By Nathan Barton
Now that we’ve seen how common secession has been and is (in Part 1), and how many people and places are seeking to do that, let’s ask the question, why is this a good idea?
And also, why should YOU consider secession? Either individually (with your family) or as part of a community? There are actually a few libertarian groups and organizations out there suggesting (even urging) people to consider secession. “Atlantis” (Galt’s Gulch), in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, was a fictional example of what at least some people are trying today, going to some relatively benign and peaceful place (Belize or Costa Rica are two) or out on the open seas. Others just try to hunker down in some location where they won’t be noticed or bothered much – although that can change quickly. Both the Wyoming Free State project and the one in New Hampshire are, to some degree, a secession activity. Particularly in Wyoming, where government is generally much less intrusive than in New England.
Mama’s Note: As a founding member, I can tell you the Free State Wyoming” project is mostly history now. You can tell from the last update on this website. A good number of people moved here, got busy with their own business and freedom, and all of our lives have moved on, though some members continue to meet and communicate often as individuals. This is neither disturbing nor a problem, contrary to what many might think. FSW was never about politics, building or maintaining a permanent organization, or “taking over” anything or anyone. Unfortunately, the New Hampshire “free state project” can’t say the same.
Keep in mind that it is also possible to “partially” secede.
For individuals and families, there are many reasons to secede:
– To reduce interference in your family life and making a living, by government and its cronies.
– To provide your children an education free of government control.
– To reduce the risk of attacks and other crimes being committed against you, by government as well as other entities and individuals.
– To avoid entanglements in foreign wars and affairs.
– To avoid taxes and other forms of theft.
Several of these reasons have a common theme: a decision to take responsibility for what is done “on our behalf” and refuse to support immoral actions done in our name.
In the same way, there are some significant reasons to seek to secede as a community, even a county or a state or some major portion thereof:
– Seek a “reset” from intolerable conditions, particularly of government.
– Seek to no longer be a minority, whether ethnic (“racial”) or religious or culturally.
– Reduce government and its direct/indirect costs.
– Isolate your community from unacceptable influences.
– Keep from continuing to be an enemy of your current state’s enemies.
The problem, as a community, is that we assume that the community will still have some kind of organized and mandatory government – that society still needs people with guns NOT for self-defense but to control people: to force them to do things against their will.
But that situation, on a local level, or even a state level, is STILL preferable to the situation we have today with very powerful centralized governments and “elite” control (or attempts to control) everything. In particular, it provides more opportunity for individual secession to be successful: secession as individuals and families, which are then free to establish voluntary relationships with each other to enjoy prosperity and peace.
How far can, and should, secession as a community go? During the era of the War Between the States, we saw that the major effort was secession as states, but that then the states which seceded joined together in a confederation intended to provide the same advantages to peace, commerce, and progress that the old Union was (supposed to) provide. And which instead had to fight against attempts to force reunification. And failed. But that was far from the only secession effort during that chaotic period. Parts of many states did NOT agree with the decision of their central state government, either to secede or NOT to secede from the old Union.
There was Bleeding Kansas, where (hidden by the overall fight over whether the entire state-to-be was to be free or slave) there were many small communities which sought to secede and remain neutral, protecting their people from the violence of both the free and slave sides of things. During the War Between the States itself, Missouri had its own internal civil war: two (or more) different groups each fighting to become the “legitimate” government of the state. Again, there were communities which tried to stay out – but were not allowed to do so by the competing state governments, and of course, the warring USA and CSA forces.
In eastern Tennessee, the mountaineers (mostly of Celtic origin) did not want to leave the Union, and so had to try to secede from Tennessee, but failed. (Unlike the mountaineers of West Virginia, who seceded from the secession and joined with the USA forces.) There were apparently similar efforts in Kentucky, and especially in Texas, where the (mostly German) area around Fredricksburg attempted to divorce themselves from the State of Texas. (Sadly, attempts by Texas as a whole to secede and stay OUT of the Confederate States got nowhere.)
Consider the situation in late 2016. According to Governing magazine, Clinton carried 88 of the 100 largest [by population] counties, accounting for her [supposed] popular vote win. But among smaller counties [smaller in population], Clinton won just over 420 while Trump prevailed in more than 2,500. A good percentage of those 420 rural counties consisted of three types: AmerInd reservations, rural Black communities, and rural Hispanic communities. Although many more Hispanics, Blacks, and AmerInd apparently voted for Trump than voted for either Romney or McCain, Democrats have long dominated those segments of the voting population in both rural and urban areas. In addition, there are the “middle counties” – the areas that Westerners consider urban but the Coasts and elites do not: counties as small as 30,000 or 40,000 population (though most have 100,000 to 250,000 population). These are urban and semi-urban areas like Teton County (Jackson) Wyoming, Clay County (Vermillion), South Dakota, San Miguel County (Telluride), Colorado. These counties are the seats of universities or the trophy home locations of A-List celebrities, where liberalism (or outright Tranzi sentiments) dominate.
Rather than just have states – whether it is California or Texas or Vermont -secede, would it not make MORE sense to have counties (or even parts of counties) secede? For reservations, that might be fairly easy and straightforward. Why not the same way for other counties? Consider Colorado: although the effort to create Northern Colorado has faltered (for now), why should not Boulder County (home of University of Colorado) secede and have their own people’s republic? The same thing could be done for the elite zone of Gilpin County (Aspen). Other locations, such as Telluride in San Miguel County, could secede but allow the western part of their county (rural/frontier ranchers and miners) to leave and join with other counties. La Plata County consists of three distinct communities: most of the Southern Ute Nation occupies a third, the City of Durango with Fort Lewis College (highly liberal) and its ski-tourist economy and transplants from California has about 10%, and the rest is ranching and farming and minerals: why cannot each of the three parts go off on their own? Some of these areas might join with similar areas: a “new Colorado” or even a “Four Corners Republic” or a “High Country State” could emerge. But why do we NEED to have any level of central control?
Just something to think about.
Mama’s Note: Trying to deal with all of the current political lines, groups, divisions and power hungry politicians, organizations and even individuals – under the current conditions – secession on a community or regional basis doesn’t sound promising. When a majority – or a darn good portion – of the general population figures out that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin, the individual secession will be well under way. After that, the various factions can decide to associate voluntarily and work together for mutual goals.
As long as most people see little or no problem with some people having power over other people, against their will… tyranny will continue.