Why the Pan-Secessionist Movement Must Be a Big Tent Reply

Among some secessionists, there is a debate going on as to whether secessionist groups should collaborate with other groups whose political ideology or cultural values are the opposite of their own. This is particularly common to secessionists with “liberal” or left-wing values and who look askance at those secessionists with less than liberal views on matters like religion, gay rights, feminism, race, immigration, abortion and a number of other things.

Well, isn’t the whole point of secession to provide a framework where people with conflicting values can “do their own thing” without being bothered by those with other values? And if you strongly object to someone else’s values, shouldn’t you want to be separate from them? If their values are of the kind that you find particularly noxious, isn’t it that much more important that they separate themselves from others?

A pan-secessionist movement will naturally attract people from across the cultural and ideological spectrum, ranging from “moderates” who simply think the present system has gone too far to “extremists” espousing views that many would find rather bizarre. This is how it should be. Differences of opinion over moral philosophy, cultural norms, political ideology, theology and the like are matters for different secessionist groups to debate internally. The only time this should be an issue is when more than one group claims a particular territory. For instance, both black nationalists and southern nationalists claim parts of the South. Realistically speaking, some kind of compromise resulting in mutual autonomy will have to be worked out. Likewise with the Southwest, where multiple groups also claim territorial rights. Large cities, which tend to be quite diverse, raise still other issues.

Many of the individual American states are in fact larger than many other nations. Rougly one half of the territory of the USA is controlled by governments, federal, state or local. That’s a lot of turf that can be parceled out for the sake of forming new nations and intentional communities. Just as a pan-secessionist movement will need its moderates, as they will be the ones who give the indication that one can be a secessionist without being particularly outside the mainstream culturally, so will it need its extremists, because they are the ones who will be most likely to stand their ground and fight.

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