Secession is already here: states, cities and the rich are already leaving America
Yves is here. While the author makes an interesting point about abandoning social institutions and collective commitments as steps towards secession, I must deviate slightly from the implicit demand for national identity. As a child, I spent six months to three years mostly in small towns in different parts of the United States. Despite the appearance of American cheerfulness, these areas had their own culture. Local and neighborhood stores were much more important than national chains. Even mid-sized cities like Dayton, Ohio had morning and evening papers. Most subscribed to at least one ad, if not something else. National broadcasters, CBS, NBC, and ABC, as well as the weekly magazines Time and Newsweek, articulated what was supposedly a widespread centrist position. But most families cared about their neighborhood and region as much as about national and international affairs.
And when I first visited Alabama in the mid-1970s, it was hard not to notice that every bookstore had a large Civil War section. That’s national unity for you.
And don’t make me praise the Ku Klux Klan and claim that Reconstruction destroyed “the camaraderie between blacks and whites” in the 7th grade South Carolina history textbook my mother used there as a public school teacher in 1954 and 1955. I used this book as a second grade demonstration and story (the civil rights era) to show how retrograde the views of blacks were in parts of the US.
So I doubt the much-vaunted American cohesion was an idea that wasn’t tested until the Internet made a huge amount of information possible and showed how weak it really was.
Michael J. Lee, professor of communications at the College of Charleston. Originally posted on Talk
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, Georgia Republican, wants to “national divorce“. In her opinion, a new civil war is inevitable if the red and blue states do not form separate countries.
She has many companies on rightwhere many others 52% of Trump voters, Donald Trump himself And prominent Texas Republicans – supported various forms of secession in recent years. Rough 40% of Biden voters fantasized about national divorce. Some on left to call for an internal break, so that a new egalitarian nation maybe, as Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “born on this continent.”
The American Civil War was national trauma caused by the secession of 11 southern states due to slavery. Therefore, it is clear that many connoisseurs and commentators would weigh O legitimacy, feasibility and wisdom brancheswhen others demand a divorce.
But all this talk of secession misses a key point that every troubled couple knows. Just as there are ways to get out of a marriage before any formal divorce, there are also ways to leave the country before formal separation.
I have studied department for 20 years now and I think it’s not easywhat if?script more. IN “We are not one people: secession and separatism in American politics since 1776.”, my co-author and I go beyond narrow discussions about secession and the Civil War to present secession as the extreme endpoint on a scale that includes various acts Exit that have already happened in the US
This scale starts with smaller, purposeful exits, such as an individual’s refusal to serve on a jury, and gradually includes larger ways in which communities refuse to obey state and federal authorities.
Such waivers may include legal maneuvers such as interventionin which the community delays or restricts the application of the law it opposes, p cancellationin which the community expressly declares the law null and void within its boundaries. There is a branch at the end of the scale.
From this broader perspective, it is clear that many acts of retreat—call them light secession, de facto secession, or mild separatism—are taking place right now. Americans have responded to the growing polarization by exploring the gradations between soft separatism and hard secession.
These incremental outputs make sense in polarized nation whose citizens sort themselves into like-minded neighbors. When compromise is elusive and coexistence unpleasant, citizens have three options to get their way: defeat the other side, eliminate the other side, or walk away from the other side.
Imagine a national law; it could be a requirement that citizens must brush their teeth twice a day, or a law criminalizing texting while driving. Then imagine that a special group of people are not required to obey this law.
This quasi-separation can be achieved in several ways. Maybe this special group is movingoff the gridin the outback, where they could text and drive without fear of surveillance. Maybe this particular group has political power and can buy, bribe or find a lawyer to get out of any legal deadlock. Maybe this particular group convinced a powerful authority, say Congress or the Supreme Court, to provide them with unique legal exceptions.
These are hypothetical scenarios, not imaginary ones. When groups leave public life and its civic duties and burdens, when they live by their own rules, when they do not have to live with fellow citizens they have not chosen, or listen to authorities they do not like, they have already separated.
Schools to taxes
Modern America offers many hard examples of soft separatism.
Over the past two decades, points Wealthy white communities split off from more diverse school districts. Defenders cite local control to justify these acts of school secession. But the result is the creation parallel school districts, both of which are relatively homogeneous, but differ widely in racial makeup and economic status.
In the south, there have been several notable departures from the districts – places such as St. George, Louisiana – but specimens from northern Maine to Southern California show that the school is cracking happening all over the country.
Like one reporter wrote“If you didn’t want to go to school with certain people in your district, you just had to find a way to draw a line between you and them.”
Many other examples of institutionalized separatism involve taxes. Disney World, for example, has been classified as “special tax district” in Florida in 1967. These special districts are functionally separate local governments and can provide public services and build and maintain their own infrastructure.
The company has saved millions by avoiding typical zoning, permitting, and inspection processes for decades, though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently challenged Disney special designation. Disney was just one of Florida’s 1,800 special tax districts; There is over 35,000 in the nation.
Jeff Bezos paid no federal income tax in 2011. Elon Musk paid almost nothing in 2018. Wealthy stories tax evasionas common as the stories of wealthy Americans buying their way outprison “Rich Americans” Robert Reich complained back in the early 1990s, “from generation to generation retired to their neighborhoods and clubs.” Reich worried that the “new secession” would allow the wealthy to “live in an economy different from that of other Americans.”
Some of the country’s richest citizens pay effective tax rate close to zero. As one investigative reporter put it, the super-richbypass the system in a perfectly legal way“.
One nation divided
Schools and taxes are just the beginning.
Eleven states call themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuariesand refuse to comply with federal gun restrictions. Movements seeking to separate rural, more politically conservative parts of the blue states. even growing; 11 counties in Eastern Oregon branch support And reclassify yourself like “Big Idaho”, move that Idaho the state government supports.
In the hope of becoming a separate state, independent of the political influence of Chicago, more than two dozen rural counties of Illinois passed. secession referendums. Some Texas Republicans support Texit, where the state becomes an independent nation.
Separatist ideas also came from the left.
“feces exitCalifornia’s plan to leave the union after 2016 was the most poignant recent attempt at secession.
And separatist actions have changed life and the law in many states. Since 2012 21 states legalized marijuana, federally illegal. Sanctuary cities and states have been around since 2016 to fight aggressive federal immigration laws and policies. Some prosecutors and judges refuse to prosecute women and healthcare professionals for new illegal abortions in some states.
Estimates vary, but some Americans are increasingly eschewing ultra-modern, hyper-polarized lives entirely. “Intentional Communities”, rural, sustainable, cooperative communities such as East Wind in the Ozarkseven, as The New York Times reported in 2020, the spread of “countrywide“.
In many ways, America is already divided. When secession is portrayed in its strictest sense, as a group of people declaring independence and taking part of the nation as they leave, the discussion becomes myopic and current acts of withdrawal are hidden in plain sight. When it comes to secession, the question is not just “What if?” but “What now?”