The Establishment Media is hyping the dire prophecy of a Russian professor that the United States will have a bloody civil war and "disintegrate," after which the secessionist regions will be absorbed by other nations. The Establishment Media Moral: we must patriotically embrace our federal government or face horrendous consequences.
Certainly a full-blown civil war would be hellish. With modern weapons the casualties could exceed all our other wars. The disruption of food production and distribution chains in our specialized economy could trigger famine. To be imperially dominated by other nations could well mean the loss of our civil liberties.
However, our political establishment is playing a rhetorical game when it strives to link secession and civil war. There won’t be a civil war if we the people support a constitutional amendment to allow the fifty states of the United States to peacefully become fifty independent nations through voluntary disunion.
And why should we do that? Because unlike Alexander Hamilton in his parlor-game speculations known as The Federalist Papers, we’ve had generations of firsthand experience with the defects of federal government. We see today that every alleged benefit that Hamilton hypothesized for federal government has been perverted in practice.
Hamilton proposed that a federal government would resist foreign domination. In reality, our politicians prostitute our superpower military at every sufferance. We fought one world war to make the world safe for Imperialism and another to make it safe for Communism. Today our politicians bow to Israel, tomorrow possibly China.
Hamilton’s strength-in-numbers argument failed during the Cold War, when our military stockpiled thousands of nuclear weapons yet still feared a first strike attack. What if, though, Massachusetts had seceded with only ten warheads? Wouldn’t the Soviets have refrained from attacking sovereign Massachusetts for fear of losing ten of their cities?
Disunion would protect the planet from thermonuclear destruction. By consolidating our vast arsenal of nuclear overkill under federal command, however, we equip a lone fallible human to destroy civilization — a power we would not want in the hands of the wisest saint, and wise saints aren’t elected President.
We witnessed the crippling weakness of centralized command in the 9-11 attacks, when the Commander-in-Chief was too busy hiding to bother with scrambling interceptors. And if it can’t protect its own headquarters from airline hijackers, what does a superpower military protect us from?
Moving to economics, Hamilton warned in The Federalist Papers that if the states remained independent, they would enact high tariffs that would cripple prosperity. A federal government, he asserted, would promote free trade. That myth, of course, didn’t survive the first session of Congress.
With Congress as battlefield, every state wages perpetual economic warfare against every other state. Our representatives legislate national tariffs (and regulations, subsidies, and import quotas) to benefit producers in their home states by afflicting consumers in other states, and then compete for "pork barrel" appropriations that loot the national treasury.
As one observer remarked, the attitude of the Michigan automakers in seeking a federal bailout is, “You won’t buy our crummy cars, so we’ll make you pay for them anyway.” Under federal subjugation, the citizens of forty-nine other states must endure such exploitation with little recourse except vengeful reciprocity.
Hamilton also claimed the national debt would encourage the wealthy to "Invest in America." Instead, politicians "invest" in their patrons at the country’s expense. Raise taxes to pay off debt, and politicians borrow more. Hamilton called the national debt a "blessing," but aren’t state and local debts "blessings" enough?
Today’s federal government infringes citizen rights far more than did the British Crown of Hamilton’s time. Hamilton’s fantasies about the benevolence of an all-powerful central government may be excused as historical navet, but today anyone who insists the federal leviathan is other than maliciously imperious is either blind or bribed.
How can anyone not recognize the monster is uncontrollable, when governors must resign over petty corruption but a President deceived us into war and bankrupted the nation yet stood divinely unimpeachable — as if the ancient pagan ritualism that equated kingship with godhood never went away.
An America of sovereign states, whose governments are more human-sized, will dismiss egomaniacs who proclaim that a citizen’s "glorious duty" is to sacrifice in "full measure" to the Federal Imperium. Let’s abolish the Cult of Federalism, before our wannabe-caesars can extract more of that kind of blood-drenched "glory" from us.
Today it is our corrupt federal government that drags us toward collapse. Disunion will help us become more secure and prosperous, and affirm the ideals of liberty for which the American Revolution was fought. To accomplish this won’t require civil war — just a constitutional amendment, and common sense.
Joe Schembrie [send him mail] is a writer who lives in Bellevue, Washington.