Dissolve the Union
America has become too large to be effectively governed by one national body, making secession a reasonable alternative.
November 9, 2016
In 1776, the signers of the Declaration of Independence committed high treason against the royal British Crown, announcing their unified intent to cease relations with the Empire and form a “more perfect union” of individual states. This act of defiance of central authority could also have been coined a secession from the British Empire, but as it required the use of force and not merely political maneuvering it is more accurately described as a revolution.
Now, in America today following generations of students being raised and “educated” to never once question the integrity of the federal State or the almighty power of government, the idea od secession is naturally quite a dirty word, as to suggest or even speak in a non-negative light of the idea is obviously to advocate for racism and slavery. However, when one considers the increasing diversity of the United States, growing population and cultural divides, secession could quite possibly prove a reasonable alternative to this massive, bloated and unethical federal state that we have now, should it be obtained peacefully. That being said, the intent of this writing is not to lay out how secession could occur, or what the redrawn borders of the former United States would look like, but rather it is to remove the wool from the eyes as they say and argue from a more philosophical perspective why secession should not be considered the ravings of a mad lunatic.
The United States currently consists of about 311 million individual people, many of whom regardless of any ideological agreements, simply are not culturally united. America has never been a nation of one unified culture; it’s why the South isn’t the North, the East is not the West and the Midwest just doesn’t quite fit with anyone. That being said, why in the world, is it blasphemous to suggest that these 311 million people perhaps should not be ruled by a cadre of 20 trillion dollar indebted bureaucrats located in one city, hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the people whose lives they attempt to control? Could America finally have become too big to be governed morally and effectively by one national body?
There is simply no possibility that there is one way of centrally imposed life or set of standards that is going to satisfy the southern Baptist in Mississippi, the socialist in Vermont, environmental activist in California and soybean farmer in Kansas. Frankly if morality is something one believes is important to his or her world view, the right to live and let live absolutely must be paramount to maintaining such an outlook. Of course the liberal socialist in Vermont hates the fact that taxes may be lower or that property rights exists in other parts of the country, and he has every right to feel that way, but does he also have the right to forcibly impose it on 311 million people? I think not.
The southern Baptist may believe abortion is wrong and feel discomfort at the thought of a gay wedding, but aside from giving social justice warriors hernias, these views when peacefully held harm no one, unless forcibly imposed from the top down.
The federal government has now grown to the point where rather than maintaining the rule of law and protecting people from each other it instead chooses to impose massive social engineering schemes, to provide a standard of blanket morality that simply just is not compatible with 311 million people. If government were restrained its original functions, this certainly would be less concerning, but now that it has undertaken the imposition of supposed morality, the extent and bluntness of its powers now are most certainly a pressing threat to liberty everywhere.
Lockean Republicanism was built on the idea that in order for a government to maintain its legitimacy it must be built on the “consent of the governed,” meaning authority is derived from the people. Therefore, should not that authority which is in essence monopolized violence be exercised only in cases in which there is near universal agreement, alongside following natural law? This would limit government to essentially only preventing murder and theft. But obviously that’s not all it does, as it actually spends most of its time promoting both the former and the latter through taxing everything that exists, criminalizing everything that exists and always claiming we need to fear “the people over there,” when really the people we should be fearing are the ones on our ballots.
In order for there to be the “consent of the governed,” consent must also be something that can be revoked, should it be deemed necessary. One of the greatest schemes of all history is the idea that by making democracy representative it provides universal consent to actions taken by that ruling body.
Well I ask you, do we all consent to drone striking children, arming terrorist groups, the National Defense Authorization Act which allows for the indefinite detention of any American citizen, bailing out rich people for their own mistakes, locking people away for owning plants and regulating the small business person straight into the ground in favor of a megacorporation? I don’t think so.
The larger the state becomes, the more insulated it becomes against the people it is supposed to serve. This is why even though Congress holds a 14% approval rating (something a private entity could never exist at and still receive payments, as Congress raises their own salaries on a rather annual basis), over 90% of them will still be reelected. “But government represents us.” Give me a break.
One of the most common arguments about secession is that it is illegal, and therefore no further discussion of the idea is needed. Well sure, it is illegal, as determined by federal judges, paid by and employed by the federal government. Ultimately though the idea that the Union was perpetual and compulsory would have astounded early Americans as being ludicrous and authoritarian, as throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries states regularly nullified and refused to heed federal encroachments such as John Adams’s Sedition Act which would have effectively halted the freedom of speech.
Wars do not establish truth, but rather they establish dominance. The Civil War did not prove secession wrong, rather it allowed Abraham Lincoln to use military force to demonstrate federal authority over states. Ultimately the War would cost over 650,000 lives, and its repercussions regarding Reconstruction would set back African American’s march to equality many years, which is why abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison and Lysander Spooner supported secession, as it would break the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Act and allow for abolitionist groups to actively and privately break the despicable practice through more peaceful means.
In America today, as issues become far less civil and delve more into varying levels of theft, war and oppression rather than any actual differing viewpoints, perhaps it is time once more to consider us going our separate ways. Conservatives generally want to impose their personal morals on liberals, and liberals tend to want to impose their own economically fallacious views on conservatives, obviously the healthy medium of simple freedom no longer exists, however with so much hatred and desire to forcibly impose on the other, why not just allow them to live separately and under their own beliefs? Summarily, perhaps columnist Michael Malice said it best when he wrote, “True, a house divided against itself cannot stand. But some houses don’t need to remain standing at all.”