Publisher’s Note: Russell is one of my favorite freedom voices in the blogosphere. His perspective is well-informed and incisive. He and I have unknowingly been charting parallel courses in advocacy of secession as the only means to achieve true freedom. He was gracious enough to provide the following interview. Be sure to visit his always scintillating blog at DumpDC. Enjoy. -BB
Russell, tell us about the journey. Are you a native-born libertarian or is there a road you took to get there? How far did you go? Have you arrived at the logical conclusion of ethical anarchism?
I grew up in a Christian Republican home in West Michigan, son of a building contractor. Being Republican was like being Christian…I didn’t know anything else. But by late teen years (’69-’71) I was questioning everything. That didn’t endear me to my father. But despite the doubts, I stayed Republican until about 1996, and Christian until about 2009. I am now a Deist Anarchist Secessionist.
I moved from West Michigan to the Atlanta area in 1992. We luckily landed in Cobb County, the most Republican county in the state. Soon thereafter, I began attending the every-other-Saturday Cobb County Republican breakfasts. Every statewide or national candidate for anything had to pay obeisance to the Cobb group. I got to meet lots of interesting people. But then, in 1994, my 6th District Congressman, Newt Gingrich, leapt from back-bencher to the Speaker of the House. We were all giddy. In the months after that, I got to see first-hand that all it was about was who got to hold the Federal checkbook.
During this time, I was reading voraciously. Bastiat, Mises, Tom Payne, Rothbard, Hazlitt, Lysander Spooner…and the list goes on. The more I read, the more disillusioned I became with politics. But the hungrier I became for real liberty. I left the Republican Party.
I found the Libertarian Party. They said all the right things, wrote the right things…but didn’t DO all the right things. It was like herding cats. The Libertarians didn’t seem capable of agreeing on anything. And the more I became familiar with the National Libertarian leadership, the more I felt like they simply looked at politics as the answer, not liberty. I left the Libertarians too.
In the ensuing years, I read more and more. In May of 2009, I started a blog simply to vent my own spleen about my thoughts about liberty. I had come to the irrevocable conclusion that the only way to solve the problems in the United States of America was secession. But I was not resigned to secession as merely one tool among many. I was convinced that it was…and is…the ONLY possible solution to restore individual liberty and property rights on North American soil.
You and I have both written on secession and I am so grateful for the voice you give to it. Tell us why secession is the only virtuous form of voting.
You’re welcome, Bill. First let’s define secession. It is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. The very act of secession demonstrates individual liberty, since it is a physical manifestation of the Unalienable Rights of Free Speech, Ownership of one’s Labor, Property Rights, Right to Contract and Free Association. If a person or group of persons cannot freely secede, then they are slaves. There is no middle ground. We must acknowledge that there will be consequences from the withdrawal. But the act of secession is sacrosanct. It refuses to keep participating in the membership of the entity from which it seeks to withdraw. So its virtue is found in its act of withdrawal…the final vote, so to speak. And the post-secession liberty is instant. Whatever burdens, whatever court decisions, whatever taxation, whatever regulation that exists in the old organization no longer hold sway or jurisdiction over the secessor. You. Are. FREE.
What is your response to those who claim that a fractured united states will quickly become a satrap or wholly owned subsidiary of larger foreign powers.
How often do you get to use the word “satrap” in a sentence? Good show! My opinion is that it’s entirely possible that some states or regions could align with a seemingly benevolent master…theoretically. Those who would do so would likely be of the socialist world view, so for them, the politics wouldn’t change much, only the flag on the podium of their church. (Did I say that?)
But let’s be very real here. Secession is NOT EVER GOING TO HAPPEN without a cataclysmic trigger. There is no political will in America for secession now, nor will there be, even during hyperinflation and bank runs. There will have to be an economic collapse in America before secession will begin to rise. And the INEVITABLE economic collapse will turn much of this nation back to the 18th Century. But unlike the 18th Century, there will be massive crime, massive starvation, massive death and disease, with the cities the locus of the carnage. Eventually, one or two of the states will turn to secession as they try to simply survive. But I expect that most of the 50 states will just sit and wait for Washington to tell them what to do next.
Do you think that there is a powerful government media-education complex initiative that makes the word secession a four letter word in polite circles?
I think that the government education system since the 1860s has been dedicated to turning people into subservient worker drones. Think about it. If you were the state and Federal governments, given the task of educating the very people who are supposed to control you…what would YOU do? Teach them how to control you strictly, or just omit or alter a bunch of information? Over a hundred years or so, the societal memory of liberty’s rights and responsibilities would wane into the past…which is exactly what has happened. The few that remember what liberty is supposed to be are laughed into derision and thought kooks…or terrorists.
The stars align and the nation formerly known as Mordor on the Potomac is no more, what will the political landscape in America look like?
Grim in the beginning. There are a couple ways this could go. First, it could go the way of the Soviet Union in 1989. The second mightiest nation in earth’s history simply dissolved in a few short months. The Red Army did not hold the USSR together. And the Ruble wasn’t the world reserve currency. The Federal Reserve didn’t exist in the USSR. The IMF wasn’t in Moscow. Washington has insurmountable CRIMINAL problems that make the Soviet Union look like kindergarten by comparison. If America goes this way, secession may be more widely accepted. But the economic collapse still must happen. The second way it could go is for Mordor to try to hold America together, even if it takes an army of Orcs and Uruk-hai (our troops and mercs) to do it. The nation would settle into civil war, and the Federales would find a rifle behind every blade of grass (paraphrasing Admiral Yamamoto, 1941.) IEDs and 4th Generation warfare would be the order of the day. Guys like you and me would be early targets. My money is on the first example.
How do you suppose the break-up will look geographically? For instance, I suspect the northeastern states will become much like their Pacific brethren and form socialist republics that will give the Russians cramps from nostalgia. What do you see the map becoming?
I believe that Texas will secede first. There may be a Northwestern confederation of states that secede…Montana, Wyoming, Idaho. Maybe New Hampshire and Vermont will secede. Alaska and Hawai’i are good candidates due to their distances from DC. And North Dakota already has a state bank, so they are the only state in the Union that already controls the Power of the Purse. Most other states will just wait for DC to tell them what to do next. And even if it means some one-world government, the remaining states will just kneel and lick the hand of their new master.
Give me the top three reasons why America will no longer exist in the next ten years and tell me why you think the best efforts of the Federal government to keep itself together will fail. If you disagree with that notion, tell me why.
Perfection. The earth would need perfection in money management. Every bondholder worldwide would have to sell their government bonds with perfect timing so as not to cause a bond market meltdown. Statistically, that is not possible. Someone somewhere, either a bondholder or a bond issuer, is going to default. That could cascade the economic collapse. Think Europe. Which economic entity has the shorter fuse or the least wiggle room? I submit that it’s Washington.Almost no one truly knows how much debt Washington has. Washington cannot stop spending and doesn’t really want to. Washington only has one arrow left in its quiver…massive money printing. Eventually, hyperinflation will kick in that will make Zimbabwe’s collapse look orderly.Eventually, the world will reject the Dollar as reserve currency. I don’t know what it will turn to, but the debacle of the Dollar has to end soon. I don’t think it can last another ten years. I don’t think it can last another five.The second part of your question is amusing. What you may describe as “best efforts” is likely vastly different than DC’s definition. Normal people would support DC living within its means. Washington cannot retreat. Washington cannot stop itself, and the states are sofar powerless to stop DC like they should. So what eventually happens to an engine running wide open, past the redline? It either flies apart or runs out of gas. The engine of DC will do both.
I think we both consider government to be a sophisticated organized crime syndicate. Once the break-up occurs, what will stop us from adopting more of the same?
Nothing. But secession could. Remember what we’re proposing here. We are proposing a drastic downsizing of governance from a 50-state nation to a single sovereign nation of a few million people. Small government is always easier to control. The leadership and supporters of secession in any state will be a small percentage. But a small percentage of Colonials whipped King George’s ass. Leadership is everything.
You and I have both been writing blogs for some time and I happen to be a severe skeptic of the Constitution as an engine for freedom and liberty. I get a tremendous amount of grief for this notion but each day passes and seems to confirm my worst suspicions. Even Chuck Baldwin’s son is having a contretemps with the very documents whose name graces his father’s political party. How do you see the Constitution?
The US Constitution is a hologram [thanks to Kenneth Royce aka Boston T. Party]. Looks like something, but is merely an image. Lysander Spooner wrote the epic book <i>”No Treason,”</i> which takes apart every possible argument for the validity and lawfulness of the Constitution. The Constitution has been dead pretty much since its ratification. The Articles of Confederation were vastly superior. And for a state that secedes, I recommend starting over, not using any portion of the US Constitution for a template for a new nation. I have actually invented a new form of governance for a new nation, modeled after a corporation. It melds individualism with the representative republic. The article about it is at my website archive.
What advice do you have to have for folks who are preparing for what I consider the inevitable break-up of the united states (afterwards, we will christen it the untied states)?
Keep preparing. Turn lots of your Federal Reserve notes into silver coins and bullion. Buy as much ammunition in various calibers as you can. It will be crucial for barter. Stock your shelves for at least a six month supply of food. And start to discuss NOW what you will do when neighbors, friends or even family show up at your door after the collapse. You cannot take in everyone. If your stores would support a family of three for six months, and you take in another three family members, you’ve just cut your stores to three months. And start thinking NOW about your threshold for pulling the trigger on someone. I promise you that no matter where you see yourself along that continuum, reality will call you to change your mind or die. Some very sobering decisions await you.
But think of what it would be like to live in a new sovereign state where the money was backed by precious metals. There would never be inflation. The wealth of the world would flood into that new nation, seeking a haven. The best and brightest would want to live there. Unemployment would not exist. All business would boom. The prosperity would be the greatest in the history of the world. That state would make Galt’s Gulch a living, breathing reality.
Thanks, Bill for this chance to share my passion for secession. Secession is the only hope for individual liberty and property rights on the planet. Who will be first?