Chuck Baldwin (2021)
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    A Look Into the Sociology and Nature of Secession

    Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Many have come to the conclusion that Secession by those States that desire to throw off the ties of tyranny is necessary–more so now than ever before in America’s history. I would place myself into this category. There are many in the United States who argue with this conclusion, either on the basis of practicality or right.

    As to the question of practicality, its analogy is like a husband and wife asking the question, “can we now afford to have children?” The answer most always is “no.” Having children is always a sacrifice and inconvenience. Of course no one prefers inconvenience, but such a price should be willingly paid where freedom is obtained. Thus, at some point, a State must act upon the freedom to be gained at the cost of the sacrifice to be initially made.

    As to the basis of right, most do so based upon a scheme of creative constructions and implicit arguments of the U.S. Constitution or based upon the results of the Civil War.

    While I can, to some degree, “stomach” those who argue that the U.S. Constitution prohibits secession, I am repulsed by those who argue that the results of the Civil War “settled the issue” of secession. I do not desire at this time to get into the fatal error of this position and implied philosophy, but I will state conclusively that if one really believes this, then he or she has to accept the logical conclusion that:

    -this union is held together by force alone and not by the consent of the governed, thus making us all slaves to the union;

    -the Confederate States of America were States controlled and occupied by an enemy conqueror, and still are today;

    -the U.S. Constitution has nothing to do with the legitimacy or rightfulness of the union’s forceful existence; and

    -“might makes right.”

    I find those positions to be dangerous to liberty, freedom and rights and do not see how holders of such positions can adhere to any principles resulting in freedom as expressed by the Declaration of Independence.

    However, for the student of truth and freedom, coming to the conclusion of Secession’s right and necessity obtains from the study of nature and the principles and laws derived therefrom, just as America’s founding fathers did in 1776 by their expression in the Declaration of Independence.

    As I wrote about in my previous articles, Secession or Declaration of Independence, Parts 1-5, people have a certain immutable nature which leads them to form society for certain beneficial purposes. These people will lay down a certain part of their natural rights to receive the benefits of that society. As a result, that society inevitably forms government to protect their natural rights from others in society so that each may live in peace and for the purposes they entered the society. The supreme law of the land is their peace, security and happiness, and any natural rights once laid down may be picked up again to secure these ends.

    Moreover, such persons will never lay down their natural rights to the destruction of their benefits in that society, whether the destruction comes from society itself or from the government designed to protect their rights and freedoms. In truth, governments becoming destructive to these ends are illegitimate and without authority, as determined by the society affected by that government. Thus, the scientific formula of separation from society or government must be studied to understand when it is necessary to avoid destruction.

    Natural Tendency Towards Concentration

    The study of nature and sociology reveals that the progress of evolution tends to concentrate and unify once-separated parts into a coherent whole:

    “the development of the heart in the embryo, and the fusion of bones after birth; the unification of sensations and memories into knowledge and thought, and of knowledge into science and philosophy; the development of families into clans and gentes and cities and states and alliances and the ‘federation of the world’: here is the integration of matter,–the aggregation of separate items into masses and groups and wholes.”[1]

    Like gravity’s pull, this process of sociology attempts to consume smaller parts into larger ones, such that “the growing power of the state lessens the freedom of the individual” and the society itself.[2] Freedom decreases and diminishes, and the government replaces it with control for the sake, survival, coherence and crescendo of the concentrating system itself.

    Among other societies for example, the history of the United States proves this scientific theory: a system of decentralized, smaller, individual parts, with more independence, sovereignty and freedom, has become a system of a centralized, integrated whole, with less independence, sovereignty and freedom of the individual parts.

    Concentration Becomes Dangerous to Freedom

    From this evolutionary process, “the growth of the individual organism beyond a certain point is dangerous.”[3] It is dangerous because it removes from the individual parts their ability to execute their own will for their own purposes (i.e. the consent of the governed, limited government and self-government):

    “A social organism is like an individual organism in these essential traits: that it grows; that while growing it becomes more complex; that while becoming more complex, its parts acquire increasing mutual dependence; that its life is immense in length compared with the lives of its component units;…that in both cases there is increasing the integration accompanied by the increasing heterogeneity.”[4]

    As a result, “the centralization of government and authority tend to reduce the scope of [each society retaining its own consciousness and its own will].”[5] In other words, each individual society (e.g. each state) becomes enslaved to the will of the concentrated whole (e.g. the federal government/union), with all avenues of self-government eliminated. In the end, the evolutionary tendency of centralization and concentration proves destructive to the parts consumed by the whole.

    Natural Response to Dangerous Concentration

    For this reason, many objected to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution proposed in 1787. Based upon similar reasons, the States insisted on retaining the sovereignty (i.e. the smaller parts) not delegated to the federal government in the tenth amendment. For this reason, the founding generation expressed in the Declaration of Independence their natural right to alter or abolish any form of government that becomes destructive to the ends for which that particular society formed it: to rid themselves of the concentrated danger and to disperse into smaller parts.[6]

    Inevitably, out of the dangerous growth of concentration produces smaller and separate parts for the survival and persistence of the matter involved (e.g. society): “[concentrated] growth gives way, after a time, to reproduction [of smaller parts].”[7] It is not just natural that these smaller parts be produced out of the dangerous whole; it is good and necessary.

    Secession Is Natural and Becomes Necessary

    This natural process of “producing smaller parts” reflects the principle in “The Evolution of Life” where “the completeness of life depends on the completeness of this correspondence [of internal relations to external relations]; and life is perfect when the correspondence is perfect.” That is, where the internal relations (e.g. States) observe that the external relations are destructive, the internal relations correspond proportionately and accordingly. Some have described this phenomenon as a “fight or flight” reaction–flight obviously being the most peaceful and expedient for survival.

    Moreover, “[t]he correspondence is not merely a passive adaptation; what distinguishes life is the adjustment of internal relations in [an active] anticipation of a change in external relations, as when an animal crouches to avoid a blow.”[8] When a State sees the dangerous “blows” of the federal government, their survival, perpetuation and success depends upon their proportionate corresponding reaction to that external force of their destruction. The more serious the blows, the more serious the reaction must be.

    Where a State determines that the external relation (i.e. the federal government) is becoming destructive to the ends for which it formed it, that State must act proportionately and accordingly. Nature demands that the people of States who are most sensitive to their own happiness protect the liberty and freedom in which their prosperity and security will thrive. The happiness of the entire world depends on it, not to mention the State’s individuals, families, communities and society.

    Secession: this is the natural process in which freedom lives and perpetuates, just as notable Herbert Spencer describes in his Principles of Sociology: “as groups in which there is little subordination are subjugated by groups in which subordination is greater, there is a tendency to the survival and spread of groups in which the controlling power of the dominant few becomes relatively great.”[9]

    Evolution may tend towards concentration; but ultimately, the thesis of concentration becomes the anti-thesis of liberty, and as philosopher Herbert Spencer observes, “Liberty contends with Evolution for priority…and Liberty wins.”[10] Liberty’s method of victory: Secession.

    [1] Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Chapter on Herbert Spencer, (Garden City, NY, Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1927), 398.

    [2] Id., 398

    [3] Id., 403.

    [4] Id., 410.

    [5] Id., 410.

    [6] “If such presumptions [of federal tyranny] can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties, in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person.” Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 26 (emphasis added).

    [7] Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, 403.

    [8] Id., 402.

    [9] Id., 317 (emphasis added).  See Also, “TO BE FREE FROM SUCH FORCE is the only security of my preservation, and reason bids me look on him as an enemy to my preservation who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it.” John Locke and C. B. Macpherson, ed., Second Treatise of Government, (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1980), 15.

    [10] Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, 422.


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