California Dreaming - Secession Fever Comes to the Golden State

Yesterday I found this website yescalifornia.org, which is promoting the following:

Calif_Flag.jpg

The 2019 #Calexit Independence Referendum

In the Spring of 2019, Californians will go to the polls in a historic vote to decide by referendum if California should exit the Union, a #Calexit vote.

You will have this historic opportunity because the Yes California Independence Campaign will qualify a citizen’s initiative for the 2018 ballot that if passed would call for a special election for Californians to vote for or against the independence of California from the United States.

This is a very important question. It is the responsibility of this campaign to explain what a yes vote will mean for you, your family, your community, our state, our country, and our world. We have designed this website to answer many of these questions and look to you to ask more.

"As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states.”

In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children.

Well, who knows if the initiative will even qualify for the 2018 ballot, much less whether it will pass. And even if it does, hard to say whether there is any real support for the idea of peeling off from the Union and forming an independent country.

Be that as it may, as a lifetime CA resident, my response to anyone asking whether I'm in favor is: Hell, yeah!

The US of A suffers from being the nation-state equivalent of a gigantic, super-size aircraft carrier. To make even a small course correction is a Herculean undertaking. And inasmuch as bureaucracies tend to be inherently inefficient and unresponsive, gigantic bureaucracies tend to be even more inherently inefficient and unresponsive.

Bernie Sanders was forever singing the praises of Denmark - you know what, the current population of Denmark is 5.7 million. The current population of the United States, by contrast, is 324 million. Which group of citizens is likely to get better service from their government?

Another reason to favor secession is that the Constitution is specifically structured to give a disproportionate amount of power and influence to residents of small states. Wyoming, with its 586,000 residents, has the same number of Senators as California. And this bias is carried over into the Electoral College, where each state's number of electors is equal to the total size of their Congressional delegation.

Frankly, I'm rather sick and tired of living in what I consider a backwards and regressive country where people in states like Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana, Wyoming and Alaska seem to have more impact on federal policies than the residents of more politically and culturally enlightened states like mine. And really, the reason so many of these puffed up little Napoleons in Congress, such as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, have so much influence in the world is their dominion over populous areas of the country like California, that by and large would like nothing better than to flush them down the toilet like the worthless turds they are.

If California were to break free, I predict it would start a chain reaction that would eventually lead to the establishment of at least five or six independent countries consisting of confederations of like-minded and presumably contiguous states. None of them individually would have the capacity for doing anything close to the amount of harm on the global stage that the US as a unified nation is now doing. And those that pursue hateful, bigoted and destructive policies could more easily be isolated and quarantined by more enlightened countries, exactly the way the South African apartheid regime was prior to the implementation of majority rule.

Following Trump's election on Tuesday, NY Times columnist Paul Krugman wondered aloud whether it was time to start considering whether the USA should be labeled a failed state. I think it's a valid question, that goes way beyond Donald Trump and the most recent hard right turn on the part of the electorate. The truly existential problems that face us - the threat of nuclear annihilation, the large and growing wealth and power gap between rich and poor, and impending environmental implosion - are not only not being addressed, but in fact policies are actively being pursued that will inevitably exacerbate these problems even further.

Have we not, as a nation, in fact become the pitiful, helpless giant that Richard Nixon long ago fretted about? And what makes anyone think this dumb beast can be tamed or made to see reason, when all the trend-lines are moving strongly in the opposite direction? Better to kill him off, and be done with it.

Viva the Independent Republic of California! - I only hope I live to see it come to pass.

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detroitmechworks's picture

And we can ALL be happy. Smile

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

mouselander's picture

Full text:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

You'll note that there's nothing whatsoever in the Constitution that specifically prohibits a state from withdrawing from the Union. So if the referendum ends up being held, and voters approve it, by what rationale does the US government decree that California is forbidden to become an independent country?

This isn't the 19th Century. It's a little bit harder for our lords and masters to just say, "Screw the Constitution, we're going to do whatever the hell we want." At least it will be if 20 million or so Californians say in no uncertain terms that that attitude won't fly.

I don't necessarily believe the effort will ultimately be successful, but then again, if Scotland is allowed to choose for itself whether it wants to remain part of the United Kingdom, why shouldn't California be extended the same privilege insofar as deciding whether to remain part of the United States?

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inactive account

detroitmechworks's picture

It would absolutely lead to a war, which would be later justified as a fight against slavery.

(Think I'm kidding? Who picks your crops?)

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

would simply refuse to stop deducting federal taxes from your pay.

Yes, you are that servile.

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QMS's picture

we are already in a war. It's not about who harvests the food, though. More like who's paying for the war? Half of our fed dollars go to making war on people who have almost nothing to do with us. Take out the fed in the formula and we have more available locally.

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Oldest Son Of A Sailor's picture

What is our Water Export Rate going to be?

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"Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."

~John F. Kennedy~
Economic: -9.13, Social: -7.28,
Cachola's picture

I am not a constitutional scholar but I know some case law and I doubt this case would be overturned.

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.
Texas v White

Also, the issue has been historically debated and the conclusion usually is that there can be no unilateral secession. Even James Madison spoke on this.

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Cachola's picture

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

PriceRip's picture

<blockquote>This is Block Quote</blockquote>

This is Block Quote




<blockquote style="width:120px;">This is Block Quote with sizing added</blockquote>

This is Block Quote with sizing added

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

PriceRip's picture

          it is my job, ya know.

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Bisbonian's picture

click on the little quotation marks button right up ^ here above where you type your comment. When you do, you will get the words "blockquote blockquote", with some arrows between them. Type or paste what you want to quote, between the arrows.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

reflectionsv37's picture

highlight and select the text you want blockquoted and click on the little quote mark box. It will put the "blockquote" codes in the correct place.

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“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
George W. Bush

detroitmechworks's picture

Not saying we want THAT, but at the same time...

Laws are created to establish order, and depend upon the consent of the governed.

If enough people no longer consent to be governed, the law can no longer be enforced.

And you get what is known as a war.

Considering the Supreme Court is effectively a non-entity at this point, with regards to making decisions, and the Rethugs and Democrats have no intentions of settling their differences... (Unless the Democrats do their usual knuckle under)

What we have here is a situation that is a vacuum of leadership. And nature abhors a vacuum.

People are trying to fill it, and they aren't trying to grab EVERYTHING. They're thinking locally and reasonably. The federal government can shout all it wants, but unless it's willing to break its own rules by sending in the troops again, there's really nothing they can do about it if people WANT to leave.

Unless of course, war were declared.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

mouselander's picture

that you're correct that the Supreme Court would forbid it. However, given how many Republican legislators are unabashed admirers of the Confederacy, and defenders of the right of the Confederate states to break away and form their own country, it would seem that such a vote by Californians in favor of secession just might spark a move in Congress to amend the Constitution so as to explicitly allow it. At the very least, it would put the onus on them to explain why they were against it, after all the years we've heard various Republicans singing the praises of the saintly Rebels.

Fact is, I think quite a few of the red states would be just as happy to be rid of us Left Coasters. The sense of alienation and lack of any real commonality cuts both ways. I often feel that I have a lot more in common with the average Briton, German or Frenchman than I do with the average Alabamian. And I'm quite sure the good folks in that part of the country have just as little use for us as we have for them. Sometimes divorce really is the best option.

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inactive account

all want to secede themselves. Not saying I'm advocating for this, just saying this is totally different from 1861 because this time, both sides really hate each other and want to go their separate ways. California, Oregon and New England want no part of being dragged along with South Carolina and Arkansas, but South Carolina and Arkansas equally want no part of being dragged along with Blue America. They'd be overjoyed to see California and NE go. They know this is just one election, the demographics are still changing, they still hate "being talked down to" by all those smug liberals in Blue America even with Trump's election. The difference with Trump's election is that now Blue America wants to secede as much as Red America does.

Even the different Red States in many cases despise each other too, so I doubt it would be a two-way split. Would probably be a bigger fragmentation into multiple statelets like with the Soviets in 1991. Tons of countries have split with mutual consensus. Czechoslovakia did this, so did the Soviets. Again not saying I support this personally, but there are many precedents, and since the animosity is now mutual and very deep seated, with a lot of dysfunction and rot creeping into the government, there's not a lot to prevent this from happening. It wouldn't be unilateral at all.

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Bisbonian's picture

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.

Like a really creepy, abusive marriage.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Cachola's picture

Now I will have to write a comment quoting someone.

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

dance you monster's picture

. . . as it did in the past. Or simply to the military, as it did a little earlier in the past.

It is true, and was argued out in the newspapers of the time, that secession was not illegal in 1861. That's mostly, however, because no Court had ruled on it yet.

There's nothing in the Constitution specifically allowing it. The closest any part really comes to addressing seccession is the following (from Article 4, Section 3):

Section. 3.New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

The logical conclusion of this is that the disposition (eg: selling or seccession) of USA territory has to involve Congress. So if a state wants to take its territory out of the USA, it would have to get Congress to agree.

So there's the argument one often encounters in this discussion. But it would take a Court ruling to confirm it as law.

At the time of the Civil War it was not illegal as the ruling by Supreme Court came later in 1869 (after the war) that unilateral secession was unconstitutional.

Discussions and threats of secession have often surfaced in American politics, but only in the case of the Confederate States of America was secession actually declared. The United States Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) that unilateral secession was unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession.

http://history.stackexchange.com/questions/2056/was-the-secession-of-the...

So apparently California must have a revolution or just piss off all the other states first.

[edited for formatting, etc.]

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mouselander's picture

A lot of the most powerful lawmakers in Congress are from states that were part of the Old Confederacy, where it's still an article of faith among hard core Republicans that the southern states had the moral and legal right to secede from the Union in the runup to the Civil War. Many in Texas were in fact very recently agitating for the right to secession. So how do they now turn around and justify forbidding California from exercising the same "right"?

It puts them in an exceedingly awkward bind, and even if it never comes to pass, it's still worth voting on just to put it on record that California unambiguously wants OUT. Then let the hypocritical Reb diehards cobble together a justification of why what was appropriate for the states of old Dixie wouldn't be equally appropriate for CA 150 odd years later.

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Big Al's picture

Then California.

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The annexation of Hawaii was never fully accepted from a legal standpoint and the state was sort of grandfathered in somehow, a little unclear on the details. Heck there were some legal issues even with California and much of the SW due to complications in the treaties that transferred them to the US, so there are probably legal cases to make there, and case law is fluid-- human judges and human foibles after all. Not sure where all this would lead and ambivalent about the whole thing but I can certainly see where people are coming from.

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lotlizard's picture

and a treaty requires ratification by a 2/3 vote in the Senate.

The annexationists had tried to get a treaty ratified under Grover Cleveland, but his State Department did an exposé of the shameful dealings behind it — whereby a rogue U.S. diplomat conspired with some plantation owners to inflict regime change on a peaceful, friendly nation — and it failed in the Senate.

Then an openly imperialistic William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt took over. William Randolph Hearst used his newspapers to stoke jingoism and gin up a war with Spain with the intention of grabbing her colonies. The U.S. Navy needed Hawaii as a waystation en route to the war front in the Philippines.

The annexationists came up with the idea — unfounded in law, international or domestic — that instead of a treaty, a joint resolution of Congress would suffice. Instead of 2/3 as with a treaty, a resolution only needs a simple majority. That’s why some people say that Hawaii was never legally annexed. The purported annexation relies on a joint resolution, the Newlands Resolution — not a treaty.

It’s like the family next door taking a vote around their kitchen table, unilaterally giving themselves the right to seize your house.

A formal agreement negotiated and signed off on by both households? Pffft. Too much hassle. Why bother?

Any formalities would just give your family a chance to object to the deal as a big fraud. True, the agent supposedly representing your end was working for them all along and is presently holding you and your family hostage in the upstairs bedroom, but so what? They need your house to prepare an attack on the Filipino family across the street.

What was that they said? “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality . . .”

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Bollox Ref's picture

whether or not the US is a failed state, had Clinton won?

Hopefully, Minnesota would join Canada. To enjoy provincial life properly.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

WaterLily's picture

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Cachola's picture

To become the 51st state. I guess they are the only ones that want to be part of the union. Wink

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Rhizomes's picture

California is certainly "politically and culturally enlightened."

Where's the cultural 'enlightenment' in having more inmates on death row than most of the country (not to mention voting to keep it and make it harder to appeal)? I'm sure Peter Thiel would agree with you that the rest of this country's plebians don't understand the finer things in life - and he was a die hard Trump(et) supporter.
I am certainly in a NorCal bubble here in Berkeley, but have you been to Central California, or up near Sacramento? You will find communities with strong Libertarian and right leaning sentiments when you get out to the farmland. Have you been to San Jose? The tech guru libertarian presence is growing there by the day. Does political difference really horrify you this much?

Let's not forget it has been calls of political and cultural enlightenment that have virtually eradicated the people who once called this whole continent home.

I'm not in the habit of sharing things written by Vox, but I find this article a particularly salient response to the attitudes of the OP.

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"The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason. The passionless cannot change history." ~ Czesław Miłosz

mouselander's picture

I said more politically and culturally enlightened, and I stand by that statement. It's true that 54% of the electorate voted against abolishing the death penalty, but 46% voted in favor. How would that play out in Alabama or Wyoming?

And of course there are more death row inmates in CA then anywhere else - there are more people here than anywhere else. Those two things do tend to go together.

And obviously CA has its share of rednecks, right-wingers, libertarians, etc. - those can be found in every corner of the nation. Heck, for all I know, there may even be a few in Denmark.

None of which takes away from the fact that in matters such as environmental consciousness, tolerance for alternative lifestyles, religions, ethnicities and the like, Californians as a whole are more open-minded and aware than most of their countrymen.

And I totally reject your construct that no longer wanting to be part of the United States of America translates into some kind of smug liberal condescension. That's total bullshit. There are solid reason for wanting to separate California from a malignant, right-wing, failed state that have nothing to do with looking down one's nose at the gullible rubes.

It's real simple - a lot of us feel that we are hopelessly out of sync with the rest of America, and have no wish to attempt to get back in sync. I also happen to believe that ultimately, all the peoples of North America would be better off if the so-called "Noble Experiment" were brought to an end. If you don't agree, feel free to vote no.

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Rhizomes's picture

Because a secession to isolate yourself from people you think are rubes certainly sounds like political expediency rather than a real solution to the ongoing forces of structural violence in this country.

Guess what, wishing yourself out of the other 49 doesn't do away with any of the problems they are causing, so if you want to rot on an empty lifeboat go ahead and be my guest.

As someone who lives in California and has experienced more than this isolated locale, something I am increasingly thinking you have not, this petition reeks of naivety on a level I've not seen since the last time it was called for by.... Texas. Good company to be in.

Hopefully you and Peter Thiel will spearhead the front to come up with floating cities for when warming goes overboard, since it sounds like we're done cooperating to stop it and are gonna bury our heads in echo chambers.

I said more politically and culturally enlightened

Thank you for proving my point. Whether you think it is a simple truth test - i.e. either you are or aren't enlightened, or that it is a 'sliding scale' - i.e. 'more enlightened' is irrelevant. The attitudes of communities you don't agree with are reduced down to one axis of enlightenment that lets you paper over the various life experiences of the people within them that might not match up with your worldview. It doesn't matter that there might be allies in urban centers even in 'red states,' fuck em' they can just come here to good ol CA and upend their entire lives to avoid the problems we are just leaving for the world writ large to deal with.

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"The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason. The passionless cannot change history." ~ Czesław Miłosz

...would likely be a big help with restoring sanity to our law making and enforcement. Right now the country is plain too big for there to be real accountability to constituents. If split into areas of 30-40 million population tops protest would be more effective and any given government bums could likely be thrown out easier.

Also there is the fact that a LOT of our laws are completely archaic and forming new countries would allow a for a legal remodel. No need to keep crap thing like gerrymandering or electoral college or first past the post voting. These are really living fossiles that should have died out during the computer age if not sooner.

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QMS's picture

You're singing my song

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mouselander's picture

I might say that I considered you a tiresome, third-rate sophist who enjoys twisting people's words and bashing away at straw men in order to posture and pose as some paragon of moral superiority.

Since I am in fact the very soul of politeness, I will instead just say that from here on I would prefer to simply agree to disagree with you on this issue, and leave it at that.

Have a great life. Ciao!

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Rhizomes's picture

I don't bash away at straw men, just the stuck up ones too 'dignified' to realize they are equally a part of the problem.

I'll have a fantastic life outside of my echo chamber.

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"The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason. The passionless cannot change history." ~ Czesław Miłosz

I think serious rejiggering of government is due, and the other side may not disagree.

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mouselander's picture

to force them to explicitly say "No", rather than merely assume, and therefore not bother making the effort.

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solublefish's picture

That will be great for AZ, though, when they start selling precious CO River water to CA.

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and trying to turn desert into the Loire Valley, Cali would have a lot more water to work with.

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There is no such thing as TMI. It can always be held in reserve for extortion.

They can fight over Hoover Dam with the Legion. At least the flag is pretty spiffy.

FNV_NCR_Flag.png

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solublefish's picture

Comments above have already outlined potential problems with the idea of secession - of any state. The main one here is the simple fact that the last (and only) attempt at secession was rendered impossible by the practical application of force by the Union against the Confederacy in the Civil War. Politically speaking, the reason for this was that the southern theory of secession was based on an unsupportable interpretation of the Constitution as a "compact between the states" in which states did not wholly, but only conditionally and partially surrendered their sovereignty to the United States. Still, socially and culturally speaking, the North and the South were miles apart. The economy of the North was commercial, industrial, and agricultural; that of the South almost entirely agricultural. In the North, "free labor" prevailed; in the South, slavery. And so on. Given the differences one must wonder why the North would bother to fight over the issue. Indeed, the hostility between the two had grown so great - and so intractable - one might think the North would welcome the secession of the Confederacy.

So why did the North choose instead to fight a war over the issue? Lincoln's reasoning on this is remarkably lame:

I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination.

This was just logic-chopping. As any reader of the Declaration in Independence knows - and as nearly all of Lincoln's educated auditors likely understood - the US formed itself by breaking from its parent country on the justification of the principle of natural law laid out by John Locke in the Second Treatise of Government - namely, the 'right of rebellion'. According to Locke, the purpose of government, and the sole source of its legitimacy and authority, is the welfare of the people. The usual expression for this is in terms of the Lockean triad of 'life, liberty, and property' (but Locke did not limit himself to that expression): any government that violates the 'life, liberty, and/or property' of its subjects/citizens ceases to exercise legitimate authority; the compact is thereby broken; and the people have the right to make a new government as they see fit. Lincoln was most certainly aware of this - and carefully avoided the topic in his speech on the subject.

In short, Lincoln's claim was a weak argument for a strong policy - a good indication that something else was at work. But if the political argument was weak, there was a powerful economic reason the US could not part with the South: cotton. The industrial revolution in the US was, like that of Britain, built on the development of the textile industry. The factories were virtually all located in the North (where capital, land, and labor were readily available); but the supply of cotton - virtually all of it - came from the South. To allow the secession of the South might potentially jeopardize the supply of cotton on which the manufacturing economy of the North depended. So like a typical North Atlantic liberal imperial state in the 19th century, the US acted to maintain access to Southern cotton, using the force of arms to maintain control over the essential resource, and the land and labor on which it was grown.

So here's the question: IF it is the case that secession failed before mainly for economic rather than political reasons, WOULD those same sort of economic reasons prevent secession today? Or have circumstances changed such that secession might be possible today? Why *would* the USG - and the American people more generally - care if CA, or VT, decided to leave the union? Would they be willing to fight to bring it back?

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mouselander's picture

I think you are spot on about Lincoln's weak rationalization for denying southern states the right to exit the Union. The Civil War, as is the case with almost all wars, was ultimately all about money. Northern industrialists wished an end to slavery primarily because (virtually) free labor gave their southern competitors an unfair advantage. They were also unwilling to allow the south to set up as a separate country for the reasons you specify.

Given the highly inter-connected and inter-dependent global economy, there is some reason to think the powers that be in the US government would be less concerned about California slipping out of its orbit of influence, even as an independent nation-state. But obviously no one really knows. If nothing else, this should prove a fascinating test case to see to what lengths the feds might go to prevent individual states from potentially going their own way.

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inactive account

As a Kansan I feel left out on you list. After all, our Golden Child, Kris Kobach,is the poster boy for backward and regressive.

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There is no such thing as TMI. It can always be held in reserve for extortion.

mouselander's picture

But after all, there's only so much room in my personal little "basket of deplorables."

And seriously, if I came across as looking down my nose at Alabamiams and Alaskans, I'm sorry. That's not who I am. People in other parts of the country are free to be what they want to be. But when these folks want ultra-lax and permissive gun laws, the end of legal abortion, a gargantuan "national defense" budget, brutal, unaccountable and militarized police departments and such like, I begin to think that perhaps the marriage between my state and theirs has reached the point of irreconcilable differences. My attitude is, just let us be what we want to be, and you can continue being what you want to be. I don't see how that can be construed as unreasonable.

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inactive account

I make fun of us Kansans every chance I get. And Okies and Arkies. I don't ever mean the decent folk when I hang it on the whale shit making our states the cess pits they are. I was just surprised you missed the worst of the bunch.

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There is no such thing as TMI. It can always be held in reserve for extortion.

Coming up in the next civil war.

/snark

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Beware the bullshit factories.

There are over 300 million guns in the US. Guns are owned by 37% of citizens. The average American gun owner possesses 8 guns.

Does anyone here remember a region known as the Balkan nations? Hatred there is even more intense there than it is among the various regions of the formerly-United States, and for several centuries longer. They just didn't have nearly as many weapons per capita, even in the early days when what later became the Ottoman Empire moved in and imposed Islam as the primary religion, ending centuries of rivalry between the two major branches of the (ahem) Christian Churches. To this day, it wouldn't take much for the ethnic unrest to resume its bloody path through the populace.

If such divisions emerge here, with states breaking free from the national structure, only historians will remember the Balkans after the massive multi-party civil war breaks out in North America.

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Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

QMS's picture

You have expressed what I hope to be the future of our rights as states and territories. I am working on an Iceland theme to create new constitutions applicable to geographic regions. Extend state rights to regions. Break it down to form consolidated co-ops that leave the feds in DC. Let's say the Great Lake states -- Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota can agree to a block party. Each state would have it's own governance. But by creating a larger geographic, there would be more power to negotiate with other , similar blocks. Say New England -- Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Let's leave DC to deal with their wars for power and control. Since we have regional control, we won't need to support the MIC, federal programs and such. It can be written into state and regional constitutions that the people have a choice to decide where our tax dollars are spent.
I'm working on an open thread about this matter. Any feedback will be appreciated. I have a dream to take this discontent and turn it into a movement back towards people based government. Cut out the fat cats and make our own rules.
Cheers

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Bisbonian's picture

in my ideal world, local governments would be built around watersheds, not straight lines on a map, but I think there are some valid ideas here.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

mouselander's picture

I completely agree with you that replacing our current confederation of 50 states having a single centralized federal government, with a series of regional alliances based on both common culture and geography would result in localized governments that would be far more efficient and responsive to citizens' wants and needs.

Ultimately, I truly believe that if North America was organized more along the lines of Europe, with perhaps ten mostly autonomous nation-states with populations in the thirty million or so range, citizens would be happier, governments would be more efficient and responsive, and the world in general would be a more peaceful and prosperous place.

Perhaps this is pie in the sky, but there are reasons that a country like Germany seems to do so much better in serving the needs of its citizens than does the United States. And that is something that goes far beyond inherent cultural differences, or the American infatuation with independence and rugged individualism. Germany is a fairly large country population-wise - currently 80 million - but geographically it is probably 1/20th the size of the USA.

I believe it's the combination of a huge population coupled with a huge land mass that makes governance of our country so unwieldy. Breaking it up into logically organized chunks as you suggest would make it far more likely that regional governments could serve their citizens as effectively as the German government serves theirs.

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inactive account

Ravensword's picture

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WoodsDweller's picture

CA, OR, and WA secede and form their own country. Forward by Ralph Nader and Barry Commoner IIRC. I'm pretty sure it's out of print, but you might be able to find one used.

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"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

lotlizard's picture

same as the old boss? Page 29 of the Calexit Bluebook PDF.

WHAT ABOUT OTHER INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS?

Aside from gaining a new platform to exert our positive influence around
the world in the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and in the
Group of Eight, California as an independent country can and should join
many other intergovernmental organizations. Some of these organizations
include the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
From combating global poverty to collective security, the possibilities and influence we will have on the world stage as an independent country far eclipse the opportunities provided to us by remaining part of a broken and dysfunctional Congress as U.S. state.

The WTO and IMF? I don't know about the other two orgs but I see the WTO and IMF as tools of oppression. Not better.

Thanks

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to keep their preferential status (thanks to the Clinton-Obama neoliberal-ocracy) from ending with Trump: H-1b visa sources of cheap workers; inversions; low to no taxes; taxpayer-funded pet projects like Musk's SpaceX, Hyperloop. Oh, the horror of a Trump presidency! BTW, the SV boys have so much cash stashed away, why not use it to buy their own country and live out their anti-regulation, anti-tax, libertarian fantasies?

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They hide their profits off-shore and do not contribute to the general welfare- create communities where the people they need for their lifestyle, like teachers, postal workers, etc. cannot afford to live. Already there was a story of a venture capital newsletter saying that mass deportation could boost the automated agricultural businesses(robots can pick those cantaloupes and not complain)so i figure they will come around to Trump okay, if he leaves their gay marriage and pot alone.

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http://fortune.com/2016/11/09/election-trump-win-silicon-valley-tech/

Shervin Pishevar, cofounder of the venture capital firm Sherpa Capital and of the startup Hyperloop One, said that he would agitate for his state seceding from the union.

“If Trump wins I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation. — Shervin #VOTE (@shervin) November 9, 2016"

http://www.yescalifornia.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_California

The campaign has gained the support of public figures such as entrepreneur Jason Calacanis and California State Assemblymember Evan Low, and financial support from Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar.

Earlier linked to the PDF Bluebook where Calexit talks about joining WTO and IMF.
http://www.globalissues.org/article/3/structural-adjustment-a-major-cause-of-poverty
Maybe. After they get rid of the neolib trash policies, then maybe.

Peace

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...D.C. just passed a proposition to become a state.

gain D.C. and lose CA the flag stays the same. i wondered what a 51-star flag design might look like.

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