Secession lagniappe

A good read on how the new Spanish king could impact Catalonia’s aspirations for independence.

Lega Nord remains committed to an independent Padania.

BBC on the other Europeans with their eyes on Edinburgh. Related: Scotland gets its own internet domain, with the catchy name dot-scot.

Peter Singer on Scotland and Catalonia:

The EU is also unlikely to accept Scotland or Catalonia as a member if the UK or Spain rejects their claims to independence. Indeed, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has said that the EU may reject Scotland and Catalonia’s applications, or at least delay them considerably, even if the UK and Spain do accept their independence. And, without EU membership, it is hard to imagine that a majority of people in Scotland or Catalonia would take the plunge into economic uncertainty that independence would bring.

The role of a referendum in a region seeking to secede can therefore only be a form of persuasion aimed at the government of the existing state. A large turnout showing a clear majority for independence would be a way to say: See how strongly we feel about this issue. We are so dissatisfied with the status quo that most of us now favour secession. If you want us to stay, you need to address the grievances that have caused a majority of us to want to leave.

Discovery Channel News has a spot on Iraq, Scotland, and Ukraine: “What do people of a region need in order to secede?

BBC covers the Muslim Seleka rebels in the northern Central African Republic, who are calling for a new state:

The New America Foundation, which is running stuff at Vox of course, on why Singapore should probably be crushed:

For these and other reasons, we are sanguine about Singapore’s transition to a liberal democracy with a far more redistributive state. Our optimism stands in stark contrast to the government’s fears about how increased democratic pressures here will make Singapore less governable, impede quick and enlightened decision making by elites who know better, and increase the likelihood of policies being made for short-term or populist reasons.

We think such fears are mostly misplaced. The contest in Singapore is less about basic political rights and freedoms. But neither is it just over “bread and butter” issues. Rather, it is a post-modern debate over people’s ability to determine what constitutes achievement and well-being.

Three Irish republicans reportedly linked to the Real IRA denied entry into Canada.

Tasmanians are getting sick of being kicked around.


Sutter County supervisors vote to join the State of Jefferson.

Yesterday was Sovereignty Restoration Day in Honolulu.

Caribou Maine considers splitting up.

The Southern nationalists protested Washington & Lee’s decision to remove Confederate flags from General Lee’s crypt yesterday. More here.

Fairly strong support for secession from Mississippi GOP-ers according to PPP polling.

FBI on the transnational gang threat.

Noah Smith comments on Pat Buchanan’s defense of nationalism.



Tyler Cowen comes out against private cities, but they’re on his radar:

I would much rather have the West’s current democratic governments, for all their imperfections, than a for-profit “shareholder state,” not to mention the transition costs and the uncertainties along the way.

Micronations in the Daily Beast.

Patrick Deneen on unsustainable liberalism:

The return to a more robust form of federalism would allow for greater local autonomy in establishing and cultivating local forms of culture and self-governance.

This will provide space for the nuanced discussions between what sociologist Robert Nisbet called the “laissez-faire of social groups.” Recommending federalism always meets the response that local self-rule and culture will reinstitute local prejudices. That argument is a strained effort not to defend the great and I think irreversible achievement of Christendom’s embrace of the imago Dei, but instead to defend the state’s intervention in every sphere of life, justified on the grounds that local norms and prohibitions express bigotry and lead directly to oppression.

A wide variety of local norms and beliefs should be permitted, within limits that would exclude egregious limits upon human liberty. These authoritative norm-shaping institutions and behaviors are the only credible mechanisms for advancing the substantial withering away of the state. These local norms and beliefs would afford a different experience of liberty, one about which liberalism has been silent, one that stresses self-governance and self-limitation achieved primarily through the cultivation of practices and virtues. Such a cultivation of ordered liberty would restrain the pursuit of libertine liberty, and restrain the tendency toward the expansion of state and market, which together increasingly undermine constitutive social institutions, thereby leaving the individual “free” to be shaped by popular culture and advertising mostly aimed to encourage the appetites fed by the enticements of a globalized market.

The recognition of the central and constitutive role and the necessity of the varied institutions that exist between the state and the individual has been a staple observation of thinkers from Tocqueville to contemporary thinkers on both the nominal right and nominal left, such as Bertrand de Jouvenel, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Christopher Lasch, Alasdair MacIntyre, Wilson Carey McWilliams, and Jean Bethke Elshtain. As they have argued, family, citizenship, church, neighborhood, community, schools, and markets need to be drawn closer together in a more integrated whole, in every aspect ranging from the built environment to the cultivation of genuine local cultures arising from the varying circumstances of diverse places. Drawing them together requires an ethic of self-command. So long as the right tries to defend them without offering a broader ecology of a deeply integrated and formative community—something broader, for example, than the long-standing defense of “family values” that denigrates the idea that there is a relationship between the family and the village—it can offer no real alternative to liberalism.

Edwin Van De Haar gestures at something we’ve talked about on this blog before: How do you protect a free city-state that has seceded and is now under pressure from the former sovereign?

So how to defend oneself in such situation, particularly when your state is much smaller than one or more other states in the vicinity? In such a situation you are unable to defend yourself against the most viable threats. Even if you declare yourself a neutral state it is unlikely this will always be respected. After all, it takes at least two to tango in international politics. Of the many possibilities to defend your property rights and sovereignty, the negotiation of agreements with other countries, or joining an international alliance seems logical and potentially beneficial (of course depending on the precise terms). It would amount to a system of multiple balances of power around the globe, very much like for example former Cato Institute scholar Ted Galen Carpenter favored for the current world.

Maybe, but you don’t get a Hanseatic League overnight. Techno-secession projects will probably need to have both the rhetorical support and implicit guarantee of defense of a nation or treaty organization to be successful. Even some sort of private defense service would probably lack legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.

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