Is Secession Workable?

Last night the SOHO Forum in New York City hosted a debate with the prompt: Is Secession Workable and Would it Benefit Liberty?

One of the original panelists had to back out, and I was asked to replace him. I couldn’t do it, either, but I thought it would make for a great episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Without stealing my own thunder–I want you to listen–I argue that secession is both workable and would benefit liberty because each political community would reflect the cultural values of the people it represents.

As I have discussed before on my show, “liberty” is a loaded word that can mean several things to different people.

Massachusetts never had the same concept of liberty as Virginia as Thomas Jefferson famously told John Adams in 1813 (I cover this in my latest class at McClanahan Academy, Reading Thomas Jefferson. See below).

That does not mean that Massachusetts should not be able to have a political society that best suits the needs of its people.

It does mean that Massachusetts should not be able to dictate the terms of liberty to any other political community.

Hence, the primary benefit of secession.

I also think the process would be entirely workable based on the populations and economies of the American States. Many are larger than major States around the world, and even the smaller States would be able to go their own way.

I would think that you would see some type of confederacies form in each region, and you could always have a defensive pact among the several federal republics.

That wouldn’t be a bad idea, though there would have to be limits.

If we had just maintained the original Constitution, this wouldn’t be an issue, but that ship sailed as early as 1789 and definitely by 1865.

This was a fun episode to produce.

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