[When Nationalism Fuels Decentralization and Secession: Lessons from the Cold War] By Ryan McMaken(https://mises.org/wire/when-nationalism-fuels-decentralization-and-secession-lessons-cold-war)
If we say secession in the name of national liberation is bad, we end up supporting the Soviet Union, and every empire or two-bit dictator who manages to hammer together a variety of disparate groups under a single national banner.
I'm fascinated by secession movements, as well as related separation and partition movements. I see such enormous potential gains from making it easier for places to change the administrative unit they belong to.
On one extreme we're talking about a nation fracturing into several smaller nations. I think this would benefit the US tremendously and has been made much more palatable with the "National Divorce" rebrand. The US is clearly a dysfunctional union of societies that want nothing to do with each other.
On the other extreme, there are no realignments at all, but the threat of exit forces policies to be better tailored to those who would leave. For example, Catalonia being granted more autonomy, but remaining part of Spain.
What do other Stackers think about this topic? I'm particularly interested in non-US perspectives, since I'm less familiar with those.
this territory is moderated
If you are interested in this subject I highly recommend reading COMMON SENSE: The Case for an Independent Texas by Bob Murphy.
I was actually thinking of writing a book (or maybe just making a website) that did a similar exercise for all 50 states and the territories. That project was put on the back-burner years ago and I forgot about it until just now.
277 sats \ 1 reply \ @kepford 3 Jan
That sounds awesome and like a lot of work
My plan was to do it iteratively. Start with just a quick blurb for each state, then add details and other arguments over time.
Maybe, I'll try making it a Stacker News series first and then put it all together afterwards.
I love Bob and I had completely forgotten that he wrote that. I will absolutely read it.
There is an interesting test you can do on yourself or others. It goes like this.
You start with a national disagreement like Taiwan and China.
If a majority of people in Taiwan desire to be independent from China would China be justified in using force to stop them?
Then ask, if a majority of Texans wished to exit the USA would the USA be justified in using force to stop them?
If your answers are different then you have a logical problem. I'm not talking about constitutions or anything like that. I think people get tripped up with all of that and use flawed arguments to defend their biases. Many US citizens believe that the "civil war" decided this subject. If you believe this then you cannot defend Taiwan independence.
For those that believe Texas leaving the union would result in a new civil war I ask you to consider Brexit. I seriously doubt the USA would attack a state. I agree with Bob Murphy's hypothesis on this. It is certainly possible but unlikely.
I also do not see a state leaving the union for some time. I would be shocked to see it in the next 5 years. 10-25 years seems more likely though.
I think you're right about the timeline. If it were going to happen soon, we'd be seeing referenda and ballot initiatives already.
While the feds may not lead off with an attack on a state attempting to leave, they also wouldn't just sit by and watch. Would you be surprised if the CIA tried to overthrow the leadership of the new government or meddle in the election or arrest separatists under domestic terror statutes? It's a situation that could escalate pretty easily.
277 sats \ 1 reply \ @kepford 3 Jan
I would not be surprised if the CIA tried that. Why not? They have meddled and manipulated governments and elections since their inception. I suspect they do it in the US currently!
I also suspect they do it currently, but I don't think it would lead to armed resistance unless the state was trying to break free of the US.
Why do you value state rule and centralized control? If you think states should have freedom from the larger controlling state, how can you argue that cities should be under the thumb of states?
It is cities that are the true loci of economic and human activity in general, ever since we flipped from most people farming to something like 2%. When people move about, they think more in terms of cities they are moving to than states, provinces, or country.
When will large cities secede?
Why do you value state rule
I don't. I'm an anarchist.
how can you argue that cities should be under the thumb of states?
I never have and never will argue that.
City-state independence movements are also interesting. The US doesn't have a good mechanism for changing its internal borders, but I think it would help if large metro areas could easily incorporate into independent states.
277 sats \ 4 replies \ @Lux 3 Jan
From a nonUS perspective I feel very gealous of the "We the people" constitution and the status it gives to its citizens. Americans have it so much easier to exercise and protect their rights. To seek remedy in secession is, imo, the harder way of accomplish freedom when all you have to do is use what you already have and forgot how to use.
The thing is, each state has a similar constitution, so the federal protections are generally redundant.
From our perspective, the US began as the smallest government in history and has grown to the largest. However, I do see your point. The more I've travelled, the more I appreciate the society I live in.
Is secession something people think about where you're from? I'd be curious how they discuss it.
277 sats \ 2 replies \ @Lux 3 Jan
I don't know much about the several states constitutions and how it works in practice. Usually the only secession discussed where I'm from is leaving the EU.
the smallest government in history and has grown to the largest
and made a lot of enemies around the world.
Now that I think about it, it might be easier to secede than to educate most of americans how to reduce the government to it's lawful functions
it might be easier to secede than to educate most of americans how to reduce the government
That's my feeling, but neither option is particularly easy.
Do you foresee anymore nations leaving the EU anytime soon?
279 sats \ 0 replies \ @Lux 3 Jan
Do you foresee anymore nations leaving the EU anytime soon?
Not soon. I think the EU will expand a bit more.
During the writing of the Constitution, they regularly used the phrase "a voluntary union"....however the civil war pretty much settled that notion.
The question is, what would the federal govt do if some modern state filed articles of secession? Do they have enough control via MSM to demonize the rogue state and get citizens to support its invasion? Or has that ship sailed?
"the civil war pretty much settled that notion."
By that do you mean that might makes right? That's what it sounds like.
From the follow up, I think it's meant to indicate that since the civil war it has not been a voluntary union, which is correct. De facto, the US is one state now.
Another angle to look at this is with states in the USA defying the feds. While I agree with you in general in practice states have exercised rights against the feds. They have done so on the war on drugs, marriage rights, and gun rights. If you understand the 10th amendment you can see that feds do not care about the constitution. But, states do push back. I suspect we will see more and more states pushing back on the feds before we see a real secessionist movement.
Honestly, the federal system with different states having their own laws, ones that differ is a much better model than a single state. Granted, any state with a monopoly on the use of force is evil, but the founders of the US had a good idea. In practice it failed. The constitution failed but it is a beautiful document. In my experience people just use it when it is convenient. It is pointless to use it in arguments. The average person just thinks X and isn't interested in hearing arguments against their preferences.
To me, the only solution is more decentralization and more freedom. Mind your own business and live and let live.
This is the major pressure release valve for our society. There's been a major restoration of "state's rights" in the areas you mentioned (and many more). As long as that trend is resilient against pushback from the national regime, there will at least be places to go that better match individual preferences.
What few people seem to understand is that it goes both ways. There will be States that go toward your values but also others that move away. We have been so driven to be micromanagers that few seem to accept this. It boggles my mind that people seem to believe that their side can ever win over the other. Its stupid.
Thing is, most don't think. They just parrot.
The nice thing is that as long as precedent keeps adding to state and local autonomy, nobody has to care what someone on the other side of the country thinks about how their state is run.
I wonder if people's totalitarian instincts will atrophy in an environment with less national decision making.
Yeah, I just like people to recognize what they are saying. If you believe this, don't kid yourself. We are not free.
I have talked to conservative republicans that opposed succession but supported Brexit, and Taiwan. Yet they also support Ukraine despite Russians in Ukraine voting for secession. There are some mental gymnastics going on there. US citizens have been programmed to believe that the believing people have the right to determine their government are racists. Its quiet interesting.
For those that struggle with this stuff...
I do not support any state. All of them are evil. I do not support Israel, Russia, or Ukraine as well as Hamas. Evil men seek to create conflict for their profit. The plebs are constantly manipulated into supporting wars on false premises. Open your eyes and don't be played.
the civil war pretty much settled that
Only in the way a school-yard bully settles that they get to keep your lunch money. There's no moral significance to that point, but you're right that it's the outcome to be most concerned about.
I think the best scenario for a peaceful separation is Trump winning and a blue state seceding. I don't think the Democrats would let Texas go peacefully. Obviously, I could be wrong.
279 sats \ 1 reply \ @jgbtc 3 Jan
The thing is every blue state is actually high population blue cities surrounded by red rural areas. So I'm not sure how that would play out.
It still reduces the number of people living under a government they don't support. If a minority in the breakaway states don't like it, they can either move or try to stay in the original country by separating from the breakaway state.
How it would actually play out I imagine would be very messy.