Friday, March 20, 2015

The inevitability of secession, part 1: Introduction

Chief Justice Salmon Chase was wrong.  In Texas v. White (1869), he wrote the majority opinion on secession:
The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to 'be perpetual.' And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained 'to form a more perfect Union.' It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?
Except the Republic did not date its governing principles to the Articles of Confederation, which were clearly a failure - a failure clear at the time, in fact.  Instead, it dated to the Constitution.  That was ratified by all original thirteen States, and it is clear that it would not have been ratified if the States hadn't thought that they couldn't leave if they had needed to.  Indeed, the ending of the Articles of Confederation were essentially an act of secession.

Chase was an interesting bird.  He founded the Free Soil movement - "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men".  It was an unabashedly abolitionist party, and reflected what was very probably the real cause of the American War of Southern Independence (the "Civil War" to you Yankees).

And Chase wasn't just one of the chief proponents of the political position, he was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  One of the charges leveled at the post war Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals was that it was "Victor's Justice"; America had an 80 year history of Victor's Justice, dating back to Texas v. White.

And so secession was ruled illegal.

The problem, of course, is that it was only illegal because "Honest Abe" Lincoln determined that it was better that 10% of the military age population be killed or wounded in battle than a set of States should choose to leave the Republic.  For a while, it worked.

For a while, the Fed.Gov demonstrated that it could deliver - more growth, more prosperity, freedom increasing through the 1960s.  In 1969, the Fed.Gov landed a man on the moon.  It was the high water mark of government legitimacy.

What we've seen since then is an intentional fracturing of the Republic, based on race, gender, and class.  Political careers have been made for those who have done this - Al Sharpton is a particularly loathsome example of this, but he is by no means alone.  Barack Obama may be the most successful of these, parlaying racial themes of guilt and offered redemption into two terms in the White House during which he has thoroughly politicized the Federal Agencies.  Eric Holder was the chield law enforcement official in the land but ran the Department of Justice along racial grievance lines.  If you have any doubts about this, read up on the New Black Panther Party, George Zimmerman, and Ferguson MO.

Obama reflected a small but well organized segment of society determined to fundamentally reshape society.  Unsurprisingly, this hasn't turned out to be popular with much of society who overwhelmingly voted Democrats out of House and Senate seats - historical defeats for Obama's Democratic Party.  The voters gave significant majorities to the Republican Party in both houses of Congress, because GOP candidates ran on a platform of overturning Obama's overreach on health care, immigration, and general weakening of the USA on the international stage.

So how's that working out for GOP voters?
Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck on Wednesday announced he is leaving the Republican Party.

“I’ve made my decision — I’m out,” Beck said Wednesday on “The Glenn Beck Program,” his broadcast on “I’m out of the Republican Party. I am not a Republican. I will not give a dime to the Republican Party. I’m out.”

The host said Republicans lost him with their inaction on both ObamaCare and illegal immigration.

“All this stuff that they said and they ran and they said they were doing all of these great things and they were going to stand against ObamaCare and illegal immigration — they set us up,” Beck added. “They set us up. Enough is enough. They’re torpedoing the Constitution and they’re doing it knowingly.”
Can't really argue with any of that.  And he's not the only one:
Yes, Establishment GOP, you can teach us that you will always lie to us, stab us in the back, humiliate us and crush us; but if you teach us that, be aware we are learning another lesson, too. Not just that "The Establishment Will Always Crush You," but the lesson that There is no hope in any kind of conventional politics for those of us who want better than this Pile of Shit the two parties give us.
And the mutterings have been going on for years:
1. Many inner-circle strategists in the Republican Party machine basically believe the game is over demographics wise. They’ve believed this for a long time. Call them the “We Are Doomed” Machiavellians, trying to make a barely-palatable lemonade out of some very nasty lemons.
2. Privately, personally, they probably agree with everything Richwine and all the rest have ever said. But it doesn’t matter, because, on the strategic time scale, we’ve already crossed the Rubicon.
3. Tactically, short-to-medium term, you could follow the Sailer Strategy and, maybe, squeeze out a few Revanchist wins for Republicans, but it would be counterproductive. The Cathedral (they don’t call it that, of course) would make easy hay of “the hateful white party” in due time, and it would go the way of the Know-Nothings in Boston – permanent obsolescence.
4. So, the best you can do, if you care at all about the long-term survival of anything like even a fake opposition party in out decadent democracy, is to embrace the Latin American / Texan model, an increasingly Brazil-esque society, but one in which, in some places, at some times, you can still get some Hispanics to feel fondly about and vote for the Republicans.
5. To do this, you must absolutely, positively, and, most importantly, preemptively cave to everything you think the Democrats could possibly leverage against you. Which, in practice, means being the volunteer auxiliary PC-enforcer on your own side. It also helps when you’ve got big business on your side.
Salmon Chase had been a member of the Whig Party, which fractured under the strain of abolitionism.  The Republican Party looks like it's headed for the same crack up.

But it doesn't really matter: it's clear that the citizens of this Republic will not vote themselves out of this mess.  The Establishment is united - across both Parties - against the population which holds them in increasing contempt.

So if there's no way to vote in representatives who will represent the will of the People, what remains?  It's hard to see any alternative to the country splitting into two or more parts that will eliminate the Washington D.C. Establishment as something that can impose unpopular laws on them.

Not everyone believes this will happen:
Secession was tried before in the US and it failed. If part of the US tries to secede, the Protestant-Hippie-Communist-Jesus types get offended and their blood lust knows no bounds. They were fine with the death of hundreds of thousands to prevent secession. Then they took property, installed new governments and destroyed local economies for the better part of a century.

Secession in the US is only a long, drawn-out suicide.
This time, it's hard to see a politician willing and able to sacrifice 10% of the military age population in a War of Secession.  And so Chief Justice Chase's decision is more or less irrelevant.  He had the legitimacy imposed by a victorious army at the point of the bayonet; the current Establishment doesn't have that and doesn't seem to be fixin' to get it anytime soon.

And so if reform is not possible, exit is the obvious result.  The Republic has large parts what are tired of having a left wing ideology rammed down their throats - and an ideology that enriches Wall Street and the big banks, at that.  These people have played the game the way it has been laid out, by the rules that were what everyone had been told were just - one man, one vote.  And that vote clearly is a waste of time.

Okay, then.  But things will not continue as they have.  Tomorrow will be part 2, implications for the 50 States.


R.K. Brumbelow said...

I suspect Jefferson or the NY counties moving to PA will be the next test. I also suspect that OS Card's Empire is more prophetic than I would like.

kotetu said...

Is a breakup or a coup more likely?

burt said...

Depressing, BP. But true. Look back at the lead-up to the War of Northern Aggression. The pattern - a power-grabbing central government trampling on states' and individual rights - is repeating itself.


I've said it before. I've posted it before on several blogs. And I maintain that, save for a worldwide conflagration, I believe we have very little time left as the United States.


That's when the republic will die from festering self-inflicted wounds: the forced redistribution of wealth from the "makers" to the "takers", the coercive nature of "sensitivity" laws that trample on the 1st Amendment, attempts to subsume religious belief to the hobnail boot of the state, and far too many other centrally-mandated socialist and communist policies that violate the fundamental tenets of the Constitution and its Amendments.

The Founders are in sadness. They left us the most advanced and free form of government in history, and it was destroyed by both greedy and well-meaning but naive people.

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson

R.K. Brumbelow said...

BTW for those wanting to follow links, Protestant-Hippie-Communist-Jesus types =

and the attached video is

Comrade Misfit said...

One could argue that the gerrymandering of congressional districts has resulted in a right-wing ideology being crammed down the throats of the majority of the American people.

R.K. Brumbelow said...

@comrade misfit: One could just as well argue the sky is green and the grass is vermillion.

Overload in Colorado said...

I'm in Northern Colorado, and watched closely our 51st state movement. Legally, it's easier to form a new state than to move into another state.

If we're talking illegally, I want to know who gonna lead it? At the state level, county level and even local level it's still R v D. How and who are going to be able to organize 10% (I think that's the percentage of active American Revolution population) to defy all the current leadership? How would this occur as a timeline?

Maybe I should wait for the other parts?

LarryArnold said...

Secession is always governed by the "Winners make the Rules" law.
The United States is a sovereign nation because Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown.
The Confederacy is not a sovereign nation because Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land only as long as it can be enforced.

ザイツェヴ said...

In addition to Larry's point, Soviet Union only fell apart because the central government was unwilling and unable to exert the necessary force to keep the parts together. It started with the Baltics, who basically formed their own government and started ignoring the Feds. The answer at that point could be martial law, but Moscow was quite half-arsed in managing it. And the recent "Novorossia" kerruffle shows that once a local government takes hold, it's much harder to displace it than to chase down rebels when you already occupy the area and govern it (no matter how much guerillia movements are glorified in the liberal thought).

If the sovereign Texas government becomes as desizive as the Russian rebel government in Novorossia, and if it has enough military strength to repulse the whatever units U.S. Army is manages to muster, then independence is assured, no matter what The Constitution says about "perpetual" and "more perfect" union. This, of course, presumes widespread support by the people of Texas, too.

Loog Moog said...

Secession is always governed by the "Winners make the Rules" law.
In that case, the gun owners of the U.S. will be making the rules. All that is required is a spark.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land only as long as it can be enforced.
It has not been enforced for over one hundred years.

The Founders left us the most advanced and free form of government in history, and it was destroyed by both greedy and well-meaning but naive people.
Quite true.

Right now, it is a race between World War III and a war of secession (not a true civil war- or WILL it be ?).
Both alternatives will be equally horrific. I hope we can avoid both. But as our current occupier of the White House proves, Hope is not a PLAN.
I think we are tilting toward a World-wide conflagration just now. God help us.

Paul Bonneau said...

My only problem with this article is the implication that the leftists ("Protestant-Hippie-Communist-Jesus types") have won, or are on schedule to win shortly. I don't think this is true. The ruling class is no more composed of hippies than of conservatives. True, it coopts and advances some leftist ideas for its ends, but it does the same for some rightist ideas. (Of course this begs the question, what is left and right? Labels are almost useless.)

Bottom line, secession will be as popular among leftists as rightists. I recall a bit of graffiti that stayed for a very long time on a Portland overpass, "US out of Portland!"

R.K. Brumbelow said...

@Paul, I know it is popular to say when something demands a question be asked to call it 'begging the question', but that is not what begging the question means.

What is "Begging the Question?"
"Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place.

A simple example would be "I think he is unattractive because he is ugly." The adjective "ugly" does not explain why the subject is "unattractive" -- they virtually amount to the same subjective meaning, and the proof is merely a restatement of the premise. The sentence has begged the question.

What is it Not?
To beg the question does not mean "to raise the question." (e.g. "It begs the question, why is he so dumb?") This is a common error of usage made by those who mistake the word "question" in the phrase to refer to a literal question. Sadly, the error has grown more and more common with time, such that even journalists, advertisers, and major mass media entities have fallen prey to "BTQ Abuse."

While descriptivists and other such laissez-faire linguists are content to allow the misconception to fall into the vernacular, it cannot be denied that logic and philosophy stand to lose an important conceptual label should the meaning of BTQ become diluted to the point that we must constantly distinguish between the traditional usage and the erroneous "modern" usage. This is why we fight.

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