The Colorado Secession Movement

Image courtesy of koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Two More Counties in Colorado will be voting on whether to secede from the state on their upcoming ballot. I say bravo to these counties on taking initiative to remove themselves from under a regime in Colorado they want no part of. Self-determination is on of our most sacred rights, which Americans from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln have long understood (Old Abe capriciously changed his views at a later date when he decided to undertake a War of Subjugation on the seceding Confederacy; either than or he maintained the logically inconsistent point that secession was not consistent with self-determination). Even the former Soviet Union allowed secession and believed (to an uncertain extent) in self-determination! It was enumerated in the Soviet Constitution that the right to secession was granted; Lithuania and other soviet Republics began seceding from the Soviet Union in 1990 which ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Naturally, the Federal Government will be in uproar if Northern Colorado secedes from the body of the extant state and creates a more conservative state that generally opposes government intervention. They will of course make the claim that if this is allowed in Northern Colorado there will be waves of secession all across the country, some being so bold as to try to secede not just from the state, but from the United States itself. This would be devastating because, as we know, our country could not possibly exist with one less or one more state; we have a Perfect Union! As Joseph Story would say, secession of a single state would mean dissolution of the entire government! Except, as Tom Dilorenzo has shown, “This is nonsense. After eleven southern states seceded in 1860-61, the U.S. government proceeded to field the largest and best-equipped army in the world up to that point. The government was hardly ‘dissolved.'”

Politicians will not approve of this secession simply because it means that the liberal majority of Colorado will no longer rule over the oppressed minority of Coloradans who want to be left alone, or, at least, want to be able to have a say in the policies pursued by their state government. Majority rule works fine for those in power belonging to said majority. But for those individuals whose views are not expressed by the majority, they must abide by whatever tyrannical measures adopted. Those in power naturally want to maintain both the status of their power and the number of individuals they may exercise power over. It is likely as well that Colorado may not even allow the counties to secede for this reason. They would rather keep the conservative minority silent than allow the dissenting counties to secede and actually be able to exercise some influence on federal issues. Plus, Colorado will naturally lose revenue and have to scale down their bureaucracy; for the state, bigger is better.

There will, of course, be cries that secession is racist and Congressman will ask why we want to go back to the 1800’s and secede making the impression that someone who believes in secession wants to re-institute slavery. This is of course a sophomoric appeal to emotion which fails to realize that our Declaration of Independence was a Declaration of Secession. What else can we possibly call removing ourselves from under Britain’s authority than secession? I won’t even get into the ridiculous non sequitur that “Revolution” and secession are totally different phenomenon and that since the American Revolution was not specifically designated as “secession”, it cannot possibly be secession (ahem, Rich Lowry).

Yet, as we’ve seen, if a country as tyrannical as the Soviet Union allowed secession, how can the United States deny this basic freedom to its people? The answer is that secession represents a threat to those in power, not a threat to the American people. The government has never been concerned with protecting the American people; it’s chief concern is maintaining its own power.

P.S.  It’s totally mind-boggling how someone can say that there is a right of revolution, which entails the entire dissolution of government (likely meaning the violent overthrow of those in power), but not of peaceable secession which involves simply removing one’s consent to be governed by a particular government. If we look at it in those terms, it is clear that the American Revolution did not involve overthrowing those in power; we did not seek to overthrow the British government. Rather, it involved removing the consent of the colonists to be governed by Great Britain, or secession.