Let me put my anarchist argument on the back-burner for a moment. It is often a philosophical argument I make: if the ends cannot justify the means, then societal order cannot justify state aggression. But even without the philosophical reasoning behind anarchism and the immorality and inherent injustice of a state, something we should all be able to get behind is secession.
Secession is not the elimination of the government, but rather the fracturing of the state into smaller states.
Conservatives today argue from a funny position: they argue against liberals saying that we need a less centralized government to increase competition and allow different people to make decisions best for their region and culture. And then they turn around and argue with anarchists that we need a strong centralized state to defend us from foreign aggression.
Liberals too have a contradictory position: they argue against conservatives that having a large centralized state is necessary to make sure no one is left without government to take care of them, and standardize things like roads, trade, education, and healthcare. But they also lament the fact that backwards politicians from, say, South Carolina have influence over progressives from California.
Why don’t we all just stop associating if we don’t get along? Do you spend your time campaigning against a restaurant that gave you bad service, or do you just stop going there, and warn others with a review? You don’t need to ban the restaurant to get back at them. They cannot take your money if you don’t voluntarily go there. If your state’s wants and needs do not match the federal government’s, why shouldn’t the state simply go its separate way peacefully, without being dragged violently back into the fold?
The state of Texas could simply become its own country if it thinks it has a strong enough military to stand alone, or can form proper alliances with other states. The state of California could become its own country if it thinks raising taxes to 90% will benefit its economy. Texas can ban immigration if it wishes, and California can ban guns. But currently federal laws generally trump state laws. California pot growers are still being raided because cannabis is illegal at the national level. And Kentucky is up in arms about federally sanctioned gay marriage. Wouldn’t everything just be easier if we let each state do what it wants? Isn’t it easier to move across state borders than to a different country?
With 50 nation-states we could shop around for the best fit, but with an overbearing federal government, we get the worst of both worlds. No matter where we go, we still have to pay for the largest military on earth, yet we still need to know each state’s laws, lest we wind up in prison for a decade because we brought legal pot from Colorado over the state line. States could be as secure or as lax in their borders as they want. The best tax policies for the economy would quickly show what type of government people want: even now people are fleeing California over their high tax rates.
Liberals shouldn’t have a problem with any of this because then their state could be progressive without being stopped by the federal government, or burdened by military expense. Conservatives shouldn’t have a problem because then they don’t have to pay for liberal federal programs, and won’t have their freedom jeopardized by the Feds.
What right does the federal government have to force a state to be a vassal of the United States government? If government’s are controlled by the people, and empowered by the people, doesn’t it make sense for those people to voluntarily start their own, smaller state that is a better match?
Now here is where I turn the anarchy back on: if a state is free to secede and disassociate with the old government, why not a town? Why not a neighborhood, or a single household? Why not an individual? If any of the people inhabiting these places step back into “your” society on “your government’s” land, they will again be subject to that government’s laws, same as it is now. So why not let them disassociate and stay away if they choose? Why not let people do whatever they want on their own land, and take issue only if their actions start to negatively affect those not on their land?
And I think this shows the true nature of government. They need you, they need us, because we fund them, and we contribute to their control and power. We are not free to disassociate, we cannot just walk away and say no thanks, we cannot take our business elsewhere. This sounds an awful lot like slavery. If we could simply choose another plantation to work on, or create our own garden, we would be free.
So if any state is free to secede from a larger government, then there is nothing to stop secession down to the individual level. And if a state is not free to secede, that means whoever has the most guns is the rightful ruler of earth. If you are against the freedom to secede, it means your support slavery, by keeping those who wish to leave in your club against their will.
If you are not free to secede, it is no use complaining if your next rulers are Muslims, or Christians, Republicans, or Democrats, fascists, or socialists, Chinese, Russian, or the United Nations. If Kim Davis or Kim Jun Un is in power, what each one says is the law of the land, and you have no right to disassociate. Go ahead and try to change it from within, and good luck, but meanwhile, live by all the laws handed down, and don’t complain about the enforcers of those laws just doing their jobs. Oh yeah, and the laws handed down will be designed to make sure you cannot change the system of the rulers.
You can say how it should be, and how the constitution meant it to be, but that isn’t the way it is. We have a dictatorial centralized state, and if we could all simply agree not to attack those who withdraw from the system, the world could quickly become a much better, and more free place.