Does Secession Equal Civil War?

One of the most abused myths of American history is the belief that secession causes war.

You see, according to this line of thinking, if one party wants to be free of another party, then the party left in the dust has every right to violently badger the other into staying.

And I thought we lived in the era of “Me Too.”

The ultimately act of liberty is the American tradition of self government.

The left and the neocons have certainly distorted the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, but one thing that document makes clear–in the first paragraph, the last paragraph, and in Jefferson’s insistence that it is the “duty” of an abused party to throw off despotism–is that he believed in the right of self-determination.

So did every member of the founding generation who signed that document or who fought for independence.

So did every Northerner who advocated secession from 1794 to 1848.

So did every Southerner who fought for independence from 1861 to 1865.

But that last war ultimately undermined the notion of “peaceful secession” in the minds of most Americans. Yet, they are looking at the issue in reverse.

The real question is not why the South seceded but why the North fought a war to keep a people in a union they didn’t want to maintain.

What made the North subjugate the South, and more importantly, why can’t Americans understand war wasn’t the only option on the table?

The answer to the last is easy: propaganda.

The answer to the first is more complicated, but the dirty little secret is that it had nothing to do with slavery. In other words, the North did not have the moral high ground.

Or the correct American position. That belonged to the South.

But as evidenced by this stupid piece at NPR, the average American can’t seem to understand that secession is in fact a peaceful remedy to the political angst in America.

At the very minimum we should be talking about decentralization, i.e. real federalism through nullification.

I discuss the logical fallacy of secession equals war on episode 566 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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