Want to secede? Are you really sure about that?

Viva la revolutionSomehow secession seems to be all the rage of late. I don’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong. I can understand not liking it when your candidate doesn’t win. I can understand not liking it when a candidate you really dislike (for whatever reason, however serious or silly) wins instead. But secession? Really?

Forget for a moment that those calling for secession seem incredibly likely to be of the same subset of America that called anyone who questioned President Bush, a wartime president, unpatriotic. Like it or not, President Obama is a wartime president. I’m sure they’ve connected the dots for the sake of consistency and fairness.

Forget for a moment how pro-democracy would-be secessionists appear to be…as long as their teams wins, however marginally.

Forget all that. That road only leads to unfortunate characterizations and divisiveness. The same kind of divisiveness that has 80,000 Texans and others from around the country clamoring for secession. Besides, it was a Founding Father that said we need the occasional revolution, right?

I’m sure the appeal of it must be amazing to someone who thinks it’s a good idea. Since I’m not one of them, I fail to see it. Off the top of my head, here’s a few little problems with secession that I don’t think the secession enthusiasts have thoroughly considered. Maybe I’m mistaken.

Let’s assume these angry Americans succeed. Well, succeed in convincing a sufficient percentage of their state populations that secession is a good idea, that is. I know, I know, we’re entering the realm of fantasy here, but bear with me. Let’s assume the issue makes it to the statehouse (or statehouses, plural). Let’s assume state legislatures make the big vote. Let’s assume the governor (or governors) support it. Let’s make believe…

What will a seceding state’s first order of business be? Have the secessionists thought that far ahead? I’m assuming, for the sake of brevity, that some kind of new constitutional convention for each state will be in order, some manner of establishing home rule. These things take a little time to hammer out. I should hope that while they consider the matter of a new constitution, assuming that’s the road they take, they’ll consider how to structure their new government in a way that won’t fail them like democracy did. That, in itself, would be well worth watching.

I should hope they would take into consideration what kind of military force they would build. An all-volunteer standing army? A military with ranks supported by a draft? Who will be the commander in chief? The generals, admirals, and other high-ranking officers? I’m sure that a state seriously considering secession must have a dream team in mind, replete with diplomats and even an intelligence agency or three.

So, if we’ve made it this far, there’s a constitutional convention, comprising delegates (selected how, exactly?) debating how best to raise the military force necessary to defend their new interests. Maybe they settle on volunteer vs. draft and do drum up a dream team to lead them. Where will they be based? What will they wear? How will they be provisioned? How armed? How trained?

How funded?

Oh, funding. Maybe, like our Founding Fathers, Founding Fathers (rebels or freedom fighters, you decide) will pony up their personal wealth. Enjoy speculating about which wealthy capitalists will do that. Surely they’ll have plenty of US funds to draw on, right? Unfrozen US funds? No? Oh, there is that, isn’t there? Good thing there’s gold bugs with tons and tons of bullion just waiting to start their own gold-backed currency by way of an unregulated state banking establishment who will be willing to fund the war on credit.

War? Now hold on a blessed second. Who said anything about war? People want to peacefully secede, right? Or not. Either way, consider this. Up to the day before secession, the Union counted among its national assets assets within the borders of the seceding state. Upon secession, the Union will just be nice and let the seceding state take those resources, right? Certainly, the Drone Strike President won’t even contemplate using force, covert or otherwise, to secure those assets!

And speaking of assets, let’s consider those for a moment. Our lucky secessionist will hail from a territory that has abundant agricultural resources, including fresh water that won’t require complicated treaty arrangements for it to not be dammed up before it gets there. They’ll have ample mineral resources. Ample energy resources. A sufficient manufacturing base ready to be tooled up, first for war, then for reconstruction after they prevail. I should hope so. Otherwise the seceding territory will have to have those items imported. Maybe the Union will kindly export food, raw materials, and manufactured goods to the new Free Territory, even during hostilities. If not, maybe a US ally will. Clearly there won’t be any sanctions, right? After all, the US doesn’t have a history of imposing crippling sanctions anywhere, does it?

Luckily, there are other nations in the world beside US allies. Maybe Venuzuela will come to the rescue with oil. Maybe China will gladly invest in Territorial natural resources, as they do in developing nations, to fund this little holiday from the US. Nevermind that they will fully expect a monopoly over those resources and have a history of bringing in their own personnel. Maybe Iran will share its alleged developing nuclear arms technology. Or maybe Kim Jong-un will supply a nuke or three, if only for giggles.

Assume all these conditions and their prerequisites are met. I’m sure I’ve forgotten most of the things a seceding state needs to do in order to become a successful nation. After all, I haven’t really put much thought into it. Exporters are beating the door down to provide the budding new Free Territory with goods and services that it can’t produce itself. They’ll have no trouble getting those resources to the Territory, right? I mean, it’s got coastline that won’t be blockaded, or New Freedomstan will have a navy capable of taking out any one of the US fleets? No? Good thing there’s air transport. Certainly the US won’t establish a no-fly zone that would prevent such deliveries. No? *whew* That leaves roads for the fortunate land-locked New Freedomstan. Good thing the roads into and out of the territory won’t be shut down from the other side!

So. There we have it. By the same miracle that endows the Ryan plan with budgetary sense, New Freedomstan has seceded, successfully, established itself as a nation, prevailed through superior force, and can now engage freely in the world marketplace because there aren’t any sanctions. The UN will welcome New Freedomstan with open arms, not that NF really cares. To hell with the UN! Who needs a seat at the table while the rest of the world negotiates everything?

Congratulations, New Freedomstan. You will have arrived on the world scene and can get down to brass tacks once all of your funding isn’t directed to just getting your feet on the ground. You can establish an educational system sufficient to your national goals. Or not. You can establish a health care system that will meet the needs of your population. Or not. You can build your infrastructure to satisfy your every need. There will be peace across the land. Only the right religions will be part of the social fabric (which specific denominations remains to be seen). Men will stop raping because only virtuous women will be part of New Freedomstan. There will be no more out-of-wedlock births. Abortions just won’t be needed, so why even bother outlawing them? Divorce will be against law because of the sanctity of marriage. And all of this will be supported entirely by goodwill because, after all, there won’t be any taxes. No taxes, no need to worry about who has to pay, and how much. Your free market will be unfettered. Monopolies will develop and naturally return to their altruistic ways.

That just leaves getting rid of all those pesky minorities and immigrants. Decisions, decisions. Pogroms? Genocide? Forced sterilization? Slavery?

Congratulations and good luck on your promising future. Your best days are ahead! When you get a passport, I would encourage you to visit our humble nation. We’ve got a lot to offer the adventurous tourist.

—-

Image credit:  Clip art courtesy of openclipart.org.

36 comments on “Want to secede? Are you really sure about that?

  1. Don’t be afraid to secede, Look at Russia,they have broken up several years ago and now the parts that broke away have there own government and are doing fine.

    • Yes, I’m American and i have a home Russia and thinking about retiring in Russia, I love Russian people they are lot fun, smart and great people. Mr President Putin would make a much better president than Mr Obama. He has a much better understanding of economics, love of his people, he not dictator. Putin may be the greateast leader in the last 20 years as i seen the economy of Russia change form broke to a GDP of about 4.5, Yes, he has lot of work to do but a least he not playing golf and basketball all day, and let the CIA do what ever they please.

      But that is what new government can do for its people…

    • I agree.. I am not interested in what this government is doing in my name at this time…

      I feel America should have jumped on the solar and more efficient homes for ALL of the people… instead we have for far too long been destroyers… I am not a destroyer.

    • If you mean the USSR, then it broke up two decades ago, and most of its constituent parts are certainly not doing fine. There were civil wars in Georgia and Tajikistan, and a barely averted one in Uzbekistan. Armenia and Azerbaijan went at each other in a bloody conflict with genocide on both sides. Kyrgyzstan had several revolutions since, and every time it’s accompanied by genocide of Uzbek minorities. Turkmenistan devolved into an open dictatorship with a cult of personality, and so did Belarus. Ukraine is still struggling with its national identity, with a bitter split across ethnic and language lines. And, overall, pretty much all republics are still in the gutter economy-wise and demographics-wise, compared to where they were in the USSR.

      You may say that this is the price of freedom, and you may even be right. But to say that they’re “doing fine” is disingenuous.

    • O.o you realize that the Declaration was based heavily on the philosophies of John Locke? One of those philosophie is that if the people feel the government is not protecting their rights, they they have a right to overthrow the government. Just saying.

      • Locke made a lot of important assumptions. One of the key ones was that people would take great pains to inform themselves and that they could be counted on to behave rationally. He’d be spinning in his grave if he could see the rampant willful ignorance that defines the politics of the contemporary US.

        • Yes he would be appalled at how the country he envisioned transformed into a entitlement society so hungry for free stuff they developed a complete disregard for the fiscal solvency of the country.

      • Yes I do understand that and have read Locke’s works (and Thomas Paine and Hobbe, etc.). Yes I do realize one of the key components of their works is that the past generations can not give away the rights of future generations. However, no silly petition on WhiteHouse.gov is going to result in succession. Obama isn’t going to say “hey almost 100k people signed this, many of them not even from your state, guess that means Texas is gone, let’s redo that flag”. Any attempt at a peaceful succession needs to start with the state legislature and a state wide vote by the people. So people dumb enough to sign a petition to start at the process with the White House (oddly occupied by the man they hate and are so sure disregards their freedoms yet they trust to let them leave based on a petition), they can go ahead and self-deport.

  2. Well, in Texas’ instance, there are a whole lot of soldiers and airmen here, not to mention some navy personal and ships. Texans would of course become Texas troops, along with our sizable Texas National Guard. Those personnel not from Texas would be able to return to their home states, and many would become personnel of the other states leaving the union.
    All military weapons, planes, and ships in Texas waters would be confiscated and become property of Texas. Don’t think we would have much to worry about from an attack from whats left of the US. Military personnel are hugely anti-Obama, especially sense many of them wern’t allowed to vote.

    We have a sizable nuclear arsenal with all those warheads being stored at Pantex, the ONLY nuclear weapons facility in the country. Gives a whole new meaning to “Dont mess with Texas”

    Iran can build their nukes, but knowing that Texas is now a Republic, and wont put up with their crap, unlike ball less Obama, they know that we would most likely protect the Yankees

    Considering we have much of the oil and natural gas reserves, as well as much of the refining capacity of the country, Obama will get those high gas prices he has wanted. And sense about the only resource up north is coal, and Obama will be banning that, yankees will be more worried about freezing to death than secession.

    There is nothing manufactured or grown up north that we need, and we have plenty of land for more crops, and for shiny new non union plants that would be built when manufacturers flee the high taxation and lazy union workers of the north. No unemployment here and plenty of unemployment for the illegals who will be replacing the now unemployed northern union workers.

    • Yeah cuz the Feds are just going to leave all of the millions of dollars of equipment, vehicles, ships and aircraft, not to mention their ammo, arms, and non-Texan military members there for ya’ll to keep. Get real. You will get to keep your national guard, but where will they set up base? You think the current federally run bases and posts will be left for your use? No, they’ll blow em up… Sensitive information and what not. And do you know that punishment for abandonment in a time of war? It can be as harsh as Death by firing squad, how many texans will risk that just to join the Texan army?

      This kind of ignorant banter makes me wish y’all would secede so that our nations average IQ would raise

      By the way, since y’all can manufacture -and grow everything on your own, what will happen when current food levels in your state deplete, and the crops still have 6 months until harvest? Because if you were to secede tomorrow, and that ended all import into Texas, there is no way there is enough food for the entire population to survive until your first mass harvest, with your current food levels including all of your current crops.

    • Hey, Pat, you know that it costs money to maintain all those weapons and pay the troops, right? You realize that those shiny new non union manufacturing plants require a market, right? If the US refuses to import Tundras from Texas, Toyota doesn’t have much use for building them there.

      You’re correct on oil and refining to some degree, but you might want to consider the drought Texas has been dealing with before figuring that you can feed yourself.

      As for the nukes, the only thing scarier than Pakistan having nukes is Texans having them. But my guess is that you wouldn’t have them for long, as Mexico will fairly quickly retake their territory and then we can build a fence to keep illegal immigrants like you out of the United States.

    • Not exactly sure why we’d need Texas to protect us from a country that has no nuclear weapons; has no nuclear weapons program; and has no delivery vehicle capable of reaching the United States.

  3. Oh that would be fun, watching Texas trying to fund an Air Force and a Navy. That takes, you know, taxes.

    Oh, and that oil, it belongs to whichever multinational corporation leased the rights to pump it out of the ground and sell it on the world market at world market prices.

    Unless they’re planning on nationalizing their oil industry – welcome to the collective comrades!

  4. texas is 13th best gdp in the world, right behind russia, we would make it. texas sits on 1/4 of natral gas resources and a 1/4 of the oil. we also have the texas state guard, 2 of the biggest ports and leverage because 95% of the oil and gas lines run through Texas!!!

    • Do you realize that the gdp number is because it can freely trade with the rest of the United States? You’re assuming that you’d be able to secede and nothing else would change, DJ.

  5. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/release-debt-owed-us-government-and-negotiate-barter-resources-those-whom-it-owes-money/5Fm6b3vX

    How about instead of trying to break our nation apart we try to bring it closer together? I am petitioning our government to release the debt that is owed to it and start us off in 2013 with a clean slate. If we’re going to use the petition resource, then I believe this to be a much better means, and much more realistic means, than separation from our fellow countrymen. We’re all frustrated, so help me reach 25,000 signatures and tell our government that debt forgiveness CAN happen, and SHOULD happen.

    Thank you!

    • How about no? The people who hate the bank bailout (that must be and is being paid back) would have a field day over that debt just being wiped out. Part of the reason we as country can borrow money is because other countries trust us to pay it back. If we don’t pay it back, we will never be able to borrow money again. And the countries that owe us money? Billions and billions of dollars just forgiven?

      It sure wouldn’t benefit the middle class who mostly owe their debt to private companies.

      But frankly, you haven’t postulated in any way how debt forgiveness would bring us closer together. Will we find camaraderie while we have China invading us?

  6. I have a different take on all this secession talk. That is, not only am i for it, but i think we need to encourage it in the strongest possible manner. And by that i mean start by kicking the several states out of the union immediately. First we order all the military hardware to be redeployed to safe locations. Then we stop cutting all those checks for military pay (no, the foreign deployed Texans can find their own ride home from Afghanistan, just kick them out of the bases). Then we stop cutting the checks for highway funds, foodstamps, agricultural subsidies, etc. etc. etc.

    All this happens in the thirty day window opened for refugees to exit the former state. We would of course use this time period to build border defenses. As soon as the border is established and secured, we cut off trade. There would be an oil shock, but with all the money we save by not supporting the welfare queens down there, we should be able to afford to build a refinery or two handle Canadian crude in the Midwest. And we can certainly keep the offshore contracts with the multinationals by sinking the pleasure craft that would comprise the Texas Navy.

    It would take less than a decade before Texas was reabsorbed into Mexico, which is where it belongs in any case.

  7. I thought this was pretty good up until the 4th from the last paragraph, then he kinda went off the rails. In this overheated climate it’s hard to resist hyperbole, I understand. Too bad it frequently undermines the good points.

  8. Robert, thank you for the fair criticism. I’m still working on minimizing the hyperbole in my approach. Off the rails is where I’m used to starting, so it’s refreshing to only get there late in the game :)

    I’m sure there was a better way to address the follow up to any successful secession. Rather than me putting words in the mouths of advocates, perhaps it would have been better to close the post with questions. What kind of domestic policies would the new state adopt? What kind of economic policies? What kind of foreign policy?

    What would be so different in the new state that it would make secession worthwhile?

  9. Frank, of course it will be better to convince the blue state liberals they would be better off without those pesky red state asses that are always standing in the way of their liberal nirvana. An amicable divorce would be good for all, but as we all know, liberals envy the stuff of others and these antiwar hypocrites would rather kill us than free us in order to keep their gravy train in tact. If liberals really believed in Democracy they would let us secede upon the success of a referendum but we all see at every election how democrats feel about democracy with their voter fraud. It is too bad Frank you would rather send your sons over to kill mine in order to deprive people of their freedom.

    Texas has a couple of secession movements that have been looking at many of the problems you have mentioned and the foundation is being laid. These aren’t new organizations. You can also count on Texas not embracing Hugo Chavez like Obama did, I wish Chavez hadn’t given Obama that book :D

    Drafting a constitution isn’t much of a problem, the one the liberals want to change is nearly perfect as it is, and all we have to do is tighten the ambiguity in the “general welfare clause” and the “commerce clause”. Liberals are trying to wreck a nearly perfect constitution. You see, we like the constitution, you don’t.

    Monetary system? The USA’s monetary system isn’t backed up by gold; it is backed up by faith. The USA is adding about 1.3 trillion dollars to the national debt every year and many are losing faith in this system. We are printing $40 billion dollars per month out of thin air thanks to the Fed’s innocuous sounding quantitative easing. The moment faith collapses so does the USA economy! I pulled all my investments of the market on 11/7/2012. I would have more faith in a Texas economy than I do of the USA’s faith based economy. If an amicable divorce could be agreed upon the new republic should assume its share of the national debt pro-rated on a per person basis – today around $50,000 per person, that would be fair and my son wouldn’t have to shoot yours.

    Texas has all it needs to survive as a country since its economy is about the thirteenth largest economy of the world. In 2009 Texas had a GDP of $1,145 billion Texas accounted for 7.46% of the USA’s GDP. For a comparison Australia has a GDP of $1,220 billion dollars and not far behind Russia whose GDP is $1,477 billion.

    Health Care? Texas has a fine medical infrastructure if the anti-freedom liberals don’t bomb it. Texas is a leader in TORT reform and by getting away from third party payer and by instituting a medical savings accounts and catastrophic insurance plans it will be much more affordable than ObamaCare that will be bankrupting the Blue State Coalition. Texas could become a refuge for doctors, pharmaceutical manufactures, and medical device inovators fleeing ObamaCare like the Canadian doctors that relocated to the USA after the socializing of their system.

    Now I don’t live in Texas, I live in Idaho but I know many who would likely want to join Texas because most here agree with Jeffersonian principles more than the bastardized version of the living breathing constitution today’s liberals are succeeding in cramming up our ahh, down our throats today. Many red states will stand with Texas, there is a path of them to the sea going from Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas Oklahoma then we are there. Bummer for Colorado and New Mexico!

    With an inevitable influx of freedom loving entrepreneurs and other self-determining Americans hoping for a socialism free republic free of federal intrusion, Texas would become an even richer, more profitable place to live. Today the USA is down from first place to tenth place on the Economic Freedom Index and will soon drop further. A Texan confederation would likely become number one on the Economic Freedom Index and capitol will flow in from less business friendly countries.

    Yep today the blue states would declare war on those of us who treasure Jeffersonian principles so secession is still a ways away. These things take time and when the USA collapses because of the unsustainability of our entitlements in 2036 as Paul Ryan has outlined secession will be a much easier task. The USA will likely do what the USSR did in 1991, break up into a disparate sum of its parts and the foundational movement Texas is working on today will be there to put the choice pieces together when it does.

    A Texas confederation will become a new republic with democratic principles that ought to be good for another 200+ years.

    Alexander Fraser Tytler (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) is often credited with the passage:

    A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    ▪ From bondage to spiritual faith;
    ▪ From spiritual faith to great courage;
    ▪ From courage to liberty;
    ▪ From liberty to abundance;
    ▪ From abundance to complacency;
    ▪ From complacency to apathy;
    ▪ From apathy to dependence;
    ▪ From dependence back into bondage.

    Frank, isn’t it wonderful how your goal of a liberal nirvana has brought us all together!

    Kum ba yah!

  10. Ah… Those that don’t believe Texans can handle their business. We would be able to pay for what we need by keeping the 3 billion dollars we send the FG every year as well as having our own fiscal policy, a balanced budget, resources, an ability to deal with our Mexican border issues, etc. We would be free from having to implement idiotic FG programs which would free up manpower as well as other resources. Also, do you REALLY think the FG can secure a border around Texas since they haven’t been able to do so across the Rio Grande? THAT is laughable at best. Those that drain our economy by voting more entitlements into being would be more than happy to leave. We would love to see them go. Please understand that the US is not the only country to do business with. Also understand that we have many countries that are interested in doing business with us. Those military people overseas would be able to get home, believe that, Dears. They would no longer be required to be there if they are Texans. Please tell me how many Texans you know that don’t know how to handle a weapon. The Alamo is a strong presence here and the spirit of those people is still in the Texas legacy. There WOULD be a conflict, I believe, because the US FG does NOT want to let this cash cow go… It would be difficult in the beginning and I believe it would become a better situation. Sovereignty is a costly thing, and there are a HUGE amount of people wanting to move TO Texas simply because of these beliefs!! We welcome them and they will be required to defend our Republic just as we will.

    • You may send $3B to the federal government every year, but note that you get back almost a dollar more from the federal government than you put in. (2010 data) Whereas my state happens to put in $1.56 for every dollar it gets.

      Please name some of these countries that you imagine doing so much business with, please. As you prepare for secession, you’ll need to have these things thought out before hand.

      Again, your cash cow actually costs the rest of us money. So by you leaving, the rest of us who aren’t welfare receiving leaches (like Texans) will have more money to do the things we need to do (like build a wall around Texas). Most of the people who will want to move to your new Republic already reside in states that take more from the federal government than they give. Again, net benefit for us, the ones that pay for you.

      I don’t know why you’re arguing with me. I’m all for you following your dreams and getting the fuck out of my country. Love it or leave it. How can i help you pack your bags?

  11. Pingback: Secession: it’s fun to talk about, but is it actually plausible? | Scholars and Rogues

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