Americans, including Southerners, like to imagine themselves as moderates, middle-of-the roaders who are not radical in either political direction, reasonable and responsible people who obey the law and don’t cause trouble. Because of this, it is difficult to convince them that standing in the middle of the road sometimes can be dangerous. And staying in the middle, being reasonable, and not causing the powers-that-be any trouble is exactly what . . . well, the powers-that-be want. However, those who have dared look behind the manufactured (and false) news headlines know that all is not well with the regime. For those who will indeed see things as they are—the USA Patriot Act, drones, the federalization and militarization of law enforcement, the TSA, Homeland Security, etc., etc.—they are left to wonder whether they live in the reincarnation of Stalin’s USSR rather than in the good old land of the free and home of the brave. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and we are a blissful society if nothing else.

But here is the real deal. As the boot of centralized fascist-socialist tyranny pushes harder on our necks, we have three stark choices: 1) serfdom; 2) revolution; or 3) secession and independence. I would hope those reading this would have already omitted option number one from consideration.

However, serfdom will likely be the choice of the majority of Americans (and maybe even of my beloved fellow Southerners). Why? It is the easiest–and temporarily the safest–path. It requires one to do nothing out of the ordinary, to take no risks nor face any danger. Because most people like their bread and circuses and don’t want to be taken out of their comfortable day-to-day existence, they will chose serfdom and convince themselves it is the reasonable and even the patriotic thing to do. Others who might know better will choose this path because of fear. No one relishes the thought of a 3:00 a.m. door busting party by federal authorities.

The revolution option is infinitely better than serfdom, but it has its downside, too. Most revolutions, historically speaking, are bloody affairs that often, as it is said, “devour their own children.” Before you remind me of the successful American Revolution, please remember that that event was a secession movement against the British Empire and not a turning-of-the-world-upside-down as was the French Revolution. Modern revolutions normally degenerate very quickly into chaos. Before you advocate letting the revolution genie out of her bottle, know this: the Feds may be inept at most things, but they have proven themselves expert at killing people and destroying things. Yes, it may have to come down to an armed stand off; however, there is a better way than out-and-out revolution that leads to this point.

As a Southern nationalist since childhood (no kidding!), I prefer option three: secession and independence. Our States are historically the loci of ultimate temporal sovereignty within our federated, constitutional republic. The Founders intended it to be that way. My State of Alabama (or any of the fifty) can assert that sovereignty anytime it wishes by withdrawing from the voluntary union of the States united. By withdrawing (or seceding) through the action of its legislature or another body elected for that specific purpose, the State is on solid legal and moral ground. Our lesser magistrates would be doing exactly what they should to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the State’s citizens against the encroachment of tyranny. We here in Alabama have already done it once so we actually might not need to do it again! Perhaps we just need to reassert our independence and be done with the talk of legal secession. But that’s a theme for another article . . .

A proper prelude to secession might be Nullification and Interposition. If the federal Congress, the President, or the federal courts (or any combination of the three) should commit unconstitutional acts against the States and the citizens thereof, a State could simply declare that action, be it a law, an executive order, or a legal ruling, to be of no effect within the State’s borders. Should the feds press the issue (which they likely would), then the State government (again, the lesser magistrate) would have the duty to interpose itself between its citizens and the federal forces arrayed against them. This might take the form of the mobilization of a true State Militia (not the National Guard, which can be “federalized”). This is why you should take the right to keep and bear arms seriously.

The use of Nullification and Interposition (and a subsequent secession) might, it is true, lead to armed conflict just as revolution would. However, the former would have the force of history and law on its side whereas the latter, though justifiable, would be more desultory, disorganized, and chaotic. I think it’s always better, at least for as long as possible, to have some lawful and time-honored precedents on your side.

Under present circumstances, brought upon us by both major political parties and our own lack of vigilance, I don’t see any other options but the three I’ve briefly outlined above. Because serfdom is out for most of those who will read this, we had better think long and hard about the other two options. We will have to choose one. I pray we choose wisely.

As we are fond of saying in Alabama, Audemus jura nostra Defendere! We Dare Defend Our Rights!

Dr. Michael Hill
Killen, Alabama

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