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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9860/secession-is-in-our-future/

Secession Is in Our Future

April 28, 2009 by

Of course, once it becomes clear that a majority of the states — and specifically those that are the most productive — are seceding, the remaining states of Old America will have to consider their options. Would they want to bail out the corporations, the unionized public-school teachers, municipal workers, and the UAW, and the bankrupt states of California and New Jersey, among others, when the burden falls much more heavily onto them? FULL ARTICLE

{ 61 comments }

Bruce Koerber April 28, 2009 at 8:24 am

Destiny of America
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Secession Is Just Following the Motto: “Be Prepared.”

What is wrong with being prepared? Not only is that an honorable motto of the Boy Scouts of America but it is a basic human action. All human beings try to anticipate and prepare for the uncertainty of the future.

But, what we know about the future that is certain is that the Keynesian log-run has arrived and will continue to arrive! Consumption of and destruction of real capital that is hidden by the ego-driven interventionists (who use propaganda to misinform the masses) in the Keynesian short-run (Keynes didn’t worry about it – he said “We’re all dead in the long-run) has its consequences. The consequence is that at some time there will be people who have to live in the Keynesian long-run. This is a certainty.

Back to the principle of secession. Is the principle of secession alive and well when the States listen to their citizens and ignore the false pronouncements of the unConstitutional coup that wants to act like an imperialist in America since its empire of worldwide imperialism evaporated? Is the principle of secession alive when it becomes common knowledge that the currency that was destroyed by the unConstitutional coup is counterfeit like the Continental dollar?

In preparation for the Keynsian long-run it is the principle of secession that will strengthen the will of the people to reject ego-driven interventionism, and to reject the unConstitutional coup. Rather than being ‘unAmerican’ this is the knowledge and attitude that will restore our Constitutional Republic and in the process restore State rights.

Ned Netterville April 28, 2009 at 9:26 am

Thirteen American colonies seceded from Great Britain; eleven Southern states seceded from the American Union of states; and what did we get? Two wars, including the deadliest for Americans, and the current oppressive federal and states (all states) governments. (If you think the states don’t oppress, try exercising your right to travel freely by the most convenient means without the permit all states require–aka, a drivers license. Try owning property that is really yours and thus not requiring the annual payment of rent –aka, property taxes. Etc., etc., etc.) The problem is government, which is inherently oppressive. The solution is not to change government but to do without it altogether.

Brian April 28, 2009 at 9:57 am

Of course having no government would be preferable to having a smaller government; but sometimes we must reach our goals incrementally. Where would the total abolition of government be more likely: in the current USA, where many people actually favor big government, or in, say, a separate southern nation, where most people already dislike and distrust government? Obviously, in the southern nation (or Vermont, or Texas, or Idaho, etc.). Idealism has its place in any movement, but so does practicality.

greg April 28, 2009 at 10:12 am

After reading this, I realized I just wasted 5 minutes of my life.

newson April 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

…more fool you. you wasted fourteen words in your senseless comment. get a life.

Joe B April 28, 2009 at 10:28 am

While I fully support the right of states to secede, I think that it is at best a first step towards a freer society.

Secession is an important non-violent check on government power when the electoral process isn’t sufficient in this regard.

However, there may be many citizens of a given state who oppose the secession and wish to remain citizens of the federal government. Should they be denied that choice if the majority within their state chooses to secede? Should US federal agents be allowed to operate within a seceded state to serve these dissenters? This may actually be a realistic step towards dissolving both state and federal monopolies of force – a seceded state military would not be in collusion with the federal military.

Of course, individual secession and choice of government regardless of geographical boundaries would provide the most liberty without forcing people to move. “If you don’t want to secede, move out of the state” is thinly veiled coercion when people have homes, jobs, families, etc. in a specific area.

So I would suggest adding “The Individual Right to Secession” to the list, although this would probably require major overhauls of existing legislation for any laws (e.g. taxes, immigration) based on residency or physical presence.

But state secessions decided by elections could provide a publicly-palatable first step towards this.

Michael Wiebe April 28, 2009 at 10:36 am

“Now, does a massive increase in taxes, in spending, and in the federal deficit constitute such an abuse of the rights of men as to justify secession under the doctrine of an inherent right to secede? I don’t think so.”

Exactly. It’s perfectly okay if the government is only violating some of our rights. Why should we expect all of our rights to be respected?

Scott D April 28, 2009 at 10:41 am

greg,

Better get back over to youtube. Someone just posted a video that needs a comment like yours.

Chad Rushing April 28, 2009 at 11:29 am

I do not foresee secession being a viable option for any state unless it has something like 90% or more of its people “strongly supporting” secession (AND it is effectively autonomous already). 51% voting in favor of a secession referendum will not suffice. The other 49% would be sure to beg the US government to halt the secession, and the “Union” would be more than happy to comply as history has clearly demonstrated. It is one of those “If I am going down, I am taking you all with me” situations.

Sadly enough, I think that the best people will be able to do in an increasingly authoritarian USA is just individually emigrate elsewhere and start over, leaving the USA to collapse under its own historically unprecedented “weight.” Jim Rogers seems to have the right idea.

Sure, nearly everyone complains about the current governing system, but being an “American” is an integral part to most people’s identities with its accompanying, sentimentally nationalistic notions, and they are not going to give that up easily. (Cue Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”)

Joe Stoutenburg April 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

Michael Wiebe:

I had a similar reaction to that section. Surely, we must be reading it wrong. The author goes on:

Ask me about the inherent right to secede when the government starts to restrict our freedom of speech, to shut down the independent media, to confiscate our guns, and to take away our children.

I fear, in our society, that once those abuses begin (arguably, they have already), people have become so accustomed to slavery that they haven’t the sense to rise up. I can understand not wanting to shed blood over every minor invasion of liberty, but I think that we are already far beyond any sensible limit. The longer that Americans willingly endure the political systems that we have, the less am I hopeful for any kind of peaceful revolution.

LetUsHavePeace April 28, 2009 at 11:35 am

The Declaration of Independence is, by tradition, a sacred document in the United States of America. It does not, however, have any force of law. The Constitution, which is the ultimate law of our Federal Republic, is quite explicit on the question of secession. Its answer to the question of whether States have a “right of secession” is simple: No. The last paragraph of Article I, Section 10 reads: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Thomas di Lorenzo and your current contributor have done their able best to take the last dependent clause (“unless, etc.) to rationalize the formation of the Confederacy. What is amusing and saddening is that many of the readers of this blog and the Mises.org web site will accept this advocacy for the right of secession even as they complain about the appalling extensions that Congress, the Executive and the Supreme Court have made of the limited jurisdiction conferred by the commerce clause. The arguments have the same sophistry; they ignore the plain language of the law in favor of an interpretation that favors their bias.

Joe Stoutenburg April 28, 2009 at 11:44 am

LetUsHavePeace:

You are demonstrating what I believe is the danger of looking to authority to determine your rights. By nature, authority will attempt to consolidate its influence. An authoritarian society, continually looking to government to grant rights, will find its rights gradually diminished over time. I believe that this has happened in the U.S.

Rather, we should decide upon what rights we wish to obtain and fight for them. As you may recall, the king of England did not immediately grant the revolutionary Americans the right to secede either. While the Declaration of Independence is not, as you say, the law of the land; it is an important part of our heritage that I think lovers of liberty should point to. We should revive the spirit of liberty in our society.

Let’s face it, an appeal to the Constitution is not conducive to establishing liberty.

2nd Amendment April 28, 2009 at 11:46 am

“Ask me about the inherent right to secede when the government starts to restrict our freedom of speech, to shut down the independent media, to confiscate our guns, and to take away our children.”

The government is ALREADY doing all those things !!!

2nd Amendment April 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

LetUsHavePeace,

If democrats and liberals can trash the 2nd amendment, then we can trash Article I section 10 !!!

David Spellman April 28, 2009 at 11:54 am

Secession is a great idea if it will lead to something better. In the case of the American Revolution, that was true–the colonies became more free and prosperous as independent states. In the case of the American civil war, that was false–the Confederate States were not an improvement over the United States.

If states were to secede today, the question is whether there would be an improvement in government. We talk about the ideal of no government, or at least less government. Would that actually happen?

I doubt it. We do not have an oppressive national government battling freedom-loving state governments. We have a system of oppressive and corrupt government at every level–from school boards and city councils all the way to congress and the presidency. We have an electorate that elects and promotes these criminals up the ladder of political power. If you believe that secession will solve any problem, you need to seriously consider how the vast majority of your neighbors act and think.

Would secession be justified? Of course, if you are willing to pay the price. As a practical matter, secession will typically be met with armed resistance. You absolutely must be willing to kill or be killed to exert your rights. Most people will suffer under despotism because they are not willing to risk their lives for freedom. That is the trump card in the despots hand–fear of death. But when the despot is so awful that the fear of death is overcome, despotism meets a very violent end.

I would not recommend seceding (and fighting a revolution) unless there is no alternative. As long as there are elections and the people elect their own tyrants, it is unlikely that secession will succeed since the people will support their tyrants in putting down your secession. On the other hand, for a secession to succeed you need popular support. If you have popular support, why not elect better officials?

But when the day comes that the people attempt to elect officials and the will of the people is ignored, then revolution is justified. It could be that if Americans elected a whole slate of people like Ron Paul, martial law would be declared and the elections nullified. Unfortunately, that has not occurred because the People elect tyrants of their own free will.

We can agitate for change and stir up opposition to tyranny, but we must wait for the will of the People to oppose the government and the government to come out in open rebellion against the People. It is not a matter of which rights or how many rights the government has trampled. The problem is that the People suffer the government to do so. When the People say “Enough!” and the rulers say “Try and stop us!” then the sentence of death can be passed upon the thieves and criminals who have usurped the government.

And when the time comes to change the affairs of the nation, I would recommend going back to a government under the Constitution we had rather than trying to write a whole new system of government. Frankly, I think the founding fathers did a marvelous job that no one is going to improve upon because modern man is too confused about government. It would be much easier to raise the banner of the old constitutional liberty than to try to gain a consensus for any new system. Pragmatism is a virtue when dealing with the vagaries of human nature.

2nd Amendment April 28, 2009 at 11:57 am

Chad Rushing,

“Sadly enough, I think that the best people will be able to do in an increasingly authoritarian USA is just individually emigrate elsewhere and start over, leaving the USA to collapse under its own historically unprecedented “weight.” Jim Rogers seems to have the right idea.”

Where to go ? Canada ?

This place is a socialist shit hole that hates guns and wants you to be dependent upon the state.

People earning just $30,000 a year pay effectively 50% taxes, leaving them with a net $15,000 to live off.

Health Care is socialised, which means it costs nothing but you get nothing of value as well and are basically dying on “waiting” lists.

Police in Canada are rude and authoritarian and think they are God…because they Are.

In Canada, the revenue services are much more harrassing and intimidating than the USA’s IRS.

Plus, it’s cold as hell up there, you want to freeze to death and shovel snow 6 months a year ?

Your duty is to stay in the USA and FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.

Because if the USA collapse then all the other countries will become even more tyrannical.

Fighting for the freedom of USA is fighting for the freedom of the world.

The 2nd Amendment protects the entire world from the US government. If the 2A should fall, then nothing would prevent the USA from drafting a huge army and wrecking the whole world.

Other countries despise our 2A, but they should be thankful that it exists, it’s what prevents the USA from expanding around the globe.

No 2nd Amendment would mean US troops in Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, North Korea, Iran, Georgia, Taiwan etc.

No 2nd Amendment would mean the end of the civilized world.

The real use of the 2nd Amendment is not only to prevent tyranny in our government, but to prevent that tyranny from invading other countries.

Once a tyrany has established itself, it then seeks more victims so it would do abroad what it does local.

The 2nd Amendment is protecting the entire world and not just homeowners against thugs.

Lee April 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

The national (used to be federal) gov’t along with the state gov’ts will collapse, anyway. The 54+ trillion in government debt and entitlements will likely destroy the country. The gov’t is praying that some new technology will create millions of jobs and tax revenues. We all know that is not going to happen.

Be it secession or complete collapse, the U.S. has about fifteen years left.

Brian April 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I’m glad LetUsHavePeace came along to set straight those nuts who thought secession was an option — like Thomas Jefferson and even Abraham Lincoln before he became president. The cited Constitutional Article applies to states that ARE part of the union. It doesn’t address whether states MUST remain a part of the union. These are separate issues. Further, secession is more a matter of political will than Constitutional permission. Did the states have permission to secede from Great Britain?

2nd Amendment April 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Joe Stoutenburg,

“people have become so accustomed to slavery that they haven’t the sense to rise up.”

Ironically, the first class of people to rise up will be armed criminals already owning the means and the will to resist.

And then they will become our masters and once again we will be ruled by criminals.

This “revolution” will not be one, because our current criminals in government will be replaced by another gang of criminals.

The people will remain sheep.

A real REVOLUTION would be when each and every individual would be free and responsible for himself without the fetters of government. Now that would be a real revolution.

Sue V. April 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I was listening to the Armstrong and Getty radio show this morning wherein the question was asked, in light of the dreadful state of California politics and finances, can a state BE seceded? In other words, can the other 49 actually throw California out?

Stranger things have happened. But we can oly hope.

LetUsHavePeace April 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I took the trouble to write a post about this notion of secession because it has been a pernicious fantasy that has cost this country dearly. It is an enormous distraction from the real task at hand which is to exercise our Constitutional rights to reduce and, where possible, eliminate government from our individual lives.

Joe and others seem to have misunderstood my purpose. I don’t appeal to the Constitution as the final word on the question of rights; neither did its authors. They would have considered that notion absurd. My rights as an individual come from God, not from any government. Benjamin Franklin and his colleagues thought that this was self-evident, and that still seems to me the final word on the subject.

The question was whether, under our common and Constitution law, states (which are themselves an abstraction of government) had a right of secession.

Appeals to the history of the American Revolution do not support that assertion. The colonists who signed the Declaration of Independence were not seeking state secession; they were asserting their rights, as individual Englishmen, to overthrow the tyranny of the Crown. They were not asking for a political divorce; they were asserting their right of revolution. If Brian had said that revolution was a “matter of political will, (not) Constitutional permission”, he would have been accurately describing what Franklin, Washington and Adams all thought.

I don’t understand why the people who are so angry about the unconstitutional extensions of government are so eager to throw over the Constitution itself. The rhetoric about the 2nd Amendment is particularly puzzling. The 2nd Amendment is very much alive and well even here in the People’s Republic of California. Even the California Legislature has had to accept open carry as being the law of the land. If “liberals” had limited their unconstitutional extensions of government authority to the scope of the current restrictions on gun ownership, there would be very little for us to debate.

I would urge people to reread Article III. Arguing in favor of a simple enforcement of the Constitutional limits on the judiciary seems to me a far more profitable advocacy than trying to distort history to conjure up a right of secession. The notion of “States rights” is itself a dreadful sophistry. It has been used throughout our country’s history primarily to suggest that local tyrannies are somehow inherently more just than Federal ones. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments need to be read together. “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Patrick April 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I agree with Michael Wiebe’s sarcastic comment. Why are you being such a wimp Clifford? Secession in my opinion was fully justified back in 1788 after the Federalist coup that foisted the Constitution over the public!

That you say that it is not yet justified after 200+ years from then is incredible!

Eric April 28, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Secession is NOT going to happen. Just like a libertarian winning the presidency is not going to happen. I’d love to see it, but forgettaboutit.

At least secession as an answer to the humongous debt that is. I don’t see Texas or any other one or few states leaving and repudiating on it’s portion of the current debt – for example social security payments. And what of those in these states, who’s going to keep paying them their welfare payments. Will people have to move to a union state to continue receiving?

Since nobody is creating a dissolution plan, it’s pretty clear that this is all just talk. It’s similar to changing to a national sales tax. It’s all just talk until someone actually tries to figure out how to change from one method to the other (e.g. those who retire the year of the switchover will get hit enormously hard – since now all their retirement plans that did NOT include a huge consumption tax will bankrupt a huge percentage of the population).

Since the Federal Govt. can legally tax and borrow from ourselves then we can’t get away from owing ourselves all this debt too.

Unless a quorum of states call for a constitutional convention, and explicitly modify the Constitution to allow for secession – AND spell out the rules for how to split up the assets AND the debts, there’d be a revolution or another Lincoln to save the union.

Brian April 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm

LetUsHavePeace,

I think we agree on several things. I agree that secession is more an act of revolution than a simple political divorce. I also agree that secession is a last resort and that regaining the rights granted under the Constitution is preferable to the drastic act of secession. Where we disagree — and I hope I am wrong — is I think the nation is too far gone to be reformed. Too many people rely on the expanded federal government, and these reliant people will never opt to limit the power of the government they rely on. I also agree that states can infringe on rights, too. But one step at a time, for the reasons I set out in my first post. Finally, do you have a cite to a law review article, case or scholarly paper of any kind that supports your interpretation of Art. I, Sec. 10? I’d love to read something on that issue.

Don Duncan April 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm

We started with state secession and ended with “a real REVOLUTION”, personal secession. T.J. would approve. I seceded long ago. However, I would be better off if I could join with others of like mind by living in the same location for protection from the statists and to increase our productivity, not to mention the social benefits. We could call it “The Free Society Project”. I suggest picking a place with very little population to facilitate quick results by giving us an instant majority. Our example could be the blueprint for the world as the first 100% Capitalist society.

Magnus April 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Expecting secession to occur by voting is like expecting all the world’s criminals to lay down their arms, make restitution and henceforth work productive and peaceful lives.

Not going to happen. They’re committed to a violent, exploitative way of life, and are not going to suddenly see the wisdom of mutually-beneficial cooperation.

The unfortunate reality of the State is relatively simple to understand, and would be widely considered obvious if people were willing to admit the truth — the State sees “citizens” as livestock. In the view of the statist, we exist to be exploited.

Our wise and scientific masters may give the livestock free range (since a small measure of liberty increases our productivity), but we can’t opt to leave the farm.

Syrin April 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm

A revolution is far far more likely than seccession for all the reasons listed by others. If you read the comments sections at other web sites, you will see a fairly strong movement already discussing seccession and revolution. Not only that, but the discussions are getting specific and are addressing things like which ports would we control, which highways, which generals will join us, where would the retaliatory strikes come from. Perhaps the most scary aspect of all this is that the real gov’t control and business killing policies of Obama have YET to be implemented meaning the policies which have brought forth these sorts of discussions have yet to have their impact felt !! Just wait until Obama nationalizes the banks and denies loans to opposing political members, etc. I agree that seccession is unlikely, but I do see a revolution.

Last point, if a state is willing to secede because of the view of an oppressive/fascist federal gov’t, what do they care of the legalities? Just give the union the finger and leave, “damn the torpedoes”. Perhaps someone will actually challenge the Constitutionality of Obama taking over GM without ANY bankruptcy judge having ANY say in this while completely screwing over the shareholders. Not that it would matter given the leftist control of the judiciary system.

Brian April 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Eric,
Actually, there are people formulating some dissolution plans. You are like me. When I first heard about secession/dissolution, I laughed. But the more I looked into it, the more I found it it was becoming a rather significant, though still relatively small, movement. The first goal of the movement is to make secession/dissolution a mainstream topic. There’s no need to craft detailed, finalized dissolution plans until secession/dissolution is more of a possibility and more facts are known, such as: Which states might secede? How much opposition is there? Might the S. Ct. reverse the White decision and say secession is permissible? (Not likely.) Etc….

Stephen April 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

New Declaration establishes this same premise from the Declaration of Independence (http://newdeclaration.info).

Syrin April 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Don Duncan,

Interesting because I have been saying the same thing. I am hoping someone forms the “Atlas Shrugged Society” that would solicit members who would actauly have to be screened. This group would consist of a modern day minority, the US tax payer, and not the moochers. This group then could use its collective bargaining power to negotiate an ex-patriation en masse to some nation to allow for a favorable re-location be it to Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, etc.

Little Alex April 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Ummm, I’m on two hours sleep and can barely see straight working on final papers , but did I miss something?

Great article, but Thies says:

“Now, does a massive increase in taxes, in spending, and in the federal deficit constitute such an abuse of the rights of men as to justify secession under the doctrine of an inherent right to secede? I don’t think so.”

right after stating:

“The language of the Declaration should not be construed as an argument about the historical origins of government but, rather, as what would be true and just to an enlightened person, namely, that as persons and as communities of persons, we have the right and the duty to alter or abolish governments that become abusive of our rights. As Benjamin Franklin once put it, ‘Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.’”

I have a problem with such a strong paragraph’s tone lacking in the rest of the article. I understand what he’s doing in attempting a legal analysis, but the inalienable rights supercede the rest. Why is this not within a conclusion of the article, let alone not concluding the 1st part? How does this paragraph not justify one’s inalienable right to abolish government?

Brian April 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Anyone who wants to investigate secession and related topics might look at lewrockwell.com and see Bill Buppert’s article posted today: “A Secessionist Bookshelf: A Modest Beginning.”

Brian April 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm

One more post and then I have to do some actual work. Those interested in learning more about secession in the USA should check out the American Secession Project, http://www.secessionist.us/, which has much info on secession and includes a list of many of the active secession-related groups in the USA. Many of the groups are small and insignificant, but some are well-organized and growing. Look at, in particular, the League of the South, http://dixienet.org, and the Second Vermont Republic, http://www.vermontrepublic.org/.

Brian April 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Oops, two of the links don’t work for some reason. Sorry. I guess you’ll have to Google the organizations.

Franklin April 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I’m in agreement with Chad, that 90%+ would be required for a successful break. But even that effort would be squashed ahead of time, either via “buying” back the hearts and minds of many secession sympathizers, or by characterizing most as Randy Weaver types. As soon as the noise approached 5%, all hell would break loose on every left-leaning CNN-wannabe news outlet. Then the Feds (supported by the local State establishment) would not hesitate to effect the squashing in more dramatic terms.

Not to rain on the parade, but there is practically no chance whatsoever of a libertarian state developing (via secession) on “already conquered” land. Minarchists and anarcho-capitalists constitute less than a percent of the population. At my age, I’ll be dead and gone before we even get to 2%.

By the way, had to laugh at the reference to the UN Declaration of Human Rights whereby “…all people have the right to a country.” That’s too beautiful. The right to a country. Not satisfied with “free” healthcare and the “right to employment,” these bozos are going all the way! Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, today we’re giving away nation states! Picture Nick the bartender in It’s a Wonderful Life, cha-chinging his register and “giving out wings.” Well, one thing I’ll say for those numbskulls, when they tout the ill-begotten concept of “positive” rights, they certainly are consistent.

I thought that the Atlantis project from the early 90′s (building a floating city out in the Caribbean or someplace) would have garnered more of a following. Sure, the idea was “out there,” but the more I consider it, the more I believe that sort of vision is the only approach — start from scratch by building a country, where no other nation (especially the ones with missiles and tanks) can claim it’s already theirs. Then expand it, block by block….

Cheers,
F.

nicholas gray April 28, 2009 at 8:39 pm

In 1970, a farmer in Western Australia, called Leonard Casley, decided that the new laws then being introduced would destroy his livelihood, so he seceded his farm from the State.
And Won!
If you look for Hutt River Principality on Google, or whatever you use, you will come to his website. He and his family have not paid taxes for nearly forty years.
Similarly, Snake Hill Province was a farm and the owners declared themselves a tiny nation in 2003, and are setting up a hotel. It is only 1.6 square kilometers, but it is legally independent- Warning! No lawyers are allowed.
There is a Lonely Planet book called ‘Micro Nations’ which will tell you about lots of other small places, many of them homesteads which disagreed with the authorities.
Instead of states seceding, maybe you could emigrate to hutt River! The place lives on tourism and stamp-selling, but might be the seed of a better society.

Chad Rushing April 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm

2nd Amendment: “Where to go ? Canada ?” (followed by a list of reasons not to move to Canada)

When I said that people might need to just emigrate away from the USA, note that I never said anything about Canada being their final destination.

Jim Rogers, the billionaire investor, has reached the conclusion that East Asia is going to be The Place to Be in the next century, so he has already moved himself and his family over there. If there comes a point in the near future when countries in East Asian countries are far freer places to live than the USA and have booming economies to boot, other Americans might consider following his lead.

History is full of people who moved away from bad situations in order to make a better future for themselves elsewhere. Why is that no longer an acceptable course of action?

2nd Amendment: “No 2nd Amendment would mean the end of the civilized world.”

It is unlikely that all human civilization will be wiped out if the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution is compromised (even further) as there are many, many other countries out there who are free to make their own policies on such matters.

Bennet Cecil April 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm

We have already had our civil war and there will be no secession. What is needed is for the American people to fully experience the consequences of huge government. When inflation, unemployment and interest rates are 20% and everyone is forced to pay more than half of their income to government we will have change we can believe in. As long as productive Americans continue to work hard and pay high taxes to big government they are delaying the collapse.

newson April 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm

to nicholas gray:
get real. the “prince” is subject to australian state and federal taxes along with everyone else, queens included.

nicholas gray April 28, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Newson,
ON his website, Prince Leonard claims that he doesn’t pay taxes, and is an independent state. Since he has no subjects, he isn’t a king. Can you prove that he pays taxes?

Gil April 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Maybe Libertarian Secessionists should take a leaf out of the movie Batman Begins and live with real-life individual anti-statists secessionists called by most people as ‘criminals’. Criminals thumb their noses at the laws, form gangs that powerful that governments can’t seem to just round them up and, most of all, carry firearms in spite of the laws especially in nations that have strong anti-gun laws. The talk of cosy Libertarian-types who want secession seem to have some sort of NIMBY attitude where they want ‘the masses’ to do actual work and die in the process whilst Libertarians can enjoy the aftermath without so much as break a nail.

newson April 29, 2009 at 1:10 am

to nick gray:
http://www.ato.gov.au/atp/content.asp?doc=/content/62019.htm

experiment for yourself. declare yourself prince, your home a castle, and rudd a foreign ruler. let us know how you go.

anon April 29, 2009 at 2:31 am

The Hutt River Principality is a very successful example, haha – but it’s a sui generis, yeah.

newson April 29, 2009 at 4:33 am

just to be quite clear, hutt river is a scam, not a successful secession.

anon April 29, 2009 at 5:00 am

“just to be quite clear, hutt river is a scam, not a successful secession.”

How so?

Franklin April 29, 2009 at 9:26 am

Gil, while your juxtaposition of movie fiction with the phrase “real-life” is amusing, it is nevertheless inapt.

Most libertarians are not criminals.
Most libertarians do not want to live in gangs.
Most libertarians, while seeking a means to slow and arrest the growth of leviathan, believe in self-defense, peace and tolerance.

The characterization of arm-chair generals who effect killing so long as it’s far from their own living rooms is more accurately placed, with a few exceptions, on the elitist policy makers that walk the halls of Congress, and who declare war in the name of freedom.

newson April 29, 2009 at 10:31 am

anon:
read the link i provided to nick grey.

Philip Hayes April 29, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Are we not to the point of secession? Has not the federal government limited free speech through the FCC and all kinds of taxes and regulations within the media industry?
Have they not taken our children, or at least their very future, expecting them to pay off massive debt and spending?
Have they not stolen from us directly through the income tax, and indirectly through inflation and various other taxes?

YES! the time for Secession is upon us, and the only thing that keeps it from blooming now is that the population has not come to realize just how bad its gotten.

frank April 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Liberty and the centralization of power are opposing forces. If we want to return to a state of freedom we need to devolve power back to states and local governments. That is a first step. I’m a resident of NH, which if the weight of federal law were lifted in an act of succession would tranform into a fairly libertarian society. If there were immigration into the state, like the Free State Project would encourage than a post successionist state government could very easily begin devolving power down to the counties.
I think that we could all agree that the federal government is essentially bankrupt. The only choice left now to pay for leviathan is through the printing press, like all governments do. I believe that a “safe haven” state where people could declare residency, vote and have access to free, 100% reserve banking with accounts denominated in multiple currencies or precious metals would be an enormous liberating event for individuals. There could be an effective escape valve for Americans that will see the wealth erosive effects of monetary expansion which is all too inevitable.
If libertarian minded individuals could be convinced to practice a complete non-violent Gahndian movement and every initiative was completely legal and “democratic”, there would be essentially nothing that the federal government could do but watch as DC goes the way of the Kremlin.
I signed up for the Free State Project and think that it’s a great idea and i believe that there are enough people in America who do understand and love freedom, the problem is we are spread thinly across the country. We need to concentrate in a specific, small, free state and change it. Trying to reform DC is pointless.

LetUsHavePeace April 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Brian: You might want to look at Brian McGinty’s new book, Lincoln and the Court. It deals with the question that has been debated here – whether the nation was formed as a voluntary association of sovereign states or a permanent union created by the people through the Constitution.
You might also want to read about Andrew Jackson and the nullification controversy. Law review articles are to be avoided wherever possible, however. Law students no longer read the Constitution or the debates that preceded Amendments; neither, for that matter, do their professors.

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