature of a small nuclear arsenal (estimated to include approximately eighty assembled warheads).

https://mises.org/wire/if-america-splits-what-happens-nukes

Ryan McMaken

Opposition to American secession movements often hinges on the idea that foreign policy concerns trump any notions that the United States ought to be broken up into smaller pieces.

It almost goes without saying that those who subscribe to neoconservative ideology or other highly interventionist foreign policy views treat the idea of political division with alarm or contempt. Or both.

They have a point. It’s likely that were the US to be broken up into smaller pieces, it would be weakened in its ability to act as a global hegemon, invading foreign nations at will, imposing “regime change,” and threatening war with any regime that opposes the whims of the American regime.

For some of us, however, this would be a feature of secession rather than a bug.

Moreover, the ability of the American regime to carry out offensive military operations such as regime change is separate and distinct from the regime’s ability to maintain an effective and credible defensive military force.

Last month, we looked at how even a dismembered United States would be more than capable of fielding a large and effective defensive military force. A politically divided America nonetheless remains a very wealthy America, and wealth remains a key component in effective military defense. In other words, bigness is not as important as the extent to which a regime can call upon high levels of wealth and capital accumulation.

[Read More: “When It Comes to National Defense, Bigger Isn’t Always Better” by Ryan McMaken]

That analysis, however, concentrated on conventional forces, and this leaves us with the question of how the successor states to a postsecession United States would fare in terms of nuclear deterrence.

In this case, there is even less need for bigness than in the case of conventional military forces. As the state of Israel has demonstrated, a small state can obtain the benefits of nuclear deterrence without a large population or a large economy.

In other words, an effective military defense through nuclear deterrence is even more economical than conventional military forces.

After Secession, Who Gets the Nukes?

But how would secession actually play out when nuclear weapons are involved?

One example we might consider is Ukraine’s secession from the Soviet Union the early 1990s.

In 1991, as the Soviet Union was collapsing, Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly to secede and set up an independent republic. At the time, the new state of Ukraine contained around one-third of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. This means there were literally thousands of nuclear warheads within Ukraine’s borders, making Ukraine’s arsenal the third largest in the world. In 1994, Ukraine began a program of denuclearization and today is no longer a nuclear power.

The relations between Ukraine and the new Russian Federation were acrimonious in the early nineties—as now—so this means that the lessons of the Ukraine situation are limited if applied to American secessionist movements. American pundits may like to play up the red-blue division in America as an intractable conflict of civilizations, but these differences are small potatoes compared to the sort of ethnic and nationalist conflicts that have long existed in Eurasia. 

Nevertheless, we can glean some insights from that separation.

For example, the Ukrainian secession demonstrates that it is possible for nuclear weapons to pass into the control of a seceding state without a general conflict breaking out. Indeed, Ukraine was not alone in this. Kazakhstan and Belarus “inherited” nuclear arms from the Soviet Union as well. If Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus can all peacefully negotiate a resolution on how to deal with a suddenly decentralized nuclear arsenal, the Americans can pull it off, too.

Nonetheless, the Ukraine situation highlights some of the technical and logistical problems involved in working out who exactly controls nuclear weapons in a postsecession situation.

For example, it was never a simple matter for the Ukrainian regime to assert technical control over land-based nuclear missiles. It is unlikely that Ukraine ever obtained all the tools necessary to actually launch the nuclear missiles within its territory.1

It is likely, however, that Ukraine could have eventually gained this power, as it was already developing its own control system for the arsenal in 1993. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Russian regime was unenthusiastic about helping the Ukrainians in this respect.

When it came to using nuclear-capable bombers, on the other hand, it appears Ukraine’s regime had total control.2

It is likely the successor states of the US would face similar issues. The use of land-based missiles would be heavily reliant on authorization from whichever faction most recently controlled access and launching authority, even if those missiles are physically located within the borders of a separatist state. It must be noted, however, that the state within which land-based nuclear missiles exist has the ability to prevent usage in most cases. This is because even if the missiles themselves cannot be directly controlled, the personnel that maintains and controls the sites can far more easily be traded out for personnel loyal to the new regime.3

When it comes to submarines and bombers, a secessionist US region might find itself better able to assert control in the short term. Where those bombers and subs end up would have a lot to do with the likely chaotic situation in the wake of the independence movement and shifting borders.

Separatist Regions May Be Unwilling to Give Up Nukes

Ukraine had denuclearized in part due to bribes and pressure from both the United States and Russia. Russia wanted Ukraine’s arsenal for obvious reasons. The United States was obsessed with deproliferation, although it naturally insisted on keeping its own massive stockpile. 

Neither the US nor Russia had the ability to force Ukraine to denuclearize—short of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, of course. However, Ukraine capitulated to pressure when the Russian Federation, the US, and the UK (and to a lesser extent China and France) pledged in the Budapest Memorandum to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. 

In 2014, many interpreted this move as a grand folly when Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine and none of the other parties to the memorandum intervened. Ukraine had given up its best guarantee against Russian intervention—its nuclear arsenal—in exchange for weak “assurances” from foreign states.

Some foreign policy scholars—most notably John Mearsheimer—had predicted this and advised against denuclearization in Ukraine. Indeed, in 1993, Mearsheimer doubted that Ukraine would cave to denuclearization pressure precisely because reliable assurances from outsiders were unlikely. Even after the Budapest Memorandum became a reality a year later, it was nonetheless a rather weak reed on which to hang denuclearization. As Mearsheimer pointed out, should the Americans fail to provide an effective defense for Ukraine—as ended up being the case with the Crimea crisis—the Americans “would not have to live with the consequences of a Russian attack.”4 Nonetheless, some Ukrainians insist the Crimea crisis is not evidence of a need for a nuclear deterrent

Many, Americans, however, may be much less sanguine—even to the point of unwarranted paranoia—about the prospects of foreign intervention on American soil. This is why it is best to proceed assuming that at least some successor states to the current US would insist on retaining a nuclear arsenal. After all, while the Ukraine might have been betting on the US as the enforcer of the international order, such guarantees would be even more unlikely in the wake of an American secession crisis. Postsecession American states, in other words, would need to rely on a self-help system of deterrence.

On the other hand, we should not assume that all successor states to the United States would seek permanent nuclear arsenals. Some would likely give up nuclear programs, just as Sweden and South Africa have abandoned nuclear programs that were well advanced toward assembling arms (Sweden) or had already completed the construction of functioning warheads (South Africa). While the Ukrainian example of voluntary denuclearization may appear to be a blunder to many now, the situation in North America is different. North America is not eastern Europe with its long history of interstate conflict. In North America, Canada and the United States have been at peace for more than two centuries, and Canada has never made much effort to move toward assembling a nuclear arsenal. Rather, Canada’s proximity to the United States shields it from nuclear threats from outside North America. Any conventional or nuclear arrack on Canada from, say, China or Russia is likely to be interpreted as an attack on the United States, with disastrous consequences for the initial aggressor.

In other words, Canada benefits from what Baldur Thorhallsson calls “shelter” in the international arena. Canada requires no nuclear arsenal of its own, because it can use its close alliance with the United States as a substitute.

So long as some successor states of the United States maintain a functioning arsenal, other nonnuclear states in North America will be able to function similarly. It stands to reason that just as the United States in its current form has been at peace with all other former British colonies, it is likely that new North American republics will share a similar fate.

Big States Are Not Necessary: A Deterrent Nuclear Force Is Entirely Feasible for Small States

A new American republic need not be especially large to maintain a working arsenal.

While a sizable economy and population are extremely helpful in terms of building a large conventional military, these factors are not nearly as important when it comes to a nuclear force capable of deterring foreign powers.

As Kenneth Waltz has explained, “Nuclear parity is reached when countries have second-strike forces. It does not require quantitative or qualitative equality of forces.”5 That is, if a regime can plausibly hide or move around enough nuclear warheads to so as to survive a nuclear first strike, it is able to deter nuclear aggression from other states altogether. Moreover, the number of warheads necessary to achieve this number “not in the hundreds, but in the tens.”6

This is why Waltz has concluded that “deterrence is easier to contrive than most strategists have believed”7 and that “some countries may find nuclear weapons a cheaper and safer alternative to running economically ruinous and militarily dangerous conventional arms races. Nuclear weapons may promise increased security and independence at an affordable price.”8 In other words, deterrence “can be implemented cheaply.”9

[Read More: “Why No State Needs Thousands of Nuclear Warheads” by Ryan McMaken]

The Israeli state is an important and illustrative case. This is a country with a GDP smaller than Colorado’s and a population smaller than that of the US state of Georgia, yet Israel is thought to maintain a nuclear triad of sea, air, and land-based warheads. In other words, this is a small state which has taken full advantage of the relatively economical nature of a small nuclear arsenal (estimated to include approximately eighty assembled warheads).

Clearly, claims that even medium-sized American states—such as Ohio with 11 million people and a GDP nearly as large as that of Switzerland—are too small to possibly contemplate functioning as independent states are quite detached from reality. Moreover, there is no reason to assume any postsecession American state would seek to act alone in the realm of international relations. Kirkpatrick Sale has pointed out what should be regarded as obvious: “Historically, the response of small states to the threat of … aggression has been temporary confederation and mutual defense, and indeed the simple threat of such unity, in the form of defense treaties and leagues and alliances, has sometimes been a sufficient deterrent” (emphasis added).10

On the other hand, a continuation of the current trend toward political centralization in Washington—and the growing political domination of every corner of the nation by central authorities—is likely to only harm future prospects for amicable separation and peaceful cooperation on the international stage. 

  • 1. John J. Mearsheimer, “The Case for a Ukrainian Nuclear Deterrent,” Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3 (Summer 1993): 50–66, esp. 52.
  • 2. Ibid., p. 52.
  • 3. Graham Allison notes the importance of personnel in the post-Soviet Ukraine situation in the National Interest: “Officially, the chain-of-command continued to run from the new President of Russia through communications and control systems to missile officers in Ukraine. Physically, however, the missiles, warheads, officers, and mechanisms for launching weapons resided on the territory of Ukraine. Moreover, the individuals who operated these systems now lived in houses owned by the government of Ukraine, received paychecks from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, and were subject to promotion or firing not by Moscow, but by Kiev.” See “Good News From Ukraine: It Doesn’t Have Nukes,” National Interest, Mar. 21, 2014.
  • 4. Mearsheimer, “The Case for a Ukrainian Nuclear Deterrent,” p. 58.
  • 5. Kenneth Waltz, “Structural Realism after the Cold War.” International Security 25, no. 1 (Summer 2000): 5–41, esp. 32n75.
  • 6. Kenneth Waltz, “Nuclear Myths and Political Realities,” American Political Science Review 84, no. 3 (September 1990): 731–45.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Kenneth Waltz, “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Be Better,” Adelphi Papers 21, no. 171 (1981).
  • 9. Waltz, “Nuclear Myths and Political Realities.”
  • 10. Kirkpatrick Sale, Human Scale Revisited (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2017), p. 312.

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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A Mass Distancing From Government Is Necessary To Escape the Tyranny We Face – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2021

Secession is the natural right of all people, and can only be successfully achieved by individual dissolution from the state. It cannot be successful through any political process or voting that aims to amend the governing system into another form of government. Past history has certainly shown this to be the case. For if eliminating all government power leads to individual freedom, then rebuilding another governing structure that allows for certain powers over the people by the political class will only end in more tyranny.

The elimination of the dollar by the people is of vital importance, because the plan of the global power heads is to replace the dollar with digital currencies that can be completely controlled by the technocrats. Once in place, everyone will be able to be controlled, and all assets can be turned on or off based on behavior.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/01/gary-d-barnett/a-mass-distancing-from-government-is-necessary-in-order-to-escape-the-tyranny-we-face/

By Gary D. Barnett

“Despite the popular idea of anarchists as violent men, Anarchism is the one non-violent social philosophy.… The function of the Anarchist is two-fold. By daily courage in non-cooperation with the tyrannical forces of the State and the Church, he helps to tear down present society; the Anarchist by daily cooperation with his fellows in overcoming evil with good-will and solidarity builds toward the anarchistic commonwealth which is formed by voluntary action with the right of secession.”

~ Ammon Hennacy. “The Book of Ammon,” (First published 1954 by Fortkamp)

Speaking of secession to the general population brings out first the idea of civil war, slavery, killing, and failure. This is the exact opposite of how secession should be viewed, but in the common American psyche, this is what has been purposely taught and mostly accepted by the masses. The attitude toward breaking away from tyrannical rule is therefore tainted; not by accident, but by design. The ruling class will always and forever defend aggressively against any separation from their rule, because they fully understand that secession is meant as a way for the people to protect their liberty from those in power that would strive to destroy it. While it is a simple concept, it is vastly misunderstood, and is certainly the only way to achieve true freedom. Perception in most cases leads to reality, so a change in perception about the moral right to be free is necessary in order to understand that the state is the enemy of the people.

Secession is the natural right of all people, and can only be successfully achieved by individual dissolution from the state. It cannot be successful through any political process or voting that aims to amend the governing system into another form of government. Past history has certainly shown this to be the case. For if eliminating all government power leads to individual freedom, then rebuilding another governing structure that allows for certain powers over the people by the political class will only end in more tyranny. That is why states seceding through the political process, but retaining political power at the state level will naturally fail. When people decide to separate from what is referred to as the “Union,” a further separation is mandatory if true liberty is to be won and sustained. This is why I have always advocated for total secession, even if incremental in its initial advancement, so that the final result would be that the people themselves actually control their own destiny.

The secession that occurred during the American Revolution did not go nearly far enough, for soon following the breaking away from the British Crown, the states formed a union that set up a centralized governing system, a system that was granted massive powers, and that proceeded to reduce freedom over the course of our history. The Southern fight for independence was bold and a great start, but the central government that had been built was able to defeat the idea of freedom by murdering American citizens in order to retain total power. This is why secession or removing government power can only be accomplished with individual unity, so that the resulting system does not allow for any central government, or any government that can claim authority over any individual.

To achieve today actual freedom from rule would be difficult in that the people have over time given total and complete power to this evil monster called the U.S. government. It controls at every level, including the very important matter of controlling all money and monetary policy. This allows the government to control the economy, and thereby control all people. In order to start the process of breaking away from government, the most important aspect of gaining freedom will be to take away the government’s power over money and money printing. In order to accomplish this, the masses must begin to use and print their own money, and refuse to use the state controlled and worthless fiat currency. Once again, this has to be done at the individual level by acting in concert with one another. Therefore, the division amongst this terribly confused population must be remedied so that we work together instead of against each other. This does not have to be universal, as smaller bands of people all around the country can make great advances in order to separate from the current system.

The requirements to gain freedom through distancing ourselves from government will necessarily mean that going back to a more fundamental lifestyle, at least temporarily, will have to take place. Our use and production of money will need to change, and our production and distribution of untainted and natural food will have to take precedent over this current system. Food quantity and quality are being manipulated and controlled by the very government and its corporate partners interested in population control (eugenics) through starvation, and the replacement of natural products with GMO alternatives controlled by the same claimed governing ‘elites’ that wish to control humanity. Personal farming, good seed stocks, local farmer’s markets, and less dependence on big agriculture will go a long way in protecting the health and minds of Americans.

The elimination of the dollar by the people is of vital importance, because the plan of the global power heads is to replace the dollar with digital currencies that can be completely controlled by the technocrats. Once in place, everyone will be able to be controlled, and all assets can be turned on or off based on behavior. Social scores will take on a whole new meaning, and a robot-like society, think transhumanism, will be created and can be sustained due simply to the state’s control of all assets of value, including money. Setting up many different private money systems of exchange, barter, and secure digital as well, all through voluntary participation, will allow for the people to gain control for themselves instead of relying on the corrupt and manipulated central banking federal system of money printing. By moving away en masse from this criminal government monetary system, the possibility of gaining independence escalates dramatically, and with more individual power concerning money, other aspects of freedom will naturally fall into place.

The end of currencies will take place when the direct control of money by central banking digitized systems is achieved. These plans are already being created, and are also being telegraphed in order to desensitize the public so that mass acceptance is more likely. If this critical stage is reached, there will be little if any ability to forestall the complete takeover of humanity.

So many other factors to consider in any quest for freedom are of great importance so that people can retain control of their body, minds, and of their very lives. It is vital to remember that everything that happens in government is planned in advance, is intentional, and is meant to achieve very nefarious agendas. This completely fraudulent Covid-19 scam was plotted for at least twenty years, and false virus pandemics as a way to control the general populace have been in play for decades. Therefore, ‘vaccines,’ biosecurity measures, surveillance, injectable operating systems that alter RNA and DNA, immunity passports, and restrictions at every level must be avoided at all costs. People must deny government mandates, must not comply with state orders, must not wear dehumanizing masks, and must attempt aggressively to do whatever is necessary to protect individual sovereignty.

In order to save us from certain slavery, secession is the answer to eliminating the massive power that has been attained by this horrendous government. Instead of considering secession as an impossibility due to the complicated nature of going about gaining independence through the state political process, consider simply the idea of removing all support for government and its edicts individually. All should be based on individual unity, as our numbers are incredibly large, and their numbers are incredibly small. Say no to every government order; get away from their money and monetary system at every opportunity. Refuse to obey mandates, protect your health and immune systems, refuse any injection of poison, open up every business in this country, and defend your freedom by whatever means necessary. That is the way to regain American integrity, and to stop this planned oppression and takeover of humanity.

“An anarchist is someone who doesn’t need a cop to make him behave. Anarchism is voluntary cooperation with the right of secession. The individual or the family or the small group as a unit instead of the State.”

~ Ammon Hennacy. “The Book of Ammon,” (First published 1954 by Fortkamp)

Source links:

https://mises.org/library/secession-specifically-american-principle

The Best of Gary D. Barnett Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is a retired investment professional that has been writing about freedom and liberty matters, politics, and history for two decades. He is against all war and aggression, and against the state. He recently finished a collaboration with former U.S. Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, and was a contributor to her new book, “When China Sneezes” From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Political-Economic Crisis.” Currently, he lives in Montana with his wife and son. Visit his website.

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Halfway to Secession: Unity on Foreign Policy, Disunity on Domestic Policy | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2021

As F.H. Buckley suggests in his book American Secession, under a plan like this, issues like abortion and gun control are simply farmed out to states and localities, where residents could fight it out among themselves. Residents could also move to regions of the country that more reflect their particular political positions. Meanwhile,  the US security state, living above the fray of the internal conflicts over social policy, would continue to hold untrammeled power over the machinery behind wielding international power. 

But this would be no mild change. It means no more federal welfare state. The states and municipalities can have their own. It means no more federal regulatory state. Again, this can be done at the level of states, counties, and metropolitan areas. 

https://mises.org/wire/halfway-secession-unity-foreign-policy-disunity-domestic-policy

Ryan McMaken

In recent years, especially as media pundits and politicians talk up the idea of “divided” the American population is along ideological lines, talk of secession has become more frequent and more urgent. For several years now, a quarter of Americans polled have claimed to support the idea of secession. In 2018, a Zogby poll concluded 39 percent of those polled agree that residents of a state should “have the final say” as to whether or not that state remains part of the United States.  

Do the Needs of Geopolitics Preclude Secession? 

If the idea of secession continues to be repeated among a growing number of Americans—as appears likely—expect more serious opposition to the idea on foreign policy grounds. The claim will be that secession must be rejected because this would make the United States likely to fall prey to foreign powers—especially China and Russia—and independence may even lead the new states to make war on each other. 

These critics are getting ahead of themselves. For now, calls for secession are unlikely to get the point of full separation that would end the status quo in terms of how the US regime interacts with the outside world. For example, in the case of Hawaii—where secessionists would have to contend with a federal government willing to fight tooth and nail to keep control over the military bases there—pro-secession advocates will quickly realize the gargantuan task of fighting the national security state for full-blown secession. 

At this time, it seems few are interested in a fight like that. 

After all, as much as “red state America” and “blue state America” may be in conflict over policy and the extent of US power domestically, the fact is disagreements over foreign policy are quite muted. Consequently, this means a formal separation of the US into two or more fully sovereign and separate states would strike many Americans—at the moment—as unnecessary. 

This means we’re still at the stage of the first step: radically decentralizing domestic policy first.  For now, this sidesteps the problem of how secession might affect foreign policy. But it does mean a radical change nonetheless. 

Unity on Foreign Policy, Disunity on Domestic Policy

Certainly, when it comes to self-determination and the protection of human rights through local control, the ideal solution lies in radical decentralization. This would mean a sizable number of fully independent entities in place of the old immense, unified American regime.

However, practical considerations do not always lend themselves to this solution in the short term. Like the abolitionists of old, decentralists and localists can look to the ideal while nonetheless accepting partial victories.

Unfortunately, the current state of public opinion suggests work must still be done to translate that openness to secession shown in Zogby polls into a palpable drive for secession among a critical mass of the population. For now—barring an economic cataclysm of late-Soviet-Union magnitude—an in-between state of domestic disunity and foreign policy unity is more likely.

The culture war raging over BLM, Obamacare, covid lockdowns, gun control, and abortion are overwhelmingly based on disagreements over domestic policies. Yes, the Trump coalition certainly has been unenthusiastic about new wars and “regime change” schemes. But virtually no one among Trump’s core constituents raised any opposition when Trump pushed for huge increases to the Pentagon’s budget. Indeed, Trump and his supporters appeared to favor more aggressive policy against China. At the same time, the center left and the Democrats—as became clear under Obama—have no interest in scaling back US militarism. 

Thus, even when national political unity becomes too costly for the Washington elites to maintain—perhaps because of a continued cycle of riots and state-level opposition to federal regulatory power—it will still be possible to placate many dissenters with decentralization of domesticpolicy only. Meanwhile, the government in Washington would (regrettably) remain firmly in control of foreign policy and military affairs. 

As F.H. Buckley suggests in his book American Secession, under a plan like this, issues like abortion and gun control are simply farmed out to states and localities, where residents could fight it out among themselves. Residents could also move to regions of the country that more reflect their particular political positions. Meanwhile,  the US security state, living above the fray of the internal conflicts over social policy, would continue to hold untrammeled power over the machinery behind wielding international power. 

But this would be no mild change. It means no more federal welfare state. The states and municipalities can have their own. It means no more federal regulatory state. Again, this can be done at the level of states, counties, and metropolitan areas. 

It means no more federal law enforcement apparatus. As in Europe, states can work together as independent entities to address crime problems. 

It means a radical devolution to the state and local levels of most policies affecting the every day lives of Americans. 

A Well-Known Political Model

Historically,  there would be nothing unprecedented about this. It is easy to find countless examples of of unruly regions and ethnicities granted “self-rule” in exchange for ceding foreign policy powers to the central government. States have made it abundantly clear on countless occasions that they’re willing to tolerate local autonomy for various populations so long as the state retains the preponderance of control over military and diplomatic affairs.  This was the case throughout much of the nineteenth century within the British Empire. It has been the case for countless difficult-to-unite populations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  This reality is reflected in the existence of self-governing client states and “autonomous regions.”

This, after all, was the original structure of the United States: it was to be a group of autonomous states united for purposes of foreign policy—and to a much lesser extent, trade.

Under a regime of autonomous US states, the American state—as viewed by other global powers looking in—would not look fundamentally different. The nukes would still be where they always were. The navy won’t disappear.

Eventually, of course, this sub-optimal hybrid situation would be abandoned in favor of full autonomy for all successor states.  Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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The Truth About January 6–and Where We Should Go From Here – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 9, 2021

Disturbing video available (for now) on Twitter shows Capitol Police allowing demonstrators to enter the Capitol grounds. . . Elsewhere at the Capitol, the police sent out to hold a perimeter were unable to hold off mobs.

Why was the United States Capitol left so vulnerable?

What can be done now? President Trump should not urge us all to “come together.” Instead, he should support secession. States and communities that support Trump are too far apart from supporters of the Biden-Harris BLM camorra to live in a united country. “Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 [Douay-Rheims Bible])

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/01/lew-rockwell/the-truth-about-january-6-and-where-we-should-go-from-here/

According to a left-wing propaganda narrative that you can read in the New York TimesWashington Post, CNN, and similar outlets, the violence in Congress that occurred in the afternoon of January 6 was the culmination of a long series of outrages by President Donald Trump. When he lost the November election to Joe Biden, he could not accept his loss. He kept making baseless claims that he had won the election and accused Biden supporters of using fake ballots and rigged voting machines to inflate the totals for Biden. He kept filing lawsuits to get parts of the verdict overturned, but the courts rejected all his claims. He thought he still had a chance on January 6, when the electoral votes are counted in Congress. He wanted Vice President Mike Pence to violate the Constitution. Although Pence has the purely ceremonial role of presiding over the joint session, he wanted Pence to toss out slates of electors who opposed him, or at least send them back to the states for recertification. Pence refused to violate the Constitution. When Trump found out about it, he was so angry that he incited part of a rally supporting him to storm Congress and shut down the session. Because of him, several people were killed. He is a sore loser who should be removed from office immediately and sent to prison for sedition as well.

Every word of this narrative is false. Let’s take one item out of chronological order, because it has gotten so much attention. It’s alleged that Trump became enraged at Pence because Pence wouldn’t violate the Constitution. In fact, there is a good case that what Trump was asking Pence to do was perfectly legitimate. As John Yoo and Robert Delahunty pointed out in an article in the American Mind last October 19,

We suggest that the Vice President’s role is not the merely ministerial one of opening the ballots and then handing them over (to whom?) to be counted. Though the 12th Amendment describes the counting in the passive voice, the language seems to envisage a single, continuous process in which the Vice President both opens and counts the votes.

The check on error or fraud in the count is that the Vice President’s activities are to be done publicly, “in the presence” of Congress. And if “counting” the electors’ votes is the Vice President’s responsibility, then the inextricably intertwined responsibility for judging the validity of those votes must also be his.

If that reading is correct, then the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Congress cannot use legislation to dictate how any individual branch of government is to perform its unique duties: Congress could not prescribe how future Senates should conduct an impeachment trial, for example. Similarly, we think the better reading is that Vice President Pence would decide between competing slates of electors chosen by state legislators and governors, or decide whether to count votes that remain in litigation.

Yoo is a controversial person, but there’s no doubt he is a constitutional law scholar in good standing.

Well, you might say, what right did Trump have to blow up on Pence just because Pence disagreed with his understanding of the Constitution? The answer to that is simple. Pence had assured Trump that he accepted his claim that there were irregularities in the voting. He said at a rally in Georgia on January 4, just two days before the count,

that the case for widespread election fraud would be made to the American people when Congress meets this week to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump.

“We’ve all got our doubts about the last election. I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities,” Pence said at an indoor congregation at Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga., in support of Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in runoff elections there.

Pence, who by law will be tasked with declaring a winner of the Electoral College vote, seemed to leave open the possibility that Trump could still remain in power for a second term.

“Come this Wednesday,” he said, referring to the impending certification of election results, “we’ll have our day in Congress. We’ll hear the evidence.”

The election was in fact stolen from him. It’s easy to hack voting machines, such as those made by Dominion, to change vote totals. When I say this, I’m not relying on a source the Left will dismiss as fantasies from conspiracy-theory nuts. According to a story published by NBC News last year,

It was an assurance designed to bolster public confidence in the way America votes: Voting machines “are not connected to the internet.”

Then Acting Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security Jeanette Manfra said those words in 2017, testifying before Congress while she was responsible for the security of the nation’s voting system.

So many government officials like Manfra have said the same thing over the last few years that it is commonly accepted as gospel by most Americans. Behind it is the notion that if voting systems are not online, hackers will have a harder time compromising them.

But that is an overstatement, according to a team of 10 independent cybersecurity experts who specialize in voting systems and elections. While the voting machines themselves are not designed to be online, the larger voting systems in many states end up there, putting the voting process at risk.

That team of election security experts say[s] that last summer, they discovered some systems are, in fact, online.

“We found over 35 [voting systems] had been left online and we’re still continuing to find more,” Kevin Skoglund, a senior technical advisor at the election security advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition, told NBC News.

“We kept hearing from election officials that voting machines were never on the internet,” he said. “And we knew that wasn’t true. And so we set out to try and find the voting machines to see if we could find them on the internet, and especially the back-end systems that voting machines in the precinct were connecting to to report their results.” …

The three largest voting manufacturing companies—Election Systems &Software, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic—have acknowledged they all put modems in some of their tabulators and scanners. The reason? So that unofficial election results can more quickly be relayed to the public. Those modems connect to cell phone networks, which, in turn, are connected to the internet.

Trump has every right to be suspicious. Shouldn’t there be a full and impartial investigation by recognized experts of whether fraud occurred? If the Biden camp thinks the election was fair and honest, shouldn’t they have welcomed a full investigation? But of course they didn’t. And this type of fraud is just one of many others, such as truckloads of Biden ballots arriving after it looked like Trump was winning, in just the right numbers to give Biden the victory.

When we look at Trump’s complaints, we need to bear one vital fact in mind. As Mike Davis noted in New Left Review, November–December 2020, p. 5, “Biden eked out a slim victory, in some states only by microscopic margins, that won him 306 electoral votes, the same as Trump four years ago. A mere 256,000 vote in five key states purchased 73 of those votes.” This is why Trump is right: because just a few votes could change the outcome, and because there was a lot of apparent fraud, a full investigation was needed.

But, some people might say, this doesn’t excuse Trump. Didn’t he incite people at a rally to invade the sacred halls of Congress? Well, in the first place, the halls of Congress aren’t “sacred”. They belong to the people. And Trump didn’t incite violence. Not at all. He wanted a peaceful protest, and this is what he got, aside from a few antifa activists who crashed the protest. They had been bused into Washington earlier.

According to in the American Thinker published on January 7,

January 6th’s events are being seized on as a game-changer, leading to calls to invoke the 25th Amendment; calls to impeach and remove President Trump; and efforts to discredit Trump, his supporters, and conservatism. It has distracted attention from issues around the legitimacy of voting procedures in several key states and guaranteed the Electoral College vote just before 4 A.M. that ratified Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s inauguration as president and vice president.

Applying the classic legal question ‘cui bono?’ (‘who benefits?’), it is clear that Democrats, anti-Trump establishment Republicans, the leftist media, and TDS-sufferers all are victorious.

Disturbing video available (for now) on Twitter shows Capitol Police allowing demonstrators to enter the Capitol grounds. . . Elsewhere at the Capitol, the police sent out to hold a perimeter were unable to hold off mobs.

Why was the United States Capitol left so vulnerable?

After the demonstrators were led in, a policeman killed a young woman at point-blank rage. The police and Secret Service ended the session of Congress, not the peaceful demonstrators. To give themselves cover, they imported a few Antifa agitators.

Why did they do this? I suggest they did this for a reason, which will become clear if we ask, What was going on just before the demonstration? The members of Congress were about to hear a debate on the objections raised against the votes in the swing states. The American people would have been able to hear the evidence for themselves. This had to be stopped. By stopping the session for about six hours, the debate was shifted to the very late evening hours of January 6 and early morning hours of January 7, when very few people were watching. Besides, all the attention was now on the protest rather than the fraudulent voting.

What can be done now? President Trump should not urge us all to “come together.” Instead, he should support secession. States and communities that support Trump are too far apart from supporters of the Biden-Harris BLM camorra to live in a united country. “Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 [Douay-Rheims Bible])

The Best of Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. 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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Walter Williams: An Unlikely Proponent of Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2021

In politics, might often makes right, as evidenced by the Union’s military victory, which apparently settled the secession question at the time. Williams lamented this new precedent that the federal government established:

Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution’s limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.

https://mises.org/wire/walter-williams-unlikely-proponent-secession

José Niño

There’s no disputing the void that has been left behind since economist Walter Williams passed away in December. Williams had a remarkable ability to convey free market economic concepts in a way the masses could easily digest. Big shoes to fill indeed.

Walter Williams’s Sympathy toward Secession

One overlooked aspect of Williams’s work was his sympathy for the strategy of secession. It may surprise some of us that an African American could even support such an idea. The commonly touted narrative on secession, after all, is that only supporters of the secessionist old Confederacy would even think about supporting secession today. Attempts to connect secession to racism and slavery are common.

But if there is one thing that Walter Williams showcased throughout his career, it is that he was no race hustler and never fell for cheap attempts at race baiting. He spoke the truth no matter how uncomfortable it made others feel. In multiple publications throughout his illustrious publishing career, Williams observed that secession didn’t just start with the Confederacy.

Secession is as American as apple pie. The nation’s very founding involved the thirteen colonies seceding from the British Empire. The radical decentralization embodied by the American Revolution is taken for granted by your typical court historian, but Williams had immense respect for this underappreciated part of American history.

Williams called attention to the fact that the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which brought an end to the American colonies’ war for independence, recognized that the colonies were “free, sovereign and independent states.” In a 2015 column, “Historical Ignorance,” Williams expanded on one of the key provisions that spelled out the sovereignty of the individual colonies:

The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the war between the colonies and Great Britain. Its first article declared the 13 colonies “to be free, sovereign and independent states.” These 13 sovereign nations came together in 1787 as principals and created the federal government as their agent. Principals have always held the right to fire agents. In other words, states held a right to withdraw from the pact—secede.

During the ratification process of the US Constitution, states that were skeptical of the new constitution being put forward by the Federalist faction of the constitutional debate made it a point to include provisions in their ratification documents that outlined steps for withdrawal. They did so in the case that the federal government overstepped its constitutional boundaries. Williams detailed this in the same column:

In fact, the ratification documents of Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island explicitly said they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought they could not regain their sovereignty—in a word, secede.

Even on the eve of the American Civil War, Northern politicians acknowledged that secession was a legal tactic states could use when they were dissatisfied with the federal government. Williams duly noted this:

Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here’s a question for the reader: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?

Williams observed that pro-Union politicians understood how secession was a legitimate right that states possessed at the time:

On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the union between the states of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty.”

Why Secession Still Matters

In politics, might often makes right, as evidenced by the Union’s military victory, which apparently settled the secession question at the time. Williams lamented this new precedent that the federal government established:

Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution’s limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.

That the North turned the South into rubble, however, does not invalidate the concept of secession. There is an innate desire among people worldwide to pursue self-determination. Historically, the push for self-governance has propelled frequent changes in borders and realignments in political territories. Even in the twenty-first century, continents from Europe to Africa are experiencing secessionist movements grow in strength year after year. Try as many central governments might, they cannot fully extinguish the human penchant for building separate jurisdictions that better reflect their values.

Williams on Local Resistance in Virginia

Williams was a true classical liberal in the mold of Lord Acton who not only understood the power of free markets but also of diffused powers, a nonnegotiable precondition for a market order to function. The late economist did not blurt out vacuous slogans about limited government but genuinely pushed the envelope on every issue that mattered, from public schooling to welfare to identity politics. Williams’s sympathy toward secession further reinforced the late economist’s willingness to buck conventional wisdom in politics.

For example, right before the Second Amendment sanctuary county drama kicked off in Virginia in 2020, Williams praised Virginia Second Amendment activists for their efforts to resist gun control attempts coming from Governor Ralph Northam’s office. Williams cited the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions—two political statements that argued that states have the authority and duty to judge the constitutionality of laws coming from the central government—as potential guides for Virginia Second Amendment activists to follow. Williams wanted his fellow Virginians to apply that logic to the state government as well. He believed that overzealous state governments could also be subject to resistance from local governing bodies. Although Northam and company were able to successfully ram some gun control through, Second Amendment sanctuary county efforts won’t be disappearing any time soon in Virginia and other blue states nationwide.

Let Us Remember Williams for His Radicalism

We should honor Williams at his most radical. Now is not the time to pine for the days of agreeable politics. In recent decades, the US has gone through radical political and cultural transformations that are making the country progressively ungovernable. Any kind of national election from here on out will be viewed as illegitimate by the losing side due to the perceived high stakes of these affairs. No longer do America’s partisan coalitions treat each other as respectable competitors, but rather as existential threats that must be vanquished at the ballot box. As America’s social fabric continues withering and polarization intensifies, it’s only a matter of time before this kind of tension turns violent. Author:

Contact José Niño

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter here.

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The Catholic Case for Secession? – Crisis Magazine

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2020

However, the frank reality is that pro-lifers have been working to restrict abortion at the federal level for almost fifty years with no success. What’s more, the successes pro-lifers do eke out at the state level are often nullified at the federal level. The biggest enemy of the unborn in this country is the federal machinery that keeps abortion legal in all fifty states. However, if a state like Texas (for instance) were an independent nation, there would be nothing stopping it from outlawing abortion.

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/the-catholic-case-for-secession

Eric Sammons

Ever since “red states” and “blue states” entered our popular lexicon in the weeks following the 2000 election, Americans have understood that our country’s citizens have taken two divergent paths at the fork in the road. Twenty years later, the possibility that those paths will converge one day seems more and more remote. That is why a word that has long been forbidden in American discourse has gained traction in recent years: secession.

In most Americans’ minds, “secession” conjures up images of the Civil War, slavery, and racism. It represents the darkest and bloodiest hour of our nation’s history, when families were divided and brother fought against brother. Because the term is linked in our minds to a long and nearly crippling war, we naturally recoil at the idea of secession. Additionally, the mythology subconsciously espoused by many Americans that our country is divinely ordained to extend freedom throughout the world makes the suggestion that America could decrease in size unfathomable to most of us.

Yet, people are now talking seriously about the possibility of secession. The proximate cause is the shenanigans associated with the most recent presidential election. A large number of Americans believe that the candidate likely to be sworn in on January 20, 2021 was the beneficiary of fraud on a large scale. If this is the case, then the political system is fundamentally broken; an increasing number of Americans are questioning the efficacy of continuing the charade of a united country.

So, can a Catholic support the idea of secession?

Let’s take a step back first. Is secession legal? One of the greatest American Catholic legal minds, Antonin Scalia, argued that it is not. “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War,” he wrote, “it is that there is no right to secede.” With all due respect to the late Justice Scalia, and with a little trepidation about contradicting him, this makes no sense. When one political body secedes from another, the seceding body is rejecting the authority of the first. In other words, all laws in effect in the original nation are no longer applicable to the seceding nation, since it is no longer part of that original nation. Asking if secession is legal, then, is actually nonsensical, for the people seceding do not recognize the laws of the original country.

But even if it’s “legal,” is it moral? Because Americans equate secession with a bloody civil war, many argue that if you support secession, you support needless bloodshed. But bloodshed is not a foregone conclusion. In the early 1990s, fifteen Soviet republics seceded from the Soviet Union without a civil war. In 1965, Singapore separated from Malaysia without sparking a violent conflict. Other examples are littered throughout history, particularly recent history. Secession can be peaceful, and it is peaceful secession that I am considering here.

From a Catholic point of view, the benefits of secession include new opportunities for legal protection of the unborn, reduced cultural and political conflict, and more robust subsidiarity.

Secession would provide better prospects for legal protection of the unborn. Some Catholics argue that abandoning the union would be abandoning the unborn in the new leftist/socialist nation-states that would be formed. If California, for example, were to leave the union, it’s unlikely it would ever restrict abortion in any way.

However, the frank reality is that pro-lifers have been working to restrict abortion at the federal level for almost fifty years with no success. What’s more, the successes pro-lifers do eke out at the state level are often nullified at the federal level. The biggest enemy of the unborn in this country is the federal machinery that keeps abortion legal in all fifty states. However, if a state like Texas (for instance) were an independent nation, there would be nothing stopping it from outlawing abortion.

Yes, abortion would still be legal in California, just as it is in our current fifty-state union. But at least some babies would be protected instead of none.

Secession could also lead to less overall cultural and political conflict. Religious freedom has been disappearing over the years, but a new nation-state could restore that freedom without fear that the justices in D.C. would override it. Gay “marriage” could be outlawed without significant controversy in many new, independent nation-states. Most of our public discourse today consists of one side trying to force its views on the other when two views are irreconcilable. The worldview of a Coastal elite is simply incompatible with the worldview of a Midwestern religious believer. A peaceful separation would allow individual groups to live and govern as they believe is best, instead of what we are experiencing now, which is essentially an oligarchy enforcing its ideology on us all.

Finally, the past century has seen a dramatic rise in the power of the federal government over the lives of ordinary citizens. Everyone, from the farmer in Iowa to the actor in Hollywood, must conform to what the elites and their bureaucratic armies in Washington tell them to do. That makes for an inherently unjust system, and one that is contrary to the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. Catholic political thought recognizes that those closer to a situation are often better equipped to handle it. The rise of various nation-states out of the massive United States would result in a significant boost to subsidiarity, increasing the likelihood of more just laws in many of those new nation-states.

Of course, secession would also raise a whole host of challenges. Many of the new nation-states might quickly become far more anti-Catholic than the United States currently is. It’s easy to imagine an independent New York trampling over the rights of Catholics if there is no pesky Constitution to worry about.

Yet if we’ve learned anything over the past 50 years, it is that the Constitution is merely a speed bump, not a roadblock, to the progressive agenda.

There is also the practical challenge of how exactly to divide the nation. Although we like to talk about red states and blue states, the reality is that America is mostly divided in a rural/urban split, with the suburbs going either way depending on their history. How would the land be physically divided in such a scenario?

Most likely, any division would involve some people moving to other areas in order to be in a new country that best represents their views. Undoubtedly, though, the divisions would not neatly follow current state lines. For example, it’s unlikely that eastern Washington or eastern Oregon would want to remain aligned with the coastal regions of their respective states.

Foreign policy presents another challenge for an American secession movement. Secession opponents fear weakening American hegemony across the world. Would a divided America result in greater global influence for China or Russia? Would it lead to a possible invasion by those countries?

It’s impossible to say for sure, but there is no reason that a divided America could not remain a confederation of allies when it comes to military defense. An attack on any one new American nation-state could be considered an attack on all nation-states.

Further, decades of being the world’s policeman has led to an array of needless foreign excursions and conflicts. A divided America would be less likely to be involved in an unending, mission-less conflict in Afghanistan, for example. It’s clear that most of these conflicts in recent years have been contrary to the Catholic “just war” theory—not to mention unconstitutional. The “American values” we export through our military might and cultural influence are increasingly antithetical to Catholic morality.

Is American secession realistic? Or is it just the wishful thinking of a few deluded individuals? There’s no question a secession movement would face many difficult obstacles. However, as our country drives itself further and further away from its historic Judeo-Christian values, Catholics should be seriously thinking about how to peacefully overcome those obstacles if we want to preserve religious freedom and justice at least in some places on this continent.

If secession is inevitable, then the longer it is put off, the more likely it becomes that violent conflict will be the only remaining option. Secession might well be the most peaceful means to move forward, when the alternative is using the force of the state to keep people together who want to go their separate ways.

[Ryan M. Kelly/AFP via Getty Images]Eric Sammons

By Eric Sammons

Eric Sammons is a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of several books, including The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did (Catholic Answers, 2017).

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End the Great American Myth: Secession, Not Revolution

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2020

Nothing would give Klaus Schwab and The Davos Crowd more pleasure than turning us into them — willing to use indiscriminate violence to push otherwise humble and decent people into crazed killers and repudiate their inherent meekness, their inherent desire to pursue their bliss, allowing everyone else that same courtesy.

But, leftism as practiced today, is aggressive. It is rapacious and rests on the idea that no one can exist outside their preferred outcome lest anyone see their world for the nightmare it truly is.

Secession is not only not an option, it is expressly verboten.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/12/22/end-american-myth-secession-not-revolution/

Author: Tom Luongo

I remember the 1970’s driving around New York City with my family during the holidays like they were yesterday.

Back then the talk in the front seat of the car between my parents was New York City’s bankruptcy. My dad, NYPD at the time, was as much a part of this as anyone since the Police pension fund helped bail out the city government back then.

The West Side Highway fell down and because of that I grew up with a fear of heights and, especially bridges. I really hated taking the back way (New Jersey) into Staten Island. The mere mention of the Outer Bridge crossing would nearly put me into a panic attack.

I remember thinking then, “If these people can’t pay the bills now, what’s it going to be in ten or twenty years?” Sure, I was a naive ten or eleven at the time and had no idea about capital flight, but the sentiment was sound.

Even then the Emperor was naked to this child’s eyes. This was Rome near the end and the Sword of Damocles hung over the heads of my generation in ways we could barely articulate.

So, for me, the idea of the U.S. breaking up into its component parts has been a constant companion most of my adult life. And, as a libertarian, I always think in terms of secession first, rather than revolution. It sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear the truth of what’s in front of us.

We’ve reached a very important moment in world history. It is that moment where the promises of classical liberalism are failing in the face of a creeping totalitarian nightmare.

America as mythology has always stood as the ‘shining house on the hill’ for this enlightened idea that the wishes of the individual pursuing his bliss creates the community and culture which lifts the world out of a Hobbesian State of Nature.

The war of all against all, (bellum omnium contra omnes).

But America as Mythology and America as Reality are two vastly different rough beasts. And it is that difference between them that is being exploited today by The Davos Crowd to set the process in motion for their next victory.

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market brought up the trap conservatives are being led into today in his recent article. He argues, quite persuasively, that the ‘right’ is being radicalized into thinking about an armed civil war to fight the corporatist left-wing useful idiots in an orgy of violence.

To be clear, what I believe is happening is that conservatives are being prodded and provoked, not to separate and organize but to centralize. I think they want us to support actions like martial law which would be considered totalitarian. Conservatives, the only stalwart defenders of civil liberties, using military suppression and abandoning the Bill of Rights to maintain political power? That is a dream come true for the globalists in the long term. And despite people’s faith in Trump, there are far too many banking elites and globalists within his cabinet to ensure that such power will not be abused or used against us later.

Nothing would give Klaus Schwab and The Davos Crowd more pleasure than turning us into them — willing to use indiscriminate violence to push otherwise humble and decent people into crazed killers and repudiate their inherent meekness, their inherent desire to pursue their bliss, allowing everyone else that same courtesy.

But, leftism as practiced today, is aggressive. It is rapacious and rests on the idea that no one can exist outside their preferred outcome lest anyone see their world for the nightmare it truly is.

Secession is not only not an option, it is expressly verboten.

I’ve made the argument that violence, not secession, is one very possible outcome of where the current political divide is taking us. Brandon uses the situation in Germany in the 1920s/30s as his historical guide. In short, Fascism rose to meet the violence of the Communists with the old monied elite providing the means for the conflict.

The parallels to today are striking. In November’s issue of Gold Goats ‘n Guns I likened the rising frustration of the American right to that of the Fremen Jihad of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune.

When you marginalize the tens of millions of people who produce the goods which sustain their false reality, when you remove their ability to speak their mind and make their voices heard, when you insult them, berate them, hector them and beat them then you will bear the consequences when the sleeper awakens, in Herbert’s words.

This isn’t a threat or an open letter of defiance. This is an observation of what always comes next. These people know that they have been lied to, their children spiritually separated from them. The election was a cruel joke meant to rub our noses in their complete power over us. You can
see it every day on Twitter.

What comes next will benothing short of a Fremenesque jihad by the 70+ million people who voted for Donald Trump. If his allies prove the systematic thievery of the election it will fuel a simmering anger to boiling over into a near-religious frenzy.

Because these are people who still believe in the Mythology of America, they are very susceptible to this programming. That mythology is worth fighting for in their minds.

Brandon Smith, however, is making a finer point which I tend to agree with. And that is that secession, not revolution, is always the better option rather than the pre-packaged violent one which the oligarchs always seem to prepare for us.

To broaden Brandon’s point, I want to challenge the precepts of that American mythology in the hope we can avoid the kind of religious war that is brewing.

There are two wars which bear most of the weight of that mythology — The American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War.

The first one is the good war. It is the foundation of the mythology. We know the narrative: brave colonials fought a war of independence, a war of secession, from the evil English. It brought forth the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and all the symbology of our shared American identity.

That mythology, while simplistic, held a core truth, that there are some things worth fighting for, when pushed to an extreme.

However, was 1770’s America that extreme a place? Was war the only practical outcome? Or was it the dream of those men whose tolerance for tyranny shallower than the norm. In other words, could America have seceded more peacefully in ten or twenty years’ time?

Viewed that way, this was a war of secession that the English and the Colonies didn’t have to fight. There may have been an equitable way out of conflict. But the colonies chose war just as much as the Crown did if we’re being honest with ourselves.

The Civil War, on the other hand, is supposed to be the shameful one. And from the Mythology side it truly is. Lincoln’s war can only be characterized as a war to prevent secession in the same way that Crown fought to prevent the colonies from seceding.

The mythology states this was the war we had to fight to prevent slavery’s survival into the 20th century. But, was it that? Slavery may have been a dividing line to stoke the passions but it wasn’t the big factor driving the states apart, the Tariff of Abomination was.

Again, if we’re being honest with ourselves wasn’t Lincoln’s war where the ideals of the American Revolution – a compact between the sovereign states – were finally betrayed?

Aren’t we reaping the whirlwind of that war today with a Supreme Court who believes it has the power to ignore interstate grievances because none of the justices, even Thomas and Alito, believe in the compact of equals today?

Remember, the South was more than willing to leave in peace. And any reasons Lincoln had for fighting the war over the seizure of Federal property, i.e. the proximate cause for the events at Fort Sumter, could have been worked out, again, equitably as gentlemen, rather than through the butchering of 600,000 Americans over four years.

From the Mythology Lincoln is the Great Uniter and Buchanan, his predecessor, the Worst President in History simply because he refused to either bail out the railroad banks in 1857 or prevent the South’s secession in 1860.

What if the mythology of America today has these two wars backwards? What if all the conservatives mourning the Constitution today thanks to a feckless Supreme Court and treasonous Congress have it all wrong? What if the America they mourn the death of today died in 1865 not 2020?

Would that America still be worth finally fighting a bloody civil war for? Because that’s what The Davos Crowd is daring Donald Trump to do.

What if the better response is to do what the South tried to do and failed.

Simply walk away and say, “No more.”

Because fighting the bloody war of all against all, becoming raving fascists rising up to stop the rapacious (and economically backwards) communists in the process is always the wrong option.

Secession is always an option. Opting out of the hyper-collectivizing impulses of in-group/out-group bias is always the right choice. They want us to throw the first punch, to lash out, fire first out of fear, c.f. Fort Sumter, to justify their brutality afterwards.

But, as I said in the quote above, the states with the grievances today are the ones that produce the wealth of this fiction known as the U.S. It’s where the food is grown, the electricity generated, the goods produced and people aren’t shitting in the streets.

The food lines may be long in Texas but there’s still food to distribute.

The balance of power in the U.S. today in real terms is reverse of what existed in 1860. Post-Trump America looks a lot different than pre-Lincoln.

Because of that and the reality that the people pulling off this great coup against sanity are some of the most unimpressive leaders in history, the potential for a successful secession is far higher than it was for the Confederacy.

Brandon Smith is right that they invoke the Confederacy to shame conservatives as racists, conflating issues separated by more than 150 years of history. This is why the all-out assault on the history of the war, whitewashing it of any nuance.

Theirs is a mind-virus that grows beyond the ability of the oligarchy to control. And it is truly best to not just walk but run away from such people. Better to let them sink into their own cesspit of ideological rabbit holes while keeping the lines of trade open, if they have anything worth selling, of course.

They will turn on themselves soon enough.

Having grown up a Yankee and matured as a Southerner I’ve seen this descent of the American mythology from both perspectives. The eleven year-old me knew this day would come.

The Mythology of America is just that, mythology, worth using as the basis for the new story rather than a shackle keeping us chained down, staring at the Abyss and despairing at what was lost.

New York was a dream not a fixture in the night sky. God didn’t put his finger on the Empire State Building and spin the world.

Because Texas was too big for it to ever stay in balance, even if he did. And California is one bad day away from Big One which washes it from our memory.


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The Media Is Now Openly Pushing Secession as the Election Nears | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 9, 2020

At this point, there is only one strategy that can prevent a continued slide toward conflict, disunion, and (possibly) violence: decentralization of political power.

https://mises.org/wire/media-now-openly-pushing-secession-election-nears?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=954cb990c5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-954cb990c5-228343965

Ryan McMaken

It’s becoming increasingly clear to even mainstream media outlets that things are unlikely to return to “normal” after the 2020 election.

No matter who wins, it is likely the losing side will regard the winning side as having obtained its win using dirty tricks, foreign meddling, or through relentless propaganda offered up by a heavily biased and one-sided news media.

And if about half the country regards the winning president as illegitimate, where does one go from there?

The survey data isn’t exactly calming on this issue. As reported by Politico last week, the percentage of Americans who believe it is justified to use violence to “advance political goals” has quadrupled since 2017, for both Republicans and Democrats.

After all, political invective has reached a fever pitch since Hillary Clinton declared that a sizable portion of the United States population constituted a “basket of deplorables.” Perhaps not since the 1870s and 1880s—when Catholics, Southerners, and Irish (all core constituents of the Democratic Party) were denounced by Republicans as spies, traitors, and drunks—has half the country so despised the other half. As early as 2017, when asked of the chances of another civil war in the United States,  about one-third of foreign policy scholars polled said it was likely.

Perhaps, then, it is not shocking that we are now seeing articles even in mainstream publications suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the United States can’t continue in its present form. Moreover, the view is now increasingly being promoted by writers and ideologues outside the usual conservative and libertarian groups that have long advocated in favor of decentralization and local control.

On September 18, for example, Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune asked: “Can the United States survive this election?” For the past century, the answer given by most any mainstream journalist would have been a decisive yes. The usual narrative has long been this: “Of course America will endure for centuries to come! We Americans are masters of compromise. We’ll all soon realize we are all in this together and come together in unity!”

But now Chapman writes:

The concept of splitting off is as American as the Fourth of July. The high point of separation sentiment came after Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860, resulting in the Civil War. But New England states contemplated leaving over the War of 1812….The bonds that hold Americans together have frayed, and what happens on Nov. 3 may do additional damage. No nation lasts forever, and ours won’t be the first. This election won’t be the end of the United States. But it could be the beginning of the end.

Moreover, Chapman notes that while many no doubt will continue to see the United States as strong and likely to endure indefinitely, such assumptions may be unwise given the reality of experience elsewhere:

In 1970, the Russian dissident Andrei Amalrik wrote a book titled, “Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?” At the time, the idea of a giant superpower disintegrating sounded like a fantasy. But it eventually came true. … Countries like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia also have broken apart. Britain is leaving the European Union, and Scotland could push to leave Britain. It would be folly to think the United States is immune to these forces.

Chapman is not alone.

Last month in the Philadelphia Inquirer Chuck Bonfig suspected that maybe the end is near:

The country has gone through many periods of strife in my time here: assassinations, recessions, desegregation, inflation, gas crisis, Watergate, hanging chads, the AIDS crisis, 9/11. Maybe it’s the 24-hour news cycle or the immediacy of social media that makes the landscape seem so bleak, but I don’t recall us ever being so divided.

No one in our country seems happy today. The right is angry. The left is despondent. Our nation reminds me of those married couples who try to stay together for “the children” but end up making everyone around them miserable.

Maybe it’s time for a breakup….Just think about it, America. I know breaking up is hard to do. We used to be good together. But what is the point of having the “greatest country in the world” if none of us actually like it?

The debate over separation and secession has been additionally pushed into the national debate by Richard Kreitner and his book Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union. Kreitner, who writes for the leftist magazine The Nation, suggests that the United States has never been as unified as many suggest and also concludes that secession and division may be a necessary tactic in bringing about the left-wing reforms he’d like to see. In an interview with The Nation, Kreitner discussed how he began to think about secession as a serious solution:

What if the United States broke apart? Would that be such a bad thing? Is it possible that the progressive policies and programs that I wanted to see put into place might be easier to enact in a smaller entity than the United States, with its 330 million people and the need to always convince people with very different attitudes and interests? So with that question, I was curious if anybody else in American history had favored secession for noble or progressive reasons—not to perpetuate slavery but even to oppose it.

The answer, I quickly found, is yes: There were disunion abolitionists who were fiercely against slavery and who wanted the northern states to secede from the union in the 1840s and 1850s as a way not only to protest slavery but to undermine it. Taking in their arguments and their rhetoric was really, really interesting.

Kreitner goes on to note that secession has long been at the forefront of American political ideology. This, of course, goes back to the secession of the American Revolution and can also be found in the secession movement favored by abolitionists and in New England’s efforts to secede during the War of 1812.

Kreitner is right.

Secession has long been entertained by many Americans, and not just defenders of the old Confederacy. In the early days of Southern secession, many Americans—including those who didn’t like the South or slavery—were fine with the Confederacy’s departure. New Yorker George Templeton Strong, for instance, declared in 1861, “the self-amputated members [the Southern states] were diseased beyond immediate cure, and their virus will infect our system no longer.” That same year, other New Yorkers seriously discussed leaving the Union and becoming a city-state devoted to free trade. In 1876, the battle over who won the presidential election very nearly produced a national split, with the pro-Democrat governor of New York “promising state resistance” to the Republican usurpers.

Nor were the nation’s founders necessarily opposed to division. Thomas Jefferson expressed prosecessionist views, even when he was a sitting president. In an 1803 letter to John Breckinridge, Jefferson explained that if the future states of the Louisiana Territory sought to secede that was fine with him:

[If] it should become the great interest of those nations to separate from this, if their happiness should depend on it so strongly as to induce them to go through that convulsion, why should the Atlantic states dread it? But especially why should we, their present inhabitants, take a side in such a question?

And in 1804, Jefferson wrote to Joseph Priestly stating:

Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe it not very important to the happiness of either part.

Only Decentralization Can Save the Union

At this point, there is only one strategy that can prevent a continued slide toward conflict, disunion, and (possibly) violence: decentralization of political power.

Thanks to decades of growing centralization of power in Washington, DC, American policy is increasingly made by the national government and not by state and local authorities. This means American life is more and more governed by one-size-fits-all policies hatched by faraway politicians in DC. Thus, with each passing election, the stakes become higher as gun policy, healthcare, poverty relief, abortion, the drug war, education, and much more will be decided by the party that wins in DC, and not in the state capitol or in the city council. In other words, the laws that govern Arizona will be primarily made by politicians and judges from other places entirely. These faraway politicians will be more concerned with the needs and ideology of a national party, rather than with the specific needs of people who live in Arizona. 

It is only natural that as the national government becomes supercharged in this way many Americans might start considering ways to get beyond the central government’s reach.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The United States could follow another path in which domestic policy is created and enforced in a decentralized manner, in which laws for Texans are made in Texas and laws for Californians are made in California. This, of course, is what Thomas Jefferson imagined when he wrote that the states should be self-governing and unified only on matters of foreign policy:

The true theory of our constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only.

In a decentralized political scheme such as this, the stakes in a national election are much lower. It doesn’t matter as much for Ohioans which party is in power in Washington when relatively few laws affecting Ohioans are made at the federal level. 

To adopt this way of doing things, however, would require a sizable departure from the current ideology that reigns in Washington. On the left especially, it seems few can imagine a world where people in Iowa or Indiana are allowed to run their own schools and healthcare systems without meddling from Washington. While conservatives’ efforts to force marijuana prohibition on states like Colorado show that the Right is not immune from this impulse, it is abundantly clear that the Left is quite enthusiastic about the idea of sending federal enforcers to ensure the states enact abortion on demand, adopt Obamacare, and enforce drug prohibitions as dictated by Washington.

But unless Americans have a change of heart and begin to decentralize the political system, expect a growing unwillingness to accept the outcomes of national elections and growing resistance to the federal government in general. What follows is unlikely to be pleasant. Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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