It’s Thanksgiving. Our forefathers were thankful to live on a newly-discovered continent, and later they were thankful to live as freemen who had escaped the British Empire’s rule and control over their lives.
Today we are thankful for what yet remains of the traditions which have marked our country’s greatness over two Centuries. But many of us are harried somewhat as we have noticed that our great country is drifting toward collectivism and away from the individualism which forged and formed America as the greatest nation on earth, in all of earth’s human history. Now people in all fifty States are talking about secession. It’s driving the communists mad. While enjoying our holiday, let’s look into the idea of secession vs collectivism. It will do the Pilgrim proud to hold such contemplations on this very special day. It also would please the ghost of Henry David Thoreau, don’t you agree?
Secession is in the wind today, experiencing a surge after the November 06, 2012 elections. Many on the “right” are very fearful of the agenda of those on the “left”, and to those who are awake to, and aware of, the reality that both sides are equally dangerous to American freedom, the whole messy political left-right-paradigm slime-bath is offensive and disgusting. Damn the Republicans and Damn the Democrats both to Hell, I say, and so do all three or four other Americans who’ve figured this out.
The idea of secession drives communists, socialists, and collectivists in general madly wild and passionately fearful. If you don’t want to play their game of centralized control over society and culture, the average communist/collectivist sees you as a direct threat. He must control you via the state (government) or he sees you as a threat.
Most Americans showed clearly with the election that they want the collective way of life and they want a powerful central government to ensure that everyone, including those who do not wish to participate in their centralized government’s authoritarian power games, must ante up and place their bets just like all the good little statist boys and girls. Your refusal to play their game is perceived as a threat to them, and it makes them defensive. Being as how defensiveness always attacks, they jab out at you for not joining into their view of societal adhesion.
To prove that I’m not exaggerating, I’ll offer a novel idea which most Americans have never read, although it’s a part of our heritage as Americans. It was written circa 1884 by an American libertarian philosopher named Herbert Spencer, in his immortal essay entitled “The Right To Ignore The State“. I am predicting that the comments under this article shall be, uhm, er, “colorful” at the very least: Here is Spencer –
As a corollary to the proposition that all institutions must be subordinated to the law of equal freedom, we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry. If every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man, then he is free to drop connection with the state — to relinquish its protection, and to refuse paying toward its support. It is self-evident that in so behaving he in no way trenches upon the liberty of others; for his position is a passive one; and whilst passive he cannot become an aggressor. It is equally self-evident that he cannot be compelled to continue one of a political corporation, without a breach of the moral law, seeing that citizenship involves payment of taxes; and the taking away of a man’s property against his will, is an infringement of his rights. Government being simply an agent employed in common by a number of individuals to secure to them certain advantages, the very nature of the connection implies that it is for each to say whether he will employ such an agent or not. If any one of them determines to ignore this mutual-safety confederation, nothing can be said except that he loses all claim to its good offices, and exposes himself to the danger of maltreatment — a thing he is quite at liberty to do if he likes. He cannot be coerced into political combination without a breach of the law of equal freedom; he can withdraw from it without committing any such breach; and he has therefore a right so to withdraw.
To assess one’s predisposition toward being either a statist or an individualist, one merely need read that passage over again about three or four times and think on its meaning. How one ultimately perceives the logic and philosophy contained in that brief mental exercise determines in a recognizable way one’s predisposition as a statist or as an individualist.
No collectivist can enjoy reading the writings of this nation’s Founders, or the writings of the 19th Century libertarians, while any individualist derives intense joy and hope in so reading. The Founders spoke of “unalienable rights” which come from Nature or Nature’s God, and they codified those rights as coming from, deriving from, a higher authority than any man-made government. Collectivists, especially collectivists of the communist and socialist bent, hate and fear that kind of consciousness. To the statist, the very idea of a soul seceding from the collective government is a threat and must be eliminated. Hence Homeland Security’s inherent psychological premise, and hence its hell-for-leather assault on patriotism and Constitutionalism and individualist dissent within our American society today.
For the strong in spirit, for the individualist, I’ll offer this little brief film on personal secession from the futility of the “maddening crowd”. Enjoy, and — Happy Thanksgiving!