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Posts Tagged ‘secession’

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.

 

Be seeing you

 

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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.

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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.

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Left and Right, Many Are Turning toward De Facto Secession—and That’s Not a Bad Thing | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2020

Fewer Americans feel at home in this country now. On the national scale, not even commercial events like the Super Bowl can unite us at the most superficial level.

In less than eight months, the presidential election cycle ends. That used to signify a day of national relief, no matter who won. Our political warring was over at last.

Anyone remember that country?

Murray Rothbard points out that the federal minimum wage law is a “protectionist device” weaponized by northeastern industrialists against their southern competitors, who have access to cheaper labor. He also cites “safety” regulations from the central government that essentially block the transportation of goods from one region to another.

https://mises.org/wire/left-and-right-many-are-turning-toward-de-facto-secession%E2%80%94and-thats-not-bad-thing?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=0c62c6ecbc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-0c62c6ecbc-228343965

Secession is less of a dirty word these days, but how it might actually work is a mystery. Fortunately, unless you’re a politician, there’s almost no downside. It’s a win for nationalists, open-borders advocates, and, most especially, for everyone in between.

New York splitting into two or three states, Illinoisans ditching Chicago, West Virginia welcoming in Virginia’s conservative counties, and northern Californians establishing their own State of Jefferson are a few recent campaigns.

These aren’t radical proposals, but rather a leveling up of what’s already common practice in the US. Mass exoduses from California, Illinois, Louisiana, and New York draw attention to the problems of these particular states, but why relocate if enough of your neighbors support simply redrawing state boundaries?

Immigration, abortion, gun rights, healthcare, and all the other issues that 330 million Americans bitterly fight over can be worked out in a decentralized fashion. Even the economy stands to improve if states partition into smaller units or even if they leave the US.

Aside from the frenzied “but this will cause another civil war” nonsense, the most unfounded concerns surround the economy. The fussbudgets are afraid that states will erect trade barriers, whether they ostensibly remain in the union or not.

Certainly some states will prefer different immigration policies, but barriers to trade among the states are mostly made possible by the federal government.

Murray Rothbard points out that the federal minimum wage law is a “protectionist device” weaponized by northeastern industrialists against their southern competitors, who have access to cheaper labor. He also cites “safety” regulations from the central government that essentially block the transportation of goods from one region to another.

Ryan McMaken observes why immigration restrictionists may be inclined to favor free trade:

If goods and services can’t move across borders, then people are more likely to move in order to reach those goods and services.

Plus, as free trade raises the standard of living for both sides, economic migration is that much less likely.

An increase in smaller states and more representatives in Congress threatens to effectively nullify much of the federal government’s unconstitutional activities. And for those concerned about the nation-state’s integrity, a leaner Washington, DC, may be a factor in newly formed states deciding to stay attached to the union.

However, the future of America could also be a collection of hybrid state-nations, as opposed to a large nation-state.

States running their own immigration systems apart from any national policy is now the norm, as sanctuary cities and states such as California show. States are also encroaching on foreign and monetary policy with efforts to withhold their national guard troops from unconstitutional wars or proposing that gold and silver be legal tender.

This decentralization of society may be necessary considering the deeper implications of this newfound, widespread interest in secessionist solutions.

Fewer Americans feel at home in this country now. On the national scale, not even commercial events like the Super Bowl can unite us at the most superficial level.

In less than eight months, the presidential election cycle ends. That used to signify a day of national relief, no matter who won. Our political warring was over at last.

Anyone remember that country?

We don’t live there anymore, and we won’t this November 3, either.

However, the losing side can be expected to push talk of secession to an all-time high. Thankfully, centralization is losing popularity among some rising demographics, including Hispanics, who support secession at a rate of 36 percent, and those aged 18–29, 47 percent of whom favor decentralization.

At a time when polarization is leading to radicalization on the left and right, it’s reassuring that so many are now open to a strategy that offers compromise.

Although secessionists may generally talk of “taking back” some rights or way of life, they follow this up with willingness to let others go their own route, even to the point of giving up geographical reach for their new state or nation.

Social cohesion is declining under the status quo, as institutions that traditionally hold the social fabric together are failing, from traditional churches to civic community centers. Under centralization, politics freely usurps these cultural vacancies.

Tragically, that leads to violent street clashes between activists, many hopelessly seeking a sense of purpose from the mob.

The year 2021 offers a political environment in which frustration at national politics can be positively directed toward local officials. Over a dozen major cities will hold mayoral elections, and countless other municipalities and neighborhoods will be holding elections or hearings in which nullification and secession can be raised, not to mention that there are state legislatures taking most of their action in the early months of the year, when secession talk may be trending on social media.

Public discussion need not be charged with partisanship. In fact, issue-based campaigns and coalitions can transcend ideologies, so this could be a great opportunity for someone not attached to a political identity to lead the charge.

Good fences make good neighbors, Robert Frost wrote. Americans are more severely divided than ever before, but redrawing some boundaries just might help form a more perfect reunion.

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Secession Studies – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2020

So which side would the U.S. military tend to support in a battle of secessionism vs. nationalism? My impression is that the U.S. military very much enjoys representing the strongest, most ass-kicking country on earth and intends to keep the USA that way.

And my guess is, military men like things just the way they are and have no intention of weakening America on the world stage by allowing petty politicians to split up the most awe-inspiring military in human history.

Any appeal to arms puts the final decision in the hands of the warriors. And they are nationalists who value, above all, the unity of the nation.

So, secession is not going to happen.

https://www.takimag.com/article/secession-studies/

Frank H. Buckley’s highbrow yet quick and lively new book American Secession comes with the foreboding subtitle The Looming Threat of a National Breakup, but the conservative George Mason U. law professor and Trump family adviser is sanguine.

In Buckley’s view, a Trump reelection combined with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death might trigger a Calexit movement by aggrieved Californians (a state where Hillary won by 4.3 million votes, while she lost by 1.5 million in the other 49 states) enraged at having to share a country with Trump voters.

Or perhaps the deplorables, offended by the Democrats’ smug “that’s not who we are” rhetoric, will call a new Constitutional Convention (which would require only 34 state legislatures) at which who knows what might happen… The last one, in 1787, tore up the existing Articles of Confederation and invented a federal system.

And would the U.S. breaking into two or more chunks be so bad? Buckley writes:

We’re overly big, one of the biggest countries in the world. Smaller countries are happier and less corrupt. They’re less inclined to throw their weight around militarily, and they’re freer. If there are advantages to bigness, the costs exceed the benefits. Bigness is badness.

Born in Saskatoon, Buckley (no relation to William F.) imports the Canadian assumption that territorial unions, like political parties, come and go. Canada evolved into independence from Britain over a long, mostly peaceful expanse of time. Newfoundland didn’t join Canada until 1949, and the people of Quebec very nearly voted to secede in 1995.

In the U.S., however, the idea of secession has been off the table since roughly the Battle of Gettysburg. Likewise, the same two parties that led the United States into disaster in the Civil War are still utterly dominant here.

But growing bad blood between the two American parties now makes a territorial split-up seem conceivable once again. After all, the United States occupies a huge expanse of longitude and latitude. Perhaps America is just too big these days for 330 million residents to get along?

In his breezy style, Buckley makes the case that a geographic split, such as that of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992, wouldn’t be so bad, before finally recommending as a compromise the kind of super-federalist “home rule” that Britain granted Canada and that Prime Minister Gladstone wished to offer Ireland in the 1880s.

On the other hand, would any kind of regional division actually cure what currently ails America during the Great Awokening?

“Growing bad blood between the two American parties now makes a territorial split-up seem conceivable once again.”

For instance, perhaps the worst cause of the recent unhappiness explosion in the U.S. since the Obama reelection campaign revived identity politics in 2012 is the much-exacerbated war between the sexes. But how would secession solve the problem of men and women getting on each other’s nerves? Nobody besides Andrea Dworkin ever thought a single-sex country would solve anything.

Similarly, red and blue American states are divided less by race—while California is now only 36.8 percent white, Texas isn’t far behind at just 41.5 percent white—than by white vs. white animus.

And are Americans most irritated by their fellow Americans whom they encounter in real life, or by those they clash with in cyberspace?

And if they divided up into separate geographic countries, would they then cease taunting each other online? I doubt it: The truth is, it’s fun.

Similarly, is the threat of online censorship worse from the U.S. government or from woke multinational corporations?

If America split up, wouldn’t money continue to pour into New York and San Francisco? But then the hinterlanders couldn’t even elect a Trump as revenge upon the coastal elites.

And then there are the practical questions of how to divide up a huge country, ones that Buckley skims over.

For instance, what currency would successor states use? Would it be wise to give up the mighty dollar? But if not, how would the dollar be administered without a political union? The history of the Euro is not encouraging.

Note the hard-earned wisdom of a man who lived through the Eurasian equivalent of what Buckley blithely considers for America:

Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century…. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself. —Vladimir Putin

For example, where, exactly, do you draw the border? Buckley’s book only features one map, showing the Republican-Democrat divide in the 2016 election at the county level. But it’s hard to imagine how to draw new national boundaries that would divide leftist urban centers from their own rightist exurbs.

In contrast, Southern secession in 1861 was over slavery, which led to a fairly linear border between the North and the South. The reason was because slavery was profitable at more southern latitudes where white labor was debilitated by tropical fevers. But slavery was unprofitable at more northern latitudes where blacks tended to die of respiratory infections. So, seven deep Southern slave states seceded soon after the election of Abraham Lincoln, four middle-tier slave states followed after Fort Sumter, and four Northern slave states stayed in the Union.

But today’s political divides are largely driven by real estate prices, which are related to population density and the proximity of deepwater coastlines on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Great Lakes.

Inland metropolitan areas such as Dallas and Atlanta can expand 360 degrees into suburbs, so their home prices are lower than in cities on deep water, such as San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, where suburban expansion is severely limited by geography. Thus, family formation is more affordable in inland America, so the traditional family-values party is more popular there.

(A couple of exceptions to this rule: the shores of the Gulf Coast are not densely populated due to the hurricane threat. And inland Denver is turning into a deep blue city because of the high real estate prices imposed by the Rockies just west of the city.)

An obvious problem for secessionists of either extreme is that the blue and red map is complicated, typically being blue in cities and red in their exurbs. For example, in purple Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison are highly Democratic, and most of the rest of the state is Republican.

Dividing along partisan lines of geography would create an extremely complicated map with national borders typically drawn a few dozen miles outside of civic centers, inconveniencing surrounding farmers selling their produce in the big cities and urbanites wanting to drive out to the countryside to fish or golf. Millions of commuters would end up in a different country from their current jobs.

Just dividing along state lines would split Coastal America into two or more countries because the conservative Great Plains run from the Mexican border in Texas to the Canadian border in North Dakota.

Moreover, whites tend to become Democrats or Republicans depending upon whether they live in cities or the countryside. So even if Democrats ideologically cleansed Republicans from the rural Northeast and Republicans drove out Democrats from the urban Sunbelt, their descendants who settled conquered enemy territory would start turning into the enemy.

And then there’s the question of what to do with American military assets, such as the U.S. Navy. The divvying up of the old Soviet Black Sea Fleet between Ukraine and Russia has proven enormously contentious. In one example of the kind of ignominious incidents that happen when a superpower breaks up, Ukraine sold an unfinished Soviet aircraft carrier to a shady Chinese businessman who turned it over to the Chinese navy.

Russia confiscated much of the Ukrainian fleet in 2014 when it seized the Crimea peninsula and its main port of Sevastopol.

Consider America’s 11 big aircraft carriers, the foremost sword of American might in conventional conflicts. The U.S. owns 11 of the world’s 24 aircraft carriers, including all 11 largest, and almost three-fourths of the world’s carrier planes. The U.S. has more than an order of magnitude more aircraft-carrier-based warplanes than any other single country.

Five carriers are currently based in Norfolk, Va., one across the James River in Newport News, one in Bremerton on Puget Sound, three in San Diego, and one in Japan.

As of the 2018 election, all 10 of the American-stationed carriers were based in blue states. But I would think that an (ostensibly) Inland America might insist upon, say, taking the Norfolk base and the San Diego base (a Pacific port is a very good thing to own), giving it seven aircraft carriers, while leaving Newport News, Puget Sound, and Japan’s base with their four aircraft carriers to Coastal America.

The notion of splitting up the U.S. along the James River was introduced by the liberal Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson on the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg in 2013 in his column “Start the Border Fence in Norfolk, VA.”

But this would require breaking the states of Virginia and California into separate countries. San Diego is a little like Sevastopol, a Russian navy town that was not happy being stranded in Ukraine. Similarly, San Diego, an old U.S. Navy town, is traditionally more conservative and nationalistic than the rest of coastal California. But that’s only relatively speaking: San Diego County went heavily for Hillary in 2016.

For red America to extend a land bridge to San Diego would make it a serious two-ocean country. But it would have two downsides.

First, red America would take on an even larger border with Mexico, while insulating blue America from Latin American immigration.

Second, Californians might object violently to this intrusion into their state. And this could lead to war, just as the breakup of the Soviet Union has led to fighting in Russian Chechnya, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Buckley argues that it’s not 1861 anymore. We are now a more aged and comfortable society, so nobody would rush to war. Buckley writes:

Finally, there’s the president. I don’t think we’d see one who’d want to send in the Army to invade a state. Were he of the other party, he might even look at the electoral map and say, “Erring sister, depart in peace.”

For example, Tory prime minister David Cameron granted Scotland an independence referendum in 2014, figuring that if Scotland left it would take many anti-Tory votes with it.

Further, many red Americans think they would win in a fight. As Dave Barry wrote in 1985:

The South has 96 percent of the nation’s armed pickup trucks, whereas the North mainly has Fitness Centers, so it would be over in minutes.

In truth, however, the likely answer to the question of “Who would be willing to fight?” is the military servicemen who signed up to fight for the USA.

So which side would the U.S. military tend to support in a battle of secessionism vs. nationalism? My impression is that the U.S. military very much enjoys representing the strongest, most ass-kicking country on earth and intends to keep the USA that way.

So, if the politicians can’t agree on an amicable Czech-Slovak-style split-up, and the obvious controversies over who gets, say, the port of San Diego suggest that they won’t, then the effective decision would wind up in the hands of the hard men of the military.

And my guess is, military men like things just the way they are and have no intention of weakening America on the world stage by allowing petty politicians to split up the most awe-inspiring military in human history.

Any appeal to arms puts the final decision in the hands of the warriors. And they are nationalists who value, above all, the unity of the nation.

So, secession is not going to happen.

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Secession fever spikes in five states as conservatives seek to escape blue rule

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2020

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/19/secession-fever-spikes-conservatives-seek-escape-b/

You’ve got Oregonians seeking to cascade into Idaho, Virginians who identify as West Virginians, Illinoians fighting to escape Chicago, Californians dreaming of starting a 51st state, and New Yorkers who think three states are better than one.

Separation fever is sweeping the nation as quixotic but tenacious bands of frustrated rural dwellers, suburbanites and conservatives seek to break free from states with legislatures increasingly controlled by liberal big cities and metropolitan strongholds.

“Oregon is controlled by the northwest portion of the state, Portland to Eugene. That’s urban land, and their decisions are not really representing rural Oregon,” said Mike McCarter, president of Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho. “They have their agenda and they’re moving forward with it, and they’re not listening to us.”

In Virginia, the newly elected Democratic majority’s progressive legislation on issues such as gun rights has spurred “Vexit,” or “Virginia exit,” a campaign to merge right-tilting rural counties into neighboring West Virginia that organizers say has the potential to catch fire nationwide.

“To be honest, if this works — you’ve got a lot of red areas in this country that are totally dominated by a blue metropolis,” said Vexit2020 leader Rick Boyer, a former member of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors. “If it works in Virginia, there’s no reason it can’t reshape the political map.”

Such campaigns can only be described longshots — no state has split off since West Virginia was carved from Virginia in 1863 — but the growing interest comes as those living outside cities wrestle with the consequences of the 1964 Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims.

The ruling established the principle of “one man, one vote,” effectively eliminating state legislative districts apportioned by county or geography instead of population, which hobbled in the influence of smaller and rural communities.

Illinois state Rep. Brad Halbrook, who has introduced a resolution to spin off Chicago and declare it the 51st state, said that “downstate voices are simply not being heard because we’ve been forced into this democracy that’s concentrated power into a small geographical area of the state.”

“Sen. Everett Dirksen said that with Reynolds v. Sims, the major metropolitan areas, the large population centers, are going to control the rest of the state, and that’s what’s happened with Illinois, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, New York,” the Republican Halbrook said.

He acknowledged that the bill isn’t going anywhere without a popular uprising, and that’s where G.H. Merritt comes in. She heads New Illinois, a grassroots nonprofit seeking to kick Chicago out of Illinois using the Article IV process, which requires the consent of the legislature and Congress.

“We have operations in 49 of 102 counties,” Ms. Merritt said. “We kind of compare it to the way Solidarity worked in Poland, where the people just decided they were done and transitioned from a communist government to a democracy without having a civil war.”

Hers isn’t the only secession group in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois Separation has taken a different route with county ballot referendums that instruct local officials to “correspond” with Cook County about “the possibility of separating from the City of Chicago.”

So far the group has qualified three measures for the March 17 primary ballot and nine for the Nov. 3 general election, according to a spokesperson.

In New York, Divide New York State has for years championed the idea of three autonomous self-governing regions, eliminating the need for Congress to create separate states. More ambitious is New California, which seeks to create a 51st state, and Calexit, which wants to make California its own nation.

‘Extremely unlikely’

In Oregon, three counties have agreed to place a measure on the ballot instructing local officials to begin negotiations to “relocate the Oregon/Idaho border to make this county a county of Idaho,” described as a border readjustment and not secession.

“This proposal is different from secession because it is simply a shift in borders that does not affect the balance of power in the US Senate,” said the Greater Idaho’s petition. “It does not create a new state or increase the number of states.”

So far several Oregon Republicans have endorsed the idea, including Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger, who said in an email to CNN that he would “welcome the idea to serve on the Greater Idaho legislature!”

Also on board is Idaho Gov. Brad Little.

“They’d like to have a little more autonomy and a little more control and a little more freedom, and I fully understand that,” the Republican governor told “Fox & Friends.”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has put out the welcome mat, and a state concurrent resolution inviting Virginia counties to cross over recently cleared a House committee and enjoys “overwhelming support,” said its sponsor, Republican state Rep. Gary Howell.

“The big difference is this is the first time another state has made the offer to take them. That’s never happened,” said Mr. Howell, adding, “There’s been very little pushback. The resolution I like to say has tri-partisan support because not only does it have Republicans and Democrats, it also has our lone independent on it.”

So far, however, blue states have shown little interest in parting with their taxpayers or electoral votes. Gov. Ralph Northam’s spokeswoman has dismissed the hubbub as election-year politics, while Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last year that “I don’t have any concerns of any secession effort actually taking hold.”

The idea fell flat at a recent meeting of the Tazewell County [Virginia] Board of Supervisors, said chairman Charles Stacy, who added that the board “caught hell” in the media for even discussing the proposal.

“There were a few citizens that showed up that thought that was a good idea, but it overwhelmingly had zero support from anybody in the government of Tazewell County,” Mr. Stacy said. “The reality of it is, something like that is not even within the purview of the Board of Supervisors. That would be a legislative function between the two states to change their territories.”

Adam W. Dean, history professor at the University of Lynchburg, said the idea of moving Virginia counties to West Virginia is legal under Article IV, Section III of the U.S. Constitution, but gaining the approval of both state legislatures and Congress would be “extremely unlikely.”

While West Virginia did split from Virginia during the Civil War, Mr. Dean said the move was “legally dubious at the time and only approved because of the exigency of civil war.”

Instead of trying to rearrange state borders or form a new state, foes argue that disaffected residents should simply try to win back the state legislature, but Mr. Boyer said that in states like Virginia with growing urban population centers, it’s a losing battle.

“The demographics in Virginia are not good,” Mr. Boyer said. “The federal government employee base is more and more of our voting population in Virginia every year. Northern Virginia is more and more dominant every year, and the giant rest of red Virginia is overwhelmed by blue Northern Virginia. It’s a losing demographic war as Virginia is currently constituted.”

West Virginia’s Howell argued that liberal state Democratic legislators in Virginia should seize the opportunity to unload their “deplorables.”

“If they get rid of the ones that are supposedly their problem, they could have a super-majority with what’s left in their legislature,” Mr. Howell said. “So they could pass the liberal utopia that they want.”

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Which States Referred to Slavery in Their Cause of Secession?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Governments Hate Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 20, 2020

This is partly due to the fact state organizations—that is, the people who control them—have little motivation to give up the benefits conferred by bigness. States that control larger geographic areas and larger populations have greater ability to project their power and get more power.

https://mises.org/wire/why-governments-hate-secession

When the Soviet Union began its collapse in 1989, the world witnessed decentralization and secession on a scale not seen in Europe since the nineteenth century.

Over the next several years, puppet regimes and states-in-name-only broke away from Soviet domination and formed sovereign states. Some states which had completely ceased to exist—such as the Baltic states—declared independence and became states in the own right. In total, secession and decentralization in this era brought about more than twenty newly independent states.

This period served as an important reminder that human history is not, in fact, just a story of ever increasing state power and centralization.

Since then, however, the world has seen very few successful secession movements. A handful of new countries have come into being over the past twenty years, such as East Timor and South Sudan. But in spite of many efforts by separatists worldwide, there have been few changes to the lines on the maps.

This has certainly been the case in Europe and the Americas, where from Quebec to Scotland to Catalonia to Venice demands for independence have been met with trepidation and sometimes outright threats of violence from central governments.

Countries Don’t Like to Get Smaller

This is partly due to the fact state organizations—that is, the people who control them—have little motivation to give up the benefits conferred by bigness. States that control larger geographic areas and larger populations have greater ability to project their power and get more power.

Greater size means a larger frontier that can act as a physical buffer between the state’s enemies and the state’s economic core. Physical size is also helpful in terms of pursuing self-sufficiency in both energy production and agriculture. More land means greater potential for resource extraction and acreage devoted to food production. From the state’s perspective, these activities are good things because they can be taxed or expropriated.

In terms of population size, state control over larger populations means more human workers to tax, and, potentially, more highly productive urban workers. Historically at least, larger populations also provided personnel for military uses.

Thus, states that control large territories and populations are able to directly control larger and more diverse economies within their borders. This means more tax revenue, which in turn means greater military capability. Naturally, state organizations are not inclined to abandon these advantages lightly, even when secession movement express a desire that they do so.

Why States Sometimes Get Smaller

Sometimes, though, states are forced to contract in size and scope. This usually happens when the cost of maintaining the status quo becomes higher than the cost of allowing a region to gain autonomy.

Historically, the cost of maintaining unity is raised through military means. Examples of this tactic being successfully employed include the cases of the United States, the Republic of Ireland, and some of the successor states of Yugoslavia.

But secession and decentralization have also often been achieved through bloodless or near bloodless means. This was the case in Iceland and throughout most of the post-Iron Curtain states.

Bloodless secession movements, however, only occur when the parent state is weakened by larger events beyond the secession movement itself. Iceland, for example, seceded in 1944, when World War II ensured that Denmark was in no position to object. The post-Soviet states seceded when the Soviet state had been rendered impotent by decades of economic decline and (in 1991) a failed coup. Nor is it a coincidence that India gained independence from the United Kingdom in the years immediately following World War II. It is likely the UK could have held on to India through military means indefinitely, but this would have come at a very high cost to the British economy and standard of living.1

It is possible to envision largely “amicable” separations. The model for this is the separation of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from the the United Kingdom. But even in these cases, British control over these Commonwealth states’ foreign policy was not totally abandoned until after World War II, when the British state had been weakened by depression and war. Moreover, the British state assumed that these newly independent states would remain highly reliable geopolitical and economic allies indefinitely. Thus, the geopolitical cost of separation was perceived to be low.

Mega-States Are the Ideal State

In cases where the seceding state is perceived to have differing cultural, economic, or geopolitical interests—which is true of the overwhelming majority of cases—the parent state is, all else being equal, likely to meet demands for secession with much hostility.

Although liberal ideology has diminished the perception among much of the world’s population that bigger is better, most government agents—who are by nature decidedly illiberal—see things differently. For them, the ideal state is most certainly a large state.

Those who delight in the generous application of state violence have noticed that it is not a coincidence the world’s most powerful states—e.g., the US, Russia, China—are those that control large populations, large economic centers, and large geographic areas with sizable frontiers. The combination of these three factors in various configuration ensures that existential threats to the regime are few and far between. Russia’s relatively small economy—only a fraction of the size of Germany’s economy—is mitigated by its enormous geographical frontiers. Its economy is nonetheless large enough to maintain a nuclear arsenal. China’s per capita wealth is quite small, but Chinese territory and the sheer size of its overall economy ensures protection from foreign attack. The US’s enormous economy and its huge ocean frontiers render it essentially immune to all existential threats other than large-scale nuclear war.

Large states such as these are limited only by the defensive capabilities of other states, and by the threat of domestic unrest and resistance. As Ludwig von Mises noted in Liberalism, states can take only as much power as their populations are willing to give it. There are limits to the public’s generosity.

Totalitarian States Require Bigness

This relationship between bigness and state power has been illustrated in the fact totalitarian states are virtually always large states.

In her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt examines a number of nontotalitarian dictatorships that sprang up in Europe before the Second World War. These included (among others) the Baltic states, Hungary, Portugal, and Romania. In many of these cases, Arendt contends the regimes attempted to turn themselves into totalitarian regimes, but failed. This was largely due to their lack of size:

Although [totalitarian ideology] had served well enough to organize the masses until the movement seized power, the absolute size of the country then forced the would-be totalitarian ruler of masses into the more familiar patterns of class or party dictatorship. The truth is that these countries simply did not control enough human material to allow for total domination and its inherent great losses in population. Without much hope for the conquest of more heavily populated territories, the tyrants in these small countries were forced into a certain old-fashioned moderation lest they lose whatever people they had to rule. This is also why Nazism, up to the outbreak of the war and its expansion over Europe, lagged so far behind its Russian counterpart in consistency and ruthlessness; even the German people were not numerous enough to allow for the full development of this newest form of government. Only if Germany had won the war would she have known a fully developed totalitarian rulership.

Arendt was not an economist, but had she been one, she might have noted that the necessity of size is so central to totalitarian regimes because they are so economically inefficient. Contrary to promises of machine-like efficiency made by advocates of ever more powerful states, totalitarian states are absurdly wasteful both in terms of capital and human life. The same is true—to varying extents—for all regimes. But as the most centrally-planned ones—whether totalitarian or not—quickly become economic basket cases, large size is necessary. A smaller state would quickly exhaust its capital and its population, and the regime would collapse. Size can provide the appearance of sustainability for longer.

Cultural factors cannot be ignored, however. Arendt concedes this process of collapse can be drawn out longer in societies that are more ideologically tolerant of it:

Conversely, the chances for totalitarian rule are frighteningly good in the lands of traditional Oriental despotism, in India and China…

That region’s relative tolerance for despotism is enabled by local ideologies that foster a “feeling of superfluousness,” which according to Arendt “has been prevalent for centuries in the contempt for the value of human life.”

Continued Movement toward Smaller States

Fortunately for humanity, the trend in the world today is toward smaller states. As numerous scholars have noted, the average number of states in the world is larger now than at any other time in recent centuries. Moreover, the rise of global trade has lessened the benefits of imperialism and expanding a state’s frontiers and population. As Mises observed, freedom in trade negates the need for a state to acquire more of the world’s wealth through militaristic or imperialistic methods. States often still seek economic “self-sufficiency,” but the cost of this is so high, and the benefits of open trade so enticing, that more states are willing to accept trade as a substitute for “lebensraum.” This can already be observed, as globalization has allowed small states to thrive, and small states have even acted to force greater discipline on large states through tax competition.

There are certainly exceptions to this. Some small states, such as North Korea, have maintained an economically isolationist and totalitarian stance—fueled both by internal paranoia and by real perennial threats issued by its enemies (especially the US), in the case of the latter. For the most part, however, the spread of markets (and promarket ideology) has raised the opportunity cost of militaristic expansion from the state’s perspective. If offered the chance to expand at low cost, though, virtually all regimes would take the opportunity in a heartbeat. And this is why we will likely continue to see regimes enthusiastically resist secession within their own borders. States don’t have many opportunities to expand their territories and populations. So they’re not about to sign off on secession lightly. Nevertheless, new economic realities, wars, and demographic shifts may certainly affect the equation in coming years. And then we may again see a redrawing of maps of a sort not seen since the end of the Cold War.

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THE 2012 ELECTION AND TOTALITARIANISM |TOTUS

Ron Paul in Maine

 

 

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