“…Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own so much of the territory as they inhabit.”
A recent 2Blowhards post wondering whether secession will become one of this year’s political themes got me thinking: How hard could it be?
As usual, the comments on that post were many, diverse, verbose and interesting. I had to chime in with my Wendell Berry inspired take on the concept of economic secession: It should be easy, in principle, to “secede” from significant government and corporate oversight just by refusing to buy in.
“…Much of our supposed oppression is self-imposed. We buy too much and make or grow too little. We drive too often and walk or bike too seldom. We borrow too much and save too little. We spend too much money on cures and not enough thought or effort on prevention. We watch too much TV and read too few books. We add needless cost to our lives by our government-supported over-acquisitiveness…”By taking care of our own business and our own spouses, families, jobs, cupboards and neighbors, we essentially opt-out of most of what’s ailing us.”
Of course we have to then pick up these responsibilities and carry them ourselves, and that’s not easy. Nor would it be easy to secede in the wholesale libertarian sense of circling the wagons and raising a new flag. As everyone’s rotating crop of politicians suggests, the governance of a state-level entity is extremely difficult—or surely must be, considering how badly we do it. One shudders at the possibility our political system is already the best around.
So maybe raising a flag and drawing the borders of your new country is the wrong approach. (Although maybe Texas could pull it off.)
I’m more inclined to hide my plan in plain sight: the Neighborhood Secessionist Movement.
The tenets of the movement are simple. First: Find some neighbors and share your stuff with them. Decide what goods and entertainments you can provide for yourselves and for each other (with minimal commercial input from outside the neighborhood), and then do some of that. Do more as you get better at it.
The Neighborhood Secessionist Movement as practiced on my street is not motivated by High Principle of any kind; neither altruism, nor patriotism, collectivism, religious charity nor militant Idaho stovepipism. It runs on good humor, good eats, elementary school children, and shared free time and red wine.
In a post below, Steve mentions H.R. 875 (Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009), which may or may not infringe on the food sovereignty of Louisiana citizens. (I think people’s kitchens may be exempt from registering as Food Establishments, but it’s hard to say for sure. Looks like local deer processors and CSAs probably should be concerned.)
Assuming we will still be able to hunt, raise, grow, cook and share our own food without being subject to federal penalties, I think these good things ought to be encouraged. And in lieu of higher profile sources of encouragement, allow me to encourage you all with the following snapshots of this summer’s Neighborhood Secessionists’ Gross Domestic Product.
Matt’s expanded beds: tomatoes, leaf lettuce, peppers, herbs, wild blackberries.
Tyler’s new mixed veggie plot:
Monique’s new tomatoes:
Tonya’s new veggie garden and sanctuary:
Eat well, Revolutionaries!