Friday, January 27, 2012

The Peculiar Love of Paleolibertarians for an Unlimited Right to Secede

Ron Paul and his fellow travelers think this would be totally awesome. I see at least three problems:

1) In 1869 in Texas vs. White, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no Constitutional right to unilateral secession.

2) As Lincoln noted in 1861, agreeing to this principle would allow a minority in the larger polity to overrule the majority whenever it had a local majority according to the local voting laws.

a) which incidentally, in the case of the antebellum South, sometimes disenfranchised the majority of human beings in the state most likely to object to being treated as property.

3) Had this principle been genrally accepted in 1861, it would have resulted in the unopposed transfer of 3.5 million human beings, held as slaves, from a country that was seriously considering restricting slavery in the immediate future to a country run by unrepresentatively elected slave owners that thought slavery was so obviously wonderful that it needed constitutional protection.

Not, I think, a net gain in liberty.


Joshua L. Lyle said...

You seem to be contradicting yourself; if there's an unlimited right to secede, then slaves can simply secede from the system in which they are enslaved. Of course, their right to do may be violated by their "owners", but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have that right.

Will McLean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will McLean said...

As I understand it, the position of Ron Paul and those who share his views, is that the voters in a region have the right to secede for any reason that seems good to them, taking the real estate they are living on with them.

Since the slaves in the 1861 CSA had no voting rights, they would not have been considered competent to secede themselves.