Why the Radical Left Should Consider Secession 5

Kirkpatrick Sale of the Middlebury Institute recently observed that there is presently “more attention being paid to secession than any time since 1865” and predicts that “one of the American states will vote for its independence in the next 10 years.” Neo-secessionist sentiments are frequently stereotyped as a characteristic exhibited primarily by “right-wing extremists.” Yet there are serious reasons why genuine progressives should consider secession. Among the most compelling reasons why the Left should consider dissolving the U.S. into multiple nations, regions, or city-states are:

-Break-up of the U.S.A. means an end to the American empire that has killed millions of people throughout the world over the last sixty-five years, including perhaps two million Iraqis, three million Southeast Asians, hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, half a million Timorese, thousands of Afghanis, and many, many more.

-Without the support of the U.S., international capitalist organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO, etc. would be much less powerful and influential.

-The demise of the federal regime would mean an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and a fighting chance for the Palestinians.

-The collapse of the U.S. federal system would mean an end to federal corporate-welfare, bank-welfare, and, above all, the death of the military-industrial complex.

-No more federal regime means no more DHS, FBI, CIA, DEA, BATF, Bureau of Prisons, Bureau of Indian Affairs, federal drug war, federal mandatory minimums, or the national police state built up around the war on terrorism. What could be more successful at overturning the “terror war” legislation of the last eight years than complete disintegration of the federal government itself?

-An end to federal corporate welfare means a severe weakening of Big Pharma, agribusiness, or local developers utilizing federal money in efforts at gentrification.

-The disintegration of the U.S. means not only the end of federal drug prohibition but an end to U.S. support for the international drug war and the America-centric structure of international drug prohibition, thereby allowing other nations to develop more progressive policies on this matter.

Some may object that progressives have at times appealed to federal power against local reactionaries (for instance, in cases of civil rights, abortion rights, and church/state separation issues) and that dissolution of the federal regime may also weaken gains in this area. However, it should be considered that the majority of the U.S. population resides in the 75 to 100 largest urban, metropolitan areas. If these areas – New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Miami – were all independent city-states or micronations, along the lines of Monaco, Luxemborg, or Singapore, genuine progressives would be in a much superior political position than at present. The major U.S. urban areas tend to be the most diverse culturally, racially, ethnically, and religiously. It is also in these areas where the majority of racial minorities, LGBT people, persons with countercultural values, and those with left-leaning political views tend to be concentrated. The majority of the underclass persons fed into the prison-industrial complex also originate from the large cities. It is in the major cities where most abortion services are located and where most abortions take place.

If these larger urban areas were separated from the states in which they are presently located and from the federal system, urban progressives would no longer need to share space politically with rural, small-town, or suburban reactionaries, conservatives, or religious fundamentalists. Therefore, it would be immensely easier for independent city-states of this kind to enact, for instance, single-payer health care, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, or a living wage. It would also be easier to protect abortion rights from the influence of current state legislatures or the federal government. Likewise, it would be much more possible to decriminalize drugs, prostitution, gambling and other “consensual crimes” along the lines of New Zealand, Portugal, or the Netherlands at present. Such changes would severely weaken and undermine the police state and prison-industrial complex. The likely weakening of corporate power following the demise of federal and state corporate welfare would also provide a more level playing field for activists to take on landlords, developers, bankers, and other plutocratic interests on a municipal and regional level, and perhaps initiate economic alternatives like cooperatives, collectives, communes, LETS, mutuals, land trusts, and so forth. Meanwhile, social conservatives and other non-progressives who dissented from this prevailing liberal-libertarian-left paradigm could likewise achieve sovereignty for themselves in their exclusionary suburban enclaves, homogenous rural counties and towns, or sparsely populated red zones. Surely, this would be a better state of political affairs than the present system. If indeed secessionist sentiments are likely to grow in the years and decades ahead, why should progressives be left out?

5 comments

  1. If these larger urban areas were separated from the states in which they are presently located and from the federal system, urban progressives would no longer need to share space politically with rural, small-town, or suburban reactionaries, conservatives, or religious fundamentalists. Therefore, it would be immensely easier for independent city-states of this kind to enact, for instance, single-payer health care, same-sex marriage, stem cell research or a living wage. It would also be easier to protect abortion rights from the influence of current state legislatures or the federal government. Likewise, it would be much more possible to decriminalize drugs, prostitution, gambling and other “consensual crimes” along the lines of New Zealand, Portugal, or the Netherlands at present. Such changes would severely weaken and undermine the police state and prison-industrial complex. The likely weakening of corporate power following the demise of federal and state corporate welfare would also provide a more level playing field for activists to take on landlords, developers, bankers, and other plutocratic interests on a municipal and regional level, and perhaps initiate economic alternatives like cooperatives, collectives, communes, LETS, mutuals, land trusts, and so forth. Meanwhile, social conservatives and other non-progressives who dissented from this prevailing liberal-libertarian-left paradigm could likewise achieve sovereignty for themselves in their exclusionary suburban enclaves, homogenous rural counties and towns, or sparsely populated red zones. Surely, this would be a better state of political affairs than the present system. If indeed secessionist sentiments are likely to grow in the years and decades ahead, why should progressives be left out?
    This sounds great to me. I would ad that the right needs more than market medicine it needs a voluntary socialist way to health care. Think if this was possible Vermont would be more anarchists than Texas.

  2. Personally, I haven’t, at least not on a direct level. But I encounter a great deal of people that we can call would-be townhallers. These are the middle-class folks who take their marching orders from Hannity, Beck, etc. I appreciate their discontent with the Obama administration, but I find their anaylsis to be a bit confused: they view Obama as a crypto-marxist attempting to convert America into a new U.S.S.R., but remain ignorant of the actual corporatist/state-capitalist nature of his agenda. They accuse him of weakening America’s foreign policy and catering to terrorists, even though he’s really just picking up where Bush left off on foreign policy,etc. My political life has always been on the right (I began as a paleolibertarian in the vein of 90’s era Rothbard) but I’ve never identified with this particular branch of the right. When I attempt to make overtures to these people, they’re initially receptive, due to my pro-gun, anti-IRS, anti-Fed stances; but as soon as they get the jist of my underlying philosophy they shun me. Could it be my Szazzian view of Christianity? My Foucauldian moral skepticism?

    How very true, I think there approach to Obama is off the wall. Cruz ramming a shutdown makes folks more mad at the Republicans. Republicans need to have more creative sometimes small government socialist or volunteer socialism for medicine and the expansion of internet education, home school and local public and private education. I read of some dreamers getting around the system by using limit liability to become Independent conrtactors why can’t the Republicans use the current system to help train people to start online business in order to become their bosses. They can even use some of the government money for this to reduce the need for unemployment or welfare in the future.

  3. As for LA, there are still some of the old conservative guard left over in some parts of the valley. In fact the conservatives are divided take Orange County, there are the Lincoln Club Country Club type.s that wants a lot of guest workers for Anaheim hotels and others that are tired of the illegal Hispanic immigration. There are some progressives even In Orange County. So, you would have to do a lot of secession.

  4. The GOP of today is no more “conservative” than the LBJ Democrats were in the 60s, probably less so. As Cultural Marxism becomes more deeply entrenched, the population groups that make up the grassroots right-wing will continue to become more and more under attack by the State. When that happens, they will become increasingly alienated from mainstream politics, and perhaps less receptive to jingoist propaganda and more sympathetic to a revolutionary Right (e.g. Paleos, Secessionists, Rothbardians, NR, NA, 3P, CR, etc.) that also overlaps with the genuinely anti-imperialist and decentralist Left.

    Well, actually the paleos like states like Texas just as much as the neo-cons. In fact the Koch brothers had Rick Perry and Ted Cruz your typical Republican types over for secret meetings. Cruz is supported a lot by big business since he wants guest workers for high tech from the current level of 65,000 to 300,000. Also, Texas secessionists are mouth by typical Tea Party types like Glenn Beck which is also a big fan of Ted Cruz. Milton Friedman opposed big business using the H1b’s are so forth since they subsizded cheap laobr. The paleos are only different on war from your typical Republican and trade but they like the right wing culture of the south that gave birth to the George W Bush presidency.

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