Recent Surge in American Secession Discussions

The original secessionists. Because it so worked the first time. Tncountryfan, Flickr.

The original secessionists. Because it so worked the first time. Tncountryfan, Flickr.

SODOM & GOMORRAH: Several petitions are circulating in various states around America that call for a secession from the union. These petitions and the discussions around them are pointless, but not for the reasons you think.

It first came to my attention with an oddly timed email bulletin from the Mises Institute. Shortly after the American presidential election, the Georgia based think tank emailed an advertisement promoting two books on “resisting tyranny” and working toward secession.

Then I noticed the news articles. A rather sizable petition has circulated Texas. Others are going around Louisiana, California, New York, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, and more. The petitions were filed on the White House website shortly after the election.

The reaction from the press is typical. The secessionists are “whiny babies” who are simply stomping their feet because they’re upset about the outcome of the election. Some writers are indignant; they say that talk of secession is “unpatriotic”. Even worse, the discussions put troops in harm’s way. It’s all a sign of “how sick our political discourse has become”.

No, it’s not a sign of how sick our political discourse has become. It’s a sign of how sick the political structure has become, and how pitiful the political discourse has become.

The political discourse can be roughly defined as the intellectual ideas put forth by different actors. The current “radical” idea is secession – but secession is a joke. There are no new ideas or alternatives being proposed. What discussions exist involve replicating the US Federal Government minus the elements the petitioners don’t like. This essentially means replicating the same contradictions, the same crises of character, the same stench of decay. It means replicating the same unoriginality and banality that plagues the current system.

The discussions also signify how ineffective the current structure is. Talk of secession implies that legitimacy is lost. The fact that alternatives are not being discussed shows that no one is creative enough to solve the crisis. If secession is a viable option for people, the existing federal system exists solely through force of arms and not because it commands any real allegiance.