Libertarian Commentary on the News #12-48D Secession Part II

The numbers continue to climb, and at least some people see it my way. Though meaningless in terms of process, it is valuable to do for many reasons, including especially educating people about secession.

Secession has a long history, and as Oleg Volk points out in one of his wonderful photos, sometimes it succeeds and sometimes it does not.

Its history has grown fatter in recent decades, but lets glance back to the past:

In the Bible, we see all kinds of examples of secession, including those we call emigration:

  • Abram (Abraham) and his family emigrated from Ur of the Chaldees and later from Haran, eventually ending up in Canaan, where he refused to come under ANY government.
  • The Children of Israel, after 400 years of slavery, seceded and emigrated from Phaoronic Egypt, returning to the ancient home of their ancestors.
  • Following the death of Solomon and the idiotic actions of his son and successor Rehoboam, the Ten Tribes of the northern kingdom (to be known as Israel) seceded, led by new King Jeroboam.
  • Led by a family of warrior-priest-kings (the Maccabees – sons of the Hammer), the Judeans seceded from Selucid-ruled  Syria.  (This is considered to be a revolt against imperial invaders, but according to Syria and modern Arabs, “Canaan” (including Judea) has always been an integral part of Syria.)

In the ancient world, we see countless attempts and successes at secession.  Here are a few that come to mind (even though conventional and Marxist historians classify many as revolts or revolutions or such):

  • Portugal was once a county of Spain but became separate in the 1300s
  • The Swiss Cantons were once part of the Holy Roman Empire but rebelled and gained independence in the 1400s
  • The thirteen American colonies were an integral part of the British Empire, considered Englishmen, until they rebelled and after eight years of war, finally gained their independence
  • Brazil was an integral part of Portugal (or the Portuguese Empire) and was at one time the capital, but seceded in the early 1800s.
  • Virtually all of the Arab states and North African states seceded over the course of two hundred years from the Islamic Ottoman Empire
  • Texas was a state of the United Mexican States until its revolution in 1836.
  • Although still officially an Empire until the fall of 1918, Hungary had seceded from Austria centuries before.
  • An integral part of the Netherlands, Belgium seceded in 1830, due mostly to religious differences.

In very recent times, we’ve seen a very large number:

  • Norway seceded from the Kingdom of Norway and Denmark, rather peacefully, in 1906
  • Northern Ireland seceded from the rest of Ireland in 1919 to remain part of the United Kingdom.
  • Taiwan, finally giving up the claim to house the government of all China, de facto seceded in the 1960s.
  • Biafra (“River State”) in Nigeria tried to secede and was bloodily suppressed.
  • Kinshaha Province in Republic of the Congo also failed to secede back in the 1960s.
  • The mostly Turkish northern part of the island of Cyprus seceded in the 1960s.
  • After the end of the Cold War, various chunks of Yugoslavia split off.
  • Also at that time, Slovakia left Czechoslovakia, which became the Czech Republic.
  • Very recently, the South Sudan won its freedom from the Sudan.

Currently, secession is being actively and in large numbers pursued by:

  • Catalonia, the eastern part of Iberia, is autonomous and seeking full independence from Spain
  • Scotland will be voting on secession from the United Kingdom soon.
  • Northern Italy (Padania, I believe it is called)
  • Quebec has tried more than once to secede from Canada
  • An Alaska Independence movement has existed for decades and has seats in the legislature
  • New England looked long and hard at secession during the War of 1812 and afterwards

This fresh interest in secession in the US just publicizes other, generally very small and poorly organized secession movements in the US, many of which involve secession from another state and NOT from the Union as a whole.  Still there are several that have been around and trying (sometimes very trying) for some time:

  • Alaska (mentioned above)
  • Texas has multiple secession organizations
  • The League of the South advocates for a new Confederate States
  • Vermont has a small but growing movement for a 2nd Republic
  • Hawai’i has a small movement
  • Cascadia (parts of WA, OR, CA, and perhaps ID) has tried now and then
  • Puerto Rico’s independence movement seems to have pretty died out
  • Russell Means’ Republic of Lakotah was first proclaimed several years ago and “re-proclaimed” a couple of months ago before his death

These are all the serious attempts: there are a good many farce and fun claims for secession, from the Conch Republic (Key West Florida) to some very strange excuses for parties in the Colorado Rockies.

The truth is that Americans have always been fascinated by secession, and with growing success worldwide, the time may be approaching.

To end this article, let me touch briefly on some personal matters related to secession. Why is an Army officer (reserve) and a christian man even advocating ANY form of secession?  For ANY purpose?  Am I not betraying my oath?  My oath (affirmation) is to the Constitution of the United States, specifically to protect and defend it.  I am to obey the lawful orders of the president and my superior officers.  I haven’t received many recently, I might add, although that has nothing to do with the fact that the Constitution is a dead letter.  As a dead letter, in which virtually every right supposedly protected by the Bill of Rights is repeatedly violated by federal and state and local governments, on a constant basis, what is there to defend and protect?  It was supposed to protect the liberties of our people, and therefore defending and protecting it protects my people: my nation, and my home.  But when it is no longer in force, when it has become the undead remnant of a “living document” instead of a covenant that means something, the Union is dead.  As I have stated again and again in my columns.  Therefore, all of us today face the same quandary that men such as Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jackson and their comrades faced in 1861:  do they stand with defending liberty and their own state, or do they become (or remain) part of the machinery of tyranny?

It is a decision each of us must make for ourselves.  As Garry Reed, the Dallas Libertarian Examiner pointed out, secession is NOT automatically going to lead to liberty’s restoration, and great risks are involved, whether the attempt succeeds or fails.  As others have pointed out as well, these funny-cute petitions on the First Citizen’s website are really meaningless in any sort of legal or political way.  There is a danger to even anonymously sign those, given the current state of technology; and these may even be a form of entrapment.  But like so many, I hope the concept goes viral, just because of the value of educating people and showing those who have destroyed this nation that not everyone is willing to sit down and shut up.

If you are serious, and have counted the cost, about getting your state or region or county or city to secede from this undead monster called the Federal Government, or its parasitic partner in your local state capital, with all its occupation forces, then do it for the right reasons and in the right way:  get your paper and pens out and start with your name, written like John Hancock in big bold letters, with your name and address and state of residence clearly stated, and then go to your family, your friends, and your neighbors and tell them to put their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” on the line.  As Heinlein pointed out decades ago, it is hard to beat the prose of Jefferson and all from 236 years ago: just the specifics of the charges and the object of our wrath has changed.

No, it is not the First Citizen or the Congress that we need to secede from: they are officially only hirelings: the secession is “We, the People of South Dakota” [or which ever state] or better yet, “We, free and self-governing individuals, residing in the State of South Dakota” are stating our charges against “We, the People of the United States and those who claim to represent, serve, and lead them.”  But however you do it, count the cost and do it in the best way you can.  Remember Patrick Henry’s words, and if you are a christian (or Jewish), remember Joshua’s words:  and value liberty more than security or life or fortunes or honor.

About TPOL-Nathan

Nathan Barton is a christian, self-governor (free-market anarchist), husband, father, professional engineer, Engineer army officer, private businessman, and writer, teacher, and preacher. He works and lives mostly in four western states, and is Southern by heritage and Westerner by birth, upbringing, and choice.
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