Secession and The Berlin Wall

by Russell Longcore

I’m writing this article on November 9, 2009, which is the 20th anniversary of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall. What actually happened on this date twenty years ago was that the East German government announced that East Germans and West Germans would be allowed to visit each other freely. Throngs of East Germans climbed onto and crossed the wall. Over the next few weeks, people on both sides of the wall used sledge hammers to knock holes in the wall and topple large sections. Later, demolition crews removed most of the rest of the wall. German reunification was completed on October 2, 1990.

This event was a mind-blowing visual and emotional event worldwide, as we saw TV images of euphoric crowds celebrating, dancing and weeping at the Berlin Wall. Few really believed that the Soviet Union would collapse after only 69 years of existence. The Soviets rivaled the USA in military might, and they were as imperialistic as the Americans, exporting Communism around the globe.

But their Union unraveled, beginning in 1989 with the “glasnost” political reforms of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1990, newly-elected Russian President Boris Yeltsin led the Russian Congress to formally declare Russia’s sovereignty over its own territory, and began passing laws to supersede Soviet law. Russia was the largest republic in both territory and population in the Soviet Bloc.

A national referendum was held on March 17, 1991, with the majority of the USSR’s population voting for preservation of the Union in nine out of fifteen republics. But it didn’t matter. After the attempted coup d’etat against Gorbachev in 1991, Yeltsin emerged as the strongman, and Latvia and Estonia declared their independence.

By December of 1991, The Soviet Union had dissolved.

I was in Berlin in December 2003, performing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Berlin Philharmonic. The Hilton Hotel where we stayed was only a couple blocks away from Checkpoint Charlie, one of the most prominent and widely-known points of passage between East and West Berlin. We walked to Checkpoint Charlie and were surprised to find that, even fourteen years after the Fall, East German buildings still looked gaunt and forbidding.

This little bit of history should give secessionists all over America a boost in morale.

Consider these six points:

1. The largest of the republics regained its sanity and seceded. That should give the Texas Nationalist Movement additional hope and perspective in their quest for a New Texas nation.

2. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Prior to collapse, the USSR had the second largest economy in the world after the USA. The Soviet economy was a centrally-planned economy based on state ownership of industry and management of every facet of commerce. Washington is repeating the same central planning errors the Soviets could not make work. If the second largest world power in human history can dissolve, so can Number One.

3. Most of the people in the Soviet Union voted to maintain the Union, even though it had been the source of oppression and death for 69 years. That shows you how much suffering people will endure willingly like sheep. That also shows you that the suffering masses desperately need moral leadership.

4. Small republics like Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and the rest of the 15 republics eventually became sovereign nations once more. They have thrived since. Small American states will also thrive when they become nations once again.

5. The USSR dissolved because the republics rejected national laws that conflicted with local laws. The republics also refused to pay tax revenue to the Moscow government. This caused havoc in Moscow. In the US, 39 American states have enacted sovereignty resolutions that assert their 10th Amendment rights. The American states are on the right path. Now will they do the right thing? (see Cowardice In State Government)

6. The greatest complication for the American Federal Government, far greater than any complication that befell the Soviet Union, is that the US Dollar is the world’s reserve currency…the Ruble wasn’t. The nations of the world are forsaking the dollar because of Washington’s criminal counterfeiting ways over the years. Just as creditors can force a corporation into bankruptcy, the nations of the world will force Washington into bankruptcy and eventually the USA will dissolve.

So the fall of the Berlin Wall was much more significant to your future than you ever realized. Don’t miss the valuable lessons here. Just because America doesn’t have a big concrete wall doesn’t mean that we don’t have barriers to liberty. Oppressive government must be summarily rejected, and free people have a duty to either alter or abolish it.

Copyright © 2009, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

2 Responses to Secession and The Berlin Wall

  1. Mike C says:

    Though I’m not a secessionist I do think states have the constitutional right to do so. I also think it has about as much chance of happening as I do of flapping my wings and flying to London.
    One of the things you mention considering the American Civil War is that at the time, everybody knew it was going to happen and they knew why — slavery, which you neglect to mention at all. It’s not like the federal government adopted this tactic at the last minute — in deed, the South was more adamant about settling the issue through war tham most northerners were for decades. Slavery had been the enormous black shadow shading virtually every policy, decision, vote, you name it in American life from the Revolutionary War until the Civil. Historians almost all have conceded there had to have been a better way to solve it but none have come up with any after researching the rhetoric, hate and insults hurled back and forth for 50 years– and that’s because slavery was involved. The South was perfectly happy to be part of the Union as long as they could keep their slaves and new slave states were allowed to join the Union. Saying it would have died out on it’s own is great, unless you were a black man or woman in the 1800s. Had we followed that path. we would have probably ended up in a Civil War 30 year later that would have dwarfed the one we had, or there might still be slave holding states.
    My other quibble with that time period is that during Reconstruction the North hardly plundered the South. If you want to say Sherman’s march through Georgia was a scorched earth war crime I wouldn’t argue with you, but the story of Reconstruction as known to most people today is a gross exageration told by the defeated South’s white population. Hard as it is for many to believe the vast majority of Northerners who went South after the war did so out of noble intentions — more than 80 percent were educators of one sort or another.Of course there were crooks — there’s money to be made after a war is over, it goes with the territory. But to most people this was not a case of one country defeating another despised nation-state. Northerners hated slavery = as did a large-ish sized minorty of southern whites – not the South. Immediately after the War, enthusiasm for civil rights for blacks was probably at it’s highest point until the 1960s and 70s among whites.
    I’m not naive enough to argue that in this century at least the government is run by corporate interests. If one didn’t believe it all they had to do was watch Obama become the disinterested, wishy washy spectator he was on HCR when that debate started, If he’d come charging out of the WH last spring, waving a single payer flag and showing the passion he had for it while campaigning, we’d have it today.

    One thing everybody seems to gloss over when talking about the fall of the USSR that should be of more interest to the US than anything else is, their fall came less than 2 years after they finally withdrew from Afghanistan after a decade of pouring rubles and blood into a stupid “strategic’ war. The high price of maintaining an empire is the killer, not the expense of acquiring it. Invading a nation-state for no reason other than its oil and its disliked leader is one thing. To invade one that is the human equivalent of badgers or wolverines is insanity and if Obama committs to this asinine Long War the Pentagon wants, it’s only a question of when, not if the United States begins taking it’s seat in the same area as Mexico, Zimbabwe and the like.
    And yet the people of this country are so bovine-like, so brainwashed to automatically thing of change as evil and the USA as right in every single thing it does, I’d be amazed if secession ever got even ten percent of the vote — in any state.
    But an interesting and thought-provoking site and column, I must say. Enjoyed reading it and you make as much sense as anybody else and a damn sight more than most. The events of our time are certainly something nobody was even considering as a worse case scenario 25 years ago.
    Mike Cormany
    Chicago

    • dumpdc says:

      Mr. Cormany-
      I used to think like you when I lived in Michigan. Please buy Thomas DiLorenzo’s book “The Real Lincoln.” I think you’ll come away with a much different understanding of Lincoln and the War of Northern Aggression. Thanks for writing, y’all come back, y’hear?

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