Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Right to Secede

A Response to “The Right to Secede”

I would like to show that this response to my article actually has little bearing on whether taxes are or are not theft. I will start by going through individual statements, but first, I will state the premises I’m operating off of. If you accept these 3 premises then it is completely reasonable for taxes to exist without a “Secession Amendment”.


  1. Implicit contracts exist
  2. A social contract is a form of an implicit contract
  3. An individual can sign (implicitly or explicitly) any contract they like as long as both parties  have full knowledge of the contract and there is no coercion.
I don't see any reason to expand upon these 3 premises, as they are trivially true. Now I'll get into individual statements from the original article.

“For a contract to be valid there must be terms and a reasonable way to leave it.  It is not reasonable to have to leave your country, family, friends, and job in order to break a contract.”

This statement is a personal preference about what a person may desire in their contract. A contract by no means has to have a reasonable way to break it. There are many contracts that I would not personally accept, but that does not mean they are invalid contracts. A contract is not just invalid or valid for people who find the terms unreasonable, if a contract is invalid it means those who accept the terms have also signed an invalid contract.

If a person has no plans on breaking a contract, then it is possible and maybe even beneficial for them to agree to a stricter punishment for breaking it in return for better terms elsewhere in the contract. See premise B above as well, if an individual can sign any contract they like (a very common theme of Libertarians), then putting this stipulation on contract terms would likely be construed as an “authoritarian” action limiting the rights of the individual.


“I've decided that taxes in the United States would not be theft if the constitution protected the right for any individual to secede as the final check on the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.”

Once again this is a personal preference, one would presume that since you don’t find the initial terms of the contract reasonable you would reject them. Your parents and family have also chosen to accept the contract, which can factor into your decision but it does not invalidate the contract simply because you would have to move away from them. If your whole family lives in an apartment, and you choose to not live in the apartment when you turn 18 because you don't like the terms, does that make the apartment's contract or terms invalid? Absolutely not, and that same line of reasoning applies to the social contract.


“There is currently no check on the three branches of government, if they wish to work together to increase their power. The right for individuals to secede would make any authoritarian government collapse if it came to be too out of control.”

This is patently false. There are absolutely checks and balances for all 3 branches, 2 of the branches are democratically elected and are able to appoint/remove members of the other branch. So in short, voting is your check on all 3 branches. I will never be one to argue that voting is an absolute check, but it is a check and can be used to punish government officials who go too far. On a slightly different angle, if a government was truly authoritarian, then how do you think attempting to use your “right to secede” would work? I'm guessing it wouldn't be very effective in getting rid of the current government.


“Native Americans lands currently exist within the United States as sovereign territories. If all people had the same option, some of them would choose to do this, and it would not be much different.”

I know we discussed this before but Native American lands are not sovereign territories. They could be more closely described as a state, so they still fall under the federal government. They receive some special benefits that states don’t because of allegedly being wronged in the past by the US. There are no examples of foreign countries existing within US borders, having foreign nations exist within US borders is not a solution, it would be a problem.

To play along with the scenario a little bit, it's completely possible that in the case that you choose to secede your property from the US, the US government would be completely justified in restricting travel between your country and the US. So you would be leaving your family just as effectively as moving out of the country. Once again this method really solves nothing, and provides for a whole host of problems.

In addition to the above concerns, would someone be able to sell their property directly to another country if they have the right to secede? If they can there are obviously huge implications for why that's bad. But if they can't do that, why not? That implies that a person doesn't have full ownership of their property... Which would justify either of my 2 original stipulations (that land either has a contract that follows it indefinitely or that the public retains partial ownership of private property within it's borders). 

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