WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2015 – Texas Nationalist Movement leader Daniel Miller recently tweeted, “The only thing standing between Texas and independence are Texans.” Miller is obviously advocating for an independent Texas outside the realm of Washington. Whenever those in one part of the country begin to believe the central government does not represent their interests, they eventually will demand to create their own nation.
The Texas Nationalist movement is not the only movement that wants to secede from its central government. In September 2014, Scotland narrowly defeated a referendum on independence from the UK.
The Spanish government recently blocked the a move by Catalonia for independence. In Zimbabwe, the Mthwakazi Liberation Front wants to form its own government. The Barotseland wants independence from Zambia. Famously and violently, Sinn Fein has struggled against British rule in Ireland.
Separatist movements have existed all over the world. Malcolm X in the United States talked of a separate black state, saying “The only permanent solution is complete separation or some land of our own in a country of our own. All other courses will lead to violence and bloodshed.”
We saw a massive breakup of the USSR as an unintended consequence of Gorbachev’s perestroika.
The reason for these disruptive movements is simple: People want to be free to rule themselves. Without self-rule, they will always be second- or third-class citizens to the rulers. Why would Lithuanians want to be ruled by Russians? Why would Kurds want to be ruled by Arabs or Turks?
Why should Tamils remain part of Sri Lanka if they get none of the government contracts and none of the lucrative business licenses, and their scientists cannot be in the media?
If Texans feel they are being cheated by Washington, they have every right to exit the union, leaving Washington to continue its policy of looking after the whims of the banking elites who have been proven to have built their vast fortunes upon nothing but theft and immoral legalities.
The purpose of secession is to remove oppression as well as the threat of cultural oblivion. In the process, however, secessionist movements often make the mistake of becoming self-righteous. They cannot see that the evil of others can also be reflected in themselves and cannot understand the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Thus the ex-Soviet republics have largely become a hotbed of human rights violations, Eritrea is ruled by oppressive regime and South Sudan is in the midst of what seems to be a never-ending civil war.
From the onset, secessionist movements need to state their objectives clearly. If indeed they are against an evil being perpetrated against them, then they need to fight for liberty for all.
Liberty is more than a piece of paper. It requires genuine implementation of liberty and freedom. Liberty means that the government will treat all equally. No single group has more rights than another. That is why, particularly in America, one must fear those who call for greater powers for the states. This simply moves the power from Washington to the state capital. It does not guarantee freedom or eliminate corruption.
Secession movements are essentially a struggle for freedom. Without liberty, secession only replaces one form of tyranny with another, itself becoming limp and ineffective over time like the ruling system it has replaced or plans to replace. Freedom, on the other hand, is all about ensuring that a people’s potential is not being constrained in order to protect the unwarranted privileges of oppressors and elitists.
There exists in the modern world a popular and appealing lie: All men are created equal. Yes, the inherently good intentions of that statement are there. The writing and the printed words are there as well. But in reality, the actions of governments, rulers and the elites combine to make the statutes based on these words utterly meaningless.