A symposium in the latest issue Chronicles magazine on the state of the union features a piece by Editor in Chief Paul Gottfried calling for something closely resembling what I and my colleague R. Cort Kirkwood at American Remnant have called internal secession—separating ourselves as much as possible from the globalist regime.
The best solution, given the circumstances, is peaceful separation, a solution that can be undertaken in stages even if it cannot be achieved all at once. If Americans committed to opposing the tyrannical left can be induced to settle in common areas and if they can control local and regional administrations, then their living situation should be far from hopeless. The regime’s opponents will be in an optimal position to respond to unwelcome directives from the central state. They can simply avoid enforcing them. If this practice spreads to enough places, it will be hard for the administrative state to impose its unitary will without facing multiple challenges.
Americans moving to areas more congenial to their values—or what I have called “the big sort”—could play an important role in organizing a resistance, Gottfried notes. This could also be what former Mises Institute President Jeff Deist has called a “soft secession.” Gottfried further endorses another position I have taken: He writes that red states must prevent leftist blue staters, who bring their political attitudes with them when they leave the disasters they have helped create elsewhere, from taking over red states:
It may be that red states adopting bans or sharp restrictions on abortion and supporting gun ownership rights will have a leg up in the game, as those issues are particularly toxic for committed leftists. Nevertheless, additional steps will likely be necessary to prevent an influx of leftists who carry their woke ideology with them like the “plague bacillus” of Bolshevism (Winston Churchill’s memorable phrase) transported on the train that carried Lenin back to Russia.
Regulating who settles in woke-free areas will be necessary to protect these outposts of freedom from infiltration. Therefore, any attempt by the central administration to tamper with this situation (probably by invoking the Fourteenth Amendment) must be doggedly opposed.
Whatever we do to regulate the flow of leftists, the time to initiate a national divorce has come. Counting on traditional horse race politics at the national level is futile. Among the reasons are the demographic transformation of the country, the adherence of a significant portion of the country’s core population to leftism, and the fact that our side has no channels for training and placing people in influential positions within the machinery of the corporate and government bureaucracy.
I see no reason to believe that a second Trump term—assuming he would be allowed to take office should he win—would be any different than the first. Ron DeSantis would likely be far more competent than Trump, but he would face the same full-scale resistance from the swamp Trump did. We cannot place our bets on political saviors any longer. We ought to focus our efforts elsewhere.
In 2019, I wrote in Chronicles that we had reached what I called “the end of politics”:
Politics are over in America. Political maneuvering will go on, of course, but the old civics-class view of American political life was based on a set of assumptions that are no longer operative.… Politics no longer are concerned with mere policy—which can be bargained over within a procedural framework that once included shared cultural assumptions. Now politicians debate the most fundamental moral and social issues of society and culture, including the legitimacy of the American polity as such, the value of human life, even the definitions of gender, sex, and marriage. Tax policy and healthcare policy are the sorts of things that can conceivably be worked out in committee. Fundamental disagreements over the foundational elements of civilization cannot…
A nascent Middle American resistance is taking shape in the form of “pockets of local resistance” and organizing this into a movement remains necessary to protect ourselves.
The paleoconservative strategy of the 1990s, as most fully articulated by the late Sam Francis, was to harness a “Middle American Revolution” to a presidential candidate who actually reflected the convictions and interests of our people. The aim, at least partly, was to seize the commanding heights of the political system. To be sure, Francis thought seizing the presidency would not be enough, as a genuine right needed to develop a social and cultural base upon which it could stand. But that was more than 30 years ago.
Today, demographic shifts, cultural and ideological indoctrination by mass media and the educational establishment, and the complete left/globalist takeover of the government bureaucracy (something I watched happen as an employee of the Leviathan over more than three decades), make such a strategy untenable. The cultural, demographic, and even geographic base for such a Middle American Revolution have been diminished and eroded considerably since then. In short, we will not vote ourselves out of this.
I am not advocating abandoning national politics altogether. If we can get anything at that level, even if it’s only what the mainstream right has done in the past, acting as weak brake on the leftward advance, it would be helpful. But that should not be our chief focus. In a 2005 Chronicles column on what he called “anarcho-tyranny,” Francis acknowledged that things had gotten very out of hand:
As long as those who recognize that there is something at all wrong with the system think it is only a kind of glitch—the result of corruption, typical bureaucratic inefficiency, or decadence, etc.—then they will think it can be “fixed” through conventional political means. Just kick the bums out and elect a new set of good honest Republicans and movement conservatives who read National Review, and all will be well…Everything is OK…Of course, everything is not OK, because anarcho-tyranny is the system itself, not just a problem in the system…
If not conventional politics, then what? Gottfried brought up the appearance of a diffuse and scattered, but active American resistance across the country, a resistance that must be unified in order to be effective:
An effective resistance to this march toward totalitarianism may be arising in the United States, which is the world’s dominant political and economic power. Unlike most other Western countries, there is a sizable resistance force here, perhaps as high as 40 to 50 percent. … America’s right-wing resistance must become a culturally unified opposition if it hopes to make headway.
I have long argued that the real right is leaving a $100 bill laying on the sidewalk in the form of a nascent Middle American resistance. In 2020, with all the turbulence unleashed during the Summer of Floyd and the COVID lockdowns, I noted a series of counterprotests—in my own state, to protect Confederate monuments and the Alamo, the symbol of Texan identity—pointed the way for any leaders willing to take the next step:
Indeed, the seeds of a full-blown counter revolution are scattered around the country … in the police officers who came down with the “blue flu” in Atlanta … in the truckers who have declared they won’t deliver to cities that defund the police … in county sheriffs who have defied gun-grabbing state governments … in the popular resistance to draconian gubernatorial “mask” decrees … in rumblings of counties from Virginia to California about secession from tyrannical metropolitan areas … in numerous individual acts of self-defense or the men who defended the Alamo. A leader, or group of leaders, must organize these scattered resisters and counter the Blob through coordinated and purposeful action. The strategic objective is defending our people by carving out havens for Middle Americans to live their lives as they see fit. … Who, then, will take the next step?
Add to that list of resistance efforts parents pushing back against critical race theory in our schools and state governors, led in part by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, pushing back against the administration’s open border policy. The border battle is of critical importance. If we do not stop the flow of “migrants” entering the country, our relative numbers will continue to rapidly diminish, along with our prospects for preserving a place for our people.
Who, indeed, will take the next critical step?