Why Yes California Will Be A No-Go

Tom Woods’ latest blog post goes through the hilariously pitiful spectacle that is the California secession effort.

Because Yes California is a leftist organization, even when it’s right it’s wrong. The group claims it could not secede from the Union unless a constitutional amendment were ratified to allow it.

It goes on to cite the ludicrous Texas v. White (1869), which declared secession unconstitutional without deigning to employ such coarse instruments as reason or evidence.

In fact, (1) secession is perfectly constitutional, and (2) in the last resort the states, which created the Union, can’t be held hostage by a court they themselves established, as James Madison explained in his Report of 1800.

The Yes California group would know all the constitutional arguments in favor of state secession if they could bring themselves to read — or indeed were aware of the existence of — the various antebellum and postbellum southern constitutional commentaries that dealt with this question.

Since southerners are the very kind of people Yes California wants to separate from, they cannot even bring themselves to consider these sources. In other words, it’s the usual arrogance.

I’m going to preach this message until either I collapse or this blog gets shut down; the Left will never, ever, ever try to reduce the State or push for state’s rights even if that power they fight to preserve is used against them. They will never go all-out in favor of decentralization, no matter how it is in their interests to do so.

Their world lens only allows one possibility: A larger, bigger, stronger state with their people in charge so they can fulfill the Vision like the good state priests they are. They would rather perish than see the state power they lust for so dearly be taken away.

Part of this stems from a dualistic strategy they employ; if they are in charge of a large state, they can use the power available to suppress their enemies. However, if they are not in charge then they can claim victimhood status as the oppressed, until pity or moral appeals convince those in control to relinquish authority over to the Left.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Neither of these scenarios are possible if the state is externally constrained. It is why Progs will dismiss any suggestion that state authority be curtailed, even if it means the Right is deprived control over them, because it provides them no benefit whatsoever.

That’s why the discussion about limited government versus big government cannot exist in a nation where roughly half believe in a large State come hell or high water and depend on it for their existence.

For now and the foreseeable future, the fight is nationalism versus globalism.

As libertarians we can dislike this frame all we want and yearn for the day when people question the legitimacy of the state itself, but that doesn’t change anything. Refusing to acknowledge the context of the current political feud only makes our points as irrelevant as observations about the Titanic’s design flaws while the ship is listing.

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2 Responses to Why Yes California Will Be A No-Go

  1. Gunner Q says:

    I see two possible outcomes. The most likely is this is just virtue-signaling and won’t go anywhere. However, it’s possible China will grab the steering wheel and push California to secede so it can recognize the new “nation” and in the same breath, accept its enthusiastically offered, unconditional surrender. Poof, China now controls the Pacific Ocean.

    California liberals love China. It isn’t just the State Department’s Faustian trade policies. Local politicians travel constantly to China and push very hard for Chinese investment. I doubt the PRC started the current secession movement but they’d be fools to not recognize the opportunity.

    Have some links:

    “Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan Attends Chinese Flag Raising Ceremony at the San Francisco City Hall” 9/30/2016

    “Rhodium Group: Chinese Companies on Pace to Invest $30 Billion in US This Year” 9/25/2016

    “18 Hollywood movies that pandered to China’s giant box office” 10/14/2016

    “The California-China Office of Trade & Investment”

    Easy to find more. Especially in Vancouver.


    • The Question says:

      Very fascinating scenario/theory. Thanks for the links.

      The only thing I would see with that is the Chinese economy is equally artificially high as ours, so this could easily backfire if they tried it. One economist I chatted with anticipates a similar situation as with the Japanese in the early 1990s after a boom in their economy. They sold back their assets for pennies on the dollar.


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