“…Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better– This is a most valuable, — a most sacred right — a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world…”
-Abraham Lincoln 1848
We Have a Dream...
There’s been a stubborn paradox historically. It stands to reason that all nations as they perish and evolve from the ashes over time through their lifecycles are usually born out of separation and independence as secession movements to form their own aggregate nation-states. Whether the bifurcation of the Roman Empire or the hundreds of other polities born of divorce, the paradox is that nation-states in their death throes (self-awareness of this is not always evident, witness the Soviet death in 1989) jealously and viciously fight the ability of subsidiary parts of their polity to have a peaceful divorce historically. This has usually ended in bloodshed or enmity that has lasted for generations. The states which fight the most vociferously have the most to lose. In the case of these united States, the tax farmers in DC have the most lucrative protection racket ever devised in mankind’s history. In addition to the tax revenues, they have ingeniously engineered a “fiscal debt” system which allows them to borrow enormous amounts of money with no intention of ever paying down the principle and servicing the deficit with a fiat currency largely “manufactured” out of thin air. Its demise is economically imminent.
It appears the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the 2008 secession of Kosovo from Serbia was perfectly justifiable. It was not a violation of any existing international law. While I think that the Serbians were certainly abused and maligned in the late 1990s during our unjustified and violent incursions against them by both the US and NATO, it provides a salutary lesson in independence and secession for all those who desire this watching from around the globe. Jason Ditz wrote:
ICJ President Owada Hisashi declared that there was no part of international law that was meant to be a “prohibition on declarations of independence.” Serbia had refused to recognize the secession, as had a number of other nations with prospective separatist movements.
Though Kosovo’s declaration of independence is comparatively recent, the nation has been separated from Serbia in practice since 1999, and continues to be occupied by NATO troops to this day, though the exact purpose of the occupation at this point remains unclear at best.
The nonbinding opinion, passed in a 10 to 4 vote by court judges, sets the stage for Kosovo to renew its appeals for further international recognition. The tiny Balkan country has been recognized by 69 countries, including the United States and most European Union nations. It needs 100 for full statehood. I find it bureaucratically obnoxious that you would need 100 other nations to recognize you from a diplomatic and economic perspective in order to grant legitimate statehood in the international arena. It appears to be an arbitrary standard cooked up by the worthies at the United Nations (UN).
The interesting thing about international law and international relations is that it is essentially a state of anarchy in which there are neither provisos nor organizations in place which would provide for the force or threat of force to compel nation-states to behave in a certain fashion. Of further interest in this “state of anarchy” is the compelling success of voluntary agreements in stopping warfare between these states. Certainly a well for further inquiry.
I don’t like the United Nations. I don’t like what they represent as an international cheerleading squad for collectivist despotism and hypocrisy around the globe. I don’t like what they do and I regret their presence on our soil. I don’t like the amount of money that we spend on them nor do I like what the International Court of Justice does in The Hague.
But beggars can’t be choosers. I have spoken at length before about the absolute necessity for secession and devolution in these united States as a solution to the present problems that we have which originate with the Constitution in these united States.
I would suggest that this ruling be used as yet another intellectual bulwark to make the substantive case for the eventual breakup of these united States. This country is a nation birthed in secession from the United Kingdom in 1775 and the issuance of the Declaration of Independence shortly thereafter. I repeat, we are a nation birthed in secession.
In 1860, 11 states seceded from the union at the time because of grievances and disagreements which led to this divorce. This led to a five-year conflict in which everything the nation was allegedly designed to do was turned on its head and Lincoln put us on the plantation. In the run-up to the war of northern aggression in 1860, a number of amendments were offered before the Congress to prohibit states from leaving the union. Ironically, it was Lincoln in 1848 that made his famous quote in which he said that if a state or states find themselves dissatisfied with the union and let them go in peace. 12 years later Lincoln and the radical Republicans have started to change their tune after the War of Northern Aggression and regrettable military occupation after, secession fell out of favor as an option to change the way things were evolving in these united States. There were attempts between the founding of the Republic and the Second American Revolution 1860 in which even northern states had floated the idea of secession. Our beloved Supremes had the following to say in Texas v. White:
…the preservation of the States, and the maintenance of their governments, is as much within the design and care of the Constitution as the preservation of the Union and the maintenance of the National government. The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States. When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States. (74 U.S. at 725-6)
A nice accompaniment to Dred Scott in the annals of bad law. There is an odd confluence between the two in the overarching concept of owning other humans. The Court is saying that one does not need to explicitly ban secession when the entirety of the Constitution blatantly presumes the perpetuity of states in the Union. This is not my understanding but what permeates the bench as THE interpretation. It appears that this put the secession bug to bed (as far as our Federal overseers are concerned) so the arguments which will emanate from the ICJ decision is what relevance will this law have to US decisions. This does not make these decisions correct, of course. The threat of the new Small Arms Control Treaty is very real because of the unfortunate parity embraced in the Constitution for the Senate treatment of its impact on US law. Bad laws were meant to be broken.
I would draw your attention to a significant observation from the Paris Treaty which accorded the seceding states their liberation from the United Kingdom, to wit:
Article I of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783:
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states, that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.
The treaty EXPRESSLY acknowledges each colony as a sovereign state, and relinquishes Britain’s claim over it. There is no question of Great Britain’s intention. In comparison, the great coup of 1787 began with the sovereign states and made the Constitution– not the other way around. So the states would each remain sovereign unto itself– unless they similarly made a clear and express declaration to transfer their sovereignty to another nation, and relinquish their own. (Thanks, Brad Anderson)
One can see how quickly the “Perpetual Union” in the Articles of Confederation was dispensed with during the Constitutional coup in 1787-91 with the mere flourish of a pen.
It appears that the International Court of Justice ruling on secession is going to have long-term second and third order effects which I don’t think they’ve taken a good measure of. While secession in third world and developing countries has been a rather frequent phenomenon, this has not been the case in the Western nations in the developed world. What we’re seeing now is schisms starting to develop within these sophisticated Western states to include Europe, Canada and these United States
In Canada, plenty of dissatisfaction is evident in Western Canada versus the eastern provinces. Québec still seeks its own status as a sovereign and independent nation. There is a Basque territory in the northeastern corner of Spain which has been given virtual sovereignty and secession privileges without formal secession because the Spanish have given up on putting the Basques under their boot. In these united States, secession is no longer a four letter word in the Western states. The notion has given to large popular appeal among broad sections of the population. I would not be surprised if this international ruling acts as an accelerator in the movement to finally break apart these united States.
Secession is not treason; treason is what the convened Executive and Congress do every day in DC. However the political advocates of secession may view the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, this is a critical decision simply because of the diplomatic necessity of the recognition process. If the secession movement is to be taken seriously as an alternative in an actual political agenda, the recognition of international law and its importance on the success of secessionist movements must be acknowledged immediately. The ICJ ruling should be hailed loud and clear in many quarters especially in the inland Western state in America as yet another brick in the wall.
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