A scenario of secession
(Note: See my below comment about the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 as an early example of two peoples with mutually incompatible belief systems agreeing to secede from each other.)
In the previous entry, about David Petraeus’s biographer and former mistress Paula Broadwell’s appearance on the Jon Stewart program, I wrote: “But having written the above, I must ask: considering what happened to America this week, is there any point in continuing to write this kind of cultural criticism?”
Here I continue with that thought.
It would seem that the only meaningful cultural/political activity at this point is that which would lead to secession from the tyrannical, lawless, decadent society that America has become. But secession from a nation with which the seceding “nation” is intimately intertwined in the economic, geographical, and every other sense is practically impossible. So where does this leave us?
Here’s a scenario I can visualize. Over time, certain states begin to assert, in relatively small and discrete ways, their independence from the federal government, for example, refusing to obey certain federal mandates, and the federal government, fiscally hamstrung by its reckless spending policies and gradually losing legitimacy, loses the authority and will to force those states to obey. As this process gradually progresses, people who want to be free from the United Socialist States of America move to the more independent states, and people who oppose such independence move to the obedient states. Ultimately, over a period of time that we cannot predict, the two nations would be sufficiently geographically separated that actual secession would become a possibility.
Paul K. writes:
The secession idea is one that has long intrigued me. One of the factors that may push some states to consider it is the varying degrees of fiscal responsibility between the states. The United States is in much the same situation as the European Union, except worse. Germany may resent having to bail out Greece to keep the EU intact, but ultimately it can decide to stop doing so and let the EU fall apart. In the US, though, there seems little likelihood that the Obama administration would let California or other such fiscally irresponsible states go bankrupt. A federal bailout would obligate residents of states that have been responsible to cover California’s profligate spending. The ramifications of this may be significant.November 10
Sam Barnes writes:
While I am intrigued by the scenario of secession you present, I am afraid I take a much more negative view of it than you do.James P. writes:
There is a major problem with the scenario of secession even if secession is quickly and peacefully achieved. Namely, the population of the Red states that seceded would likely still accept liberal premises. (I do not mean the population of the Blue enclaves in the Red states, but the basic Red population itself.) Would the Red states restrict immigration? End affirmative action? Stop blaming whites for everything? Start speaking the truth about minorities? De-feminize and de-homosexualize the military? You may say, “Of course they would” but right now the “conservative leadership” nationwide is not in favor of any of those things. If the Red states seceded but kept the existing system in place, then they would fail more slowly than Blue America but they would nevertheless fail.LA replies:
To put it another way, how many of the people who wanted to secede would be “economic conservatives, but social liberals”?LA writes:
Just after posting the above comments, by sheer coincidence (hah), I opened at random an old book of mine that I hadn’t looked at in years, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, by Roland Bainton (1952). The passage I opened to was about how the Catholics and Protestants in Germany gave up on trying to live in one polity under under one rule, but agreed to separate from each other into respectively Catholic and Protestant territories, and about how such separation may be an indispensable condition of liberty.Dave T. writes:
I too have been imagining the exact same scenario as the most likely circumstances under which secession would take place. The only caveat I would add is that I think the bottom would have to fall out of the global economy, or perhaps some other similarly traumatic event, before a leftist federal government would be willing to compromise in significant ways with more independently minded states. In other words, if the federal government were sufficiently weakened and/or overextended then I think they would be willing to let certain states start going their separate ways under various conditions.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 09, 2012 09:15 PM | Send