Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Secession: A Fundamental Principle of Liberty

The right to secede or withdraw our consent is a basic human right we’ve all exercised from time to time and to one degree or another. We, on occasion, withdraw from relationships, whether personal or professional, no longer serving our needs or values. Additionally, we often withdraw our support or loyalty to products or services no longer serving our needs or our values. Why would the state secessionist movement be relegated to a different set of rules or rights by our federal government?

Is the right to secede conditional upon someone or some entity granting us permission to do so? If freedom is something granted (an assumption), how can we ever hope to be truly free? We either believe that we as individuals choose to be free or we believe others grant us our freedom(s). If we believe others bestow our freedoms on us, how do we reconcile the issue of the equality of mankind? If, as many proclaim, we are all equal, who would be so arrogant to assume they are in a position to grant or bestow freedom upon their equals? And, if the arrogant assume they are in a position to grant or bestow freedom upon their equals, what assurance do we have that they will be any less arrogant in the reversal of such bestowment?

Can one imagine the public outcry if corporations successfully lobbied for bills making it illegal for employees to terminate their employment? Can one imagine the public outcry if landlords successfully lobbied for bills making it illegal for rent paying tenants to terminate their lease agreements? Can one imagine the public outcry if automobile manufacturers successfully lobbied for bills making it illegal to terminate ownership and use of their particular brand of automobile? Can one imagine the public outcry if cities, municipalities, or states forbade residents to leave their territorial boundaries?

The early American colonists came together in a voluntary union and made a decision to secede from British rule. Voluntary union and secession was the basis upon which this nation was founded. If voluntary union and secession was the basis upon which this nation was founded, why wouldn’t it also be the basis of its continuance?

What Abraham Lincoln did, in coercively suppressing the secessionist movement of the South, was treasonous and un-American and this act of coercive suppression represented a reversal of something considered very fundamental and unique to the forming of our nation. No longer, after Lincoln’s tyranny, would the federal government be truly answerable to the people. No longer would the federal government seek to create an environment of mutual consent and voluntary association. Lincoln brought us the beginnings of a haughty and abusive form of government that continues, to this very day, to flaunt its power intrusively and obnoxiously. We’ve evolved into a nation of serfs no better off than the colonists, under oppressive British rule, and in many instances the tyranny we experience today is worse than the tyranny experienced under British rule. The primary difference being that today the tyranny is much more creatively disguised through the management of perceptions by mainstream media.

Why was secession from British rule applauded as being something akin to the Divine while the Southern States secession from the Union was, under Lincoln, characterized as being heretical or treasonous? Why did the United States government applaud the state secessionist movement in the U.S.S.R. and elsewhere while continuing to pooh-pooh the same liberty for their own individual states? Is there a double standard for freedom?

Is not voting with our feet and our money true democracy practiced in its most pure form? Can we imagine the degradation of products and services consumers would experience if a law was passed prohibiting shoppers from discontinuing the use of a product or service? Can we imagine the abusive and haughty behavior that could be found in marital relationships if laws were created to prohibit withdrawal from those relationships? Can we imagine the abusive and haughty nature of a government run amok, as witnessed on an almost daily basis, not having some connection to Lincoln’s treasonous act against the South? How many past civilizations embracing coercion, as the patriotic glue uniting their societies together, did not witness this coercion morphing into more oppressive forms and serving as the catalyst for the next revolution?

When sellers of products and services are required to compete for our loyalty, doesn’t that make for more choices and better service in the marketplace? When a spouse understands their partner is not shackled to the marital relationship, in a coercive fashion, doesn’t that garner more mutual respect or respectful behavior towards one another? Why wouldn’t a similar voluntary and competitive structure, in government, provide equally more choices, freedom and better customer service?

If we can understand the benefits of secession from the British Crown, can we not understand the potential benefits of secession from the Union? When we succumb to the false ideas of - my country, right or wrong; my church, right or wrong; and my family, right or wrong; how do we avoid resigning ourselves to the inevitable negative consequences (tyranny) arising from such self-destructive paradigms? Unconditional loyalty to one’s country, one’s church, and to one’s family soon becomes the breeding ground for the selfish and arrogant.

If the secessionist movement isn’t successful on the state level, it can certainly be successful on the individual level. If the United States government appears to have great difficulty in keeping illegal immigrants out of our country, how can it be expected the United States government will be any more successful in keeping those desiring to leave (secede) from doing so? The best and brightest liberty minded people will leave for more hospitable shores and many are doing so right now. Those who understand what liberty is will certainly find it.

In the final analysis, there will be only two impediments to the masses desiring to secede from the Union in whatever fashion deemed appropriate to the circumstances. Those impediments are personal debt and dependency upon the Nanny State. Debt and Nanny State dependency keep us in perpetual slavery and we do it to ourselves by our choices. The famous Pogo cartoon quotation summed it up best when lamenting, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

The most prosperous nation states of the future will be the ones who compete with each other in providing an environment of low taxes, privacy, and the elimination of onerous regulations and frivolous lawsuits. The personally responsible and solvent will be attracted to their shores.

The impoverished third world nation state wastelands of the future will be the ones who incentivize personal irresponsibility, personal debt, and dependency upon the Nanny State.

We have a choice to be loyal to the principles of freedom and our core values or the choice to be loyal to the brand and the expectations of others. Freedom is a choice!

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