SA@Takimag - Socialism or Secession?

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My latest at the great, online conservative journal Taki's Magazine:

Watch "Socialism or Secession"

One of my favorite things to learn about Sarah Palin was her ties to the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants their state to secede from the United States. Said the group’s late founder Joe Vogler "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government." Palin’s husband had been a member of AIP for over a decade and the vice presidential candidate herself addressed the secessionist group last spring, advising them to “keep up the good work.”

I spent my early 20’s as a member of the League of the South, a conservative group of modern day Southern secessionists who believe their Confederate ancestors had the right idea. The LOS is still active today and they’re not alone. Reports the Los Angeles Times “In 2007, a small group of delegates to the second North American secessionist convention -- the first was in Burlington, Vt., in 2006 -- met in Chattanooga, Tenn., to discuss how to foment the collapse and destruction of the United States of America. They came representing 11 rebel groups in 36 states, under banners such as the Republic of Cascadia (wedding Oregon and Washington), Independent California (forging the world's fifth-largest economy), the United Republic of Texas (returning the Lone Star State to its aloneness), the League of the South (uniting the secesh states of old Dixie) and the Second Vermont Republic (separating the Green Mountain State from the U.S.).”

Pretty radical stuff, right? Perhaps. But no more radical than our Founding Fathers.

The U.S. was born of secession, when leaders from the thirteen American colonies decided that they should separate themselves from their British masters. As the United States creeps closer towards socialism, a trend aided and abetted by both major parties, might it be time to consider separating ourselves from our masters in Washington, DC? In the wake of the socialist bailout bill, Hugo Chavez said of our president "they say, 'Chavez is regulating prices. He is violating the laws of the marketplace.' They say, 'The state shouldn't get involved in that.' But now they don't criticize Bush for having nationalize . . . the biggest banks in the world. Comrade Bush, how are you?" Added the Venezuelan dictator "Comrade Bush is heading toward socialism."

Chavez is right. The small, limited, locally-controlled, states’ rights American style of government outlined in our Constitution simply doesn’t exist anymore. What does exist is a gargantuan, centralized government that controls virtually every aspect of our cultural, political and economic lives. Both the Republicans and Democrats brought us to this point thus far, and recently succeeded in pushing us headfirst into full blown socialism. Chavez and his friends Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba, are old, hard line communists, who still believe socialism is the wave of the future. Last week our President, John McCain, Barack Obama and other leaders from both parties helped to prove them right.

But is radical decentralization or secession necessary? Writes the LA Times Christopher Ketcham “The dominant idea among the delegates (at the North American secessionist convention) was that the U.S. experiment had failed; it had become impractical, tragically ridiculous, its leaders and institutions bought off, whored out, unaccountable and unanswerable to the needs of citizens. The United States would have to be reborn smaller -- our loyalties realigned to the needs of localities -- if the American dream was to survive.”

Considering where mainstream politics and mainstream politicians have taken this country, it might be worth taking a look beyond the moderate, comfortable political center. The solutions offered by the various limited government, secessionist groups that litter the political fringes certainly aren’t any more ridiculous than those offered by Republicans and Democrats. In a nation born of secession, and whose founding heroes were all die-hard secessionists, such considerations shouldn’t be a stretch. They weren’t for Todd Palin or his wife.

The truly extremist position would be to keep doing what we’ve always done, by placing our trust in the same leaders who are forever pushing America toward the abyss. Many experts both home and abroad believe that the collapse of the U.S. stock market represents an end to the American dream and the beginning of a socialist nightmare. As long as Washington, DC continues to control the entire country this may be true. But it doesn’t have to be, as many Americans, living in many different Americas, could more easily pick up the pieces – one piece at a time.

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