Liberty Commentary

A Radical Thought Experiment

by Davi Barker, Examiner

Recently Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scallia made the comment:

“If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”

Apparently in some mad fantasy he imagines the responsibility of interpreting the constitution doesn’t fall on the judicial branch, but instead on the executive branch, in the form of military force. Not that it matters. Secessionists don’t accept the constitution, or the supreme court’s interpretation. If there isn’t a natural right to secession America owes England some serious reparations.

I have my own mad fantasy. See I think that the whole concept of America was that states were sovereign and free to experiment with different systems of governance to see what worked best. Then this small, practically insignificant central government, with incredibly limited enumerated powers would kind of keep the peace between states. After all, this whole liberty thing was kind of new at the time, and people weren’t totally sure it was a good idea. So they wanted a kind of kill switch in place in case it got out of control.

Well… as it turns out it’s the central government that got out of control. Didn’t see that coming. Apparently, people are so concerned with controlling the lives of people they hardly know that they all want the central government to do things it wasn’t authorized to do. So it grows and grows and grows until all that liberty stuff is gone and the whole thing teeters on the verge of economic collapse while going around the world to look for new people’s lives to control.


I’m of the opinion that New Hampshire solved the laboratory of democracy riddle a long time ago. The smallest government with the lowest taxes is ranked 1st in quality of life, 1st for child well-being and has the lowest poverty rate in the Union. Seems clear enough.

So, If the results of the laboratory experiment aren’t painfully obvious, let’s shake the beakers. Face it, the ideological differences between liberals and conservatives are irreconcilable, and its unconscionable to subject one to the bad ideas of the other against their will. Public debate is getting us nowhere because both sides are buried in their own propaganda. We need to actually see the tangible results of unfettered liberalism and unfettered conservatism. So, next presidential election, let both candidates win. Let the republican run the red states and the democrat run the blue states. Split the congress. There’s more than enough “representatives” to go around. Let the liberals try to create their socialist welfare utopia without the republican dime and see what happens. Let the republicans build their corporatist warfare empire without the democrat dime and see where it gets them.

Oh, but I think we can do better. Let’s let all the separatist movements test their ideas too. Let the Libertarians run an Independent Alaska. Let the Green Party run the Vermont Republic. The Lone Star State never really wanted to be part of the Union anyway. But let’s get really crazy. Give Hawaii their Kingdom back. Let the Lokota Nation have their sovereignty. Let the Black Panthers have a piece of Louisiana for their Republic of New Afrika. Don’t forget the Conch Republic in Key West. And while we’re at it, let’s let the anarchists have New Hampshire. After all, what’s an experiment without a control group?

What’s the worst that could happen? After four years, we’ll take score. See how everyone did. Then we’ll know. We can finally stop arguing hypotheticals and theory and start working with some real observable consequences.

Here’s the thought experiment:

How do you feel right now? I’m sure some of you are pretty excited by this idea. Some of you may even be part of these secession movements and you cheer the notion of a little Independence from the federal government. Some, if not most of you, are pretty pissed off at me right now. You’re ready to scream that I’m unpatriotic, a bad American, a terrorist, a traitor. For what? Thinking about it?

Secession is a very American thing to want if you think about. Don’t forget, this experiment started with a secession from England, and they fought a revolution over it. I don’t want a bloody revolution. I just want a little more freedom. But keep in mind… I didn’t invent all these secession movements. Virtually every state has some group that wants out. America is full of unpatriotic bad Americans. Do you really want them in your Union?

Think of it like this. Lets pretend this mad fantasy of mine actually happened. If you’re a liberal, imagine if you could have all your free health care, environmentalist, peacenik dreams come true without the republican representatives gumming up the gears of progress. And if you’re a conservative, imagine if you could pass all pro life, pro gun, anti immigrant, anti tax legislation you wanted without the liberal representatives grid locking the system. Not only would you both get to see all your great ideas actually realized, but be honest. Won’t you feel just a little vindicated to see the other guy fail?

After four years of that, do you really think everyone will be anxious to sign back up with the federal government? I don’t think so. If not, what’s holding this house of cards together right now? Is it just some weird obsession with eagles and flags and patriot songs? Do you just like the shape of the map? Why are we holding these people in the Union against their will? When did the constitution become a suicide pact? If it is something more that holds us together, like all that liberty stuff, isn’t it a little hypocritical do deny all these secession movements their own little experiment in independence? At this point in the game, couldn’t we use a little radical out side the box thinking?