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Secession Week Blogging, Monday, Intro To Secession

June 29, 2009

Welcome to Secession Week here at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom!  To celebrate Independence Day, each day this week we’ll be bringing you secession related posts and links from around the web.  To learn more about the event and how to participate, read our intro.  For Monday, we’re going to focus on how secession is going mainstream, and an introduction to secession.

Secession Goes Mainstream

Secession suffers from a coordination problem – you can’t do it alone, and so there is no point in working on it unless other people are too.  So we’ll start by showing that even in the US, secession is becoming an increasingly mainstream topic.

From Wall Street Journal article on secession

From Wall Street Journal article on secession

To start, Mike here at A Thousand Nations points us to an article about secession in the Wall Street Journal – not exactly a fringe or obscure media channel (Cameron Parker also writes about the WSJ piece).  And even the New York Times reported on Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent expression of sympathy for secessionist Texans (18% of the state, in a recent poll).

And via Stunatra, we can also see secession being talked about by Congressman Ron Paul:

The Basics Of Secession

Book CoverBook CoverThe topic is covered in quite a number of books, like Secession, State, & Liberty (a collection of essays reviewed here), A Constitutional History of Secession, and The Dynamic of Secession from Cambridge Studies in International Relations.

Patri has written a post introducing our unique approach to making government work better: Let’s Try Everything: Local Autonomy and Innovation In Government.

Did you know that there is an institute about secession?  Check out The Middlebury Institute: For The Study of Separatism, Secession, And Self-Determination.  They co-sponsored the Second North American Secessionist Convention in 2007, which received quite a bit of press via an AP story.

Several other good sources of information about secession are – Principles, Goals, and Strategies, and The American Secession Project – “Dedicated to placing secession in the mainstream of political thought as a viable solution to contemporary problems.”

We’ll update this post the rest of the day, as new links come in, and we’ll have more new posts all week on different topics, like American Secession Movements, Secession vs. Revolution, and Federalism (Secession Lite).  If you’re a blogger, we encourage you to write on any of these topics, or secession in general, and comment, trackback, or email us the link.

Secession Week Posts

Please join us tomorrow, when the theme will be American Secession and Independence Movements.

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  20. June 30, 2009 3:04 pm

    Oops, forgot – here is my own scattered and loose “contribution”…

  21. June 30, 2009 2:26 pm

    Hope this event of yours proves successful – in whatever way. 🙂

  22. June 30, 2009 1:46 pm

    Secession is a big topic. Where to begin? Once we had a federal government. “We” were the thirteen original (and those that were subsequently added) free and independent states who agreed to form a federation, first with the Articles of Federation, then with the US Constitution. When ratifying that Constitution, several of the states specifically reserved the right to secede. This right was only abridged during what is commonly called the Civil War, but which might more appropriately be called the Southern War of Independence. Our secession from England was based on the same principles that the Southern states used to secede from the US. But, since he winners write the history, the war was called “Civil” though no one was contesting the same territory. The end of the Civil War was also the end of the federation, since from that time none dared secede from the “Union”.

    Secession is necessary to the life of a healthy federation, since a federation must incorporate the idea of voluntary union. So, with regard to what was agreed to when the US Constitution was ratified, secession was the right of every free and independent state. The tenth amendment, now a dead letter, interpreted by courts and congresses into meaninglessness, was meant to preserve that spirit and reality of independence.

    So, at one level, I agree with the right and concept of secession, specifically as it relates to the resuscitation of the federal government established by the states by means of the US Constitution.

    On the other hand… The founding fathers, and most who have come after them, continue to see sovereignty in terms of territory. This is problematic. We no longer have kings with divine right to govern. The idea of social contract continues to apply, but really has no internal consistency. So where does sovereignty lie? And where does the right to govern come from? The Declaration of Independence gave us a clue when it said, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. If we look at the human person as the proper domain of sovereignty, then the person, by his or her consent, is able to give government its right to govern. Any approach of sovereignty from the top down will end in totalitarianism. Sovereignty and the right of a government to govern springing up from the human person ensures peace in society.

    But this leaves me with a problem about secession, at least on the basis of territory. For in any territory which chooses to exercise its right to secede, there will be those individuals who do not wish to secede. It is for this reason that I agree with the philosophy of panarchy, the right of personal secession. Acknowledging the right of every person to secede also requires the acknowledgement that governments must be non-territorial.

    The secession of territories is better than the denial of this right. But we should be looking beyond that concept, looking at the person, and the human right to secede. Please see my website, Panarchy South Jersey (, to see this idea developed further.

  23. cameronp1013 permalink
    June 29, 2009 8:58 pm

    If possible, see my post taken from the same WSJ article – which I also found quite salient.

    Great way to kick off Secession Week, Patri!


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