8 Comments


  1. I offered a sharp polemic and you kept your cool. By that I am surprised.

    I made the assumption that ‘right to secede’ as you used it meant, ‘right of a state to unilaterally walk away’. You use ‘right to secede’ to mean ‘right to secede if Congress is okay with that’, which is almost an oxymoron. To say someone has a ‘right’ to do something if it is approved by higher authorities doesn’t make it much of a right at all.

    But at least now I understand more of what you’re talking about.

    I must not be communicating my attack on your criticism of the Articles clearly enough. You said that the Articles were flawed because of their weak central government, a situation which almost lead to war.

    Criticizing your use of that logic, I pointed out that the same method could just as easily — no, more easily — be used to criticize the relatively stronger federal system of the US Constitution. I was turning around your approach back at you.

    To then take my example of your approach and call it my approach completely misses what I was getting at.

    The argument you use to demonstrate that autonomous states should not exist side by side is the exact same argument used by some to argue that autonomous nations should not exist side by side — that the world needs one strong central government. Now, this is not an accusation, but a question to help me understand what’s going on inside your head: Do you advocate a single world government to settle the conflicts which inevitably arise between sibling governments? Are not States subject to the same preventable problems as states? And if not, why not?

    In closing, I would love to tangle with you some time about that General Welfare clause. I think it might be fun, though your last sentence already looks so much like a surrender that we might not get anywhere.

    Reply

    1. Mitchell, the Constitution is the law of the land, the supreme law of the Land. It assigns rights, but they must be done in accordance with the Constitution. There is a process by which one enters the compact, therefore there must be a process to leave as well. This is a contract.

      Mitchell, you point is flawed, as I showed with my approach. The Articles, as was pointed on in the Federalist Papers (and some in the Anti-Federalist Paters) is a flawed system of government which creates no national cohesiveness. There is no easy way to redress grievances and no way to keep one state from actively violating the boundaries of another. The Constitution does that, but it always maintains that the compact must be protected. To say that anything that leads to something destruction must be done away with, is ludicrous. The Articles would have led to numerous wars. The Constitution didn’t lead to a war – a war was necessary to maintain it.

      Your last argument is, well, a stretch. You must remember that the Colonies were independent and then became sovereign States, which then became States united under a Federal Government. They were, in actuality, their own nation-states. The progression of social evolution in the American colonies led them to first assume the Confederation, and second, to assume, upon the complete failure of the Confederation, and with a real fear of turning into another Europe, the Federal Republic.

      Will humanity one day come to the idea that all sovereign States should be limited in their ability to attack one another by a strong central power? I would say so. Further, if you look at some of the writings from around the founding of the Republic, it was believed that this is the natural course of human activity. If I may wax biblically, we see this with the Tower of Babylon, from which we may timidly draw the comparison that humanity was not ready for a united Government under God, and only until God is ready, humanity will never have one.

      Considering that, unlike the 13 States, the current condition of the world completely negates the possibility that said Government would be reasonable, then no, I do not and will not advocate as such. I don’t even much care for the United Nations. The adage is true, I believe, that the best government is the government which governs least, with the focus being on governing and not least.

      Reply

  2. All right. I understand what you mean about right of secession. Not thrilled with the terminology, but I get it and it makes sense.

    I still think that to argue that ‘the Articles would have lead to numerous wars’ and ‘The Constitution didn’t lead to a war’ is quite a stretch. It uses something some people think would have happened as a strong argument while neutralizing something that actually did happen. It’s the exact opposite of an evidence based approach.

    But I suspect this little thread of discussion is drawing to an end, and that we’re in real danger of spinning round and round in circles and each saying the same thing over and over again.

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    1. Mitchell, think of it this way. Does our criminal code lead to criminal actions? Or would a lack of a criminal code lead to immoral actions?

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      1. I don’t think that one will help much at all, because I most definitely think our criminal code leads to criminal actions. Just as prohibitionism doubled our murder rate, so also our current ridiculous drug laws have helped turn our inner cities into cesspools of crime. And I strongly suspect that outlawing revenge killings has lead to much higher murder rates. The invention of copyright law has created entire networks of so-called lawbreakers.

        That’s probably not what you were going for at all, but to be honest I don’t really understand what you’re getting at that has anything to do with the Articles vs. the Constitiution.

        Reply

        1. Mitchell, drug laws not withstanding – does the law against murder contribute to murder? No. The Constitution was strong enough to prevent the wars which were about to erupt under the Articles. You see the difference, right? Laws do not contribute to crime. Not having laws, however, will.

          Reply

          1. I understand the general concept of what you’re saying. I just don’t buy it with regard to the Articles. You’re still arguing that the Constitution prevented wars which never happened, while arguing that the war fought over the Constitution was not caused by the Constitution. And I think that’s the point we’re not close to seeing eye to eye on — it’s why I think this thread has taken us well beyond the point of diminishing returns.


          2. Mitchell, I just posted something. Tell me what you think

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