What are your thoughts on secession?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,271
SoCal
#1
What are your thoughts on secession?

As for me, for the most part, I support secession. For instance, in the United States of America, I would support allowing any U.S. state which is not completely surrounded by U.S. territory to secede from the United States if a majority of the voters there genuinely want to do this. For instance, if secession will acquire 51+% of the total vote in California (and assuming that voter turnout wouldn't be super-low), then I would support the right of California to secede from the United States of America. The one exception that I would make is during the American Civil War--where I would have opposed secession due to the Southern U.S.'s staunch support of slavery.

I would apply the same logic to Israel. If an Arab-majority region or territory of Israel was not completely surrounded by Israel wanted to secede from Israel, I would support their right to do so (assuming that the pro-secession side would get 51+% of the total vote in a referendum which has significant turnout).

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think that it's a good idea to keep people inside of a country if they don't want to be there and if they can actually form a viable independent state. What's interesting is that when secession occurs, it is generally irreversible--for instance, take a look at the break-up of Austria-Hungary, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the break-up of Yugoslavia (though that was unfortunately extremely bloody--especially, but not only, in Bosnia), the break-up of British India (and the subsequent break-up of Pakistan), the Mongolian secession from China, the French withdrawal from Algeria, the abandonment of the European colonial empires (even though this techncially wouldn't be considered secession), et cetera. What this suggests is that secession--once established--develops a life of its own to the extent that a rollback of this secession becomes unthinkable.

I do think that, in certain cases, secession would be too much of a pain in the ass to realistically implement, though. For instance, the ethnic situation in Bosnia in 1991 was a hodgepodge of different nationalities and it would have been extremely difficult to adequately partition the country; thus, if I lived in Bosnia in 1991, I would have probably opposed secession. Still, sometimes secession can be accomplished pretty neatly and relatively peacefully--such as when the Soviet Union broke up. Thus, in many cases, my own strategy would be to support secession if there is the necessary demand for it but to work on making it as smooth and as peaceful as possible.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on secession?
 

RoryOMore

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,391
USA
#2
One thing I think is that anytime there is a secession vote, the rest of the country should be also vote about whether to eject the unhappy region. Too often, secession is just a tool to extract concessions. It wouldn't be used as such if the vote carried a very real possibility of separation from either side.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,271
SoCal
#3
One thing I think is that anytime there is a secession vote, the rest of the country should be also vote about whether to eject the unhappy region. Too often, secession is just a tool to extract concessions. It wouldn't be used as such if the vote carried a very real possibility of separation from either side.
Well, France did, in fact, do this with its vote in regards to Algerian independence in 1962:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Évian_Accords_referendum,_1962

It's certainly an interesting idea, but I'm not sure that it's a good one. After all, I am skeptical that most Russians (who made up a majority of the Soviet Union's population) would have voted in favor of independence for Ukraine and other Soviet SSRs.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,945
here
#4
Speaking as an American, I find any kind of talk of secession troublesome and disheartening. It's also kinda ironic or maybe hypocritical that so many people in this country that are calling for secession are folks who celebrate the 4th of July and claim to be patriots.

And sometimes there's a casual attitude towards the idea of secession that is too cosmopolitan for my tastes.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,271
SoCal
#5
Speaking as an American, I find any kind of talk of secession troublesome and disheartening. It's also kinda ironic or maybe hypocritical that so many people in this country that are calling for secession are folks who celebrate the 4th of July and claim to be patriots.

And sometimes there's a casual attitude towards the idea of secession that is too cosmopolitan for my tastes.
I actually agree with all of this. I personally think that secession from the US is a terrible idea as well as an unpatriotic one. As am immigrant to the U.S. from Israel myself, I strongly value this country for letting me and my family into this country and for what this country stands for. Nevertheless, I am willing to politically (as opposed to personally) support this idea if this idea will actually get enough support in a particular U.S. state which isn't completely surrounded by other U.S. states (I don't want to have an independent state which is completely surrounded by the U.S.).
 
Apr 2017
767
U.S.A.
#6
Unlimited succession could lead to the collapse of large states and the regression to city-states. Look at Italy, many regions have large movements for independence, their squandering the last 150 years of unity to revert back to disunity. Part of America's greatness is because multiple regions work together without all the red tape of different nations to obstruct it. If California were to become independent it would be a logistical nightmare. Their powergrid is fully integrated into the western grid, their reliant on many imports, their crop exports would be held up by customs. The US navy would have a severe crisis by losing its mainland pacific ports.
 
Feb 2016
4,179
Japan
#7
Self Determination... if they no longer want to be part of the US shouldn’t they be allowed to go.
Americans tend to support Scottish and Irish Independence.... so why deny it to Texans, or if New Mexico wanted to be Mexican(Not that I’m claiming Texans/New Mexicans currently want that.... it’s just for arguments sake).
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,271
SoCal
#8
Self Determination... if they no longer want to be part of the US shouldn’t they be allowed to go.
Americans tend to support Scottish and Irish Independence.... so why deny it to Texans, or if New Mexico wanted to be Mexican(Not that I’m claiming Texans/New Mexicans currently want that.... it’s just for arguments sake).
As my original post here indicates, I certainly support this provided that there is majority support in Texas, New Mexico, and/or et cetera for secession. I strongly wouldn't like it, but I don't think that the U.S. government should politically oppose such a move.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,271
SoCal
#9
Unlimited succession could lead to the collapse of large states and the regression to city-states. Look at Italy, many regions have large movements for independence, their squandering the last 150 years of unity to revert back to disunity. Part of America's greatness is because multiple regions work together without all the red tape of different nations to obstruct it. If California were to become independent it would be a logistical nightmare. Their powergrid is fully integrated into the western grid, their reliant on many imports, their crop exports would be held up by customs. The US navy would have a severe crisis by losing its mainland pacific ports.
The U.S. Navy can build new Pacific ports further north, though.

Also, I agree with you that secession of any part of the U.S. is a terrible idea. I'm just saying that I wouldn't politically oppose such a move.
 

Grimald

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
5,880
Hercynian Forest
#10
I suppose the question of secession has been answered in the United States once and for all with the Civil War - and I completely understand the logic behind it.

The United States is very different from European states, where secession is a hotly debated topic in many states. The identity of the United States is no longer based on ethnicity, a common ancestry, a common culture, or religion, but rather on a political idea (I still wonder how important language is though). Therefore, there is no reason to secede based on self-determination.

The United States are one of the most successful political entities of all time, why should anybody be allowed to endanger that, with an unknown outcome?

Also, on what level should secession be based? Only on state level? But why shouldn't it be also allowed on a sub-state level?

Maybe many Americans also have no idea of how privileged the geopolitical situation of their country is, with only two neighboring countries that are significantly weaker than the US and have overall friendly relations. All this could be destroyed by a series of secessions and break-ups. Even without an actual secession, the threat of secession alone could have deleterious consequences and lead to blackmailing between states and federal government, and an overall toxic political climate.

The situation in Europa is very different, not least because many borders have been drawn based on political and military power at a certain time point in the past, and not based on the will of the autochthonous people living there. Still, the principal model to solve these problems is not so much secession, but autonomy - although in some cases this may not be sufficient.
 

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