September 16, 2013

By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher

Secession is such a wonderful thing.  It’s the mark of true autonomy and freedom. 

Secession as a word exists only because first humans wanted to disassociate from a given collective.

If at First You don't secedeSecede: verb to withdraw formally from an alliance, federation, or association, as from a political union, a religious organization, etc.

World English Dictionary: (of a person, section, etc.) to make a formal withdrawal of membership, as from a political alliance, church, organization, etc.

Merriam-Webster: to separate from a nation or state and become independent

Look at mainstream society and there are groups and labels galore!  Starting in school with WHICH school, then the cool kids, drama club, jocks, and skaters.  Then in university it’s not only about WHICH school but, all of a sudden, it’s about major, race, gender and sexual preferences.  Then you graduate, and added to the list are political bent, socio-economic status, and religion and denomination of said religion.  Now do the same thing with location: street name, city, zip code, county, state, country…  Or in the case of a job, whether or not you are union. 

The categorizations don’t stop!!!  Look at when we have babies!  What percentile are they in weight, length, development, aptitude…

When I hear anyone talk about secession, I immediately ready the confetti and balloons to celebrate freedom from some sort of contrived group. 

Secession is all around us and laced throughout human history. 

Home and Un-Schooling

I’ve heard it said that how we raise our children can also be our biggest form of activism.  And until I heard that, I never once considered how profound an effect child-rearing could have on the future.  I’ve since been rather diligent to create a peaceful home built on mutual respect and reason for my children to demonstrate that such conduct is more preferable to that of force or carrot-stick incentivizing. 

But to make the decision to secede from institutionalized education is HUGE!  Whether it be preemptive or mid-stream, any time is a good time to take children out of prison!  It simply isn’t natural for children to compartmentalize their education.  Learning can happen anywhere and parents who can and do show that to their kids have already made indelible strides in teaching them the virtues of being a unique individual.


Not that I needed reminding that I am free to associate with whomever I wish, or conversely free to NOT associate with whomever I wish, but it’s nice when the government isn’t there to strong-arm me into associating with people with whom I don’t even want to share the same air.  A great resource for the latest and greatest on the right-to-work effort is the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Unions are rather communist in nature: they require everyone’s participation to work.  That requirement ends up manifesting itself in the form of mandates and compulsory participation in them.  Evidently, it’s not fair if a union collectively bargains for certain wages and benefits, and not everyone is paying into the pool.  This is the EXACT same argument made for why individuals cannot secede from their respective governments, by the way.

My father was a public school teacher.  Liberal as his politics were, he was surprisingly anti-union.  He had a half-assed option to not participate in the teachers’ union.  They garnished a certain amount per month, but there was also an optional amount that he could withhold.  The garnished amount was tens of dollars per month.  The optional amount was something like $6 per month.

Anyway, when the teachers went on strike, the union lawyers represented only those who paid the additional $6 per month.  Not that it mattered because in the end, all the teachers received the same benefits.  But they made it a point to exclude those who refused to pay the additional $6, even suggesting that they were expendable should some layoffs be necessary.

As it stands, the United States is split almost down the middle on the number of right-to-work states and non-right-to-work states.  Likewise, where you find right-to-work you find at-will employment arrangements.  All of which are good for everyone when put into the context of free association.  The best relationships are the ones where people voluntarily stick around and know they are free to go.  The most productive employment relationships are ones where individuals are free to negotiate the terms of their employment based on the agreed worth of their labor. 

Abject slavery isn’t very productive nor is it particularly sustainable.  It’s nearly impossible to maintain any worker morale.  The most successful businesses have learned to invest in their employees and treat them well (or at least comparatively better than their competition).  In so doing, the need for a union goes to the wayside.  If I’m getting a competitive salary and benefits package, why do I need a union?  I don’t.  If I am incentivized by some bonus structure, or perhaps I have an accommodating employer who is willing to work with my personal circumstances, that holds more value than perhaps some cookie cutter package negotiated by a union.  Such personalized relationships in the work place tend to elicit great results from individual employees.

Contrast that with employees who take for granted the collectively bargained benefits, and are waiting for the next round of negotiations to get even more blood from a stone.

Earning based on merit, reciprocity based on mutual respect.  That is the net outcome of free association.

Geographic Secession

While I realize the fiery hoops through which any given secession group must jump in order to create a new state, the mere fact that there are those who are even discussing or petitioning for such a measure, blesses me.

Obviously, there are inherent problems when you have to seek permission from a centralized entity of force to decentralize it in some way.  That’s like asking a dictator to relinquish some of his/her power.  We at GWP consistently advocate diversification and decentralization because that’s just smart investment and asset protection advice.  But the same is true with power: decentralized power ultimately removes control and power from the hands of an elite few and returns them to the rightful owner which is the individual. 

I was living in Australia during the referendum for Australia to secede from the British Commonwealth.  That failed because of a lot of the little details which would’ve ultimately left Britain in charge regardless of whether the measure passed or not.  People recognized it for the hoax that it was and it failed.

I was living in Japan during the referendum for Quebec to secede from Canada.  It narrowly failed, but that’s not to say that they aren’t still trying to get away from their association with Canada.

Currently, Scotland is trying to secede from the British Commonwealth as well. 

America was forged under the pretense of secession: from England and King George.  Obviously, it was only political lip service from George Washington and his cronies… but the revolutionaries who fought genuinely believed they were fighting for liberation from an oppressive British monarchy.

Abraham Lincoln wiped his ass with the notion of states’ rights and anyone’s right to secede.  I don’t know why he’s depicted as some American hero considering he basically waged war on free citizens, instituted a draft and income tax, and forced the south to stay in a union it didn’t want to be in.

There was talk of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties seceding around the same time in 2011.  Now there is talk of a Northern California County seceding, namely Siskiyou County.

Even on the East Coast in Maryland – you know, that lovely state that is nestled right up close with Washington D.C. and has 9 counties taxing its residents for rain drainage – the western part of the state is saying they can do without Baltimore.

With all these myriad manifestations of secession, I’m surprised that many of the very advocates for these measures stop where an individual would want to secede from their country and opt out of the system altogether.  Why?  It’s the exact same principle of free association at play here.  People still have some flexibility when it comes to WHICH government or country they can associate with, so while totally opting out might be a bit rough, opting out of your current country is on the table.

But, as it’s been put: If at first you don’t secede, try, try again.  If you are interested in separatist or secession movements, perhaps a good link to visit might be the Middlebury Institute.