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?)