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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘secession’

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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Nationalism and Secession – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 24, 2020

Other things being equal, the lower the tax and regulation burden imposed by a government on its domestic economy, the larger its population tends to grow (for internal reasons as well as immigration factors), and the larger the amount of domestically produced wealth on which it can draw in its conflicts with neighboring competitors. For this reason centralization is frequently progressive. States that tax and regulate their domestic economies little—liberal states—tend to defeat, and expand their territories at the expense of, nonliberal ones

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/hans-hermann-hoppe/nationalism-and-secession/

By

[Published in Chronicles, Nov. 1993, p. 23–25]

With the collapse of communism all across Eastern Europe, secessionist movements are mushrooming. There are now more than a dozen independent states on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and many of its more than 100 different ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups are striving to gain independence. Yugoslavia has dissolved into various national components. Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia now exist as independent states. The Czechs and the Slovaks have split and formed independent countries. There are Germans in Poland, Hungarians in Slovakia, Hungarians, Macedonians, and Albanians in Serbia, Germans and Hungarians in Romania, and Turks and Macedonians in Bulgaria who all desire independence. The events of Eastern Europe have also given new strength to secessionist movements in Western Europe: to the Scots and Irish in Great Britain, the Basques and Catalonians in Spain, the Flemish in Belgium, and the South Tyrolians and the Lega Nord in Italy.

From a global perspective, however, mankind has moved closer than ever before to the establishment of a world government. Even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States had attained hegemonical status over Western Europe (most notably over West Germany) and the Pacific rim countries (most notably over Japan)—as indicated by the presence of American troops and military bases, by the NATO and SEATO pacts, by the role of the American dollar as the ultimate international reserve currency and of the U.S. Federal Reserve System as the “lender” or “liquidity provider” of last resort for the entire Western banking system, and by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Moreover, under American hegemony the political integration of Western Europe has steadily advanced. With the establishment of a European Central Bank and a European Currency Unit (ECU), the European Community will be complete before the turn of the century. In the absence of the Soviet Empire and its military threat, the United States has emerged as the world’s sole and undisputed military superpower.

A look at history reveals yet another perspective. At the beginning of this millennium, Europe consisted of thousands of independent territorial units. Now, only a few dozen such units remain. To be sure, decentralizing forces also existed. There was the progressive disintegration of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century until after World War I and the establishment of modern Turkey. The discontiguous Habsburg Empire was gradually dismembered from the time of its greatest expansion under Charles V until it disappeared and modern Austria was founded in 1918. However, the overriding tendency was in the opposite direction. For instance, during the second half of the 17th century, Germany consisted of some 234 countries, 51 free cities, and 1,500 independent knightly manors. By the early 19th century, the total number of all three had fallen below 50, and by 1871 unification had been achieved. The scenario in Italy was similar. Even the small states have a history of expansion and centralization. Switzerland began in 1291 as a confederation of three independent cantonal states. By 1848 it was a single (federal) state with some two dozen cantonal provinces.

How should one interpret these phenomena? According to the orthodox view, centralization is generally a “good” and progressive movement, whereas disintegration and secession, even if sometimes unavoidable, represent an anachronism. It is assumed that larger political units—and ultimately a single world government—imply wider markets and hence increased wealth. As evidence of this, it is pointed out that economic prosperity has increased dramatically with increased centralization. However, rather than reflecting any truth, this orthodox view is more illustrative of the fact that history is typically written by its victors. Correlation or temporal coincidence do not prove causation. In fact, the relationship between economic prosperity and centralization is very different from—indeed, almost the opposite of—what orthodoxy alleges.

Political integration (centralization) and economic (market) integration are two completely different phenomena. Political integration involves the territorial expansion of a government’s power of taxation and property regulation (expropriation). Economic integration is the extension of the interpersonal and interregional division of labor and market participation.

In principle, in taxing and regulating (expropriating) private property owners and market income earners, all governments are counterproductive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the Civil War Wasn’t About Slavery – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 15, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/07/no_author/why-the-civil-war-wasnt-about-slavery/

By Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.,

From the 1870s to the late 1950s, there was an unofficial truce between the North and South. Each side recognized and saluted the courage of the other; it was conceded that the North fought to preserve the Union and because Old Glory had been fired on, and the Southerner fought for liberty and to defend his home; the two great heroes of the war were Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee; and the South admitted that slavery was wrong but never conceded that it was cruel.

Around 1960, the Democratic Party—led by Lyndon B. Johnson—advanced the modern incarnation of identity politics. It worked very well for them. In the election of 1956, 75% of African-Americans voted Republican. By 1964, more than 90% of them voted Democrat, and they have been doing so until 2020. As part of their effort to control and manipulate the black vote, the Leftists and their myrmidons advanced the myth that the Civil War was all about slavery. It wasn’t. It was, in my opinion, about money, more than anything else. Now, at this point, I know some of my liberal friends will bristle up and say: “It was too all about slavery!” Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but let me ask you this: What was slavery about?

ANSWER: It was about money.

The “it was all about slavery” argument is an oversimplified and infantile claim that has duped many people. Those who subscribe to this flawed theory ignore one undeniable fact: history is messy. It is almost never as simple as the modern Left would have you believe. Oh, sure, slavery was an issue, but it was certainly not the only issue and not even the dominant one. Listed below are eleven others:

1. The Question of What Kind of Government Would We Have? Would we follow the Alexander Hamilton’s big government/commercial state model, featuring a strong, centralized government, a chief executive with almost royal powers, a Senate elected for life, high tariffs to encourage manufacturing at the expense of agriculture, a strong National Bank to control the currency, and high public land prices to generate income for Washington, D.C., to finance internal improvements (especially canals and roads in the North), selling public lands at high prices would also have the advantage of keeping the new waves of immigrants from Europe in the cities. Because they could not afford to buy land and therefore could not farm, they would have to remain in the cities, providing a ready pool of cheap labor for big business.

The alternative was the small government, “governs best which governs least” philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. This viewpoint was adopted by his intellectual heirs, John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis, among others. The Hamiltonian model was adopted by Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln, who embraced Clay’s “America System” ideas as his political North Star.

One never hears about this nowadays because it is largely a dead issue. It was settled at Appomattox. Big government won. And it is still winning. This is why one can say that, when it comes to the Civil War, in a sense, both sides lost.

2. Northern corporate greed. Northern corporations liked high tariffs (taxes) on goods the South imported, because it reduced competition with European manufacturers and allowed them to charge higher prices for often substandard goods. The tax revenue went to Washington, which used it to subsidize Northern industries (both directly and indirectly) at the expense of Southern agriculture. Cotton was especially lucrative. In 1859, the value of exported cotton totaled $161,000,000. The value of all Northern exports combined was just over $70,000,000. By 1860, the Federal budget was $80,000,000. Seventy million of that was paid by the South. One section, which amounted to 29% of the population, was paying more than 82% of the taxes. Of that, four out of five dollars was being used for internal improvements in the North. This was not good enough for Abraham Lincoln. He backed an increase in the tariff from 24% to 47% (and 51% on items containing iron). He got his way. This tariff rate was in effect until 1913.

3. Northern hypocrisy. The North also had slaves. It is an actual fact that Massachusetts had slavery 78 years longer than Mississippi. They freed their slaves by a process called manumission, which was designed so that the Northern master didn’t lose any money. Wall Street continued to finance Southern plantations, and thus slavery, until the Civil War. The Northern bankers wanted slaves as collateral and preferred them to land. Very often, “Massa” used the money he borrowed from Northern banks to purchase more slaves. The Northern bankers thus financed slavery.

Also, it did not escape the attention of the Southern editors that the slave fleets did not headquarter in Southern ports. They operated out of Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, joined later by New York City. The Lincoln regime did nothing to restrict these Northern shipping interests. Nor did this stop with the war. It continued until 1885, 20 years after Lee surrendered, when Brazil became the last nation in the New World to outlaw the international slave trade. Southern editorial writers hammered home all these points in the 1840s and 1850s, when charges of Northern hypocrisy were quite common in Southern newspapers.

4. Abolitionist terrorism. The greatest fear most Southerners had before 1861 was the slave revolt along the lines of that experienced by Haiti in 1791. Many abolitionists called for them, and some of them financially supported John Brown’s terrorist attack on Harpers Ferry in 1859. Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. DuBois called the shots fired here and the first shots of the Civil War. They were probably right.

5. Republican willingness to protect terrorists. The John Brown terrorists who escaped to the North were incarcerated. The states with Republican governors refused to extradite them and let them go. The South looked upon this as a preview of what they could expect from a Republic president. When John Brown seized Harpers Ferry, Democratic President Buchanan sent in the Marines. The Southern leaders asked if they could expect the same from a Republican president? The answer was no.

6. The Federal budget grossly favored the North (see Number 2 above).

7. Cultural differences. These are too complex to innumerate here, but they still exist. Because of television, they are less pronounced than they were in 1860, but they are still there.

8. Political power. Because of immigration, the demographics caused a power shift in favor of the North. By 1860, the South felt (with considerable justification) that it was doomed to become an economic colony of the North if it remained in the Union, so it did not.

9. Constitutional Issues. After large sections of New England threatened to secede five times between 1803 and 1860, Lincoln and his cronies suddenly decided that the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (somehow) did not apply to the South in 1861, and that the powers not delegated to the states or the people somehow did not count when it came to secession. But after the war, the Federal government refused to bring Jefferson Davis (or any other Southern leader) to trial, even though he demanded it, because as Senator Sumner (a radical Republican) wrote to Chief Justice Chase: “because by the Constitution, secession is not treason.”

10. Nineteenth-Century Fake News. In 1832, a motion to abolish slavery failed in the Virginia legislature by a vote of 58 to 65. Four years later, the legislature made it a crime even to advocate abolition. The difference? Northern abolitionist propaganda, which was often hateful, salacious, and untruth. It made the slavery issue sectional. In the 1830s, anti-slavery societies in the South outnumbered those in the North 106 to 24. By 1850, there were no anti-slavery societies in the South—zip, zero, nada.

11.Economic Issues After Secession. The Confederacy set its tariff rates at 10%. (If it was good enough for God, it was good enough for them.) There was no way Lincoln’s 47% tariff could compete with that for foreign trade. Lincoln legitimately feared the Northern economy would crash into a recession, if not a depression, and the Federal Government would lose 82% of its tax base, so Washington would be in desperate straits. Because Northern public opinion did not support a war (many Northerners said “Good riddance!” to the South), Lincoln had to walk a political tightrope. He had to instigate a war and make it appear that the South started it by maneuvering Jefferson Davis into firing the first shot. The slick corporate lawyer was up to this as well, but that is a story for another time.

When one has written an entire book about a subject like the causes of the Civil War, it is difficult to condense it into 1,500 words or so. Suffice it to say that the onset of the Civil War was much more complex than the average American today thinks it was. For those astonished by the facts I have mentioned above, I hope you are inspired to do further reading on the subject. To paraphrase Harry Truman: the only thing new is the history you don’t know.

 

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bionic mosquito: Reflections

Posted by M. C. on July 13, 2020

I suggest we start by reducing the number of laws on the books – eliminate all laws against non-violent offenses. Second, demilitarize; almost every department has SWAT teams and the like that are supplied like military invaders of Afghanistan.

After that, we can talk about defunding the police.

https://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2020/07/reflections.html

A few items rattling their way through my brain. Time to get rid of these.

History

We have seen statues come down, statues not only of slaveholders (which would require the removal of most statues around the world of anyone born before around 1830 and a few born since), but statues of those who worked to free slaves and those who were slaves. The point isn’t slavery; the point is history.

As many have noted, and I have recently written about, a nation without a story is not a nation. This is the endgame of removing all statues – more accurately, removing the symbols that reflect the history of the nation. Who does this benefit? If we can judge by the people who are tearing down the statues, it doesn’t benefit what might be described as civil society.

I have done my own share of tearing down statues, so to speak. Call it revisionist history. My contribution is meager compared to many who have done the same. I wonder: what is different about what I have done compared to what is done when statues are torn down?

I guess I would say: my work was with the aim of exposing false narratives in our history, of giving some evidence in history that would alter the narrative. It strikes me that such work can only help strengthen the nation by placing its history on firmer footing; it can strengthen the nation by properly reflecting on and recognizing its past sins.

But is this just rationalization on my part? Is this not what today’s (physical) revisionists would say?

This got me to thinking: a nation whose official historical narrative is compiled of many lies might inherently be headed down the road of its statues being torn down. Building a narrative of lie upon lie merely opens the door for those who wish to question the foundation – and rightly so, it seems to me.

We read in Proverbs 19: 5 “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Perhaps tearing down statues is America’s comeuppance for building one false narrative on top of the other.

Anyway, returning to my question: what’s the difference of the work I have done vs. the tearing down of the statues today? I guess I can say my work was in search of truth – open to someone revising what I described; the physical revisionists are only able to tear down, regardless of narrative: slaveowner, slave trader, abolitionist, or slave. It is a task solely of destruction, with no attempt at leaving truth in its wake.

Such as these are not facing history honestly. I guess, ultimately, this is the difference of my work and theirs. Whether I am furthering truth or not is the task of the next revisionist to decide. But approaching it honestly? I believe so.

Secession

Why didn’t I cheer on CHAZ or CHOP or whatever name they wanted to use? Three years or so ago, Catalunya was voting on secession. I wrote then, and have written since: cheer on every opportunity for secession; if those in the seceding group do not wish to secede, then support their secession from this group.

So, why not cheer on CHAZ? What’s different? I guess I can answer it with a quote from Jeff Deist, writing at the time of the vote in Spain:

For libertarians, self-determination is the highest political end. In political terms, self-determination is liberty. In an ideal world, self-determination extends all the way to the individual, who enjoys complete political sovereignty over his or her life. The often misused term for this degree of complete self-determination is anarchy.

So, first there is the question of self-determination.

In an imperfect world, however, libertarians should support smaller and more decentralized governments as a pragmatic step toward greater liberty. Our goal should be to devolve political power whenever possible, making states less powerful and easier to avoid. Barcelona is less ominous than Madrid. The Legislature in a US state is less fearsome than Congress in Washington DC.

It seems correct to me – ever-smaller levels of government bring governmental leaders closer to the community, and give those in the community more opportunities to find a situation better suited to their preferences. But this only works to advance liberty if the higher governmental institution does not continue usurping life and property from those who have now seceded. So this is a second consideration.

But then we have this line:

Street gangs are bad, but they can be avoided in ways Uncle Sam cannot.

So, why did I not cheer on the street gang in Seattle as I did the secessionists in Catalunya? I guess for a few reasons – and I suspect Deist would concur: first, it is not clear that there was any “self-determination” by those who lived and worked and owned businesses in the district on this matter; from what I can understand, it was kind of the opposite. Maybe I am wrong one this.

Second, the higher levels of government didn’t leave those inside alone: still obligated for taxes, still obligated to the laws (well, not the armed thugs, but those whose homes and businesses were destroyed). The only way that these people were left alone was in the only function the higher entity owed them: defense of life and property.

Which brings me to the third reason: until we come to a stateless society, should we not expect those in government and authority to do their jobs? By “jobs,” I don’t mean spying and flying drones over wedding parties and the like. I mean protect life and property – the only proper role of a government if there is to be a government. This clearly didn’t happen in Seattle. In fact, it was the opposite.

Those looting and destroying were left free by the government that was supposed to protect from such thuggery. Imagine what would happen if a private citizen-victim of these looters did the government’s job in the stead of those who had the obligation. This defender of his property would have been the one sent to the gallows.

So, I guess my point is this: this event in Seattle was no secession. It was a militarized invasion, with those responsible for defense abandoning their duty while leaving illegal the possibility of defense by those whose property and lives were jeopardized. Which brings me to…

Pulling the Plug

Would libertarians be happy with pulling the plug on the existing state structures, confident that freedom would then ring – that eventually things would work out? Working through this question in the past is one of the reasons I concluded that a proper cultural foundation is necessary before one can consider anything like liberty – or consider anything like pulling the plug.

If I was a resident in the CHAZ district of Seattle, I suspect I would feel even more confident of this view than I did before.

And, Finally…

In the absence of my free ability to properly defend my property (as all legal risk and all laws are against those who will do so), and in the absence of my ability to secure the services of a private and competing defense agency (which would be cost prohibitive for many reasons and would also open me up to the liabilities of a criminal), what are we to do with today’s police? Defund them? Spit on them?

I suggest we start by reducing the number of laws on the books – eliminate all laws against non-violent offenses. Second, demilitarize; almost every department has SWAT teams and the like that are supplied like military invaders of Afghanistan.

After that, we can talk about defunding the police.

Be seeing you

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How to Fight the Woke…and Win – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on June 19, 2020

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/06/how_to_fight_the_wokeand_win.html

By Damian Max

The Woke are everywhere.  They’re in our schools, in government, and at our places of work.  More importantly, the Woke are on the move.  They are coming for you, for me, and for anyone else who does not subscribe to their quasi-religion.  Don’t fool yourself — you are not safe.  The Woke are at war with anyone who opposes them, and it does not matter if you just want to be left alone.  You will have to bend the knee or fight.

Here are a dozen strategies that you can start using right now

1. Adopt the right mindset and take action.  As mentioned, we are in a cultural and political war, whether we want to be or not.  So adopt an appropriate mindset.  Get mentally tough.  Get ready for battle.  Remember that the Woke are not your friends.  They despise you.  Realize that they will lie about you, not play fair, and try to crush you into submission.  Accept that family and friends may turn on you once you show your opposition to the Woke agenda.  And understand that some of your own “leaders” and “allies” will happily betray you to virtue-signal to the Woke.  So watch your back and take action yourself, for it is action that matters, not words.

2. Become anti-fragile.  In war, you must always secure your supply lines.  One of the Woke’s most powerful weapons is economic pressure, so take that away from them as much as possible.  Grow some of your own food, start a side business, or form a self-supporting tribe (like a church group that financially supports itself in case one member gets fired by the Woke).  Being anti-fragile will allow you to stand firm when you need to speak the truth, which brings us to Point 3.

3. Speak the truth.  In our age of Woke emotionalism, truth-telling is the truly revolutionary act.  So speak the truth, and do so boldly.  This does not mean doing so in every situation, but if pressed, you cannot let the Woke steamroll you into silent submission.  Moreover, wear that MAGA hat.  Be proud.  Display your beliefs through symbols.  The fact is that boldness and visible symbolism build morale, and they will likely inspire others to speak up as well.

4. Never apologize, and never quit.  The Woke view an apology as a confession, not as a chance at reconciliation.  As such, never apologize.  You will only be made to grovel further or surrender completely.  At the same time, never quit.  That is what your spineless employer will want you to do to save him the trouble of firing you.  Don’t do it.  Make them fire you, then move to Point 5.

5. Use lawfare.  If you have the means, then use lawfare against the Woke at any and every opportunity (which is one reason why electing President Trump and getting good judges is important).  For instance, if your employer fires you to appease the Woke mob, then make him pay for it.  Don’t go quietly.  Instead, hit him with the hardest legal counterpunch that you can.  It won’t always work, but it will sometimes, and that matters.

6. Arm yourself.  Exercise your God-given rights and arm yourself thoroughly.  After all, a sheep is much easier to cage than a lion.

7. Starve the Woke while feeding your allies.  Stop giving money or time to any Woke-supporting group.  Stop supporting Woke universities or businesses.  Stop watching Netflix and the NFL.  Just stop.  Starve them to the greatest extent possible.  And push to defund any such groups that receive public funds.  Just as importantly, support any ally that has started his own platform or business to compete with such organizations.  Donate to them.  Spread the word about them.  Write good reviews about them.  Such support is easy to do and pays dividends.

8. Vote in everything.  Vote in school council elections, city elections, etc.  Vote in everything.  Granted, voting will not defeat the Woke, but it will provide our side with some temporary victories, and it will buy time for the ultimate solution to this problem (see Point 12).

9. Use your power.  Get into any position of political, business, and/or cultural power, then keep your sphere of influence anti-Woke.  And yes, this means mercilessly purging any Wokester from the domain that you control.  Remember, we are at war, and they would do the same to you in a heartbeat.  In fact, they already have.  And since they made the new rules, it’s only fair that we abide by them.

10. Use the Woke’s tactics against them.  We may not wish to, but it is time to use the Woke’s tactics against them.  Establish gun sanctuary zones.  Disinvite Woke speakers.  Tear down statues of Woke heroes who were flawed in some way.  If the Woke want “cancel culture,” then it is time to cancel the Woke wherever and whenever we can.

11. Have children, and don’t send them to Woke schools.  Children are the future, and if the culture war against the Woke turns out to be a 700-year Reconquista rather than a short skirmish, then having children is vital.  So have many kids, but do not let them be indoctrinated in Woke schools.  (If you are young, and don’t want the Woke to have leverage against you, then hold off on children.  However, when you get anti-fragile, have many.)

12. Support secession.  Let’s be honest, the time has come for some areas in the U.S. to be allowed to go and build their desired Woketopia.  We should let them go — not just figuratively, but literally.  After all, the United States are indeed states, but they are not united.   And secession is the only peaceful and moral long-term solution to the division in America.  The other alternatives are continuing political and cultural war — with serious violence being a real possibility — or total political and cultural submission for one side or the other.  But the former option is worse than secession, and the latter one is immoral.  Moreover, it is just wrong that every four years, nearly half the country is shaking in fear at the prospect that the other side might win the election.  Not to mention that such fear is a sign — a big, bright neon sign — that two groups of people so culturally and morally different should no longer be together.  Thus, to defeat the Woke peacefully but permanently, secession is the only real answer.  And if America is truly an idea, then it is an idea that can be recreated anywhere, even in a newly formed country.

These twelve strategies are a roadmap for success against the Woke.  If we use them, we will certainly face hardships.  We will suffer.  But in the end, we will win.

Damian Max is an author who just wants to live in a sane country.

Be seeing you

 

 

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America’s Totalitarian Ruling Class and Its Willing Slaves – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2020

Your author used to have a quotation on his office door from Ringo Starr, of all people, that said:  “Everything government touches turns to crap.”  No truer words were ever spoken.  The inevitable failures of government (Did the Centers for Disease Control succeed in controlling the coronavirus disease?) elicits a typical response from politicians:  ramp up their totalitarian dictates, as so many of today’s governors are doing at the moment, after the original dictates proved to be failures.

“The worst” do not do it all alone.  The have help from a large segment of the population that assists them in making them their own de facto slaves.

You see these people every day all over America: The man driving alone in his car wearing a face mask. The couple out walking on a windy day wearing face masks and scurrying off whenever they see another human being; those who answer opinion polls in the affirmative when asked if the lockdown should last “until a vaccine is available;”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/thomas-dilorenzo/americas-totalitarian-ruling-class-and-its-willing-slaves/

By

If the corona cold virus calamity teaches us anything it is that, with few exceptions, America’s political class is overwhelmingly dominated by fascists and totalitarians.  I speak of course of all the governors, mayors, and city and county council members who have taken it upon themselves to declare that their words are law, and to use the heavily-armed police forces at their disposal to enforce their “laws.” The Morticia Adams-ish governor of Michigan has become the face of today’s fascist totalitarian political class.

Real laws are passed by Congress and state legislatures and are signed by chief executives.  NONE of the “stay-at-home” orders are laws; they are the mere words of politicians and bureaucrats.  Nor are they based on “science.” In the true spirit of Abraham Lincoln, who arbitrarily redefined “treason” from its Article 3, Section 3 definition of “levying war upon” the free and independent states (which he was guilty of) to criticizing himself and his policies, the political class has not amended but simply redefined the Constitution to mean whatever words come out of either sides of their mouths.  This reminds your author of an old movie, “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” in which Burt Lancaster portrays a mad scientist who experiments on animals that he makes part human.  To control the beasts he tells them that he is their father and  and “The Sayer of the Law.”  Whatever he says is “the law” by virtue of his having said it.  America has become one big island of Dr. Moreaus hiding behind their titles of “governor” or “mayor.”

The Bill of Rights does not say that we have inalienable rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and religion “unless people get sick,” after all.  But, alas, the Constitution has essentially been a dead letter for generations.  Americans have long lived under the “Hamiltonian constitution,” which is whatever the politicians of the day say it is.   Jeffersonian “strict constructionism” was abandoned, essentially, at the end of the “Civil War.”

This fact is why almost all who are attracted to politics as a career today are totalitarian-minded thugs. They get into politics precisely because they want to yield this monopolistic, totalitarian power against their fellow citizens, who they often despise and hate, publicly labeling them with such words as “deplorable” and much worse.  There are a few exceptions, of course, the most magnificent of which is former Congressman Ron Paul, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

I also speak of the entire U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice, and virtually the entire judicial system, every member of whom has remained as silent as a church mouse while the rule of law in America was swept away in a mere six weeks.  Think of this the next time a “conservative Republican” in Washington pretends to be devoted to the Constitution.

The American public lost control of the federal government when the rights of secession and nullification were abolished in 1865.  John C. Calhoun was right when he explained in his Disquisition on Government that a written constitution would never be enough to control and restrain legal plunder.  Some mechanism that could be utilized by the people of the free and independent states, organized in political communities, was necessary if the central government was to be the servant rather than the master of the people, he said.  Naturally, Calhoun is one of the most demonized political figures in American history by the American ruling class.

Then came the deification and glorification of the Lincoln dictatorship, which turned into the deification of the presidency in general and of all its “executive powers” (i.e., mostly unconstitutional, dictatorial powers to wage war, enslave citizens through conscription, and everything else).  Federalism was destroyed by the “Civil War,” after which the states became mere franchises or appendages of the central government in Washington.  The federal government was turned into one giant monopoly of the worst kind:  One from which there can be no escape once it acquired the powers of money printing and income taxation.

The temptation to be one of the chosen few to yield such totalitarian powers is what causes the worst elements of society to pursue careers in politics, as F.A. Hayek explained in The Road to Serfdom.  Long gone are the days when public-spirited citizens would serve in Congress for a few years, their behavior constrained by “the chains of the Constitution,” as Jefferson once said, and then return to their private lives.

Your author used to have a quotation on his office door from Ringo Starr, of all people, that said:  “Everything government touches turns to crap.”  No truer words were ever spoken.  The inevitable failures of government (Did the Centers for Disease Control succeed in controlling the coronavirus disease?) elicits a typical response from politicians:  ramp up their totalitarian dictates, as so many of today’s governors are doing at the moment, after the original dictates proved to be failures.  As Hayek wrote (p. 135):  They “would soon have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure.  It is for this reason that the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism.”  That latter phrase is a perfect description of what America has become just in the last few months.  Hayek wrote this in his famous chapter 10, “Why the Worst Get on Top.”

“The worst” do not do it all alone.  The have help from a large segment of the population that assists them in making them their own de facto slaves.  This takes a large group, wrote Hayek, in order to present the appearance of legitimacy to the state’s totalitarian powers.  The perfect kind of large group, moreover, that is large enough to “impose their views on the values of life on all the rest” will be “those who form the ‘mass’ in the derogatory sense of the term, the least original and independent . . .”  Thus, the totalitarian fascist will be able to acquire the “support of all the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are prepared to accept a ready-made system of values if it is only drummed into their ears sufficiently and loudly and frequently” (i.e., “We’re all in this together.  We’re all in this together.  We’re all in this together.  We’re all in this together . . .”).  It will be “those whose vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed and whose passions and emotions are readily aroused who well swell the ranks of the totalitarian party,” wrote Hayek (p. 139).

You see these people every day all over America:  The man driving alone in his car wearing a face mask.  The couple out walking on a windy day wearing face masks and scurrying off whenever they see another human being; those who answer opinion polls in the affirmative when asked if the lockdown should last “until a vaccine is available;” the people giving you dirty looks at the grocery store, or complaining to the manger, that you are closer to them than six feet.  Everyone who Judge Napolitano calls “the sheeple,” in other words.

The “skillful demagogue,” Hayek continued, understands that it is “easier for people to agree on a negative program – on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off [the essence of Marxism] – than on any positive task.”  In the Germany of Hayek’s youth “it was the Jew” who “had come to be regarded as the representative of capitalism . . . .  German anti-Semitism and anti-capitalism spring from the same root . . . (pp. 139-140).

The U.S. government is constantly fabricating “another Hitler,” whether it is Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, the Sandinistas, Putin, and myriad others.  Even slicker, however, and a higher level of demagoguery altogether, is to define “the enemy” as something like “terror” or “the invisible enemy” of a virus that no one seems to understand.  Such things can be made to appear to be as common as the air that we breathe (literally, in the case of viruses), so that waging “war” against them, and the never-ending grabbing hold of more government power and the abolition of whatever is left of freedom, can go on forever.

The “docile and gullible” do not arise spontaneously as supporters of the fascist thugs who now rule over most of America.  They are cultivated by the political system.  The political ruling class of any country is always a tiny numerical minority that can be swept aside by the masses, who number in the millions.  Therefore, the state has an imperative to make at least a majority of “the masses” into docile and gullible serfs.  It does this by monopolizing all aspects of education.  As Murray Rothbard explained in his essay, “The Nature of the State”:  “Particularly important . . . is for the State to assume control over education, and thereby to mould the minds of its subjects.  In addition to influencing the universities through all manner of financial subventions, and through state-owned universities directly, the State controls education on the lower levels through the universal institutions of the public school, through certification requirements for private schools, and through compulsory attendance laws.  Add to this a virtually total control over radio and television – either through outright State ownership . . . or, as in the United States, by nationalization of the airwaves, and by the power of a federal commission to license the right of stations to use those frequencies and channels.”

  No one is born with an affinity toward being a slave; they have to be conditioned into thinking that way by the state’s totalitarian control of all aspects of “education.”  In return for being an essential part of the state’s relentless propaganda apparatus, the state’s “ideological minions,” by which Rothbard meant primarily university professors, are rewarded with endowed chairs at prestigious universities, government grants, awards, notoriety, fame, and positions as exalted advisors to the government.

All of this is why all of the home schooling spawned by all of the unconstitutional lockdown/stay-at-home orders created a genuine sense of panic among the state’s ideological minions.  So much so that they trotted out Harvard University educational “researchers” to proclaim that one insidious and harmful effect of the lockdowns has been the increase in independent-minded educational instruction that is not so directly under control of them and the powers that be for whom they work.  Their biggest fear, in other words, is that a widespread realization that homeschooling works could be a Trojan horse, or the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent that could expose the truth that emperor does not really have a fine set of clothes after all.

Be seeing you

 

 

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