First, a great article on secession on LewRockwell. Mr. Deist has a lot of good things to say: I will pick out a few quotes here and there:
As Mises wrote in 1927:
The situation of having to belong to a state to which one does not wish to belong is no less onerous if it is the result of an election than if one must endure it as the consequence of a military conquest.
I’m sure this sentiment is shared by many of you. Mises understood that mass democracy was no substitute for liberal society, but rather the enemy of it. Of course he was right: nearly 100 years later, we have been conquered and occupied by the state and its phony veneer of democratic elections. The federal government is now the putative ruler of nearly every aspect of life in America.
This is exactly right. But as every Christian knows, idols exist to be toppled.
But how are the God-States of the West to be toppled? By violent action? Nonsense of course: that merely replaces one mass-murderer with another. (That’s why the Marxists love violent revolutions, of course: their hatred of God naturally leads them to destroy the Image of God whenever possible, from before birth onwards.)
We cannot return to the past: we must press on to the future. As Rob Slane said in a rather different kind of website, “Conservatism is dead … Long live progressivism” The wise Christian will then ask “Who defines progress?” And of course, the correct answer is “God defines progress, and we measure it by society’s increasing obedience and reverence for His Law-Word.” This is only natural: after all, it is the Scottish Presbyterians who first drew out the idea of progress from the Bible, spelling out their postmillenial hope for the world.
(Wait… did you think that ‘progressive’ meant the Total State of our Loving Masters? Oh come on: that’s just a return to the dead-and-gone cultures Ancient Greece – complete with the endless wars, the perversity, and their eventual sterility & defeat.)
Continuing with Deist’s article:
Frankly it seems clear the federal government is hell-bent on Balkanizing America anyway. So why not seek out ways to split apart rationally and nonviolently? Why dismiss secession, the pragmatic alternative that’s staring us in the face?
Since most of us in the room are Americans, my focus today is on the political and cultural situation here at home. But the same principles of self-ownership, self-determination, and decentralization apply universally — whether we’re considering Texas independence or dozens of active breakaway movements in places like Venice, Catalonia, Scotland, and Belgium.
Quite so. The Better Sort have always despised Christians, and it’s time for us to rule ourselves, without the malicious ‘assistance’ of Our Betters.
Wouldn’t creating a viable secession movement in the US necessarily mean convincing a majority of Americans, or at least a majority of the electorate, to join a mass political campaign much like a presidential election?
I say no. Building a libertarian secession movement need not involve mass political organizing: in fact, national political movements that pander to the Left and Right may well be hopelessly naïve and wasteful of time and resources.
Instead, our focus should be on hyper-localized resistance to the federal government in the form of a “bottom-up” revolution, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe terms it.
Hoppe counsels us to use what little daylight the state affords us defensively: just as force is justified only in self-defense, the use of democratic means is justified only when used to achieve nondemocratic, libertarian, pro-private property ends.
In other words, a bottom-up revolution employs both persuasion and democratic mechanisms to secede at the individual, family, community, and local level — in a million ways that involve turning our backs on the central government rather than attempting to bend its will.
This is what I like to hear: it fits well with home churches, home schooling, and rebuilding society on a local basis – and not some new Galactic Empire.
Politics is a trailing indicator. Culture leads, politics follows. There cannot be a political sea change in America unless and until there is a philosophical, educational, and cultural sea change. Over the last 100 years progressives have overtaken education, media, fine arts, literature, and pop culture — and thus as a result they have overtaken politics. Not the other way around.
We await the day when Christians will understand this: instead of wasting time with the Republicans or various political frauds. Local (county-level) politics; building local cultures with your own stories and songs; building profitable local businesses; setting up a blog to track local politics and measures… that is how things get done.
Culture is shaped by stories and songs, truths lived in our homes and businesses, and public celebrations of Christ and His Reign. The State hates this: but Christ who desires our freedom loves to see His people free from the chains of their enemies. But first, His people must be taught to love freedom, not to passively groan in slavery…
Even writing fanciful sci-fi stories is a step in the right direction: but more can be done!
For example, see The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution, a book that traces the time “When America’s pastors boldly preached politics, resisted tyranny, and founded a nation on the Bible”. God has provided the pulpit: it’s long past time we ditched the empty piety and wish-fulfillment of the Rapture, and set about building God’s kingdom on earth – redeeming the land, and taking it from Satan and his blight-spreading failures/followers.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Jesus told His followers to pray this prayer, for a reason. Believe it, and uphold it. This is His land, and it’s time to set it to rights – and that starts with ditching the government idols which would steal His authority and His glory.
(And yes, I believe that the worlds and the stars of all the Universe will be given to His people as well: but the redemption of the Creation begins here, on this world.)
This is why our movement, the libertarian movement, must be a battle for hearts and minds. It must be an intellectual revolution of ideas, because right now bad ideas run the world. We can’t expect a libertarian political miracle to occur in an illibertarian society.
Now please don’t get me wrong. The philosophy of liberty is growing around the world, and I believe we are winning hearts and minds. This is a time for boldness, not pessimism.
Yet libertarianism will never be a mass —which is to say majority — political movement.
Some people will always support the state, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves about this. It may be due to genetic traits, environmental factors, family influences, bad schools, media influences, or simply an innate human desire to seek the illusion of security.
But we make a fatal mistake when we dilute our message to seek approval from people who seemingly are hardwired to oppose us. And we waste precious time and energy.
What’s important is not convincing those who fundamentally disagree with us, but the degree to which we can extract ourselves from their political control.
This is why secession is a tactically superior approach in my view: it is far less daunting to convince liberty-minded people to walk away from the state than to convince those with a statist mindset to change.
It’s the hard-core 1%, 5%, or (at maximum) 20% who changes history, not the passive and uncaring majority. This has been true in all of history, and it is true today.
The State has been weakening for a long time now: unable to increasingly bribe people, it increasingly resorts to threats and violence and intimidation. The trail of losers. The welfare state will not survive to the 2030s: the national debt will see to that. And the flow of technology continues to break up massive power-and-control structures like the State.
From the Left:
But in fact progressives strongly oppose federalism and states’ rights, much less secession! The reason, of course, is that progressives believe they’re winning and they don’t intend for a minute to let anyone walk away from what they have planned for us.
Democracy is the great political orthodoxy of our times, but its supposed champions on the Left can’t abide true localized democracy — which is in fact the stated aim of secession movements.
They’re interested in democracy only when the vote actually goes their way, and then only at the most attenuated federal level, or preferably for progressives, the international level. The last thing they want is local control over anything! They are the great centralizers and consolidators of state authority.
“Live and let live” is simply not in their DNA.
“Their is only one Source of Meaning in life, and that is the State, Protector of the People” is what they truly deeply believe. Of course, as we all know, there can never be any limits on the true source of order and meaning!
Our friends on the Right are scarcely better on this issue.
Many conservatives are hopelessly wedded to the Lincoln myth and remain in thrall to the central warfare state, no matter the cost.
Ah, the ‘warfare’ part of the warfare-welfare state. Safety under the Security State!
Ultimately, the wisdom of secession starts and ends with the individual. Bad ideas run the world, but must they run your world?
The question we all have to ask ourselves is this: how seriously do we take the right of self-determination, and what are we willing to do in our personal lives to assert it?
Secession really begins at home, with the actions we all take in our everyday lives to distance and remove ourselves from state authority — quietly, nonviolently, inexorably.
The state is crumbling all around us, under the weight of its own contradictions, its own fiscal mess, and its own monetary system. We don’t need to win control of DC.
What we need to do, as people seeking more freedom and a better life for future generations, is to walk away from DC, and make sure we don’t go down with it.
The author then gives some good advice on how to make your liberty a living truth you can see and touch. The only thing I would note is that the author avoids mentioning the church: but as an educational institution, this should be where the everlasting words of the Lord of Liberty should be proclaimed most loudly!