The Inalienable Right To Secede

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During the
time of President Obama's State of the Union address, it was noted
that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was Obama's u201CDesignated
Survivor
.u201D This is a perfect example of how a government-monopolized
defense system is actually a threat to the security of all
Americans. If a catastrophe occurs in Washington, panic and vulnerability
would spread across America, a result of an entire population compelled
by force to be dependent on a centralized authority for their protection.
Another catastrophe is the economic one that Americans have been
suffering, due to the federal government's monopoly in the production
and distribution of money, thanks to President Abraham
Lincoln
and his War on Independence.

Within the
inalienable rights to life and liberty, as recognized in the Declaration
of Independence
, is the right to independence. People
have a right not to be compelled to be dependent on the federal
government's monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction.
If people within a particular territory have a right of independence
and a right of self-determination, then they have a right to secede
from the federal u201Cunion.u201D This is reinforced by the Declaration
of Independence, which states that u201Cit is their right, it is their
duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for
their future security.u201D And Thomas Jefferson later noted,
u201C…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’…u201D

While some
say there is no such constitutional right to secede or nullify federal
law, and others argue that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the
US Constitution protect such states' and individuals' rights, there
is a higher law that takes precedence over Constitutional law, namely
Natural Law, which governs
our natural, inherent rights as human beings, as noted in the Declaration
of Independence.

Further, given
that the US Constitution is a u201Ccontract,u201D its terms are legally
binding to all who reside within the US territories whether or not
they voluntarily consented to participate in such a contract. 19th-century
entrepreneur Lysander Spooner observed
that the Constitution's contractual obligations are to those who
signed such a document, and applied to the people living at the
time, and cannot possibly apply to people living in future generations.
And, Spooner notes,

…. only
a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted
on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their
consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any,
who did give their consent formally, are all dead now…. It is
not only plainly impossible…. that they Could bind their posterity,
but they did not even attempt to bind them…. the language neither
expresses nor implies that they had any right or power, to bind
their “posterity” to live under it. It does not say that their
“posterity” will, shall, or must live under it. It only says,
in effect, that their hopes and motives in adopting it were that
it might prove useful to their posterity….

The mid-19th-century
war waged by President Abraham Lincoln against the peacefully seceding
Southern States was an important time. However, it is necessary
to rectify the myths
associated with that war, such as Lincoln's purpose being to u201Cend
slavery.u201D In fact, an important motivation behind the Southern States'
peaceful secession was Lincoln's tariffs
against the South that protected Northern industries, and Lincoln's
main concerns were not
freeing slaves
, but his protectionist tariffs and, more importantly,
to force the Southern States back into the u201Cunion.u201D Further, Lincoln
expanded the government's monopolies upon which all Americans were
compelled to be dependent, such as replacing
hard money
with fiat paper money, something against which Thomas
Jefferson and others had warned,
and driving
a stake
into the heart of banking competition.

Much of America's
current economic slavery and depression are tied to Lincoln's actions.
To Lincoln, expanding the size and power of the federal government
and further handcuffing the masses was worth the clinging US government's
campaign of violence and barbarism against civilians that contradicted
internationally recognized mores. While the Founding Fathers were
forced to use war to secede from tyrannical British rule, Lincoln
used war for the opposite purpose.

Besides his
oppressive use of taxation, Lincoln's other economic achievement―and
it's also not a good one―initiated the monetary bondage of
the citizens by the federal government, violating the people's right
of free exchange and trade, which includes the right to choose one's
means of exchange that isn't monopolistically produced and distributed
by the government. Not only should Americans secede from the federal
government, but they should secede from invasive, dictatorial federal
monetary policy. (US Rep. Ron Paul's bill
to repeal the legal tender laws and allow for competing currencies
begins to correct this.)

Economist Murray
Rothbard is quite blunt
about the true nature of taxation and the government's constitutionally
assigned compulsory territorial monopoly:

Taxation
is theft, purely and simply….and is therefore indistinguishable
from theft, it follows that the State, which subsists on taxation,
is a vast criminal organization far more formidable and successful
than any “private” Mafia in history…. (the State) prohibits the
free competition of defense and decision-making agencies within
a given territorial area — prohibiting the voluntary purchase
and sale of defense and judicial services… the State is an inherently
illegitimate institution of organized aggression, of organized
and regularized crime against the persons and properties of its
subjects. Rather than necessary to society, it is a profoundly
antisocial institution which lives parasitically off of the productive
activities of private citizens…

Within our
inalienable rights to life and liberty is the God-given right of
self-defense. However, a centralized federal government which monopolizes
territorial defense is a violation of the peoples' right of self-defense.
People have a right of self-defense and a right to not be held in
bondage by the state for their protection or for any reason.

Besides the
states seceding and providing their own defenses, another alternative
is a privatized,
free market in defense that would allow competition among defense
agencies, especially in the context of totally repealed weapons
laws. The quality and efficiency in defense services would go up
and the price would come down, as in any endeavor in any free, civilized
society. For example, after 9/11, the people of Manhattan or indeed
the owners of the World Trade Center would exercise their right
to contract private agencies and private warriors to investigate,
retaliate against and eliminate Al Qaeda at its roots, including
involving specialized risks in foreign territories. Assuming there
would be no invasive, dictatorial US governmental restrictions interfering
with such efforts, the private
contractors
would probably have done the job more quickly and
efficiently than the government, which not only still hasn't done
the job, but has only made things worse. Had the government been
a private agency, its contract would have been terminated years
ago, and many of its authorities would now be in jail.

As economist
Gustave de Molinari noted,

…(the consumers
of competitive protection agencies) u201Cwould be careful not to allow
themselves to be protected by men who would unscrupulously attack
the persons and property of their rivals…. Just as war is the
natural consequence of monopoly, peace is the natural consequence
of liberty.u201D

The nation
states of the Soviet Union learned
their lesson
, that central planning and government monopolies
violate individual rights and cause dysfunction, economic stagnation
and corruption. Either the US states ought to secede from the federal
government's control, or we ought to consider eliminating the federal
government altogether and let the people have their freedom and
independence. It is the people's inalienable right to secede, just
as it was the Founders' inalienable right to secede from British
rule.

Scott
Lazarowitz [send him mail]
is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com/blog.

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