The Birth of the American City-state Reply

By Greg Penglis

American Thinker

Mark Levin has proposed a series of “Liberty Amendments” to the Constitution through an Article 5 state convention. I have my own set of amendments which I hope to share here and add to the proposed Liberty Amendments. The first involves the resurrection of the city-state. This plan would take our largest cities, governed primarily by socialist Democrats, and separate them out as independent, self-governing, self-funding political units, with no connection to the states, but within the exclusive oversight of the federal government, just as the states are.

There is a huge separation in this country right now between the socialist big cities and the conservative countrysides. Many times, especially in California where I live, the socialist cities have enough people, and votes, to edge out the conservative countryside in every major state and federal election, despite the fact that the countryside constitutes a vastly larger area, and includes millions of people. Conservatives within that vast area are completely disenfranchised from true representation, even up to the president.

If you took San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles out of the state of California, and left the rest of the state alone to govern itself, the world of electoral politics, and every other issue, would completely change. Therefore I propose that cities over a certain size and metropolitan character be designated as city-states, that their legislators and officers be recalled from the state governments, that the city-states have no connection or ties with the surrounding states, that no person residing in a city-state may hold any government position in a state, and vice-versa, that crossing a city-state line is the equivalent of crossing a state line, and that the city-states become completely independent political, legal, and financial entities.


As Globalists Centralize, Secession Fever Grows Worldwide Reply

By Alex Newman

New American

Much has been written about the ongoing efforts by globalists and the international establishment to centralize political and economic power. From the European Union, the African Union, and the Union of South American States all the way to the United Nations, would-be transnational authorities are fervently seeking to consolidate and expand their power over increasingly large swaths of humanity. At the same time, though, with citizens becoming increasingly weary of being ruled by far-away, unaccountable forces, secession movements around the world are exploding.

Nowhere are independence movements more numerous and more vocal at the moment than in Europe. As the emerging Brussels-based super-state seeks to finalize its smashing of national sovereignty and self-government across the bloc, whole nations are increasingly in open revolt. In the United Kingdom, for example — itself facing the increasingly likely prospect of Scottish secession — polls show the public is ready to peacefully extricate the nation from the EU as soon as possible. The political class has done its best to contain the anti-EU fervor, but to little avail.

“In much of the world, small countries are hoping to retain their independence, whilst portions of larger countries are trying to establish their independence,” wrote economist Jeff Thomas in International Man, a finance-oriented publication. “Understandably, they’re meeting with resistance, as it’s usually the areas that are the net-contributors to the larger economy that seek independence, whilst the areas that are the net-recipients wish to take the conglomerate approach (and to continue to eat their neighbor’s lunch).”

Moves to break away from central governments, Thomas continued, are “invariably a bottom-up effort — created by the people.” Efforts to create “a conglomerate state,” on the other hand, tend to be “top-down — created by the political class,” he said, adding that while in the past that was often done through warfare, today, it often happens via treaties. “Political leaders invariably have an insatiable appetite for gobbling up as much real estate as possible,” Thomas observed.


Stormin’ Norman, Decentralist Reply

Norman Mailer’s decentralized, left-conservatism is a lot like what the electoral wing of the ARV-ATS program would be. We need to cultivate an alliance of third parties (and perhaps some maverick Democrats and Republicans) who will begin pursing the Mailer model and strategy in cities all across the United States with the goal of an eventual conversion to the city-state system.

By Bill Kauffman

Front Porch Republic
BURNED-OVER DISTRICT, NY–One of the precious and few political campaigns in recent years to embody Front Porch (or, rather, front stoop) principles was Norman Mailer’s 1969 candidacy for mayor of New York City. John Buffalo Mailer, his son, has a fine essay on the old man’s run in the American Conservative ( Herewith, via First Principles, my piece on Brooklyn’s favorite fugging son:

In 1969, Norman Mailer, the dukes-up bard of Brooklyn and a self-proclaimed “left conservative,” undertook a campaign for mayor of the city that had, seven decades earlier, swallowed his borough of homes and churches. Competing in the Democratic primary against a quartet of machine hacks and standard-brand liberals, the novelist-pugilist got clobbered. What do you expect of an electorate that has filled Gracie Mansion with the likes of Abe Beame, Ed Koch, and Rudy Giuliani? But Mailer ran a race that carved out a path that we would do well to follow today. I don’t believe that any municipal campaign of the last century has been packed with such radical spirit and reactionary sense.

Mailer averred that he was to the left of the liberals and to the right of the conservatives: wisdom’s place! He diagnosed the modern malady: “The style of New York life has shifted since the Second World War (along with the rest of American cities) from a scene of local neighborhoods and personalities to a large dull impersonal style of life which deadens us with its architecture, its highways, its abstract welfare, and its bureaucratic reflex to look for government solutions which come into the city from without (and do not work)…Our authority has been handed over to the federal power. More…

America’s Slumbering Secession Obsession Reply

We’re getting there.

By James Poulos

The Daily Beast

As the United States becomes more and more disjointed, an increasing number of Americans favors abandoning the Union altogether.

In his underrated classic The Cousins’ Wars, Kevin Phillips proves something most Americans would not like to contemplate. Rather than just a one-off conflict over slavery, the Civil War was actually the third phase of a massive conflict among British people and their descendants. The English Civil War laid the groundwork for the American Revolution—which, in most states, was a civil war of its own, played out county by county—and the American Revolution laid the groundwork for the U.S. Civil War.

The patterns of thought shaped through centuries of this ethnic and religious conflict live on, as Scotland’s recent bid for independence reminds us. And here in America, the spirit of secession is gaining strength too. As modern social and cultural forces continue to make most of us more interchangeable, interest in leaving the Union has spread out from coast to coast with remarkable regularity.

As a rigorous new Reuters poll reveals, at least 19 percent of respondents in America’s eight major regions support the idea of their state “peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government.” In the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, and Far West, secession sympathizers top out at 22 percent of the population. In the Southeast, the group counts 1 of every 4 respondents. In the Rockies, the number climbs to 26 percent, and in the Southwest, fully a third are on board.


The Pan-Anarchist 12-Step Program 2

1. Continue to attack all mainstream institutions across the board, until all of the system’s institutions have a single digit approval rating, just as Congress presently does.

2. Continue all dissident movements everywhere, and grow these to the point that they collectively become a majority, and then a super-majority.

3. Promote the idea of secession until a substantive majority of Americans wishes for their state, region, or locality to secede, thereby effectively breaking up the USA.

4. Continue to build support for military non-intervention, which is at an all-time low, across the political spectrum.

5. Continue to build support for anti-police state protests until these become an Eastern Europe circa 1989 moment.

6. Continue to attack the war on drugs which is the foundation of the modern American police state.

7. Continue to grow the libertarian grey tribe as an anti-state opposition force in U.S. politics.

8. Advocate for the city-state system as a practical means of implementing decentralist ideas.

9. Advocate for the repeal of consensual crimes and the surveillance state, the definitive social issues for the grey tribe.

10. Continue to critique red state fascism.

11. Continue to critique blue state totalitarian humanism.

12. Continue to build the pan-anarchist philosophy as the leading revolutionary ideology of the 21st century, comparable to Marxist in the 20th century, and classical liberalism in the 19th century.

Poll: Nearly one in four in America would favor secession 3

Grey Tribe becomes a de facto political majority + Support for secession becomes a de facto majority=We Win!!

This is the most up to date data on secessionist sympathy I can find, and it looks like secessionist sympathy is up by a few percentage point. My guess is that secessionist sympathy is highest in the Southwest due to the prevalent of “reconquista” sentiments among Hispanics. Here’s hoping the folk in D.C. keeping screwing up and fueling secessionist sympathies.

Things are now moving along a lot faster than I would have ever thought.

Los Angeles Times

One in four americans in favor of state secession


The State: Its Rise and Decline Reply

Read this classic lecture from 2000 by Professor Van Creveld, and then read my “Philosophical Anarchism and the Death of Empire” from 2003. Van Creveld’s lecture describes the emerging world order, and my essay outlines a new paradigm for the “worldwide Grey Tribe” as it might be called.

By Martin Van Creveld

October 16, 2000

This is an excerpt from the keynote lecture given at the Mises Institute conference on the themes in Professor van Creveld’s talk.

The background of the state as we know it today is formed by civil war, although at that time, of course, it was not yet called civil. The endless wars between the various principalities, some of them Christian and others Moslem, that took place in the Iberian Peninsula during the fifteenth century; the English Wars of the Roses; the French guerres de religion; and the Thirty Years War which devastated much of Germany and Central Europe–all these resulted in so much death and destruction that, to end them, people were even prepared to have their appetites controlled. As figures such as Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes argued, the only way to bring about peace and quiet was absolute government invested in a single person. And peace and quiet, more than anything else, was what people wanted and what history seemed to demand.


The Rise of the Grey Tribe 19

Right now, the most important thing that anarchists, libertarians, anti-state radicals, decentralists, anti-authoritarians, paleos, communitarians, and allied others can be doing is growing the Grey Tribe as a third force in U.S. politics beyond the Red Tribe/Blue Tribe dichotomy.

Read the blog post below and then read Scott Alexander’s analysis of present day mainstream politics. Then read my article “Liberty and Populism” from nearly nine years ago, and you will see that the emerging Grey Tribe is more or less what I predicted a libertarian-oriented third force in U.S. politics would be.

Growing the Grey Tribe is one of the primary steps that needs to be taken towards the application of the ARV-ATS paradigm and strategy (along with continuing to increase popular support for the idea of secession).

Also, notice how this writer describes how the Red Tribe is increasingly being marginalized from the mainstream of U.S. politics, and is instead developing its own regional strongholds, while an emerging Blue Tribe/Grey Tribe conflict is taking place. That fits perfectly with my past predictions as well, i.e. that the Red Tribe would become increasingly irrelevant over time, and that the Blue Tribe would become the de facto norm, with the Grey Tribe emerging as the de facto “real Left” opposition to the totalitarian humanism of the Blue Tribe with the left-libertarian/anarcho-leftoids being caught in the middle.

Pax Vobiscum

Everyone knows America has two cultures. Ever since the bitterly contested 2000 Bush v. Gore election we’ve referred to “Red States” and “Blue States”. The states in question of course aren’t monolithically “Red” or “Blue” but the color describes the dominant culture of the population of those states. Red and Blue are more clearly thought of as tribes. Scott Alexander describes the American Red & Blue tribes in one tiny bit of his terrific #longread about outgroups:


Far Rightist Says “Death To America!” 6

On that at least, we can agree.

This is a really interesting talk. This fellow’s worldview and ideology are very much in the vein of classical, eighteenth century, “throne and altar” conservatism. If you were a “conservative” in the late 1700s and early 1800s, this is how you would have seen the world.

While I obviously disagree with most of this, and in many ways my own ideology is the polar opposite of what is being expressed here. He’s a Russian Orthodox, monarchist, anti-Masonic, white nationalist anit-modernist counterrevolutionary and I’m a far left (historically speaking) revolutionary anarchist. HOWEVER, what is interesting is the direction in which he takes his cultural and political criticisms by advocating essentially withdrawing from the system and urging his fellow reactionaries to “reject constitutionalism, capitalism, and conservation of American ‘founding principles’, embracing smaller and more manageable organic identities centered around their faith, their families, and their folk communities.” In other words, he’s advocating something akin to the national anarchist position (which is in turn compatible with the wider pan-anarchist/anarcho-pluralist paradigm) in practice if not in theory.

If a comparable perspective were to become prevalent among the entire spectrum of the American right-wing, from the Tea Parties to the fascists, then entirely sections of “red state” America would be walking away from the system. The Empire would be hollowed out from within and defeated, and the Left and the demographic groups it claims to champion would achieve self determination as well ( Of course, the Left can’t see this, given the Left’s usual myopia.

Catalonian Secession and ‘Pure’ Motives Reply

By Ryan McMaken


686px-Localización_de_Cataluña.svgThe Catalonian regional government has signaled that it plans to go ahead with a vote on secession from Spain on Sunday, November 9. The Spanish central government insists that the vote is illegal and the Spanish state will not recognize any vote for secession. Such a blatantly anti-democratic move from a European government will prove to be interesting the next time the Spanish government waxes philosophical about the need to impose democracy in some foreign land.

It is fitting that the vote be scheduled on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall since that event, of course, began a process that led to the de facto secession of numerous states from what was in practice a Soviet megastate built on a system of client states throughout Eastern Europe. Hungary and Poland, et al were de jure independent states, but we all saw the reality behind that claim in 1956 in Hungary and 1968 in Prague.


Imagine…. Reply

Imagine in the year 2044 a poll is taken showing the following results:

10% of Americans consider themselves to be anarchists.

20% consider themselves to be “hard-core” libertarians.

20% consider themselves to be “moderate” libertarians.

20% consider themselves to be “libertarian-leaning.”

55% say that would prefer decentralizing the USA into a city-state system.

55% say they favor amnesty for all non-violent prisoners.

60% say they favor the right of regions and localities to secede from the central government.

60% say they favor repeal of all consensual crime laws.

65% say they favor limiting police power to investigating crimes against persons and their property.

75% say they oppose military intervention in other societies for any reason.

80% say they favor legalizing marijuana.

What would this mean?

It would mean WE WIN!!!

It’s our job to make it happen.

Free Lingít Aaní! Reply

From Lingit Latseen

Today is Free Nations Day.

Free Nations Day is an opportunity to reclaim the idea that nations are voluntary groupings of free individuals, not externally imposed political borders or states. Both geographic localities and identities that transcend space are legitimate entities with the right to decide their own ways of life.

Courtesy of Tlingit Readers Inc.; produced by the late Andrew Hope III

Courtesy of Tlingit Readers Inc.; produced by the late Andrew Hope III


Secession Growing—Here? Reply

By Kirkpatrick Sale

In the wake of the Scottish “no” vote on secession last month, former presidential contender Ron Paul has declared that this was inspirational for the cause of secession not only around the world but right here in the United States.  It is here,  he said, that there is a “growing movement” for secession that is “deeply American:” “Americans who embrace secession are acting in the grand American tradition,” most especially the original departure from Great Britain that Scotland failed to emulate.

This has of course upset the usual crowd of knee-jerk patriots who always argue that secession is illegal or unconstitutional or anti-American, and anyway the Civil War settled all that.  But Paul is supported by a new survey by Reuters/Ipsos that shows that 24 per cent of Americans believe that secession is not only legal but something they would support in their own states.  That’s a quarter of the land—80 million people, almost 15 million more than voted for Obama in the last election.


The Case for the City-State System 4

By Keith Preston

I recently suggested that the next necessary step in the cultivation of the pan-anarchist movement will be the coalescence of the many scattered factions and tendencies within anarchism and overlapping philosophies into a new “Gray” anarchist macro-tribe that maintains its own political and cultural identity in a way that is distinctively independent of the Left and Right or, perhaps more important for domestic U.S. politics, independent of the Red tribe and Blue tribe. At present, far too many anarchists, libertarians, and anti-state radicals retain too great a loyalty to either the Red or Blue, or the Left and Right. While we will continue to draw from both sides of the conventional political and cultural spectrum as our movement continues to grow, the eventually establishment of our own independent identity is a long-term necessity.


Was the American Revolution Secessionist? 1

Daniel McCarthy tells what is basically the truth about America’s founding. It was led by continental imperialists who resented the British for getting in the way of their own expansionist designs on the Indian lands. Leftist historians like Howard Zinn have long pointed this out.

By Daniel McCarthy

The American Conservative

Battle of Yorktown re-enactors.Visions of America /

Battle of Yorktown re-enactors.Visions of America /

A few people may be a little unclear about the argument of my last post on secession as a principle of liberty (or not, as I argue). Its inspiration was the fact that it seemed curious for Americans to long for Scottish secession when the Scots themselves had voted against it. Whatever was being expressed was not sympathy for the Scottish people, so what was it? The answer was a general case for secession as an inherently good thing, in radical libertarian theory, because it leads to smaller states, and maybe no states. I pointed out various problems with this notion, which seems to have greater emotional force than reasoning behind it.


Dismantling Empires Through Devolution Reply

By Parag Khanna

The Atlantic

Last week, the world’s most globe-spanning empire until the mid-20th century let its fate be decided by 3.6 million voters in Scotland. While Great Britain narrowly salvaged its nominal unity, the episode offered an important reminder: The 21st century’s strongest political force is not democracy but devolution.

Before the vote was cast, British Prime Minister David Cameron and his team were so worried by voter sentiment swinging toward Scottish independence that they promised a raft of additional powers to Edinburgh (and Wales and Northern Ireland) such as the right to set its own tax rates—granting even more concessions than Scotland’s own parliament had demanded. Scotland won before it lost. Furthermore, what it won it will never give back, and what it lost it can try to win again later. England, meanwhile, feels ever more like the center of a Devolved Kingdom rather than a united one.
Related Story

The United States of Great Britain?

Devolution—meaning the decentralization of power—is the geopolitical equivalent of the second law of thermodynamics: inexorable, universal entropy. Today’s nationalism and tribalism across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East represent the continued push for either greater autonomy within states or total independence from what some view as legacy colonial structures. Whether these movements are for devolution, federalism, or secession, they all to varying degrees advocate the same thing: greater self-rule.


Roundtable on Religion and the State: Can Pagans, Christians, and Atheists Get Along? 31

Attack the System
Roundtable on Religion and the State: Can Pagans, Christians, and Atheists Get Along?

August 3, 2014


ATS contributors discuss their spiritual and theological perspectives, and the relationship of these to history, ethics, and politics. Features conservative Christians Brock Bellerive and Todd Lewis, pagan Rodney Huber, and atheists Spencer Pearson and Keith Preston.

Topics include:

  • The unfortunate history of mutual persecution between Christians, pagans, and secularists.
  • The question of which religious or philosophical traditions have the most blood on their hands.
  • How political decentralization and cultural separation help to foster peaceful co-existence

File type: MP3
Length: 2:23:50
Bitrate: 32kb/s CBR

Download (right click, ‘save as’)

Email Keith:

Why We Need Hillary to Win: The Fire Rises 3

An interesting and, I suspect, accurate bit of analysis.

I think this commentator is correct that as U.S. society continues to move leftward, the right will become increasingly alienated from both the political establishment and the mainstream culture, and begin to adopt a more radical, militant, and anti-establishment stance. Hence, they will be less oriented towards “Defend America!” or “Take Back America!,” or more oriented towards “To Hell with America!”. Plus, as their numbers continue to dwindle, they will realize the impossibility of taking over the state, and begin to adopt ideas like secession and decentralization. Where it will go from there is anyone’s guess.

The majority of leftists, liberals, progressives, left-anarchists, and (probably) libertarians usually express horror at the idea of “right-wingers” seceding in order to practice allegedly reactionary values within the context of their own enclaves. While I am merely an anarchist (in the tradition of Stirner), and not any kind of right winger, I would consider mass secession by predominately rightist-leaning communities to be a means of weakening and destroying the American imperial empire, both internationally and domestic. Unfortunately, most cultural cosmopolitans and “progressives” apparently believe that making sure there’s an an abortion clinic and a gay bar on every street corner in every backwoods town is more important that overthrowing a genocidal imperialist regime and a global plutocratic tyranny.

By Jan Stadler

Traditionalist Youth Network

Given the endless coverage by FOX news and Bill O’Reilly of poll after poll after speculation with Charles Krauthammer over whether Hillary can win, will Hillary run and can Rand Paul beat Hillary, I am going to assume the 2016 election has already begun.

Of course in line with this excessively premature hysteria about Hillary Clinton, conservatives, libertarians, populists, Tea Partiers and Christian fundamentalists are all in a twit over the future prospects of Hilary Clinton become the next president of these states united.


BBC on Europe’s leading secession movements Reply

Secession isn’t pan-secession, but any challenge to the conventional nation state is to be welcomed, particularly those moving in the “right” direction.  Here’s a BBC article on Europe’s top 8 secession movements and their current standing published in the light of Scotland’s referendum on independence in September.   These are all fairly popular causes, but there are dozens more which are as yet a little further from the mainstream all across the continent.  Eat ya heart out Cascadia!

BBC: Scottish independence: Europeans with an eye on Edinburgh

Secessionism is Growing: Plan To Split California Into Six States Closer To Reality 4

While I endorse this proposal, I would qualify my endorsement by pointing out that this is merely a plan for decentralizing the state of California. That by itself is a worthwhile ambition, but the wider aim of pan-secessionism is much more radical, i.e. the overthrow of the American empire domestically and the overthrow of neoliberalism internationally. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. If this succeeds, or even becomes widely publicized, it will most likely open the door for the growth of new and more radical secession movements.

By Travis H. Brown


Thanks to the signatures of more than 807,000 concerned Californians, an ambitious idea has moved that much closer to becoming a reality. The “Six Californias” Initiative, sponsored by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, seeks to create areas that are more governable, more productive, and more successful. As I wrote in this column back in February, the initiative would achieve the triumvirate goal of proportionately distributing California’s debts based on population, ending all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California, and creating new, more representative governments with the ability to enact public policies that make the most sense for the new state.