Q: Do you think that participation in the system as it exists now is necessary to bring about peaceful secession, or can it be achieved without direct participation?
A: I suppose peaceful secession would be possible without direct participation in the system -- especially in a revolutionary situation in which the federal government bared its teeth against the states or the people -- but I have difficulty picturing how it would work, because our fellow Ohioans are so attached to the rule of law that they would not be likely to accept a change by any other means.The beauty of peaceful secession within the system is that it is achieved through the rule of law. A government thus instituted will immediately be accepted many nations (other then the rump USA and others under its thumb) as legitimate.
I also think it would be easier to pull off. Granted, right now -- especially given the response of many of our friends to Glenn Beck's rally, during which my stomach did flip-flops, it seems unlikely and to many, hopeless. But my experience agrees with Rush Limbaugh (Aug. 5) that secessionism isn't the "rantings of extreme kookism" anymore.
Ohio historically has been one of the most pro-Lincoln unionist of states, but my personal encounters with people suggest a rapidly growing acceptance of secession (especially if attempted gradually after a few nullifications of federal law). Ohioans today are less likely to be hostile to secession in principle than convinced that it will not work, or that it will result in an extremely violent federal backlash. If a poll were taken today, I think 20-25% of Ohioans would be open to secession, nearly double what I estimated from a Zogby poll two years ago.
One of the problems with promoting new ideas in this state is that people are likely to say that they won't work before they consider the idea's merits. Ohio [is] a tough environment for an intellectual.
Q: Personally, I'm having trouble finding a reason to participate directly (elections, etc.) these days. Almost as if it gives "them" credence, if you know what I mean. And so many are so blind. Things really shake them to their core and they hold on to false truths so tightly. I was there once, but libertarianism came so much easier to me I think. I'm not sure why, but I feel like I wasn't nearly as thoroughly brainwashed as many I encounter these days... or they're genuinely just so diametrically opposed as to be hopeless... I haven't decided.
A: Libertarians are still in the wilderness. While it seems to be an obvious answer for people like us, a lot of people perceive the Libertarians to be wild anarchists. In my opinion (and I've talked about this with Ken Matesz*), there are shades of Libertarian just as there are shades with everything else. The "conservative" Libertarian (I'm calling myself one of those) is one who believes that some government is necessary at all levels; but with very little federal government, a little more state -- or even better, a weak national government in the State of Ohio -- and all the local government the people want (I call this decentralism).To more directly address your concern:
If I were not a classified state employee**, I would be working on [a Libertarian] campaign for State Senate. His district appears in polls to be nearly evenly divided between the R and the D (there is no incumbent running), and he has an outside shot of winning with, say, 38% of the vote. I think we all need to be involved in the system, but we must have the courage to actively support and build up the Libertarian (or if that is too extreme for you, the Constitution) Party as (1) a viable alternative to the "two evils", and (2) a base on which the secessionist movement will grow when the time comes (and I am confident that it is coming soon -- within two years). In the meantime, we need to prepare our fellow Ohioans for accepting the actions that will be needed to restore liberty.
Now, I half expect a frequent commenter to this blog to come in with his Constitutional arguments as to why it is impossible for a state to secede. However, he has yet to satisfactorily answer this question of mine:
When can we come to the conclusion that the federal government is fouled up beyond all repair; and when we reach that conclusion, what can we do about it?
His answer, in essence, is to apply the Article V amendment process -- one that we have shown to be dangerous to liberty, and one which the current power élites are likely to respect about as much as they do the rest of the U.S. Constitution.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Constitution. It was divinely inspired, and if followed, would effectively protect our freedoms. But the revolution will come when the people realize that in the last ten years it has become a dead letter.
* Libertarian candidate for Governor.
** Who is barred from partisan political activity by section 124.57 of the Ohio Revised Code. In this post, my toes are probably touching the line marking non-compliance, but as I understand the letter of the law, I am not crossing it.