Declaration of Renunciation and Severance of U.S. Citizenship by Jeff Knaebel, Sovereign Individual of the Earth

June 29, 2009

This Declaration, made at New Delhi, India on 19 June 2009, witnesseth:

To the people of this Earth, my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters, in memory of Black Elk and Chief Joseph, and with special respect to the Grandmothers and Elders of all indigenous communities,

I, Jeff Knaebel, hereby make this Declaration of Severance and Dissolution of all bonds between myself and the Government of the United States of America. I renounce my birth certificate – I renounce my citizenship – and reject all claims of whatsoever nature made by the United States against me. I am not government property, and I am not a criminal. I am a peace-loving human being who is finished with being a slave to the Corporate Warfare State. I am not a citizen of any Government. I renounce all of them.

I hereby destroy my United States passport by which the United States government claims control of my movement upon this earth, and thus lays claim upon my right to exist. I will place the shredded remains of my passport upon the monument of Mahatma Gandhi. I have chosen this monument because it is a symbol that all mankind can recognize: of nonviolent resistance to immoral, corrupt, and violent Governments.

By this deliberate act of rebellion and sedition, I hope to free myself and alert mankind to the dangers it has created by obeying Governments of the world. My refusal to remain a tax-compliant accomplice to State murder will be considered treason against the United States. The choice is this, or treason against human life itself. My life is not about supporting the cold-blooded murder of women and children.

No permission is required to renounce that which I never sought in the first place, for which I never entered a contract, and which is imposed upon me against my will. Having declared myself not a citizen, I am therefore not a citizen. Citizenship is either voluntary, or it is forcible slavery.

The United States government is incomprehensibly malevolent and destructive. It takes our money, our identities, and our lives. It gives us back corruption, war, heinous crime, and lies. This government has no moral right to exist. It ought to be abolished without further human bloodshed.

The Nation State is a criminal organization which must be opposed in its very concept. It is impossible to reform a system that is built upon a foundation of lies and violence – one whose health and continuance depends upon endless war. The system must be altogether abolished. It is irredeemably evil.

The State represents a terminal disease of human consciousness that is anti-life, anti-ethics, and suicidal for the human species. It is a sick addictive co-dependency between its citizens and parasitic lying murdering psychopathic politicians.

Blind obedience to incompetent, deceitful, violent and morally depraved authority is a clear case of mental disease. Eckhart Tolle, Gopi Krishna and other morally advanced beings have diagnosed the United States government as pathologically criminally insane.

All political authority is arbitrary: arbitrary as to the form it takes; arbitrary as to the boundaries it establishes; arbitrary as to the limits of its jurisdiction; and arbitrary as to the taxation it collects. If one refuses to bow, to obey, to pay one’s taxes, to use Government travel documents, one will ultimately be placed in jail, or die resisting arrest.

Even in its most equitable form, it is impossible for government to disassociate itself from evil. The State has been conceived in violence and is maintained by lies and violence. Its every act can only be criminal. Unless the right to ignore the State is recognized, its citizens become tainted accomplices in its deeds.

From the most democratic to the most totalitarian form of government there is ultimately no difference among the powers they exercise. The essence of the State is the threat and use of deadly force against those who choose not to comply with its edicts.

No Government rightfully owns the territory its monopolizes. It has stolen possession of whatever land it lays claims to. Everything it has, the State has stolen or plundered. It prevents peaceful people from establishing their own voluntary cooperative economic and social relationships. The purpose of assigning nationality is to control a mass of captive taxpayers in order to maintain the large military establishment required to keep a citizenry in a state of fearful submission to the Power Structure of money.

Why should a system of structurally compulsively violent political authority be preferred to a cooperative system in which human beings live according to the Natural Law of equal liberty? A coercive government has no legitimate authority over me. None. Its only authority comes through the barrel of a gun.

Is the arbitrary “legal” construct of the Corporate State more precious than life? Is this guns-and-steel lifeless structure more precious than living, breathing beings? This killing machine fabricated of cunning deceitful words of legally piggily on corporate parchment… Are we living beings or abstract symbols to be manipulated by the Money Power? What is the “National Interest,” other than the transfer of wealth and influence to the power elite? What about humanity’s interest?

I write against the oblivion of humanity. I act in quest of goodness, beauty and truth, that we may yet live.

I am not Government property. I bid farewell to the United States Government and to the citizenship it has imposed upon me against my will. I love life too much to be forced to participate in its murder.

The United States government is a stain upon humanity. It is a grotesque distortion of human relations and the human conscience. It is ugly beyond the power of words to describe. Only its end product speaks clearly for what it is and what it does. “Shock and Awe” death raining from the sky. Children’s blood flowing in the streets. Body parts strewn across wedding festival grounds. A human genome corrupted by depleted uranium and Agent Orange. Hiroshima. Los Alamos Lab. The science of death versus the art of life. Torture. Rape. Ecocide. Endless heinous crime. The most terrible Merchant of Death in human history. Human species suicidal.

If you, people of the world, wish to support Government, then so be it. But leave me alone. As a peaceful individual I reject your authority imposed by violence. I reject all Government claims of legitimacy. You and your Government do not have the right to do the things that you do. Foremost among these tax-and-public debt financed activities are the waging of war; the conscription of soldiers; and the expenditure of citizens bread labor upon armaments which by now can destroy our earth many times over. I call for an end to these activities. I will not support such activities with my life, my money, or my energy.

The laws of our natural world, the laws of the Great Spirit, the five precepts of the Buddha, are morally and practically superior to political laws. You must not kill and I must not kill. We must not support killing. We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. As the Hopi have said, “From this one commandment, to respect and revere life, come all the other commandments: to tell the truth, to share with others, to life together in mutual support, to take care of our children and old people, the sick and strangers, friends and enemies, to abstain from intoxicants and adultery, not to cheat, steal, or covet.”

It is up to the individual to discern his duty to his fellowmen and to act accordingly. No other can know my moral conscience, let alone “represent” it in decisions of war and peace. How can another “represent” me in voting to murder children? The first duty of love is to do no harm. Therefore my duty of love is to renounce the State, to withdraw from it, to quit it, to abandon it, to refuse to pay its taxes, to refuse participation in its charade of corporate money controlled elections, and to live my own life in search of truth and righteousness.

What do you do when you awaken to the awfulness of the lies of the State and the State of the lie? How does one negotiate with pathological liars? How does one come to peace with his tax payment hiring of cold-blooded murder for oil and money?

Against whom, then, shall I commit treason? The brotherhood of man? My rational mind and common sense? My moral conscience? Or the United States government? I prefer treason against the arbitrarily imposed rule of an organized crime syndicate to treason against humanity. To suffer in tax compliant silence the heinous crimes against humanity perpetrated by the United States would be to negate whatever is within me that can be called human.

The shredding of my government permission-to-exist documents is offered as a prayer that the government of the United States – perceived to be a criminal organization of incomprehensible scope – may be without bloodshed dissolved and abolished from this earth forever.

I no longer have a Government name; I have no country, no travel papers, no passport, and no Government identification. Under the law of every Government, I am an illegal human being. Against this arbitrary “illegality” I claim my right to exist as a free and sovereign individual.

What man – or group of men – can declare another to be “illegal?” Such men, who cannot give life, would yet take it, as lying murderers in God’s own temple. For Power, there is no tomorrow. There are no grandchildren. Of the good earth, there is none. There is only Power. Persons who aspire to this are degraded, deranged, diseased. We are insane to submit to rule by the depraved.

What shall be done with me?

If deported to the United States, the Government will subject me to draconian penalties. Having destroyed my passport, having renounced my citizenship, having made this Declaration, I have become a seditious rebel to the United States Government. The United States will have no choice but to harass, persecute, and ultimately jail me for speaking truth to power.

On the one hand, the natural wish to live, to grow, to move about, to be free, to act as a man. On the other hand, in order to live in this manner with the ordinary amenities of livelihood, I am forced by taxation to finance the murder of children who have a sacred right to life – innocent small children who cannot conceive of the wish to harm me.

There comes a time when the abuses are so great, the mindless destruction so wanton, the suffering so stupidly unnecessary, that one must resist the Power of rulership with his life. I love Life too much to participate in its murder.

I bid you farewell, those who would remain in voluntary bondage. Go about your life peacefully, respecting yourself, all others, and the earth upon which we live. Remember that means is to end as seed is to tree. A violent means can never produce a good end. The truth shall set us free. My efforts shall not have been in vain. Right always overcomes might, even though I may not live to see the day.

Whatever happens to me, may you remember my message: Awaken from your slumber. Realize that Government depends upon your consent. You control yourself. You can withdraw your consent.

We must recover Respect – for life, and for each other. Civilizations that get off the Path of Respect do not last, because when a people get off the path, they also remove themselves from the circle of life.

My prayer is to love and to serve. From my heart I seek to act in a good way, in a sacred way, for the benefit of many, in support of life, that the seventh generation of children may yet live and be happy.

The “why” of what I do is put completely to rest by the statement, “I love.” The final answer to any question about my actions is “I love.” What is the value of human life – this is the real question.

Executed at New Delhi this 19th day of June 2009
Jeff Knaebel

Advertisements

State Secession: The Redress of Grievances

June 21, 2009

Secession is much in the thoughts and on the lips of many Americans today. We all witnessed “tea parties” on April 15th across the nation as people expressed their disgust with government and confiscatory taxation. On that day, Texas Governor Rick Perry actually made comments in favor of Texas secession. He was widely derided by the national media.

Look back at the plight of the American colonies in the 18th century. They experienced heavy taxation and ever-increasing regulation from King George. Their individual rights as English citizens were trampled or ignored. In individual colonies, small minorities of colonial citizens banded together to seek independence from England.  Only after repeated abuses from the King, and repeated entreaties to the King went unheard, did the colonies band together and secede, each colony declaring that it was a sovereign nation.

All through the first 60 years of the 19th century, state secession was a recurring topic. During the Andrew Jackson presidency in 1832, South Carolina advanced the concept of nullification, stating that it had the right to nullify high Federal tariffs, and that it also had the right to secede from the Union. Jackson fought and won this battle over nullification and secession.

But secession reared its head again in the late 1861 when the eleven Southern states did secede and form the Confederate States of America, a sovereign nation.

In each instance, patriots sought peaceful and legal means to resolve their differences.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he wrote that “they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” He wrote that “Governments long established should not be changed for light or transient causes,” but that they had a “duty to throw off such government.” Much of the remainder of the document was the listing of the tyrannical acts of the King, and the actions of the colonies to gain a remedy. Then he says that “Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.” Finally, Jefferson summarizes by asserting that each state is, and by right ought to be, free and independent states.

In the coming days, some American state may actually give secession some serious thought. Along that line, I make the following observations.

State legislatures that intend to give serious debate and credence to the idea of secession from the United States of America must not do so lightly. Rick Perry of Texas was not serious about a new Republic of Texas. He was simply delighting a crowd with rhetoric and applause lines. His words simply kept his name in the headlines for a few days of free publicity.

A State that is serious about secession will likely begin by creating a “paper trail” showing all of the “petitions” they have made to Washington that were answered by repeated injury. They will make additional petitions with the expectation that additional injuries will ensue. This should not be a difficult task, but merely a time-consuming one.

Then, when the citizens of that State can bear no more Federal tyranny, secession and state sovereignty may appear to be the logical choice.

But I believe that the weight of the potential negative consequences of a state secession will prevent any state from actually seceding from the Union.  I do not believe that there is any one American state that will ever secede from the Union. I do not believe that that brand of courage exists anywhere in America.

I do believe that the Federal government could collapse, and then from that collapse could emerge sovereign states. But that eventuality is radically different than the 1776 or 1861 secession.


Secession: Is There Any State That Could Successfully Secede?

June 15, 2009

I’ve recently offered the opinion that any person who loves and desires liberty has but two choices:

1) Moving to a state that seceded from the United States

2) Emigration to another country

The more I look at the realities of state government here at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, I am beginning to seriously question whether any current state of the Union has what it takes to even seriously consider secession, much less actually complete a formal secession from the Union.

If any of you watched the movie “The Matrix,” you’ll remember the scene in which Thomas Anderson (not yet Neo) was being removed from the Matrix. In this scene, he awakens before the fluid has been drained from his pod. As he jerks the intravenous lines out of his arms, he peers over the edge of the pod and sees hundreds of other pods below…just like his. They are all storage batteries for the Matrix, kept alive to power the system.

Are the fifty states of the USA any different? Is there any one state that can and will throw off its IV lines and reject the Washington Matrix?

The state governments have been run by Washington for decades now. Many of the DC Congress members got their start in state houses across America. That is where they got a taste for being part of the ruling class. So, state legislatures seem to be the farm system for DC politics.

A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. The laws that the legislators and Congress members pass exempt themselves regularly. Those exemptions become perquisites (perks) of power.

Because the ruling class is so inured to the trappings of nobility, I gravely doubt whether the present-day state legislators have the ability, morality or courage to cast off from the national sinking ship and seek their own fortunes.

Secession would naturally force any state to radically alter its methods of governance. Otherwise, it would be “mini-me” of Washington.

Here is a short list of the challenges a state will face from secession:

1. The Washington money pipeline will be turned off. How will that state raise revenues? The citizens of that state will expect their taxes to diminish equal to the former Federal burden. If the state tries to sop up the tax revenue that was going to Washington, the citizens could revolt.

2.  What will that State do if Washington doesn’t accept their secession? Will it form a state militia and defend its borders? War against Washington is serious.

3. Would the new State reject the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, and thus refuse to accept legal challenges to its secession in any court but its own? What will that State do with seated judges who are anti-secession?

4. Any state that has no history of self-governance will have no clue what to do. States like Texas, which was a sovereign nation before statehood, will be better equipped to move forward.

5. A seceding state will need a founding document, such as a constitution. Why should anyone believe that politicians who either ignore or violate the present Constitution would suddenly become statesmen with consciences?

6. Every state function will have to be evaluated to determine its necessity. However, if a new state government sets about to create new agencies to mimic the DC government, it will not work. “Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.”

7. Will the new State deliver the mail?

8. What will they use for money? US currency? Will the new State mint its own currency, or simply authorize and regulate bank-issued currency?

9. Would the states that share borders with the seceding State honor the secession and seek diplomacy and trade?

10. Would the DC government allow aircraft from the seceding State to fly over US territory, or create a “no-fly zone?” Would the US allow open borders?

You see? Secession, while easy to discuss, is very difficult to performMy conclusion here is this: I do not know of a single American state that comports itself in a liberty-leaning manner in 2009. I do not know of a single state that presently squirms under the thumb of Washington. I don’t see any single state that is serious about secession and becoming a sovereign nation unto itself. Therefore, why should I believe that the secessionist movement in America is anything more than the musings of a powerless, disgruntled minority?

If you know of an American state that is trying to “live liberty”, let me know what it is.

I wonder if any state has people with the intelligence required to secede and then become what the original states were, laboratories of liberty.


In Diversity is Freedom, by Paul Starobin

June 15, 2009

Remember that classic Beatles riff of the 1960s: “You say you want a revolution?” Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.

There might be an austere Republic of New England, with a natural strength in higher education and technology; a Caribbean-flavored city-state Republic of Greater Miami, with an anchor in the Latin American economy; and maybe even a Republic of Las Vegas with unfettered license to pursue its ambitions as a global gambling, entertainment and conventioneer destination. California? America’s broke, ill-governed and way-too-big nation-like state might be saved, truly saved, not by an emergency federal bailout, but by a merciful carve-up into a trio of republics that would rely on their own ingenuity in making their connections to the wider world. And while we’re at it, let’s make this project bi-national—economic logic suggests a natural multilingual combination between Greater San Diego and Mexico’s Northern Baja, and, to the Pacific north, between Seattle and Vancouver in a megaregion already dubbed “Cascadia” by economic cartographers.

Devolved America is a vision faithful both to certain postindustrial realities as well as to the pluralistic heart of the American political tradition—a tradition that has been betrayed by the creeping centralization of power in Washington over the decades but may yet reassert itself as an animating spirit for the future. Consider this proposition: America of the 21st century, propelled by currents of modernity that tend to favor the little over the big, may trace a long circle back to the original small-government ideas of the American experiment. The present-day American Goliath may turn out to be a freak of a waning age of politics and economics as conducted on a super-sized scale—too large to make any rational sense in an emerging age of personal empowerment that harks back to the era of the yeoman farmer of America’s early days. The society may find blessed new life, as paradoxical as this may sound, in a return to a smaller form.

This perspective may seem especially fanciful at a time when the political tides all seem to be running in the opposite direction. In the midst of economic troubles, an aggrandizing Washington is gathering even more power in its hands. The Obama Administration, while considering replacing top executives at Citigroup, is newly appointing a “compensation czar” with powers to determine the retirement packages of executives at firms accepting federal financial bailout funds. President Obama has deemed it wise for the U.S. Treasury to take a majority ownership stake in General Motors in a last-ditch effort to revive this Industrial Age brontosaurus. Even the Supreme Court is getting in on the act: A ruling this past week awarded federal judges powers to set the standards by which judges for state courts may recuse themselves from cases.

All of this adds up to a federal power grab that might make even FDR’s New Dealers blush. But that’s just the point: Not surprisingly, a lot of folks in the land of Jefferson are taking a stand against an approach that stands to make an indebted citizenry yet more dependent on an already immense federal power. The backlash, already under way, is a prime stimulus for a neo-secessionist movement, the most extreme manifestation of a broader push for some form of devolution. In April, at an anti-tax “tea party” held in Austin, Governor Rick Perry of Texas had his speech interrupted by cries of “secede.” The Governor did not sound inclined to disagree. “Texas is a unique place,” he later told reporters attending the rally. “When we came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”

Such sentiments resonate beyond the libertarian fringe. The Daily Kos, a liberal Web site, recently asked Perry’s fellow Texas Republicans, “Do you think Texas would be better off as an independent nation or as part of the United States of America? It was an even split: 48% for the U.S., 48% for a sovereign Texas, 4% not sure. Amongst all Texans, more than a third—35%—said an independent Texas would be better. The Texas Nationalist Movement claims that over 250,000 Texans have signed a form affirming the organization’s goal of a Texas nation.

Secessionist feelings also percolate in Alaska, where Todd Palin, husband of Governor Sarah Palin, was once a registered member of the Alaska Independence Party. But it is not as if the Right has a lock on this issue: Vermont, the seat of one of the most vibrant secessionist movements, is among the country’s most politically-liberal places. Vermonters are especially upset about imperial America’s foreign excursions in hazardous places like Iraq. The philosophical tie that binds these otherwise odd bedfellows is belief in the birthright of Americans to run their own affairs, free from centralized control. Their hallowed parchment is Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, on behalf of the original 13 British colonies, penned in 1776, 11 years before the framers of the Constitution gathered for their convention in Philadelphia. “The right of secession precedes the Constitution—the United States was born out of secession,” Daniel Miller, leader of the Texas Nationalist Movement, put it to me. Take that, King Obama.

Today’s devolutionists, of all stripes, can trace their pedigree to the “anti-federalists” who opposed the compact that came out of Philadelphia as a bad bargain that gave too much power to the center at the expense of the limbs. Some of America’s most vigorous and learned minds were in the anti-federalist camp; their ranks included Virginia’s Patrick Henry, of “give me liberty or give me death” renown. The sainted Jefferson, who was serving as a diplomat in Paris during the convention, is these days claimed by secessionists as a kindred anti-federal spirit, even if he did go on to serve two terms as president.

The anti-federalists lost their battle, but history, in certain respects, has redeemed their vision, for they anticipated how many Americans have come to feel about their nation’s seat of federal power. “This city, and the government of it, must indubitably take their tone from the character of the men, who from the nature of its situation and institution, must collect there,” the anti-federalist pamphleteer known only as the Federal Farmer wrote. “If we expect it will have any sincere attachments to simple and frugal republicanism, to that liberty and mild government, which is dear to the laborious part of a free people, we most assuredly deceive ourselves.”

In the mid-19th century, the anti-federalist impulse took a dark turn, attaching itself to the cause of the Confederacy, which was formed by the unilateral secession of 13 southern states over the bloody issue of slavery. Lincoln had no choice but to go to war to preserve the Union—and ever since, anti-federalism, in almost any guise, has had to defend itself from the charge of being anti-modern and indeed retrograde.

But nearly a century and a half has passed since Johnny Rebel whooped for the last time. Slavery is dead, and so too is the large-scale industrial economy that the Yankees embraced as their path to victory over the South and to global prosperity. The model lasted a long time, to be sure, surviving all the way through the New Deal and the first several decades of the post-World War II era, coming a cropper at the tail end of the 1960s, just as the economist John Kenneth Galbraith was holding out “The New Industrial State,” the master-planned economy, as a seemingly permanent condition of modern life.

Not quite. In a globalized economy transformed by technological innovations hatched by happily-unguided entrepreneurs, history seems to be driving one nail after another into the coffin of the big, which is why the Obama planners and their ilk, even if they now ride high, may be doomed to fail. No one anymore expects the best ideas to come from the biggest actors in the economy, so should anyone expect the best thinking to be done by the whales of the political world?

A notable prophet for a coming age of smallness was the diplomat and historian George Kennan, a steward of the American Century with an uncanny ability to see past the seemingly-frozen geopolitical arrangements of the day. Kennan always believed that Soviet power would “run its course,” as he predicted back in 1951, just as the Cold War was getting under way, and again shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed, he suggested that a similar fate might await the United States. America has become a “monster country,” afflicted by a swollen bureaucracy and “the hubris of inordinate size,” he wrote in his 1993 book, “Around the Cragged Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy.” Things might work better, he suggested, if the nation was “decentralized into something like a dozen constituent republics, absorbing not only the powers of the existing states but a considerable part of those of the present federal establishment.”

Kennan’s genius was to foresee that matters might take on an organic, a bottom-up, life of their own, especially in a society as dynamic and as creative as America. His spirit, the spirit of an anti-federalist modernist, can be glimpsed in an intriguing “mega-region” initiative encompassing greater San Diego County, next-door Imperial County and, to the immediate south of the U.S. border, Northern Baja, Mexico. Elected officials representing all three participating areas recently unveiled “Cali Baja, a Bi-National Mega-Region,” as the “international marketing brand” for the project.

The idea is to create a global economic powerhouse by combining San Diego’s proven abilities in scientific research and development with Imperial County’s abundance of inexpensive land and availability of water rights and Northern Baja’s manufacturing base, low labor costs and ability to supply the San Diego area with electricity during peak-use terms. Bilingualism, too, is a key—with the aim for all children on both sides of the border to be fluent in both English and Spanish. The project director is Christina Luhn, a Kansas native, historian and former staffer on the National Security Council in Ronald Reagan’s White House in the mid-1980s. Contemporary America as a unit of governance may be too big, even the perpetually-troubled state of California may be too big, she told me, by way of saying that the political and economic future may belong to the megaregions of the planet. Her conviction is that large systems tend not to endure—“they break apart, there’s chaos, and at some point, new things form,” she said.

The notion that small is better and even inevitable no doubt has some flavor of romance—even amounting to a kind of modern secular faith, girded by a raft of multi-disciplinary literature that may or may not be relevant. Luhn takes her philosophical cue not only from Kennan but also from the science writer and physicist M. Mitchell Waldrop, author of “Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos.”

Even for the hard-edged secessionist crowd, with their rapt attentiveness to America’s roots, popular texts in the future-trend genre mingle in their minds with the yellowed scrolls of the anti-federalists. “The cornerstone of my thought,” Daniel Miller of the Texas Nationalist Movement told me, is John Naisbitt’s 1995 best seller, “Global Paradox,” which celebrates the entrepreneurial ethos in positing that “the bigger the world economy, the more powerful its smallest players.”

More convincingly, the proposition that small trumps big is passing tests in real-life political and economic laboratories. For example, the U.S. ranked eighth in a survey of global innovation leadership released in March by the Boston Consulting Group and the National Association of Manufacturers—with the top rankings dominated by small countries led by the city-state republic of Singapore. The Thunderbird School of Global Management, based in Arizona, has called Singapore “the most future-oriented country in the world.” Historians can point to the spectacularly inventive city-states of Renaissance Italy as an example of the small truly making the beautiful.

How, though, to get from big to small? Secessionists like Texas’ Miller pledge a commitment to peaceful methods. History suggests skepticism on this score: Even the American republic was born in a violent revolution. These days, the Russian professor Igor Panarin, a former KGB analyst, has snagged publicity with his dystopian prediction of civil strife in a dismembered America whose jagged parts fall prey to foreign powers including Canada, Mexico and, in the case of Alaska, Russia, naturally.

Still, the precedent for any breakup of today’s America is not necessarily the one set by the musket-bearing colonists’ demanded departure from the British crown in the late 18th century or by the crisis-ridden dissolution of the U.S.S.R. at the end of the 20th century. Every empire, every too-big thing, fragments or shrinks according to its own unique character and to the age of history to which it belongs.

The most hopeful prospect for the USA, should the decentralization impulse prove irresistible, is for Americans to draw on their natural inventiveness and democratic tradition by patenting a formula for getting the job done in a gradual and cooperative way. In so doing, geopolitical history, and perhaps even a path for others, might be made, for the problem of bigness vexes political leviathans everywhere. In India, with its 1.2 billion people, there is an active discussion of whether things might work better if the nation-state was chopped up into 10 or so large city-states with broad writs of autonomy from New Delhi. Devolution may likewise be the future for the European continent—think Catalonia—and for the British Isles. Scotland, a leading source of Enlightenment ideas for America’s founding fathers, now has its own flourishing independence movement. Even China, held together by an aging autocracy, may not be able to resist the drift towards the smaller.

So why not America as the global leader of a devolution? America’s return to its origins—to its type—could turn out to be an act of creative political destruction, with “we the people” the better for it.

—Paul Starobin is the author of After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age, recently published by Viking, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Copyright 2009, Wall Street Journal


Secession and Desertion: One Spawns The Other

June 8, 2009

I’ve read some great articles lately about secession. William Buppert, Gary Barnett and Tim Case have posted thoughtful articles at LewRockwell.com and DumpDC.com . They speak of the military and law enforcement obedience of Federal orders to detain, imprison and even fight secessionists.

But there may be a dynamic built into this scenario that will benefit the secessionists and hasten the collapse of the Federal Government in Mordor…or more commonly referred to as Washington, DC.

Please turn your minds back to August 29, 2005. That is the date that Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast at Mississippi and Louisiana. Try to remember the stories and video that were coming out of New Orleans. We saw the complete breakdown of society in a major Southern city. Within only hours, cameras in helicopters recorded widespread looting and theft. Police, hopelessly outnumbered in many situations, could only stand by and watch.

But why were police outnumbered?

Simple. Many of the officers had families that needed care and protection. The officers took care of their own emergencies before giving attention to others.

In the wake of a secession, The Federal government will likely assert its authority with law enforcement and military personnel. But that assertion of authority will have many more complications than New Orleans had.

1. Local law enforcement are usually pretty prickly folks. They don’t like to be told what to do by those outside their normal chain of command. So there is an automatic resistance ingrained in local law enforcement personnel, from upper management to the street cops.

2. State National Guard units are comprised of the citizen-soldiers of the state that seceded. Their Commander-in-Chief is the Governor, not the President. If the Governor and President issue orders that conflict with one another, I suspect the National Guard personnel will obey the Governor.

3. US military troops will come from all 50 states. But there is a groundswell organization operating right now called “Oath Keepers” that are calling military personnel to be true to their oath to support, protect and defend the Constitution. As time goes on, this organization will have more and more influence with active duty and retired military personnel.

4. Massive Desertions. Just like in New Orleans, law enforcement personnel, National Guard troops and US military personnel will likely massively desert their posts to take care of their own families.

5. Unit cohesion. It will be increasingly difficult for military personnel to maintain military order and unit cohesion in the face of mass desertions.

6. Obeying a direct order to fire on fellow Americans has not been seen since the 1860s. So, this dynamic is a wild card. How many law enforcement and military personnel will obey such an order?

Unfortunately, you may see the Federal Government rely heavily on “security contractors” like Blackwater as shock troops. But many of the same challenges may apply to mercenaries.

In conclusion, I feel that the balance of power tilts in favor of the state that secedes, and against the tyranny imposed by Washington. The first successful secession will open the floodgates of freedom, and liberty will be the true “green shoots” that Washington observes.


Conspiracy, Census and the Case for Secession, by Gary D. Barnett

June 8, 2009

After reading my title, I suppose many will automatically think I am some sort of anarchist or revolutionary. If so, then thank you for the compliment. If only I could be thought of in such an honorable way?

The very intrusive and invasive U.S. Census, which I have written about in the past, can be used to make a case for secession. Not that a case for secession can’t be made using a myriad of other criteria, but due to the original reasoning for the census, I think one can show that any country with more than 300,000,000 people cannot possibly remain a free republic. It simply is not possible. Our nation was intended to be several states, with a federal system to oversee the protection of individual rights. It has become a single nation-state with all control coming from a central-planning leviathan. This is an untenable situation and was bound to lead to tyranny. This in and of itself is reason enough to pursue secession.

First, let’s look at the Census issue. Stated in Article 1, Section 2 of our constitution:

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years; and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years of the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative.

There are a couple of things that stand out in this passage. First, an actual enumeration (simple head count) shall be made every ten years. This count of heads is all that is authorized by the constitution, and is to be done so that a proper ratio between the representatives and the people can be determined, and to also determine the proper apportionment of direct taxes among the several states. As an aside, the number of representatives has been fixed at 435 since 1911. The total population of the United States in 1911 was 93,863,000. Obviously, our population has increased almost three and one half times since then without any change in representation. Secondly, the writers of our current constitution said that there should not be more than one representative for every thirty thousand people, and going forward from the original 65 members, the rule of one representative for every thirty thousand people was generally accepted. As I will discuss later, there were no fixed upper limits on the number of representatives, but the Founders did caution against too large a number; but why?

The ratio of representatives to people was not exact as heavily populated centers would have fewer representatives per capita, but the end result was to be full and fair representation of all the people. Since the number of representatives has been fixed for almost one hundred years, what is the point of the current Census? Since no additional representation is even being discussed and no talk or legislation exists to change this number, is the Census now valid and/or constitutional? I do realize that specific district changes do occur and that apportionment of some taxes (actually very little) is still constitutional, but I think a very good argument could be made that not only is the modern Census completely unnecessary, but that it might now be unconstitutional as well due to the fact that the primary reasoning for this count has been thrown aside by the federal government. If no count will result in a change of representation, then the costly and invasive U.S. Census should be stopped immediately. Obviously, the modern census count is used not to determine representation as originally intended anyway, but is used as a tool to determine the improper and unconstitutional amounts of wealth redistribution, and to gain personal and private information about the citizenry. The coming census also includes a precise mapping by GPS of every address. What in the world does locking in my home position in a government database have to do with representation or apportionment? This information, by the way, is none of their damn business! This in and of itself is reason enough to scrap this invasion of privacy because the entire census count is nothing more than a farce to help expand government interference into private matters.

What does all this mean? A breakdown of the numbers is useful here. Initially, there was one representative for every 30,000 people. In 1911 when the representative number became fixed at 435, there was one representative for every 216,000 people. Currently, there is one representative for approximately every 760,000 Americans. If we were to go back to the original plan, we would now have to have about 11,000 representatives. Is anybody up to 11,000 campaigns and elections every two years? Before you answer, think about the unseen consequences.

Karen DeCoster pointed out to me that having thousands of representatives, as ridiculous as it sounds, might prove to be beneficial. Can you imagine the bottleneck if 11,000 politicians were trying to agree on a particular piece of legislation? Nothing would ever get done, rendering the political process mute. This might not be a bad idea after all, as gridlock is a desired end. Gridlock stifles political aggression and is certainly a friend of freedom.

Times have certainly changed over the past 200 years or so. James Madison once thought that the number of representatives, as long as not too small or too large, was not a big issue. He thought this because he had faith in the American people; in that they would not continue to vote for those who would advance tyranny, and considering the times, he was most likely correct in his assumption. What in the world would Madison think if he were alive today? His trust in the American people would be shaken beyond repair. How could anyone today believe that our liberty is safe in the hands of the imbecilic and unenlightened American voter?

His foreknowledge was evident when he said:

What change of circumstance, time, and a fuller population of our country may produce, requires a prophetic spirit to declare, which makes no part of my pretensions.

Judging from his words, he understood that times would bring change and that larger and larger populations would cause problems in representation. Given the times of our Founders, one representative for every 30,000 people seemed proper, but today, one for every 760,000 is absurd. Let’s face it; this country has become too large for freedom to survive under its present form of government. Instead of freedom, we now have socialism, fascism and tyranny. So what can be done about it? I think there is only one logical answer: Secession!

Secession should not be feared but embraced. Our country was borne by secession and in my opinion can only be saved by secession. Secession in my mind is an inherent, God-given right. If one is bound by or to the state by force, freedom has no validity and cannot exist. Secession is the virtual unbinding of the chains of tyranny. It is the emancipation if you will, from the servitude of the state and awakens the spirit of liberty. What better solution is there when extreme conditions exist?

Many will balk at the idea of secession but there is no need. Our country would not be torn apart, but restored, by separating ourselves from a tyrannical government. Secession is not a breakup of the country because the country will remain intact. The spirit of America would not be lost but regained. The oppressive power of the federal government would be curtailed, and in many cases eliminated. Just think of the benefits if the federal government’s power was eradicated. Massive taxation and inflation would all but disappear. Unjust and unholy foreign aggression would not be possible. Spying, wiretapping and unwarranted searches would be a thing of the past. The growing police state and standing armies could not be funded at current levels and would have to be pared back. U.S. military bases in other countries would have to be closed and all military personnel could come home where they belong. The insane war on drugs and its accompanying prison-state apparatus would shut down. With these changes, torture would no longer be the rule of the day, and civil and just law could return. In other words, a return to freedom would be evident and real prosperity would once again be available for all to seek. Does this sound euphoric? Of course it does, because freedom and free markets are euphoric in a real way, unlike the so-called socialistic euphoria based on theft and oppression.

This is serious business! It is important, it is imperative, and time is of the essence! Any secession from this tyrannical government, whether by states, portions of states, or regions, will require gargantuan efforts by individuals. This government will never be receptive of any plan to limit its power, and secession is a virtual elimination and negation of centralized government. No break from this behemoth can or will be achieved through government action or government process. That would be an exercise in futility and would fuel even more oppression. It will require that those involved, whether individuals, groups of individuals or entire states, not obey any unconstitutional or unjust federal law. As should be evident, this will be no easy task, but the rewards of victorious secession are freedom, liberty and prosperity.

Gary D. Barnett is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.


The Empire Strikes Back: Preparing for the Worst by Willam Buppert

June 8, 2009

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

The American government will be soundly defeated if a civil war ever erupts in the continental US. Not only will a single incident have a ripple effect that will spark the awakening of thousands of insurgencies but the violent over-reaction and clumsy attempts at propaganda by the American media complex in the thrall of Mordor on the Potomac will wholly exacerbate the conflicts to levels of mayhem and insurrection that will startle the normal American. There is a huge simmering and angry underbelly to the American polity that the Tea Parties are only a slight indication of. Citizens have had long and growing resentment toward the creeping socialism and incompetent central planning they have labored under for over a century.

Not only will violence be spiked in the Great Wide-Open between the Marxist coastlines but massive tax revolts, burgeoning black markets, Gandhian non-compliance and active shunning of government entities will rear their heads. I think it will take one bold move from the government during the coming bad times of hyperinflation and the employment of government sponsored paramilitary operations against the wrong group to strike the match. The government is much like a swimmer at midnight in a pool of gasoline that lights a match to see where he is going.

All the necessary measures to forestall or prevent this from happening are long past. The central planners will not reduce regulation. They will not cut taxes and spending. They will not respect states rights. They will not contain the unlimited power of the robed government employees. They will not leave the world alone and insist on making war on every corner of the globe with no restraint nor reason. They violate the most basic right that inspired a flag: the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” banner.

Obamunism is a seamless transition from GWB and the Busheviks: the policy differences are hard to discern. These two rulers were simply the logical extension of the Grand Imperial experiment that America embarked on with increasing speed since the regrettable conclusion of the War of Northern Aggression in 1860–65. Whatever history you learned in the government reeducation camps was no less than a sophisticated stream of fabrications and exaggerations to convince the student only larger government has the answer to every problem he faces. It is interesting to note that the year’s top Presidential picks are unswervingly devoted to using the Constitution as toilet paper and made war on some unfortunates in our land or a foreign nation.

A question surfaces: how could the most powerful and technologically sophisticated military force the world has ever seen in recorded history be defeated by a non-peer military competitor who has no navy, air force, artillery, armor or structured ground forces? I defer to Bill Lind for the deeper and more subtle reasons which are legion why America will meet defeat in Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW).

We are presently shifting our main military effort from Iraq to Afghanistan and not because we have declared victory, for the countless numbers of insurgents are alive and well in Iraq, but because the war is lost and we know it. The war in Afghanistan has managed to sap the US armed forces of vital strength in force fatigue and exhaustion, break the back of the British Army (again), strengthen the Taliban to unprecedented levels and move the hands of the clock closer to midnight for a localized (?) nuclear confrontation between Pakistan and India. That is quite an accomplishment in less than a decade. It took almost twice as long to destabilize Europe prior to the First World War to make the world safer for big government, communism and bureaucratized slaughter. We have had a hell of a time pacifying and taming the more “Wild West” sectors of Iraq not to mention the number of insurgencies alive and well in the cities. While one can suppose that most sects of Islam are rather militant and preserve a warrior ethos in the male adherents, the Afghan fighters are a different breed altogether. They are like a modern-day Sparta and they dig fighting. The surge in Afghanistan will meet with the same stunning successes we have experienced in Iraq. The death toll will be higher especially for the indigenous population with the requisite number of women and children maimed and killed by our wonder weapons with widowed men and the fathers of dead sons left to seek their pound of flesh from the invaders. In short, yet another military quagmire will emerge wherever we should fear to tread.

So what does this have to do with the original observation of the present American government losing its grip and losing a conflict with brother Americans on our own soil? We face conditions much different and much worse than our predecessors in terms of national debt, fiscal obligations, cultural fissures, government corruption and the precipice of totalitarian temptation are balanced on. Inevitably, when the aforementioned unpleasantness emerges, the state and federal governments will exhaust law enforcement assets and be forced to rely on military means to quell the disturbances and insurrections that will emerge. Posse Commitatus will be suspended and Northern Command will activate National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty armed forces will be unleashed on the targeted groups and forces that contest the state’s supremacy in the continental united States. They will face the inevitable resistance of a number of their own troops to make war on fellow Americans and the inherent risk of sleepers in the ranks who will maintain a communications link with emerging resistance forces. The government will be fighting a foe that will have a hometown advantage, levels of support & assistance from the mass base in the communities and the military forces will be surprised by the small arms expertise they will encounter the farther west they are deployed in these united States.

The Central Government forces will face a military conundrum: the harder they hit and fight with the inevitable collateral damage the more the mass base will shift support and allegiance to local forces fighting the invaders. In an insurgency, the force ratio numbers are extraordinary: at their peak the post-WWII Irish Republican Army fielded 500 paramilitary “trigger men” against the UK forces numbering close to 42,000.

As the current fight in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown, the force ratios remain incredibly imbalanced and the successful counterinsurgency (COIN) in the history tomes is bookended by dozens of successful insurgencies. Here is a pop quiz: how many Muslim insurgencies have been defeated since the end of WWII? Zero. Neocon chicken-hawks are fond of saying that Pershing’s defeat of the Muslims in the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century was a template for success. If it was so successful, what is causing the ruckus in Mindanao as we speak?

The Central Government forces will face a foe that will run circles around them in the information conflict just as the Middle East antagonists have proven out. Prisoners of War will follow the cues of the Irish Republican Army and organize and stage riots and hunger strikes in the prison system. Supply lines for government forces will constantly be in the hazard. Foreign commentary on the conflict and the recognition of the embattled regions as legitimates nation-states would further complicate matters as Geneva and Hague conventions would be observed in protocol. We have to remember that the USSR recognized the state of Israel before the US did. Stranger things have happened. Read the newspaper debates between Mill and Dickens during the War of Northern Aggression. As I have inferred before, America will look quite a bit different in ten years time.

The hope is that all of this can be avoided and those communities, states and entities that wish to leave in peace from an increasingly belligerent alien entity on the Potomac, may do so. I am saddened for my children by the inevitability of the coming strife but the central planners seem intent on creating a Rising. I am pessimistic and think that the same form of intellectual bankruptcy that informs what passes for government economic policy will be the same kind of impaired thinking that leads to the next calamity in these united States. War is coming home.

“Deputies have spoken about whether dead men would approve of it, and they have spoken whether children yet unborn would approve it, but few have spoken of whether the living approve it.”

~ Michael Collins, Dáil debate, Christmas 1921

June 8, 2009

William Buppert and his homeschooled family live in the high desert in the American Southwest.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.