[This article is adapted from a talk presented at the Houston Mises Circle, January 24, 2015.] Presumably everyone in this room, or virtually everyone, is here today because you have some interest in the topic of secession. You may be interested in it as an abstract concept or as a viable possibility for escaping a federal government that Americans now fear and distrust in unprecedented numbers.
As Mises wrote in 1927:
The situation of having to belong to a state to which one does not wish to belong is no less onerous if it is the result of an election than if one must endure it as the consequence of a military conquest.
I’m sure this sentiment is shared by many of you. Mises understood that mass democracy was no substitute for liberal society, but rather the enemy of it. Of course he was right: nearly 100 years later, we have been conquered and occupied by the state and its phony veneer of democratic elections. The federal government is now the putative ruler of nearly every aspect of life in America.
That’s why we’re here today entertaining the audacious idea of secession – an idea Mises elevated to a defining principle of classical liberalism.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on JANUARY 30, 2015.