The American Dream of Secession

Do you smell that, dearest motherfuckers? Secession is in the air and not just among freaky anarchists like me. From coast to coast, from border to border, Americans of all stripes, shades and sizes are openly discussing and considering the possibility of a national divorce. A recent poll by the pearl clutching neolibs over at Bright Line Watch and YouGov found support for some form of regional secession at 37%, up from 29% since January alone. That means that roughly a third of Americans are at least hypothetically prepared to call it quits on this gigantic death trap of a nation.

While the numbers are highest where you’d expect them, with 66% of Southerners, including 50% of Southern Republicans, ready to see the South rise again after the mythic Big Steal, the national numbers suggest something way bigger than post-electoral partisan animosity. The second-highest numbers in support of breaking up were found on the progressive Pacific Coast, with 39%, including 47% of supposedly happy Democrats. Another recent poll by Reuters found shockingly similar numbers. I think it’s finally happening. People are beginning to recognize that we live on a continental sinking ship and, in rapidly growing numbers, they’re ready to get off. As far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t happen soon enough.

A nation divided needn’t be a bad thing, especially when that nation is a colossal murder machine feasting on the planet’s resources and the corpses of the very poor. America was born an empire. It began as a European colonial experiment and rapidly grew into a slave-trading, genocidal Frankenstein. Why the fuck are we trying to save this thing? Any of us? There was never a benevolent American Empire. The idea that somehow, through some kind of progressive social therapy, we can reform this beast into anything that’s not an existential threat to humanity is a fanciful farce. There is a reason America has never not been at war since the time of its inception and that’s because war is all it is. The entire country was taken by force and all 50 states have only been united in waging endless war against the rest of the planet since they were old enough to pick up a smart bomb. The idea of avoiding the Balkanization of this infernal project because it could lead to violence would be laughable if it wasn’t so goddamn offensive. Any internal squabble will pale in comparison to what we do to the third world every day, let alone what the neocons have planned for a final showdown with Eurasia.

With that being said, I still honestly believe that there is still room for this nation to break up peacefully. With the aforementioned 50 states already in place, it could begin as simply as dissolving the Federal Government and letting everyone go their own way. Some states will cling together and form larger regional unions while others, like massive California and Oregon, will likely break into even smaller polities. Secession really does have something for everyone.

West Oregon can legalize medicinal heroin while Utah bans Starbucks. Alabama can make Uzis mandatory and Texas can surround itself with a flaming border moat while California opens up its borders completely to pick up the migrant slack. Everyone can become a sanctuary for something and traditionally rambunctious parts of the map like Alaska and New Hampshire can go the fuck ahead and legalize pretty much everything. You’re likely to see a bustling map defined by competing ideas and it’s my hope and the hope of every other type of ideologue that the good ones will win out in popularity and that this process can be a completely voluntary one, with people choosing the societies that best fit their values while still being free to succeed into even smaller communities when they don’t.

This is my ultimate goal for breaking up the United States. While originally I was just motivated to dismantle the ugliest empire in modern history and prevent the formation of anything else large enough to replace it, I’ve come to see secession as an ideal way of life and hopefully a path to statelessness. My hope is to see this country divide into smaller and smaller communities until the map looks looks like an abstract constellation of overlapping blips of light with more polities than there are colors to paint them with. In time, I hope to see the very notion of the nation evolve into something too fluid for geography with no need for borders or fixed physical locations. Governments will become like tribal social clubs with benefits. Think of the Elks or the Shriners with unions, militias and healthcare. Forty nations could share a single apartment block with complex organizations devoted to everything from Quasi Hoxaism to pan Samoan nationalism to My Little Pony. And with any luck this model can spread globally, creating indigenous solutions for every possible culture and minority. No one will be forced to change their \way of life or assimilate ever again. All they have to do is divide and diversify.

Secession has received an ugly name as a plaything for statism, but once you remove the state from the scenario and make every association entirely voluntary what you’re left with is a world of peace through diversity with nations too small and porous for conquest and subjugation. So what do you say, dearest motherfuckers, why don’t we just stop all this fighting and get a divorce, if not for us, then at least for the children.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.