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Thursday, December 20, 2012

On Secession

On Secession
and Federalism

My thoughts on Secession are, for the most part, in line with this guy’s.
I abhor the one-size-fits-all, overbearing qualities of the Imperial USA,inc.
In looking into City and County, and even School Governance, in Texas…I have found, to my surprise, very little opportunity for Local Self Expression, in Political matters.
This bothers me…even though I am currently in the Minority in my own smallest of Political Divisions.
Federalism was a Good Idea…and, in large part due to the Civil War,and other less than admirable struggles, it has gotten short shrift over the last 150 years.Think of the connotations associated with the phrase, “State’s Rights”.
That Dark Pigmented Human Beings are still Human Beings, was an idea that had to be forced down the throats of a large portion of Americans. Similarly, for Women…and Workers, and “Consumers”…now Homosexuals(rather, “nonheterosexuals” it really our business?)
Centralism, as opposed to Localism, has been needed, on occasion, to Force needed changes….and to mitigate the dysfunctions of Democracy.
Nothing’s perfect, after all.
In Theory, I like the Idea of Secession.
It falls well within Jefferson’s Ideology.
Practically, however, and given the Reality of so many People on a Finite World, it becomes Unworkable.
”Balkinisation” rightly has seriously negative Connotations….Internicine Strife, and Ethnic Cleansing, among them.
As always, there’s 3 sides to every story…and We tend to focus on the Ditches on either side of the road, leaving the road, itself, uninhabited.
Any criticism of “Capitalism”…is automatically impugned as “Communism”.
Secessionist sentiments are like this…but nowhere do I see the necessity of such Extremism…
The  periodic flowering of Secessionist Sentiment…as the article says, both Left and Right…is a Symptom of something…something that is often unaddressed, or belittled…be it Federal Drug Policy, or Federal Tax Policy, as the case may be.
It is a Symptom of the Over-Centralisation of Everything.
Some things lend themselves to Local Control…and some, to Central.
Folks agitating for more Local Control of some area of Life seem to start talking Secession, when they feel that they are not being Listened to.
The Problem, of course, is when the Local Issue is indefensible (like Slavery), or is a Reaction to some unpopular, but Objectively Necessary, Central Policy(War and Peace, Taxation, Regulation of large and destructive businesses). (especially given the Corp control of the Fora, when Objection is pooh-poohed, outright)
Often, the Secessionist Trend is Reaction  based on pure self interest…and unwillingness to Play with Others…(Anarchocapitalist, etc)
These interests and perceived Problems are often dismissed out of hand…
They shouldn’t be.
But we are fractured…and have lost the ability to Debate…and rely overmuch on Assumptions. The Polity is so large and unwieldy and diverse, that it is almost impossible to have meaningful discussion…
I really and honestly do not see a way forward…USA inc. is so Large.
And so Diverse….and Unequal in so many ways…not least, access to the Public’s Ear.
I think that a new Federalism is in order…and a De-Emphasis on Centralisation of Everything….but this need not entail a wholesale careening into the Right hand Ditch!  A Middle…the Road, itself…can be apprehended.
But I don’t really see this happening, without some major disruption in the current paradigm…like an Oil Shock.
Then, of course, there will be the tendency, in such an Emergency Situation, of the Worst Among Us rising to the top…because We seem to no longer agree on the Nature of the  Constitutional Floor…”at least this Free, no Less”.
Remove the Fedgov, and we would soon see Theocracies, and Ethnic/Racial “States”…States where Women are Chattel…and on and on.
This was the Purpose of Fedgov, in the first place…a Floor under the People…as well as the (secondary, in my Opinion) mechanisms for Unity in our dealings with the world.
The Corollary, that has been forgotten, is the Fence…around the Fedgov. While I understand the Reasoning behind much of the Federal “powergrab”, of the last 150 years…it has remained in one of the Ditches.
It has become a Taboo to challenge it….and when it is challenged, the challengers rely on faulty reasoning, and lots of Assumptions that fail to hold up under scrutiny…the challengers of Federalism tend to go the whole other direction…”Abolish the Fedgov!”…assuming, ridiculously, an era of Peace and Prosperity and a Virtuous Humanity that never has, and never will, Exist.
As long as that remains the case…and as long as so many of those who chafe under the Federal Yoke do so in the service of Greed and Racism and other Hatreds, Secessionist movements will never enjoy their proper place….that is, Pointing Out Dysfunction….and attempting, by trial and error and experimentation, to find ways of mitigating the Dysfunctions.

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