Secession

In advance of July 4, Patri Friedman and co-bloggers are discussing secession (remember, we call it the American revolution they call it secession) at Let a Thousand Nations Bloom.  Here is Patri on secession as a startup

America did not merely secede and copy the governing documents or style of the United Kingdom. Rather, it innovated, creating a system based on the English Common Law, yet different, one with explicit checks and balances to restrain government, and with no place for a monarch. It was an experiment with a more radical form of democracy than existed anywhere in the 18th-century world.

And it was an incredibly successful experiment, as the combination of that innovative rule-set and the empty frontier resulted in America growing rapidly in population, wealth, and influence. During the open immigration periods of the 19th century, some years saw over a million new immigrants arrive “yearning to breathe free”. As a result, the new American state had influence far beyond its shores.

This influence occured in two major ways. First, America served as a test of the brand-new American Constitution, and the Founding Fathers’ philosophy about the role of government. By showing that it worked well in practice, political philosophers, politicians, voters, and revolutionaries around the world were (slowly) convinced that this was the best government technology to be had. Second, America dramatically outcompeted existing states, based on the simple metric of net migration. Those million+ people a year who went to America can be thought of as customers of government services voting with their feet, which means that other countries were losing market share.

You may not be used to thinking of government in this sort of economic and business framework, but it is a core part of our philosophy here at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom, and we find it provides a unique and refreshing angle on government. In this case, it shows us the invisible, long-term effects of the American Revolution.

They are covering a lot of other related material such as the optimal size and number of nations this week as well.  Here is a guide.  On a related point, I argued earlier for The Great State of Northern Virginia.

Finally, don’t forget: If at first you don’t secede, try, try again.

Comments

that whole "empty frontier" thing slips down real easy doesn't it?

To be fair, most of the emptying of said frontier was carried out by smallpox, not colonizers.

Not that this excuses murdering the survivors and then holding it up as a moral victory.

I don't believe in the social contract.

'To be fair, most of the emptying of said frontier was carried out by smallpox, not colonizers.'

I'm pretty sure that the Mexicans wouldn't agree with that formulation.

Nor would the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole, come to think of it - but then, they didn't come to America as customers of government services, though they did experience those government services first hand, particularly in how they used their feet. An illuminating story of how those government services worked at that time can be read here - -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

Alex-

And you thought your post was going to start a lively discussion? Seems like it is a magnet for cranks.

I suppose in the case of the condominium, it depends on whether the apartment holder expects to use the common areas of the condominium and its attendant value without paying for it or not. Certainly, if an apartment holder said, "I won't operate under these covenants anymore, but I will still donate my portion of pay to maintain the common areas/sewer and garbage/what have you," I wouldn't mind nearly as much.

What I have never understood is why doesn't, say, Goldman Sachs turn to Greece and say, "We'll pay off a portion of your debts, but in return, you grant us sovereignty over this insignificant Aegean island," declare the island the country of Goldmansachsia, and make it tax haven beyond tax havens. Although, I guess, it's easier just to support Liechtenstein.

What is the value of sovereignty, anyway? If I ask my government, "Hi, can I become king of this undeveloped plot of land," why should the government say no? What is the attendant value of those reasons?

Not_scot,

"I'm pretty sure that the Mexicans wouldn't agree with that formulation."

Odd comment, considering that the Mexicans were the colonizers in everry area that the US later took over. In the case of Arizona and New Mexico, the Hopi and the Zuni put the squash on Spanish and later Mexican rule - hustled them ohnto what amounted to reservations - pretty early on. And in the case Arizona later on it was the Maricopa-Pima (Akimel O'odham) who pretty mcuh decided single-handedly to go with the US over Mexico, sicne they had the biggets and best army in the region and were in a position to make that decision.

"Nor would the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole, come to think of it"

Yeah, well, this is why it sucks to be militarily inferior. Way of the world. Sorry if you ever had some other perception of American history. Someone lied to you - go back to elementary school and slap them. But since you bring up those groups, you might have asked what the Qaw and Wazhazhe (Osage) thought of them crowding inot Oklahoma on top of the real indigenes.

... I just thought "better government service" meant "more land I get to keep."

And you thought your post was going to start a lively discussion? Seems like it is a magnet for cranks.

Some may disagree as to who the crank here is.

One man's crank is another man's poster.

(ducks, runs)

You don't need any historical estimates to tell you that North America was basically devoid of people before the Europeans arrived. The answer is that hunter-gatherers live in very low-density tribes. It's only with intense agriculture that population densities start to shoot up.

Further down into Central America, or spots in the Andes where large agricultural civilizations developed -- yes. Most of North America where people were close to hunting and gathering -- no.

At any rate, others are right to point out how inapt the comparison is given that there isn't an abundance of land where the secessionists would want to move to. This proves that even so-called lovers of liberty would rather live in less-free states where they have greater opportunities to show off their good taste to their peers, than move to open-land states where they could quickly increase in number and take it over according to libertarian ideals, but where there's little opportunity for sophistication.

A paper on the optimal size of committees and the like:

To how many politicians should government be left?
Authors: Peter Klimek, Rudolf Hanel, Stefan Thurner
(Submitted on 14 Apr 2008)

http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.2202

Government as a business framework? Great idea. When you think of it that way, it makes perfect sense to have states competing with each other. The smaller the states the better, with smaller states less able to exercise their monopolies.

California, for example, is so huge, that you have to move quite far away from its major cities to access an alternative system. But New Jersey is right across the river from nyc, and Connecticut and Pennsylvania are also close.

I like the Swiss system. If you and your neighbors don't how your canton is run, you can move your area to an adjacent canton or start a new one. It hardly ever happens, but the possibility must be part of the competitive situation.

"with no place for a monarch": doesn't your elected monarch count?

dazzling and outstanding; every girl will be happier

Americans Talk Revolution, State Secession, Anything To Get Away From Obama Government.

Americans’ anger builds daily against Obama and his Czar appointed Government intent on forcing down the throats of Americans a hybrid form of Marxist/Socialism. America already has reached pre-revolution level. Unless Obama’s relentless attacks on the Constitution and Freedom of Americans are abated, it is foreseeable something might happen to set off millions of Patriot Americans. Obama’s leftist supporters should read history to get a historical perspective how fast a population (Americans) might unite to come together against a perceived enemy.

If Obama wasn’t concerned about Americans revolting, his administration would not be relentless to pass laws and regulations to cripple bloggers and other alternative media communicating real news that Citizens, grass-roots organizations and others depend on to make informed decisions.

Obama and his NeoMarxists intend to drown out, shut up the Voice of Patriot Americans. Obama’s support of the DISCLOSE Act confirmed what many Americans believed; that Obama intends to strangle the flow of information and replace it with his leftist propaganda. When communists have attempted or taken over a country, their first step was to control the media and all forms of public communications to control Civilian populations. The Obama administration is using its government power to censor, shut up its critics.
Marxist governments have made communism work by murdering civilian populations considered not critical until populations are reduced to a level an unproductive communist government can support; and by cannibalizing assets communists stole from arrested and killed Citizens.
Obama supporters state, they want to destroy capitalism, free enterprise: that would delete millions of U.S. jobs, creating millions of non-critical Americans a RED U.S. Government would not want to support. In other countries where members of a political party or ideological extremists attempted or succeeded in forced censorship, took over the means of production, Citizens have revolted, jailing despots for treason.
Obama Top CZAR Cass Sunstein prepared in 2008 a paper that proposed spying on Americans, infiltrating groups and organizations to obstruct Free Speech, disrupt the exchange of ideas and disseminate false information to neutralize Americans that might question government. See:
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=121884

Perhaps Obama intends to jail lawful Patriots. Obama gave a speech in May 2010 asking Congress to pass legislation to give the President power, to detain any person in the U.S. that government deemed a “combatant† or likely to engage in a violent act in the future. President Obama wants the power to incarcerate U.S. Citizens not on evidence, but for what they might do. Hear Obama’s own words at:
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/630.html

Last week Obama proposed that the FBI have the power to obtain without warrants, Citizens’ “electronic communication transactional records† including email addresses they used to send communications. If the FBI’s request for warrant-less Internet surveillance is granted, Americans to avoid federal conspiracy charges and or being set up by provocateur emails, may have to report to police (every email) they receive that might allude to anything illegal. Private information the FBI derives from warrant-less searches of emails and Internet Activity—could potentially be used by a corrupt Obama Government to blackmail, target anyone though government harassment, prosecution or civil asset forfeiture because someone dared disagree with the government. Police too easily can take an innocent person’s hastily written email, fax, phone call or web activity out of context to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause an arrest or confiscation of someone’s property.

Alarmingly the Obama Government recently employed a vendor to search Internet social networking sites to collect information about Americans that could potentially be used by this government to injure Americans, for example, if you apply for a federal job, your name might be crossed referenced by the Obama Government with comments you made at Websites against Obama; or if you make application at a bank for a loan the Government has control since the financial crisis, could your Internet comment(s) prevent you getting that loan? Obama’s monitoring of the Internet sites can too easily be used by Government to intimidate, coerce Americans from speaking out.

If FBI warrant-less Internet Spying is approved, it is problematic the FBI will share its spying with law enforcement, government contractors and private individuals that have security clearances to facilitate the arrest and forfeiture of Americans’ property—-to keep part of the bounty. There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture. Under federal civil asset forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property.

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