Broken Economy, Broken Society and the Prospects for Liberty
Originally published June 12, 2020
Looking at the daily news these past couple of weeks one may have the pessimistic opinion that what was left of liberty will soon be gone. Even before the recent riots, which has President Trump and his GOP goons threatening the US people with the use of military force at home, CoronaVirus hysteria shutdown the US economy. This has led to financial ruin for many Americans who could not work or operate their businesses, and also the power of their dollars being crippled due to constant printing of unbacked money by the Federal Reserve along with the illogical and contradictory stimulus checks.
However, there are a couple of spots where lovers of liberty could and should capitalize on. These are events and ideas that can set in motion a world in which many different communities who function through many different systems can coexist indifferently but peacefully.
The first event being the collapse of the world’s economies. “The vast amounts of money that central banks are issuing to fend off the symptoms of the crisis will create winners and losers. It will make some richer, and it will make many others poorer. It does not create a win-win situation. Banks, the financial industry, big business, and governments, as well as their entourages and close beneficiaries, can be expected to be on the winning side. In contrast, medium and small business, the average employee, and pensioners can be expected to be on the losing end. If anything, the printing of ever greater amounts of money increases economic inequality.”, says Thorsten Polliet.
While this may not mean the collapse of tyrannical states or the complete end of their power to plunder and spend our wealth, it is a very high and perhaps even a certain possibility that this will lead to the distrust of governments when it comes to our money. This could lead to more people rejecting the government’s fiat currencies, and instead using things such as hard commodities that only lose value due to the market, or perhaps cryptocurrencies. Both of these alternatives, when used in financial transactions, make it harder for governments to trace or tax private citizens. Along with this, both these variations of currencies along with numerous others help undermine the state’s power to plunder and spend our wealth. This gives the state less resources to tyrannize us with and thus will gradually set us freer.
This eventual minimization of power set in place by the rejection of government money will be the catalyst for the most crucial step in securing liberty for all: secession.
When the news of George Floyd’s murder came out, the most optimistic lover of liberty had to have felt some sense of happiness seeing all kinds of people from very diverse sets of belief uniting to oppose the state’s murder of an American citizen. Quickly though, shown by all the rioting and the divisiveness that comes with figuring out how to solve these problems, it was evident that no matter how much we were all united in being against the way this man died, we cannot all get along. That’s why secession is the answer.
If we could all go our own way, whether as collectives or individuals, and be left alone to live as we wish, why would there be any need of having to impose your ideal way of life on anyone else? Why would there be any inherent conflicts within a society that stream down from culture? And if there was, why would anyone who felt conflicted want to stay in said society?
Secession gives us all the opportunity to join in a community we wish to be in, or even gives the individual the opportunity to pursue their own self-interests, and at the end of the day is this not what we all want?
The most recent political trend has been the idea of defunding the police. This is an issue that perfectly illustrates the practicality of secession. Want to live in a society where there are no cops? How about community policing? Or maybe even privatized policing? Then secede, either on your own on your own piece of land, or with a community on their given land. Want to keep the police state as it is now? Then stay.
For those who see secession as something being related to slavery due to the Confederacy, these two things are not binary. Slavery (which was not the main issue for the Confederacy, nor did the Union really care about it) just happens to be one of the reasons the Southern states decided to secede in 1861. People could secede for numerous reasons.
In fact, secession is a very American ideal. The Declaration of Independence was a statement of secession and it justified why the Founding Fathers did secede. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, in his first inaugural address (1801) would state “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it.” Jefferson would prove to be consistent with this belief 15 years later, when the New England Federalists attempted to secede from the Union (1816) due to their distastes in the Jefferson and Madison administrations, he would say “If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation … to a continuance in the union …. I have no hesitation in saying, ‘Let us separate.’”
Why is it that the common American cannot invoke these ideals now? The Constitution does not give the Federal Government the right to regulate secession, therefore the 10th Amendment gives the power to secede to the states. Perhaps then, some states may choose to let individuals secede. Currently, there are active secessionist movements in states like Texas, California, Vermont; and others that people can look to as models for how to act. We must not let another opportunity bypass us. The time is now. We can peacefully reject the state simply by undermining their money and not using it in our transactions, minimizing their power through this as well as through decentralization caused by secession. Although the state is inherently an aggressive and immoral institution, the use of violence on our part must be avoided until or unless their use of violence is initiated against us. We must win the hearts and minds of people who are willing to unite with us on the only issue any libertarian would be willing to unite on: Don’t Tread on Anyone.