by Circe Cicero
When an association becomes intolerable, it should be dissolved, whether it is a couple’s abusive relationship or a subservient culture, region or people. Secession, either by an individual or as a group, is an exercise of the right of voluntary association.
Governments are not sacred institutions administrated by gods echoing wisdom from the hallowed halls of gleaming capitals. They are political bodies composed of associated, individual mortals. Government is an abstraction, like corporate personhood.
There are a number of political bodies currently discussing secession at the moment. Polling in Catalán repeatedly shows the majority voting in favor of secession from Spain (52%-57% for, 20%-36% against, depending on the source) due to cultural, linguistic and financial reasons. A date for the independence referendum was set by the government of Catalonia on November 9, 2014, despite protests from Madrid. To deny Catalán’s right to secession is to assert Spain’s right to domination.
Sardinia and Venice in Italy and Scotland in the United Kingdom are home to active movements pursuing secession for primarily financial reasons. “Financial reasons” sound greedy, but remember that the food in your belly, the clothes on your back and the roof over your head are typically paid for using money you have worked for.
In the United Kingdom and Greece, secession from the European Union (EU) is a popular topic, as evidenced by the electoral gains of the United Kingdom Independence Party and Golden Dawn (Greece). UKIP’s front page (www.ukip.org) states that 75% of the UK’s laws are now made in Brussels; Golden Dawn primarily ran on opposing the mandates from the EU following Greece’s debt implosion.
The tug of (hopefully not) war between Russia and Ukraine over “possession” of Crimea should be Crimea’s decision. Why? The decision affects Crimea first and foremost.
In the USA, Texas is home to the “Republic of Texas” organization promoting secession from the United States and a return to an independent Texas. A Supreme Court that dismisses National Security Agency issues and constitution-related cases, a corrupt Congress that bails out big banks and a President that ignores constitutional restrictions could be considered good reasons to secede.
If a nation is worried about a diminishing of power, resources or influence from seceding districts, it should be more worried about forcibly retaining people willing to rebel. The aforementioned secessionists want to leave because interlopers purport to know what’s best for them and treat them like pawns.
Catalán knows what’s best for Catalán, not Madrid.
Crimea knows what’s best for Crimea, not Kiev or Moscow.
Texas knows what’s best for Texas, not Washington, D.C.
Perhaps independence is a mistake for all of these examples; it’s their mistake to make. It is immoral for a group or individual to coerce any other group or individual. While might makes fact, it does not make right.