Tony Glaister, The Occidental Quarterly, Fall 2010
Editor’s Note: First published in The Occidental Quarterly over ten years ago, this essay is as relevant as ever.
Secession is an idea whose time has not yet come. But it is rapidly approaching. The idea that Whites should abandon attempts to “re-capture” their government and secede from it instead, has been in the air for a long time. Global demographic developments, developments with which readers will be familiar and which require no elaboration here, indicate that secession is a viable option, some might say the only viable option, for the survival of White peoples. I choose the term ‘secession” here because ‘separatism,” which might include simply racial division within a nation state, would take the debate too far. Secession is always a desperate step, and many more secessionist initiatives in history have failed than succeeded. Arrogance and complacency in this debate are unwise. Here are what I consider the key factors to be considered and questions to be answered by anyone projecting the secession of a people.
(1) Historical precedents. Those attempting a perilous or challenging enterprise (and White racial secession would be fraught with peril wherever and whenever it took place) should consider past failures and successes. In forgoing all reference to the lessons of experience, most writers on the subject of White secessionism omit what every successful scientist, artist, or military leader undertakes prior to composing concrete plans, namely to study the past and learn from it.
(2) Seeking friends and allies. Both history and common sense should tell us that a secessionist rebellion will almost certainly fail without the support of friends or allies. I can think of no secessionist movement in history which succeeded without the helping hand of the well-wishers, at home and abroad, inside and outside government. Dictating terms in advance betrays weakness. To give just one example of such weakness, Richard McCulloch, in an essay published in TOQ entitled “Separate or Die,” provides a list of the territories which a successful White state will allocate to non-Whites. The writer lays out in his essay “principles” as the writer calls them, of White secession. They read more like points in an ultimatum, the kind a winning party in a war might dictate to a beaten foe than as principles of any kind and include a listing of what territories White secessionists would allocate to non-Whites. This is not politics, it is posturing.
(3) Economics. What secessionist movement in history has not been profoundly rooted in and driven by economic forces? Secessionism and economics go hand in hand. Not only is realistic secession from an established state only politically viable if it is also economically viable, history shows us that secessionist struggles are inspired to a great degree, sometimes almost entirely, by economic factors. An understanding of the economic options open to the seceding state should therefore be a requirement of any program which expects to be taken seriously. Yet most contemporary writers on the subject of White secessionism hardly mention economics at all, an omission comparable to discussing a project to put people on Mars without doing the math. Separatism would require a deal of hard work and a deal of preparation. Anyone entertaining such a step needs to be clear in their answers to four fundamental questions: Why? How? Where? When?
For many the question “why?” is superfluous. They will answer with something similar to David Lane’s 14-word precept, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.” For them the White ethno-state is a matter of racial survival, but this “racial survival” answer will only satisfy a minority of idealists. That these idealists fail to understand the lack of general appeal of arguments based on racial survival explains much of their failure, past and present.
Racial survival is simply not a matter of concern to most Whites. The ethnic state as such offers no attraction to the majority of Whites for whom racial separation is not a priority or not even particularly desirable. At the same time, while not consciously in favor of separation, most Whites are not consciously in favor of a multi-racial society either. Miscegenation does not arise out of demand or need, but out of circumstances.
All else being equal, a White secessionist movement would receive little principled support from Whites as a proposition but also receive little principled opposition. As Eckhart Tolle might say, it is the
“power of now” which is at work here.
Secession is a geographical and economic declaration of identity which by its very nature requires at least the tacit approval of far more than the tiny number of the ideologically committed. I believe that the motivation to secede and the force that will drive people to it will be primarily economic — a matter of material survival. Irish nationalism was born of resentment at perceived injustice. Romantic attachment to a language or culture was provided by a small leadership. Had the British state behaved more sensitively — above all had its economic policies been different, Irish nationalism would have remained a minority’s romantic chimera. The Confederate States were declared in reaction to a perceived threat to a way of life and to certain ‘southern rights,” and to be able to continue to lead that life free of outside interference and regulation. This is the dilemma of all radical movements, a sort of Catch 22 situation. They will find more supporters and friends the more powerful and credible they become, but to become powerful and credible, they need friends. I do stress the word “principled” however. It is the support created out of tribulation and misery that the idealist leaders must rely on in to power a secessionist movement.
We tend to overestimate the power of idealism in retrospect because it is the idealists who lead from the front and who write history. The plodding foot-soldier of secessionist struggles was acting for more mundane reasons: prosperity and prospects, security, fairness, freedom from hunger, dignity and something to pass on to succeeding generations. When a group, consciously as a group, sees no option but to break away in order to achieve these aims because they cannot be achieved within the scope of the prevailing body politic, and when the group knows of a land where this can be realized, then and not before, a secessionist movement has been born.
This birth can only take place when personal economic circumstances are acute and when the prospects under the prevailing dispensation appear worse than the record of the past. When families cannot feed their children, when there are not hospitals or doctors available to help them, or they cannot afford such hospitals where they do exist, when they cannot provide for their children, or for their old age, then they will begin to look around for a flight from the old order and may even be prepared to fight to escape it.
For the first time in over half a century, there are signs of such dramatic economic deterioration. The past now looks better than the future. If this becomes a common perception, then the West will be entering an existential crisis, for Western and especially American awareness is an optimistic one at heart. When economic collapse no longer sounds like just another doomsday soapbox sermon but a reality, people will begin to look for alternatives. At the very least, governments are having to reassert more centralized economic authority, which will result in a reduction in the option for individuals of a quasi-economic autonomy within the state.
The mountains of debt which White majority-run governments are piling-up through borrowing to ward off the day of economic reckoning to a time beyond the span of any living politician’s political career and at the cost of future generations, provides chances to argue the economic case for secession. White secessionists will define themselves by refusing responsibility for debts incurred in the name of a government they do not recognize. A secessionist revolt will begin as the American Revolution began, as a tax revolt.
Most Whites are not interested in being told that Blacks have lower IQs than Whites. And if it is true, so what? It is an entirely different ball game when a White is refused a job in favor of a less qualified Black applicant in order to comply with racial quotas cooked up by a central government agency. Then the secessionist can proclaim: “Join us! In our state there will be choice by merit. There will be no racial quotas anyway because there will be no Blacks to benefit from quotas in the first place.”
A declaration of independence is a secessionist declaration, and such declarations by their nature comprehend a declaration of a separate identity. Ethnicity will follow from autarchy, not the reverse. Why? Because we no longer trust central government, no longer want it and no longer need it. When hundreds of thousands start thinking and feeling in this way, secession is in the air, not before.
HOW TO SECEDE?
Where geographical identity is easy to defend and “makes geographical sense” the chances of secessionist success are enhanced. The fact that Ireland is an island is hardly irrelevant if we ask ourselves why it successfully broke away from Westminster while Wales, Cornwall, and Scotland did not. Bangladesh began with the considerable advantage of being separated from West Pakistan by India, a nation well-disposed towards Bengali secessionism. West Pakistan and East Pakistan were united by religion (Islam), but their peoples were separated by culture, physical features, and 1,000 miles of Indian territory. Perceived unfairness (under-representation) also played a significant motivating role: 56 percent of the population resided in East Pakistan, but the West held the lion’s share of political and economic power. Secessionism is not for the faint-hearted. The violence which followed in the wake of the declaration of independence by Bangladesh cost up to a million lives. The secessionist movement succeeded thanks to geography and the political support of a foreign power.
The Confederacy was desperate for international recognition. Its failure to win this undoubtedly played a role in its downfall. The same was true of Biafra, which literally starved for lack of friends. How can a secessionist movement without friends hope to stand up against the onslaught of the state from which it is striving to break away?
Circumstances in the USA and Europe are very different. The United States is more monolithic and homogeneous than Europe, a fact which poses a serious obstacle to any attempt at secession. With their mostly weak sense of regional identity, North American Whites are without one of the most compelling motivating forces that could detach them from loyalty to their nation, namely a competing geographical identity and home. The only serious secessionist movement to date in North America, the Confederate States of America, grew out of a very strong cultural and geographical identity. Such identity will need to be rediscovered and rediscovered fast.
“Home is where you hang your hat” is an American proverb. Economically and culturally, the USA is still astonishingly homogeneous for its size, and that will be a great advantage for Washington if there is ever a secessionist challenge to be met.
Identity and economics are linked too. Secession can only take place in an area small enough to encompass a manageable revolt realistically but large enough for autarchy to be feasible. It is difficult to imagine how one is ‘separating” when one has no geographical point of identity and history: Kurdistan, Quebec, Bangladesh all have such history and geographical identity. A White secessionist movement should take note.
From the point of view of secessionist prospects, the USA offers one significant advantage over other regions with (still) majority White populations. Secession in the USA would be a revolt against the jurisdiction and even name of the ruling nation state requiring a new start, a new flag, a new national identity. In Europe secessionist identity is muddled and obscured by loyalty to an existing nation state. Cultural identity in Europe is to a significant extent associated with national identity, but breaking away from a venal government belongs to an American tradition. Secessionist rebellion is what created the United States in the first place. Stonewall Jackson called the decision by the Southern states to secede from the Union “the Second American Revolution.”
A new rebellion will be economic, by those convinced that they are better able to manage their own affairs without Washington’s help, Washington’s laws, and crucially, Washington’s taxes. To succeed in the US, secessionism must present the Federal government as a dangerous Leviathan whose embrace includes a fatally bad debt, a debt that secessionists refuse to pay because they refuse responsibility for it. This debt enslaves their children and their children’s children. To break away from the debt collector Whites must secede. They should no longer care a great deal what course the rest of the United States is taking. They simply want out, and wanting out means taking up a new flag and regarding the flag of the US, regardless of who waives or hoists it, as the flag of a foreign power.
Whites in the US are probably deluding themselves if they think they can achieve secession alone and unaided. Secessionist movements need friends and allies. Very roughly these can be put into one of three groups: friendly outside nations, support or complaisance given from within the ruling state, and other secessionist movements. What friendly outside nations could a White secessionist movement hope to have? Perhaps one day Russia, if Russia emerges as the last White-ruled world power, but this is highly speculative.
An ally (not exactly a friend) closer to hand would be Mexico. It is no secret that Mexican governments are not averse to advancing the Mexican frontier well beyond the Rio Grande. White secessionists should have no quarrel with that. As Hispanics tighten their grip on the southern United States, Whites secessionists retreating from those areas would be objectively helping them. The quid pro quo would be a manifest lack of Mexican government concern, interest, or support for Mexicans living in the White secessionist area. The benefits accruing to both parties would be gains at the expense of the territorial integrity of an unloved, unwanted, and unneeded United States of America. If Mexico exercised her claim to a large part of the Southern USA at the same time as White separatists exercised a claim to a section of the North, the USA would be facing a double challenge, hopefully undermined from within by subversives supportive of the Mexican cause or the White cause or (why not?) both causes.
White secession without friends or allies could only take place, if at all, under sufferance with secessionists tolerated like the Amish, under sufferance. The preliminary steps of a secessionist struggle would be to focus on the given future secessionist area and encourage a movement towards those areas by those wishing to be part of it, at the same time entering into amicable relationships with those of all races also seeking the subversion or break up of the United States of America. Specifically, this means an increased involvement in state or regional politics and a withdrawal from national politics and considerations. Contact, assistance, and advice should be sought from all and any who have an interest in the breakup of the North American monolith.
It is important that the White secessionist state offers an attractive alternative and is not seen as a flight into the hills. The failure of the Kurds to offer an attractive home base makes the Kurdish independence movements vulnerable to the tricks and blandishments of central authority. When the conservative Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised greater autonomy to Kurdish regions, thousands turned away from the secessionist PKK to vote for Erdogan’s AKP. Buying off a discontented group is an old trick, which is why secessionist movements need to offer attractive alternatives to the prevailing system at an early stage. As the British Independent newspaper noted many years ago about Welsh language campaigns, nothing would benefit the survival of the Welsh language more than its persecution because persecution would provoke a reaction in its favor. It is the same for any group: persecution heightens consciousness.
In Europe, White racial initiatives are only likely to succeed within small nations in revolt against perceived economic mismanagement at the center. This is and will continue to be the driving force of ethnic revolt in Europe, and it is no coincidence that racially conscious political parties tend to be much more successful in the small nations of Europe than in the large ones.
A White secessionist state anywhere in the world would be considered as a threat by centralist governments committed to the ideal of one world and their imposition of the New World Order. The only alternative to secession supported by a powerful outsider (as India was for Bangladesh) would be if many secessionist movements were moving in the same direction all over the world. If there is no friendly nation, if there is no support in government, if there are no comparable movements in revolt, if there are no well-disposed elements in government, a White separatist movement stands no chance of success.
After the collapse of Apartheid in South Africa, there were some attempts to set up a separate White ethnic state. But because of their racialist arrogance, those involved considered it beneath them to seek an alliance with the one major group that was also hostile to the ANC order, the Zulus. There is no talk of a White secessionist state in South Africa today.
Secessionist movements can and should be choosy about whom to include within the boundaries of their new state, but they should have no scruples about who their friends or allies might be in the big wide world outside it. Whoever can help them on their way should be very welcome, never mind their motives, their religion, or the color of their skin. This is Realpolitik, something lacking among those writing about White secession. White secessionists should extend the hand of friendship to all those who also seek regional autarchy and be modest enough to learn from everyone involved in the struggle — those who have won and those who have lost in the past. Where did the Tamil Tigers go wrong in Ceylon? What can we learn from their mistakes? What can we learn from the Kurds? From the Irish?
WHERE TO SECEDE?
All secessionist movements have a geographical point of reference, the core of their identity. If it reaches the point that it has physically broken away (temporarily at least), the secessionist state is to a very large extent defined in terms of its geographical location which quite literally provides it with an outline. This in its turn presupposes a sense of identity with a given region. To be successful and meaningful, a separatist entity must be economically autonomous, it must be viable.
In the world to come there is going to be a quasi-insatiable demand for raw materials, food, and clean water to sustain burgeoning populations. Nation states continue to deplete natural resources and have been complacent about growing populations, profligacy, and waste. Separation must include a high degree of self-sufficiency linked to friendship to chosen states, especially small, newly secessionist ones. Such states have themselves gone their own way towards self-sufficiency and ecological husbandry, typically because of the economic misery and desolation which the New World Order is creating. There must be a ‘where,’ but it should present itself not theoretically but organically, as a place which can be a home and which could be self-sufficient. In the USA this would presumably be in Alaska or somewhere in the Northwest or Northeast.
It should come as no surprise to see that historically, separatism tends to come to the fore when the economic prospects apart from the centralist state are better than those offered within it. Scottish nationalism received a great boost with the discovery of North Sea Oil. Italian regionalism or “Padanian” nationalism — viz the political project of the Lega Nord in Italian politics, which is implicitly and at times explicitly racialist — owes its success and centers its program on the decentralization of Italy, especially fiscal decentralization, so that the North will not have to subsidize the inefficiency, crime, and corruption of the Meridione.
The argument that we are paying taxes for others to waste — the argument that the central government is parasitic — is far more persuasive for the vast majority of people than claims of sinister conspiracies and “threats to White survival,” which sounds eccentric to most people if not outright cranky. But nobody finds it cranky to moan about wasted taxpayers’ money. The aim of secessionism is to galvanize that moaning and give it political voice. People know the government is draining them, living off them instead of for them. Telling the truth about taxes and not least hidden taxes, should be a consistent argument and cry of rebellion by every White secessionist movement. The propaganda aim is to make “financial corruption” and “central government” interchangeable terms. The time to preach that message is now. If the people consider change within the system as hopeless, they must begin to consider change beyond the system. The answer to the question of where will emerge at some point, but it is too early to pinpoint precisely. It will create itself. But it can be said that it will begin where the grumbles “you are wasting out money/we could do that better” have turned into a widespread call of desperation: “We are getting out of here. We are filing for divorce.”
WHEN TO SECEDE?
Put simply, secession will happen when large numbers of potential secessionists feel themselves trapped like rats, when they see no alternative. Secession is a drastic step. It amounts to an admission of failure, a failure to be represented effectively, a failure to work together, a failure to live together. Most people who write about secession and the creation of a new ethnic state, talk of having lost control of the original nation state and not being able to recapture it.
The most important kind of loss of control is economic. It is certainly possible for alienated groups, especially in our post-modern world, to retreat into some kind of cultural niche, where loyalty to a specific tradition may be tolerated as a personal (market) choice. Nevertheless, this desire to be economically self-sufficient will be perceived as an extremely serious threat to the political status quo. Economic independence can only be realized when a large number of people have answered “Why?” and “How?,” and when the economic situation is such that the central state is no longer capable of assuring full economic security to a large and identifiable part of its population.
The prerequisite for a successful secessionist movement is when a majority of the seceding people regard the government as unnecessary, unwelcome, in a word: foreign — when the head of state is perceived as the leader of a foreign power. To see him/her as such demands a certain detachment bordering on indifference to the activities of that foreign power. Too much commentary and interest in the ruling elite paradoxically indicates that the secessionist mentality is underdeveloped. Interest should be focused on seeking ways to withdraw from the foreign power, and as nicely as possible. But it must be backed with an iron fist if need be, and hopefully accompanied by the good wishes of hundreds of thousands of others around the world, to serve notice on the multi-racial state: “This people will no longer be with you and will no longer be part of you. This people declares before Almighty God and all the peoples of the Earth its sacred, inalienable right to secede.”