MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘secession’

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

Posted by M. C. on April 30, 2022

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

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

Ryan McMaken

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

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

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

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

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

Ukraine Formed Out of Secession

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

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

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

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

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2022

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

By Thomas DiLorenzo

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

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

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

  • Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why We Need Secession – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2022

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

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

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by M. C. on January 28, 2022

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

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

By Patrick J. Buchanan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And what is the nature of the threat they see?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s Time to Break Up New York State

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2022

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

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

Nicolas Gregoris

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

We Need to Talk…

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

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

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

Secession in the Empire State

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the 2020 electoral map (by county):

ng

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

ng

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

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

Partition Instead of Secession?

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

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

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

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

Nicolas Gregoris

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three Reasons to Start Taking Secession Seriously | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 30, 2021

https://mises.org/wire/three-reasons-start-taking-secession-seriously

Ryan McMaken

Last month, the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia released a new study which showed that, at least among those polled, “roughly 4 in 10 (41%) of Biden and half (52%) of Trump voters at least somewhat agree that it’s time to split the country, favoring blue/red states seceding from the union.”

Moreover, majorities in both groups agreed there are “many radical, immoral people trying to ruin things” and that “it is the duty of every true citizen to help eliminate the evil that poisons our country from within.”

On might conclude that people who think that things are generally going well in a country aren’t so concerned with “the evil within” that they think it’s time to “split the country.”

It seems that President Biden has been unable to “unite” the country after all, in spite of his promises that it’s “time to heal in America” and that he will “be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.” Rather, it appears the country embraces a hard divide over a variety of issues, with vaccine mandates and parental rights in public education being only the most current ones.

At this point, there’s no reason to believe these divides are simply going to go away. Secession is likely to become even more mainstream, as has been occurring in recent years, and as the old “liberal consensus” of the mid-twentieth century recedes ever more into the distant past. 

Rather, experience increasingly points toward separation, even if such events seem far off.  In the real world, after all, major political changes can come suddenly and in unexpected ways. In 1987, most Soviets still assumed the USSR would continue to exist for many more decades—if not centuries. Because of this, now is the time to begin asking the difficult questions about secession and how military and financial questions can be addressed.

Considering all this, we see three main reasons why it is increasingly unwise to ignore secession as a serious possibility. 

Secession Went Mainstream

The first reason we must now take secession seriously is that it’s no longer a topic of discussion only among the most radical.

In 2014, for example, a quarter of those polled said they thought their state should secede. By 2018, 39 percent were saying they think a state should “have the final say” as to whether or not that state remains part of the United States. In 2020, more than a third of those polled said states have a legal right to secede.

Mainstream conservatives increasingly suggest the possibility, from Rush Limbaugh to Dennis Prager. Indeed, just last week, Prager admitted that secession offers a chance to live in a country that better reflects one’s own values. Should secession happen, Prager said, ” I would live in a state governed by Judeo-Christian values versus one governed by left-wing values.” Even elderly conservatives are starting to grasp the idea: separation brings choice, and choice is better than ossified notions of “patriotism.”

Indeed, it appears it’s no coincidence that older conservative operatives like Prager have been among those who are late to warm to the idea of secession. According to Zogby’s 2020 poll on secession, favorable attitudes toward secession decline as the polled group gets older. In the 18–29-year-old group, a majority (52 percent) think states have a legal right to secede. In the over-65 group the number is only 23 percent. In other words, the dogma of national unity is a dogma of older generations. Not only is secession increasingly mainstream, but it may be the wave of the future as well.

Meanwhile, members of Congress—including Iowa’s Steven Holt and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene—now openly speak well of secession. They wouldn’t say this if they didn’t think their constituents agreed with them. 

Moreover, we might measure the growth of the secessionist position by the number of pundits who now feel the need to condemn it. Once upon a time, secession was regarded as so “out there” that it scarcely deserved any attention at all. No longer. Nowadays, conservative Beltway pundits feel the need to go on rants about it on Fox News.

The Left’s Unionists Want to Run Your Life

A second reason to take secession seriously is the fact that the Left doesn’t seem to be learning anything from the rise of separatism. Just as many Americans appear to be embracing a posture in opposition to rule from the center, the Left is doubling down on the idea that more local autonomy is not to be tolerated.

A clear example of this is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act introduced in the US Senate. The legislation, if passed, would give Washington vast new powers in regulating and controlling how states conduct their own elections. Originally, of course, state governments had almost total control over how elections were governed and conducted within each state. This makes sense in a country that began as a collection of sovereign republics. Just as EU member states conduct their elections in a way that’s locally controlled, the same was once true for the US. Over time—as in most policy areas—the federal government asserted more control. But with the Voting Rights Advancement Act, local control over elections would be virtually abolished, with most any changes subject to a federal imprimatur.

Naturally, opposition to surrendering state elections to federal control is denounced as motivated by racism and other nefarious goals. And this is reflective of the Left’s opposition to secession and decentralization in general. The idea is “we can’t let those people run their own affairs, because they’re sure to use local prerogatives for evil.”

For example, when condemning secession in New York magazine, Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore made it clear he has no intention of letting people do much of anything without federal “oversight.” He writes:

So might we drift apart more or less peacefully this time around? Possibly, but count me out when it comes to agreeing to a National Divorce…. [H]ow could I happily accept the accelerated subjugation of women and people of color in a new, adjacent Red America, any more than abolitionists could accept the continuation and expansion of the slavery they hated? Would it really be safe to live near a carbon-mad country in which the denial of climate change was an article of faith? And could I ever trust that a “neighbor” whose leadership and citizens believed their policies reflected the unchanging ancient will of the Almighty would leave our fences intact?

Kilgore can barely contain his contempt. He might as well be saying, “If those red state troglodytes are allowed freedom, they’ll surely embrace a racist and misogynistic dystopia that fills the air with poisonous fumes. These are religious zealots, after all!”

Anyone who doesn’t want to live out his or her life as subject to the whims of men like Kilgore should take his few moments of candor as an ominous warning. These people will never “happily accept” self-governance outside Washington’s purview, because they quite literally equate it with slavery and the hatred of women.

In other words, the more the Left condemns secession in detail—as they must now do because dismissive scoffing no longer works—they only provide additional reasons for why secession is likely the only real solution to the national divide.

Now Is the Time to Ask the Difficult Questions

Finally, the mainstreaming of secession means now is the appropriate time to start asking the difficult questions about how separation would actually take place.

For example, the issue of nuclear weapons cannot be ignored—although the case of post-Soviet Ukraine shows it’s not as intractable a problem as many suspect. Moreover, the question of the national debt ought to be approached. It will likely also be necessary to admit that under all realistic scenarios, a partial default is the likely outcome either with or without secession. And finally, there is the problem of “ethnic” enclaves. Historically, this always comes with secession, as with the ethnic Russians in the secessionist Baltics or the pro-Spaniard populations left behind throughout Latin America in the nineteenth century. Moreover, how “complete” would this separation be? It is entirely conceivable that a United States with two or more self-governing pieces could nevertheless remain under a single head of state or within a single military alliance. 

In real life, big political changes have a habit of occurring regardless of what the official planners want, and what the official plans say. That is, events have a way of overwhelming what the elites think is the proper way of doing things. But fostering serious discussion now could help avert at least some unpleasant surprises in the longer term. On the other hand, living in denial about secession won’t improve things. And, of course, the matter of secession is not one of “if” but “when.” All polities come to an end at some point either through disintegration or revolution. In many cases, the world improves when old states like the Roman Empire collapse.  The fanciful America-will-last-forever position is something that should seem plausible only to small children or the hopelessly naïve.  Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power and Market, but read article guidelines first.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Terrible Economic Ignorance behind Covid Tradeoffs: My Speech to the Ron Paul Institute | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2021

Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has a famous dictum: markets produce goods, which are the things we want and willingly buy or consume. Government produces bads, which is to say things we don’t want at all. Things like wars and inflation. They do this with our own money, reducing what we have to spend on actual goods and thus reducing production of those goods.

https://mises.org/wire/terrible-economic-ignorance-behind-covid-tradeoffs-my-speech-ron-paul-institute

Jeff Deist

Some of you may know the name Alex Berenson, the former New York Times journalist who comes from a left-liberal background. He has been absolutely fearless and tireless on Twitter over the past eighteen months, documenting the overreach and folly of covid policy—and the mixed reality behind official assurances on everything from social distancing to masks to vaccine efficacy. He became a one-man army against the prevailing covid narratives. 

Mr. Berenson is famous for creating a viral (no pun intended) phrase which swept across Twitter last year: virus gonna virus.

Which means: whether one is in Sweden or Australia, whether in New York or Florida, whether you have mask mandates or lockdowns or close schools or require vaccine passports—or do NONE of these things—virus gonna virus. Covid hospitalizations and deaths will be concentrated among the obese and elderly. In almost any community, two-thirds or more of deaths are over age seventy, but even among the elderly more than 90 percent of those infected survive covid. And among all covid deaths, only about 7 percent are “covid only” without other serious contributing factors. 

What we won’t ever know, unfortunately—because we don’t have a control group, at least in the West—is what would have happened in a society which simply did nothing in response to the virus. What if a country simply had encouraged citizens to build up their natural immunity through a healthy diet, exercise, vitamins, and natural sunlight? What if it had taken precautions for elderly and immune-compromised populations, while allowing younger and healthier people to live normally? Would such a country have reached a degree of natural immunity faster, with overall better outcomes for the physical and mental health of its citizens? And with far less economic damage?

All of this is the unseen. And no, it wasn’t “worth it” to shut down the world.

Back to Mr. Berenson. Last week Twitter decided it had enough, and permanently suspended his account. This is no small thing for independent journalists—and God knows we need them—who reach a lot of people via Twitter and rely on it to make a living.

Search for his Twitter profile and you’ll find something spooky. His name is still there, but with a quietly menacing “Account Suspended” warning. All other traces of his existence are erased: his header photo is gone, his profile photo is blank, and the descriptive bio is missing. Just blank. It’s eerie, and reminds me of that famous old photo of Stalin by the Moscow Canal. He’s standing next to Nikolai Yezhov (I had to look him up), who fell out of favor with Stalin and was executed—then erased from the photo by Soviet censors.

Alex Berenson has been similarly unpersoned, removed, erased. But even if he ends up a casualty of this war1—and whether you agree with him or not—people like him have managed to challenge the official narrative in ways unimaginable even twenty years ago. The financial journalist John Tamny made an interesting point last week: complain about social media all you want, but Facebook and Twitter have been great sources of information during this covid mess. And after thinking about it I had to agree. Most of the alternative information about covid I’ve consumed via social media. But of course Mr. Berenson no longer has this luxury.

The Covid Economy and Tradeoffs

Speaking of narratives, we have especially lacked clear and sober thinking about the injuries to the US economy created by covid policies. We profoundly fail to understand the economics behind covid, because we so desperately want to kid ourselves that the economy will be “normal” soon.

Governments are good at two things, namely bossing us around and spending money. They do both in spades whenever a supposed crisis arises, and both Congress and the Fed went into hyperdrive beginning in March 2020. The Fed pumped more than $9 trillion to its primary dealers, estimates are that more than 20 percent of all US dollars ever issued were issued in 2020 alone. On the fiscal side, more than forty federal agencies have spent $3.2 trillion in covid stimulus spending. So that is $12 trillion of inflationary pressure introduced to our economy.

What the economy wants and needs during crises is of course deflation. When uncertainty rises, and it certainly did for millions of Americans worried about their jobs in 2020, people naturally and inevitably hold larger cash balances. They spend less. Meanwhile they were staying home, driving less, dining out less, traveling less, working less. All of this is naturally deflationary, so of course Congress and the Fed embarked on an effort to fight this tooth and nail with intentional inflation. So now we’re in a wrestling match between two opposing forces, one natural and one artificial.

Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has a famous dictum: markets produce goods, which are the things we want and willingly buy or consume. Government produces bads, which is to say things we don’t want at all. Things like wars and inflation. They do this with our own money, reducing what we have to spend on actual goods and thus reducing production of those goods.

The past sixteen months we’ve had lots of government bads, to the point where we might call them “worsts,” which are even worse than bads. The covid and Afghanistan debacles come to mind. 

It may be facile and self-serving to compare the federal state’s inability to manage Afghanistan with its inability to manage a virus, but the comparison is just too perfect to resist. So I won’t resist.

Among the bads government produces is misinformation. One analogy between covid and Afghanistan is the phenomenon known as the fog of war: the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations.

Paraphrasing Carl von Clausewitz: war is the realm of uncertainty; the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of uncertainty. Fog and friction cloud the commander’s judgment—even where the commander wholly shares our interests, which is hardly a given with covid. When we declared war on a virus, clarity went out the window. And so we’ve lived with sixteen months of fog, of covid misinformation. This happens in tandem with the media, which parrot official pronouncements from sources like the deeply compromised Fauci and stir up alarmism at every turn.

And we’re still living with it. Consider we still don’t have definitive answers to these simple questions:

Do masks really work?
Do kids really need masks? As an aside, our great friend Richard Rider reports that San Diego County—population 3.3 million—shut down its public schools for a year with one student death!
Is there asymptomatic spread?
Does the virus live on surfaces?
How long does immunity last after having covid?
How many vaccines will someone need to be “fully” vaccinated? How many boosters? Annual?
Aren’t delta and other variants simply the predictable evolution of any virus?
How do we define a “case” or infection if someone shows no symptoms and feels fine?
Can covid really be eradicated like polio? If so, why haven’t we eradicated flu by now?

And so on. We never get clear answers, but only fog.

But perhaps the most shocking thing about sixteen months is our childlike inability to consider tradeoffs! I’m not only talking about the tremendous economic consequence of shutting down businesses, and the horrific financial damage it has done and will do to millions of Americans. I’m not only talking about the depression, isolation from friends and loved ones, alcoholism, untreated illness, suicide, weight gain and obesity, stunted child development, and all the rest.

I’m talking about understanding the basic economic tradeoffs of covid policy: supply chain, food, energy, housing, unemployment. This is bread and butter economics.

I can’t stress this enough: millions of Americans have no conception of economics, and simply don’t believe tradeoffs exist. They think, are encouraged by the political class to think, that government can simply print money in the form of stimulus bills and pay people enhanced unemployment benefits to stay home. That the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], of all cockamamie federal agencies, can simply impose a rent moratorium and effectively vitiate millions of local contracts—it will just work itself out somehow. That Congress can simply issue forgivable PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] loans to closed or hobbled businesses so they can magically make payroll. That the Federal Reserve can simply buy up assets from commercial banks, lend them limitless funds, and command lower interest rates to stimulate housing and consumerism.

Millions of Americans, through sheer ignorance of economics, literally think these actions are costless and wholly beneficial—without downside.

And now we wonder why the economy can’t just flip a switch and get back to normal. But that’s not how an incredibly complex global supply chain, with just-in-time delivery, works. And that’s why thousands of Ford F-150s are sitting unsold, and unsellable, in huge parking lots—there is a global semiconductor chips shortage. Many of them come from a single company in Taiwan. By the way, semiconductor chips are used in everything from iPhones to Xbox consoles to Surface laptops to refrigerators.

There was a remarkable op-ed at CNBC recently about the supply chain interruptions. It gets the cause of inflation wrong, blaming it on the pandemic rather than central banks, but it paints a vivid picture of the serious problems facing a radically overstressed global manufacturing sector. Delays in delivery are said to be the longest in decades. And inflation plus delays is bad news, because it’s so hard for buyers and sellers at all stages of production to know what to charge and what to pay for either capital goods or consumption goods. How many construction projects, for example were blindsided by the five-time rise in lumber prices last year? Ports are clogged awaiting trucks—not enough drivers—so containers sit for weeks rather than days. Empty containers have become scarce. Rail schedules are affected by the ports like dominos, and freight prices are spiking. Will West Coast longshoremen strike in 2022 when their contract is up? Will new emissions regulations which slow ships kill more capacity? Will key Chinese factories shut down again due to delta?

None of it is pretty and may last into 2023. So buy your Christmas presents now!

We are starting to see the unseen, but economists, whose job it is to show us the tradeoffs, have been largely AWOL over the past year and a half. Consider this recent post by a famous libertarian free market economist:

US GDP is now higher, in fact a fair bit higher, than when the pandemic began.
US labor force participation is about 1.5% lower than when the pandemic began.
Was there really slack to the tune of a few million people in Jan of 2020?
Has inflation really changed enough to make the GDP numbers misleading?
Has total factor productivity improved that much in that time, under those stresses? (i.e. more output from less input, labor & capital).

Or is this all a sign that the structure of the economy is more stratified than we think—that there are millions of people in more-or-less filler jobs who can be cast out and the economy just keeps on running along? Yes, there are all sorts of reports of labor shortages, and all manner of supply chain hiccups which seem to often be associated with off shoring, but general activity is still high. (Or is it? Are the numbers reporting “vapor GDP?”—or are the inflation adjustments really out of whack so real GDP is not what we think it is?)

This is clever masquerading as smart, and it’s the sort of thing which makes people dislike economists. It’s homo economicus nonsense. This kind of navel-gazing—wondering aloud, as though we could shut down the world for a year, send everybody home, suspend rent payments, and not suffer tradeoffs—makes me think economics as a profession is not doing the world any good. People desperately need productive activity for their basic health and happiness, even if that activity doesn’t much add to the national economy.

A friend who runs a large chain of retail stores across several states sent me this in response.

It’s amazing how [BLANKED]-up this person is. An economy is a way to get stuff. Is there much stuff, or less stuff, than when this all began? More cars or less? More computers and personal digital devices or less? More food or less? More oil or less? Greater business to business supply chain or less?

But because this [BLANK] thinks the economy is a symbolic architecture, not a real thing for getting real stuff, he’s absolutely flummoxed by a simple question. Go outside, moron. Step away from the keyboard and the spreadsheet.

I thought he was spot on. Economics is the study of choice in the face of scarcity, of how we get the goods and services we want in an environment of tradeoffs and uncertainty. Nothing could be more disastrous to that environment than vague, open-ended government lockdown measures. We don’t need to move numbers around until they please us as some kind of substitute gnostic knowledge. We shut down the world over a virus, restarting it will be difficult, and the economic damage will be enormous and long lasting. Economists should be showing us the unseen damage, not cheering the juiced-up data.

My point here is to suggest the economics of our present situation are worse than advertised, and that economics is about that holds us together. What we think of as America is mostly an economic arrangement, not a social or cultural one—and certainly not a political arrangement. America is hardly a country anymore, and I take no pleasure in saying that. What happens when the economics unravel?

The Great Unraveling

But there is a happy upside to all of this. A silver lining, perhaps.

Over eighteen months we’ve learned that all crises are local. For eighteen months it has mattered very much whether you live in Florida or New York, whether you live in Sweden or Australia. And the physical analog world reasserted itself with a vengeance: no matter where you are, no matter how rich you may be, you must exist in corporeal reality. You need housing, food, clean water, energy, and medical care in the most physical sense. You need last-mile delivery, no matter what is happening in the broader world. Your local situation suddenly mattered quite a bit in 2020. It was the year localism reasserted itself.

Whether your local reality was dysfunctional or did not matter quite a bit in the terrible covid year. And people are waking up to the simple reality of this dysfunction. We know the federal government can’t manage covid. It can’t manage Afghanistan. It can’t manage debt, or the dollar or spending, or entitlements. It can’t even run federal elections, for God’s sake much, less provide security, or justice, or social cohesion.

So how can it manage a country of 330 million people? How can it manage fifty states?

Whether we want to call it the Great Awakening or the Great Realignment, something profound is happening. Imagine if the twenty-first century reverses the dominant trend of the nineteenth and twentieth, namely the centralization of political power in national and even supranational governments? What if we are about to embark on an experiment in localism and regionalism, simply due to the sheer inability of modern national governments to manage day-to-day reality?

A kind of centrifugal force is at work. Here in the US, people are self-segregating—both ideologically and geographically—in what we should think of as a kind of soft secession. A recent survey by United Van Lines confirms what we already knew: people are fleeing California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois for Texas, Idaho, Florida, and Tennessee. This is simple flight from the dysfunction of big cities and unworkable progressive policies, laid bare by the analog lessons of covid.

We should cheer this. If just 10 percent of Americans hold reasonable views on politics, economics, and culture they would constitute 33 million people—we could coalesce as a significant political force! And this nation within a nation would be larger and more economically powerful than many European countries.

Furthermore, we are witnessing a tremendous shift in political power away from cities toward exurbs and rural areas. There really is nothing like it in US history. America started in colonies and villages, before moving westward to farms and ranches. When factories began to replace farms as major employers, Americans moved to the old Rust Belt cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh and Detroit. When tech and finance began to overshadow manufacturing, Americans moved to Manhattan and Seattle and Silicon Valley for the best jobs. But that revolution in finance and tech means capital is more mobile than ever, and covid accelerated our ability to work from home. All of this could have huge beneficial effects for smaller cities and rural areas, which in turn could have profound effects for the congressional map and electoral college. If the angry school board meetings over masks are any indication, politics already has become more localized.

Covid policies ruined cities, at least for awhile, and the Great Unraveling will reduce the political and economic power of those cities. 

So a once-in-a-generation opportunity is before us. The federal government is far and away the biggest, most powerful institution in America, but as previous speakers mentioned, faith in institutions is crumbling. And it should crumble. Washington, DC, has been the centerpiece around which we organize society for a hundred years now, and that’s a profoundly evil reality. So we should cheer when Americans lose faith in it due to Trump or covid or Afghanistan or public opinion polls which show a deeply divided and skeptical country. There is a growing sense that DC is over, it’s done, and it’s time to turn our backs on it. We are losing our state religion.

Contra our political elites, covid and the disastrous reaction by governments may end up reducing their power and standing in society.

This article is excerpted from a talk delivered at the Ron Paul Institute conference on September 4, 2021

  • 1. Don’t let this happen! Read Mr. Berenson here

Author:

Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; Twitter.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Confidence in Institutions Falls. Support for Secession Rises.

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2021

In this video, I analyze a recent Gallup poll about the low confidence Americans of all stripes have in the major institutions which underpin our society. I make the case that this is a good thing, as it provides a market opportunity to replace these crumbling rotted institutions with something better.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Canada’s Left Is Pushing Some Albertans To See the Benefits of Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 27, 2021

For the trendy leftists in Laurentian Canada, Alberta is a backwater that has not been sufficiently assimilated into the PC hive mind. To reach such a universalist goal, the Canadian state will likely have to conduct ever more therapeutic interventions to “correct” recalcitrant Albertans’ perceived deficiencies.

https://mises.org/wire/canadas-left-pushing-some-albertans-see-benefits-secession

José Niño

Talks of separatism are not just limited to the United States.

When Canada is brought up in political discourse, it’s usually done to juxtapose its relative stability to the US. Often portrayed as the tamer, more socially stable version of the US, Canada has become a darling of American progressives. Even some American celebrities, caught up in the hysteria of former president Donald Trump’s successful 2016 run, hinted at moving to Canada. Conventional views of foreign countries can be quite misleading, however.

The last few weeks have been rather dicey in Canada. The controversy kicked off after the discovery of the supposed mass graves of First Nations near the former sites of four Canadian Indian residential schools in the provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Although there is growing evidence that these discoveries do not point to a genocidal act inflicted on Canada’s indigenous population, the radical Left went about its usual routine by instantly pouncing on the discoveries and using them as a pretext to burn down churches and topple monuments of famous historical figures across Canada.

The Canadian government’s tepid response to this spate of violence has reminded many Canadians of how out of touch Ottawa leaders are with right-wing constituencies in Canada’s western provinces. The latest surge in leftist iconoclasm will likely add further fuel to the separatist fire that has been gestating in the Canadian prairies for some time.

The Canadian Prairies’ Growing Dissatisfaction with the Federal Government

Traditionally, separatism in Canada has been associated with movements within the Francophone province of Quebec to separate from English-speaking Canada and form its own nation. However, parts of Anglophone Canada aren’t seeing eye to eye with Ottawa and its culturally leftist vision, most notably the province of Alberta.

See the rest here

Author:

Contact José Niño

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

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Getting to Galt’s Gulch: Everyday Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2021

The political pendulum brings hope or disappointment for those loyal to a particular party. Instead, journal the grievances against Uncle Sam and hypothetically block him from dominating your life. 

Secession is needed daily, especially in education and healthcare. The immense suffering of individuals in 2020 caused by government bureaucracy and politics illustrates the importance of personal independence. 

https://mises.org/wire/getting-galts-gulch-everyday-secession

Felicia A. Jones

This month, the United States once again celebrated her independence on the Fourth of July. After a year of lockdowns, masks, and now even mandatory vaccinations in workplaces and universities, the idea that the USA is a beacon of freedom to the rest of the globe seems far-fetched. This attitude was reiterated in the new Toby Keith song “Happy Birthday America.” Keith’s downtrodden lyrics reflect on his observed disappearance of the American patriotism which had been present not long ago. 

The problem with the version of national pride of the singer of “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” is that it equates love for his country with approval of imperialist tendencies. When invading foreign countries and toppling their governments is the source of pride in one’s country, then diminishing military power and a disrespected flag at the Olympics feels crushing.

For the libertarian with a foundation in property rights, personal responsibility, and financial literacy, the way forward is not joining in left-right political boxing matches, but secession. When the rule of law fails Derek Chauvin and common sense regarding gender-based separation in sensitive spaces disappears, libertarians need not wallow in their pillows and chocolate like after a devastating breakup. The political pendulum brings hope or disappointment for those loyal to a particular party. Instead, journal the grievances against Uncle Sam and hypothetically block him from dominating your life. 

Secession is needed daily, especially in education and healthcare. The immense suffering of individuals in 2020 caused by government bureaucracy and politics illustrates the importance of personal independence. 

Education

The character of the public education system revealed its true colors. Many teachers protested over returning to in-person teaching in the classroom despite the unsubstantiated fears that children are superspreaders. Where schools resumed formally, administrations and states masked children without evaluating secondary consequences such as extended exposure to bacterial growth on masks. 

The outcomes of virtual schooling were worse. Accusations of virtual truancy prompted Child Protective Services visits, especially where internet access was problematic. The “learning loss” disparity was largest in low-income communities, hurting academic outcomes for black and Hispanic students.

Unfortunately, the priority is not the health outcomes of children even now, a year later. With covid vaccination being required for school attendance, there is concern that for children, the vaccines are statistically more deadly than the illness. In Washington, DC, minors may be coerced by school administrators into vaccination without a parent’s consent or knowledge.

The public education system is failing children and, thankfully, school secession provides a silver lining. Homeschooling rates approximately tripled during the pandemic, when public education options were unsatisfactory. In 2021, a plethora of options for home education are present, ranging from self-paced curriculums to more community-based plans. Support for this lifestyle can be obtained through formal online communities, co-ops, and homeschool groups. 

“Unschooling” for the elementary grades supports flexible education styles where children are free to discover and obtain skill proficiency based upon their interests. This early learning supports specialization and entrepreneurial tendencies from youth, benefitting children far into adulthood.

If the purpose of education is to enrich the whole child, public schooling clearly falls miserably short of this goal. Secession enables primary caregivers to raise their children with their values, over those of government overlords, and keep them safe physically from bullying, emotionally, and socially from teachers and students with misplaced priorities alike.

Healthcare

Similar to public education, American healthcare already had preexisting conditions of inadequacy. The pandemic clearly demonstrated the problems that plague the US medical care system, directly covid related or otherwise. Mothers suffered poor birth outcomes resulting from the policies of hospitals and government bureaucrats. Inexpensive, unpatented drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were either made unavailable altogether or certainly more difficult to obtain despite having positive success at treating the manifested illness. 

In the current healthcare system, doctors, even those with good intentions, are restricted by hospital procedures and follow the recommendations given by larger authorities, both public and private. The reality is that the American medical system is not free market in any sense of the word, no matter how often the claim is countered.

Doctors in mainstream medical care do not have the autonomy to make specialized decisions for their patients. For example, insurance companies require that a certain percentage of children be fully vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule, otherwise the pediatrician may not meet the threshold for quality of care bonuses. Unyielding support for these one-size-fits-all recommendations comes not only from the governing agency and the health insurance company, but also from the major professional organization for pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics. Swimming counter to the stream is neither financially nor reputationally wise for physicians, even if specific patients have a higher risk of adverse reactions.

In the specific treatment of covid, procedure dictated that hospitalized patients be placed on ventilators (with a death rate for covid patients on ventilators being approximately 58.8 percent). Oxygen supplementation, a noninvasive treatment, should have been provided initially for low oxygen levels but there were financial incentives to diagnose for covid-19 and ventilate. Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bureaucracy, doctors were limited in their ability to prescribe drugs with high success rates to patients earlier in the pandemic. How many lives were needlessly lost due to red tape?

With the release of Dr. Tony Fauci’s emails, the public may now observe that the CDC pandemic recommendations were not based on “science” or concern for the public’s health. Fauci understood masking was inefficacious at halting viral spread, kept successful treatments from becoming widely practiced, and knew that the covid death rate was similar to that of a severe influenza season. Shutting down the economy was never warranted.

Under a system bogged down with the conflicting interests of regulating agencies, medical practice procedures, and health insurance companies, patients may have a simple solution: fire the doctor. Demand more midwives and home births because of better health and birth outcomes. Visit alternative care providers who prescribe highly successful vitamin C and zinc treatments. Take business to noninvasive practitioners like chiropractors and naturopaths, who desire to treat the underlying conditions rather than purely symptoms.

Fear is sadly associated with taking this leap. But the overlooked reality is that preventable medical error persists as the third leading cause of death in the US. Secession from health insurance networks may not only provide better overall health outcomes but may be more affordable as practitioners resort to refusing health insurance payments to gain greater autonomy.

Getting to Galt’s Gulch

The success of libertarianism is independence from the state’s influence. Increasing one’s reliance on free markets, where personal responsibility and decision-making prevail over complacency, makes for an effective patriotism. Stopping the Randian motor of the world so that libertarians may thrive in the hypothetical Galt’s Gulch beyond government’s grasp (i.e., in external markets) requires exit. Leave a school or healthcare system which does not deliver desired ends.

Finally, be brave. Courage is not restricted to standing in the public square at Tiananmen. The defense of liberty is often more mundane: removing your children from the influence of tyrants in schools or exiting a job where an employer requires injections, which violate your moral principles. While these actions seem daunting, and they indeed are, those who love liberty are the ones who will be the impenetrable bulwark against evil. In the words of Mises’s favorite motto by Virgil, “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.” (Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.) Author:

Contact Felicia A. Jones

Felicia Aileen Jones works as the registrar and student services coordinator at the Mises Institute. She is a former summer fellow and a Troy University graduate, earning her MA in economics in 2020 and her BBA in economics in 2017.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »