The consequences of mistaking the divisible for the indivisible or Moscow next Tuesday
It’s hard to ignore the blatant contradictions and rank hypocrisy of the “Free World ™” exposed by the Ukrainian Crisis. Indeed if the goal of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation was to demonstrate the gap between the stated values and actions of The West then its difficult to imagine how they might better have succeeded. The spectacle of Western politicians gravely denouncing interference in “sovereign” nation’s affairs, while they themselves are openly engaged in exactly that all over the planet, is sickening to anyone who has any regard for integrity. The horror expressed by the establishment of the West over the use of force to pursue geo-political aims when they have used precisely that routinely and systematically for at least two decades marks them out as the most shameless of hypocrites. What can be said which would do justice to the contradiction between the West’s position on The Crimea’s unalterable status as a Ukrainian province (it was made part of it in 1954) and its actions in “liberating” Kosovo from Serbia (of which it had been an integral part for eight centuries)? More…
A recent paper by political scientists Guy Grossman of the University of Pennsylvania and Janet Lewis of the Naval Academy (via Chris Blattman) looks at a fascinating but little-noticed phenomenon. Countries all over the world seem to be dividing themselves into smaller and smaller political units:
A functioning aristocracy is fundamental to a traditionally-based society, and its structures and concepts have greatly influenced the development of the British nation over the centuries. In this paper, I intend, while showing some of the difficulties that have come to occupy the British aristocracy today, to consider whether the aristocracy as a class may be useful to our nation in firstly seeking to challenge the prevailing structures of the state and secondly offering us a model and structure for a projected traditionalist replacement of it.
This paper is written from a secessionist perspective. It addresses both partial secessionist or regionalist solutions, and also explores a limited number of total secessionist solutions. In doing so, it is concerned with secessionism on the basis of geographical regions that form a part of Great Britain, and is not concerned with secession that is not based upon the ownership of land and that therefore applies solely to a non-geographically constituted individual (sovereign individualism) or group.
This paper adopts a secessionist perspective because it recognizes the following conditions to apply:
There is one and only one conclusion that I should think everyone alive during this last year of sequester and shutdown and gridlock and Obamacare, and unprecedented government intrusion, would come to is this: the government we have in this country is too incompetent, inept, corrupt, wasteful, and inefficient, too centralized, undemocratic, unjust, and invasive, and too unresponsive to the needs of individual citizens and small communities, and all because it is too big. Simple as that.
The reason that more of us don’t come to it is that as a nation we have long been fixated on the value of bigness, size, super-this and colossal-that, immensity, bulk, quantity, greatness, Big Macs, Whoppers, Green Giant, big-box stores, king-size mattresses, global trade, mass production, mcmansions, high rises, double-wides—and the smallest olive size is jumbo. We’re just not trained to see things in terms of scale, proportion, adequacy, appropriateness. As a nation we killed nearly a million of our own people to reinforce the value of oneness and largeness, and to punish the idea of division and separateness.
These are perhaps the most interesting times in the United States since the Civil War. After President Obama’s re-election in 2012, residents from every state petitioned for secession, with the movement garnering significant traction in at least seven states. And, a growing number of whistleblowers have risked their own freedom, most notably Edward Snowden, to expose government abuses.
In this 1941 San Francisco Chronicle photo, secession advocates in northern California control the “border” to a proposed state of Jefferson. The old idea resurfaced recently, when commissioners in Siskiyou County voted to pursue forming their own state.
Matt L. Barron
October 8, 2013
When I hear the word “secession,” I tend to think of the Confederacy. But today, a new secession movement is taking root, and it is not Blue vs. Gray but rather rural against urban.
Across the nation from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the Maryland panhandle to northern Colorado and northern California there is growing secessionist movement in rural areas that feel a deep geographic, cultural and political disconnection from their states’ increasingly urban power centers. More…
n these columns, Thierry Meyssan has often explained the internal contradictions of the United States in order to emphasize the manner in which they would break up. In this article, he ponders the impact of two events which are likely to start the decomposition process.
Voltaire Network | Damascus (Syria) | 16 October 2013
The American Empire is the hypertrophied remains of two players in the Cold War. The Soviet Union is gone, but the U.S. is still there and has taken advantage of the absence of competitors to monopolize global power.
In the last decade of the 20th century, as the Soviet Empire disintegrated so, too, did that prison house of nations, the USSR.
Out of the decomposing carcass came Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova, all in Europe; Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus; and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.
Transnistria then broke free of Moldova, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia fought free of Georgia.
Yugoslavia dissolved far more violently into the nations of Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo.
The Slovaks seceded from Czechoslovakia. Yet a Europe that plunged straight to war after the last breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939 this time only yawned. Let them go, all agreed.
The spirit of secession, the desire of peoples to sever ties to nations to which they have belonged for generations, sometimes for centuries, and to seek out their own kind, is a spreading phenomenon.
Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it’s a collapse. The results of half a century of debt-fuelled “growth” are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair.
Fireweed Universe-City is a grassroots, not-for-profit movement to transform a devastated, burned-out Detroit city neighborhood into a sustainable, eco-friendly, intentional community that will be the grounds for urban farming, residential and creative space for artists, healers, musicians, and like-minded, forward-thinking, progressive individuals, families, small businesses, and the surrounding community already in place.
It is a community of self-actualization where individuals are expected to contribute and live honestly, and those who don’t are eventually shunned. They live off the grid for the most part, with only minimal services. They homestead abandoned buildings, applying their love and labor to make the structures functional and livable. They do accept donations to help them rebuild the abandoned structures. They also run a neighborhood bicycle collective and use vacant lots for urban farming.
LEITH, N.D. –– Abandoned houses lean with the weight of years on city blocks connected by gravel roads. A grain elevator still operates on the edge of town, but it hasn’t seen good business in decades. The only storefront business is a bar, and on most afternoons it sits empty like the roads that disappear among sunflower and wheat fields in the distance.
While the economy in North Dakota has boomed in recent years due to the discovery of oil in the miles of shale beneath the state, business in Leith has been in decline for the better part of a century. So when officials in April 2012 noticed that one man was quickly buying up abandoned properties in what had become close to a ghost town high on the Great Plains, it was strange.
Those who attended the 2013 American Renaissance conference saw a change in mood and emphasis from previous gatherings—probably the result of watching Barack Obama coast to reelection with just 39% of the white vote. The new feeling is that the strategy of “awakening” whites and gaining power through democratic electoral means is not working. The demographic shift is too fast and our own progress is too slow; the opportunities we thought we saw are vanishing, and a strategic reorientation is becoming inevitable.
A few rural communities in North Colorado want to secede and become their own state.
According to the Coloradan, a group of county commissioners are pursuing a plan to secede from Colorado over concerns that their voices are being ignored by the state.
Sean Conway, a commissioner in Weld County, said: “I know you think, wow, this is crazy when you first hear about it, but then you realize that five of our states — Vermont, Maine, Tennessee, Wyoming and Kentucky — came about in this fashion, and the circumstances were very similar to what we’re going through now.”
Conway said that commissioners from other counties have been having informal talks about seceding from the state and added that a measure may be placed on the November ballot in Weld County to find out if voters agree with the plan.
I presume to review this book, even though I am a contributor to it, because it is a fine representation of an increasing tendency across this land of resistance to a federal government grown inept, corrupt, overreaching, overlarge, and overintrusive. That tendency may be labeled, for convenience: nullification.
It doesn’t matter that the word does not appear in this volume, for its spirit does. The volume is called Most Likely to Secede, and it grows out of a secession movement in Vermont that has been active, off and on, for a decade now. But I don’t think secession really is in the immediate future. Instead the subtitle comes closest to what this book is all about—state independence. It is a collection of essays from a magazine called Vermont Commons, which started publishing in 2005, and they deal with every aspect of what it takes for a state to assume unto itself all the processes that have been ceded to (or seized by) the federal government over the years: money, business regulation, energy, health, education, democracy, food safety, information, the commons, and social policies such as abortion and marriage.