Saturday, February 29, 2020

Wondering if I got the current status of secession wrong./ "American Secession" by F.H. Buckley

I had concluded that the secession movements in America were moribund unless Donald Trump lost re-election as president. I also tend to think that Donald Trump will get re-elected. So secession movements will have to wait until 2024 to get traction.

However, it was brought to my attention by a colleague the book, "American Secession" by F.H. Buckley.  It is published by Encounter Books and I am not sure  who they are. It seems like they are some type of conservative or neoconservative publisher of the Encounter for Culture and Education non-profit corporation. On the dust jacket, besides the author and title is the warning, "The Looming Threat of a National Breakup."

He is a Foundation Professor at George Mason University Scalia School of Law. He is senior editor at the conservative publiscation American Spectator, he has a column in the New York Post, and has written for a variety of prominent publications.

The author and the book has gotten some fair amount of coverage. Here are some links to news stories about the book.  This article is by F.H. Buckley.

C-Span had an article. Click on link to see all of the video.

In his New York Post article he says the United States is "overly big." He has neo-Confederate ideas about secession stating, "Originalists on the court might recall that the Framers at their 1787 Convention thought secession was very possible. Almost every delegate conceded that if one region or state wanted to leave the union, it was perfectly possible to do so."

But his focus is on liberal states seceding. 

I have noticed continuing discussion of secession elswhere. There was the idea that counties could secede from Virginia and join West Virginia. 

Here is a Feb. 29, 2020 article about secession in New York State. African Americans have risen to power in the New York State legislature and upstate conservative whites want to secede. 

It seems like a lot of rural areas want to secede and have their small populations get two U.S. Senators. 

Evidently the cause of rural areas seceding from their states is something being pushed by at least one conservative group.

The reason seems to be nothing more than they are on the losing side of an election. Before when they were winning it was fine to be in a big state, but now that they are losing they are whining they want their own state. 

I am sure these proponents for small rural states see the disportionate influence of states like North Dakota (pop. 760,000) and South Dakota (880,000) with the having 4 U.S. Senators, even though  their total is 1.6 million out of 327.8 million. They are over represented about eight times. 

Some elected officials seem to be lunatics on the issue such as the governor of Idaho. 

So I thought I need to re-think this secession issue. What was I missing? I came up with the following.

1. Trump is not seen as a sure thing for re-election. Maybe secessionists are reving up their movements thinking Trump is not going to be re-elected or maybe just preparing based on the chance that he might not be re-elected.  If there is a good possibility or an appreciable possibility perhaps some people will want to get involved in secession movements just in case. 

2. Some conservatives don't find Trump reactionary enough. Maybe since the country hasn't gone hard right or become a white dominated society yet, some conservatives and racist groups are thinking that they need to have secession to achieve their goals. I don't think this would drive the current revival of secession, though it might be a minor source driving secession talk. 

3. Some want to push liberals out of the nation to secure a conservative American future. This is what F.H. Buckley hints at when he suggests in his New York Post article, "Finally, there’s the president. I don’t think we’d see one who’d want to send in the Army to invade a state. Were he of the other party, he might even look at the electoral map and say, “Erring sister, depart in peace.” If California was an independent nation, the Republicans would have the electoral map locked up. On the other hand, California pays alot of tax money into the U.S. Treasury, is an economic powerhouse, and has a lot of the West Coast as its boundary.

However, I think that the above ideas of secession of a new nation aren't the only secession ideas that need to be considered. The revival of secessionist ideas may not to create a new nation but seize power in the existing nation. 

4. Subverting American democracy by forming rotten boroughs. The term "rotten borough" originates from 18th century politics in which there were boroughs that were very small but elected a member of parliment.  For example there was Old Sarum that had two members of parliment but only seven voters while Birmingham and Manchester had no MPs to represent them at all. See this British Library article. 

The thing is that a series of newly created states you could have the U.S. Senate permanently biased towards a conservative majority. Six states of totally rural populations would have twelve U.S. Senators.

There is no reason to believe if a few rural states were carved out of larger states, the effort would be restricted to just six. A quick look at a map would show that you could make two dozen rural states easily which would added 48 senators, and do it without losing any Republican dominated states. Of course the credibility of the American government of being some type of reasonable constitutional arrangement would be defunct in the cities, but I am sure elites and conservatives would justify it. 

I think that this prospect is what is perhaps behind the revival of American secession. 

5. Intimidation of a state government. The threat to secede might be used to intimidate a state government. I think that the Democrats are basically corporate types who dont' want a fuss and don't have the firmness of character to not be intimidated. I think the Malhuer Refugee crisis shows how the Democrats are basically gutless. 

It could be that now secession is a form of expression with bravado of an antipathy to state governments, but what starts out as a shout or bravado can be the first step to being for something in earnest later.

The fact that a member of the establishment, F.H. Buckley, law professor, columnist, not some person living in a tent or rural compound, has expressed this about secession works to legitimize it. 

I think we have reason to be concerned about secession. I have gone over some actions which can be taken against secession and I urge the reader to think of their own. I think that there should be an anti-secession group formed for every state in which there is currently a secession movement or might be a secession movement. I see it a sort of emergency preparation. To get some preliminary organization going, at least getting opponents of secession grouped together, with the sharing of some basic ideas, so an anti-secession movement doesn't have to start from zero if a crisis arises.  

Stephen D. Lee Conference Protested/ National and local news coverage.

Follow up post on the protests is at:

For the longest time the press didn't want to deal with neo-Confedeacy.

However, that has all changed with Charlottesville protest.

One big change is that fighting neo-Confederacy is in the news in mainstream media. Stories which would never of gotten covered are now getting coverage.

For example The Root which was owned by the people who owned the Washington Post and is now owned by Universion Communications has run this story about the Stephen D. Lee Conference in Raleigh, NC. The headline is, "What Better Way to Celebrate the Last Day of Black History Month Than ... a Confederacy Honoring the Confederacy?"

The popup tab says Hilton Hotels to Host Confederacy Conference. I am sure that isn't the branding the Hilton Hotel group wants.

Hilton Hotels is mentioned in the headline for this article in the Huffington Post. This article was also run on MSN news site. So it got fairly high national visibility.

Blavity has this article. Hilton Hotels mentioned. This is a newsite oriented towards the African American community.

It made the local major city daily. The Hilton Hotel is mentioned.

This is the bad publicity that a hotel chain really doesn't want. Also, imagine the employees that have to tell friends and family that they spent a few days being servants for neo-Confederates.

After awhile hotel chains are going to wonder if this is the image they want.

Completely wrong about Chronicles magazine

I did this blog.

I had said that Chronicles magazine, now run by the Charlemagne Institute had left the Confederacy behind.  I was totally wrong. Some links below.

This is the current issue.

The lead cover article is an attack, "Deconstructing the 1619 Project" article series by Brion McClanahan. He does the podcasts for the neo-Confederate Abbeville Institute. At one time he had some official position with them, but that disappeared from the Abbeville Institute website.

In his bio at the Chronicles magazine website it doesn't mention his involvement with the Abbeville Institute.

He does their podcast as well as some articles. You  can find them at this link.

These are his articlew at

There is a cover article, "The Great Debate: Lincoln's Legacy," by H.A. Scott Trask. He  contributed an article to Southern Patriot, Vol. 7 No. 2, April 2000 of the League of the South. Vol. 6 No. 4 says  he has joined Trinity  Christian College near Chicago, but that is July/August 1999. I can't vouch for the accuracy of this periodical.

These are some of his lectures and articles at the Abbeville Institute.

More stuff at Lew Rockwell.

Then there is a cover article, "Remembering Richard Weaver" which was the leading or one of the leading neo-Confederates of the 20th century, by Jay Langdale. You can listen to his lectures on Richard Weaver at the Abbeville Institute.

Three out of four cover articles are neo-Confederates in content by neo-Confederates..

The fourth cover article is "Remembering Albert Jay Nock," by Joseph R. Stromberg.  You can listen to his Abbeville Institute at this link.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Hard Right Websites using term "Neo-Confederate" as a term of derision

You know that neo-Confederacy and the Lost Cause are crashing when hard right commentators are using the term "neo-Confederate" as a term of derision.

This is the headline for an item on the Daily Wire.

WATCH: Hammer On ‘Tipping Point With Liz Wheeler’: Sanctuary Cities Are ‘Neo-Confederate’

Of course the idea of sanctuary cities, countiers and states comes from the ideas of nullification and that derives from John C. Calhoun. So it is a neo-Confederate idea.

What is interesting about this is that the Confederacy is being rejected across the political spectrum. Of course there are still a few hangers on for the Confederacy. Regnery Press for one.

However, Breitbart had dumped the Confederacy as well as American Conservative.

I am not sure what is the reason for the political right dumping the Confederacy and neo-Confederate ideology.  I think basically with Donald Trump as president secession and neo-Confederacy is anti-Trump. Also, Trumps re-election hinges on getting about 10 to 20 percent of the African American vote. There is this whole "Blexit" thing which is about African Americans leaving the Democratic Party. Trump doesn't have to get the majority of African American votes, he just needs to do somewhat better than 5% as in the last election.

Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech made reference to individuals and events in African American history. One Democrat operative warned the Democrats that Trump's efforts to attract African Americans has real potential.

It is one thing for the leftist, liberal or neoliberal press to denounce the Confederacy, it is another for mostly white conservative groups to not only reject the Confederacy, but use the Confederacy as a source of derision as if it is understood already as a bad thing.

The Lost Cause is really crumbling and neo-Confederacy is crumbling.

I am still supplying journalists with information regarding conservatives who are tainted with neo-Confederacy, but they are fewer and fewer and more and more obscure individuals.

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