Secession, State, and Liberty
Edited and introduced by David Gordon
New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1998, with acknowledgment to the Mises Institute.
"Grant defeated Lee, the Confederacy crumbled, and the idea of secession disappeared forever, or at least that's what the conventional wisdom says. However, as readers of this work will soon discover, secession is of no historical relevance. Quite contrary, the topic is integral to classical liberalism. Indeed, the right of secession follows at once from the basic rights defended by classical liberalism. As even Macaulay's schoolboy knows, classical liberalism begins with the principle of self-ownership: each person is the rightful owner of his or her own body. Together with this right, according to classical liberals from Locke to Rothbard, goes the right to appropriate unowned property.
"In this view, government occupies a strictly ancillary role. It exists to protect the rights that individuals possess independently–it is not the source of these rights. As the Declaration of Independence puts it, "to secure these rights [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from consent of the governed.
"But what has all this to do with secession? The connection, I suggest, is obvious: if government does not protect the rights of individuals, then individuals may end their allegiance to it. And one form this renunciation may take is secession–a group may renounce its allegiance to its government and form a new government."
Table of Contents
Secession Is in Our Future
The Constitution gives the U.S. too much Power
Ignore the State
Now is time to proclaim our 10th Amendment right
Essays on Liberty: Volume 1
Essays on Liberty: Volume 2
Other Articles, Papers, Studies, etc.
The Constitutional Right of Secession in Political Theory and History
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