Anti-Federal Strategies: Nullification and Secession

There has been a lot of talk lately in many venues that participating in government at all is morally wrong if you are a radical libertarian: especially if you are a volunteerist type anarchist. To this I say nonsense. We are trapped in a system that is evil, but we may use the system against itself to fight battles against the evil. Would you not use the courts to free an innocent man from being put to death? Would you not use the system against itself to stop the State from taking unjustly a man’s land so it can give it cheaply to some crony?

We must use the tools we can find against the State. Today I would like to briefly look at two tools or strategies to use against the State.

1) The Nullification Alternative

One alternative is state-nullification, which allows the states to declare a federal law unconstitutional no matter what the federal court system says. The state then may refuse to enforce the law in question and protect their citizens from any enforcement, including federal enforcement. Nullification is a method the people can use via their state government to stand up to the federal government by saying that their view of what the Constitution says is correct. Nullification is a way that allows an entity outside the federal government to have a say as to what’s constitutional and what is not. It’s a way that the people can attempt to reel in the federal government.

Historian and author Tom Woods wrote a book on nullification, which covers the subject in great detail. The people are waking up to the reality that presidents, Congressmen, and judges aren’t going to fix things for us so we need to look at every alternative we can. This one is powerful.

Note that jury nullification also allows individuals to overturn laws: but only on a one case at a time basis which then has no application outside the one case. This type of nullification is valid, but I don’t see it as a major strategy in the overall war at this time due to the lack of awareness on the part of the potential jury pool in the nation. I may do another post just on this issue in the coming days.

2) Secession

Many make the absurd claim that the War between the States settled the question of secession. It did not. Law Professor Butler Shaffer wrote the other day:

I’ve never understood the anti-secessionist reasoning that says the Civil War settled the secession question as a matter of law. This is not a legal issue — anymore than the Revolutionary War was — but a philosophic question; a principled inquiry into the moral rightness of allowing some to rule others by institutionalized violence. Those who believe secession to be unlawful ought, in good conscience, undertake a plan to (a) terminate the present constitutional system, and (b) return America to its colonial status with Great Britain (and begging forgiveness for having undertaken such an illegal act more than two centuries ago).

Legal arguments against secession are as absurd as the suggestion that, once an employee has contracted to work for an employer, he is thereafter prohibited from terminating the arrangement. The government uses this argument in the hiring of soldiers, but would such an opinion be respectable among decent men and women? That such a position would be tantamount to endorsing slavery is as evident in private contract law as it is in politics!

Of course Scalia — and all other federal government officials — would be opposed to secession: should the present system become dismantled, he and his colleagues would have to seek employment elsewhere. Outside of the realm of politics, where do any of these career politicos have any experience that would be valuable in a marketplace?

One problem with the fight against tyranny is the size and power of the USA. If the US were broken into 10 nations, or 30 nations, or 50 nations; then each of these nations would have far less global reach to do evil. Plus, the most free nation of these new States would then be a potential destination for liberty minded North Americans. Each of these new entities would become a model for the rest of the nations to watch — for good or not. A laissez-faire nation that was growing wealthy from its relative freedom would be an example to the people of a (probably) socialist California.

If we must endure the evil of government, at least let us admit that one size does not fit all. The smaller the better. If we must practice politics, then let it be as close to the people as possible. Free Florida! We don’t want to be in your union!

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3 thoughts on “Anti-Federal Strategies: Nullification and Secession

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