NAmerican Secessionist Movement Asleep-At-The-Wheel

It took just about a month for the mainstream media to catch up to a story on the disintegration of the United States. The story, by Russian Professor Igor Panarin, first broke on November 25, 2008 . I refer, of course, to the WSJ article which ran on December 29: As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

The WSJ article is getting a lot of play in the blogosphere. The original Izvestia story, as was covered by Global Futures, was touched on with a post in this blog and can be jumped to here (link to the original Global Futures article inclusive).

The motives for such an esteemed gatekeeper as the WSJ to run with this story is left to individual imaginations. It is safe to say that the determination of motive will vary with the degree of one’s political smarts and where one sits within the conspiracy cosmos, i.e. alternative interpretation of “the news.” The acknowledged role of the corporate media within such “conspiracy cosmos” goes without saying.

More to the point, the issue for the NAmerican secessionist movement (NASM) around this story is not if Professor Panarin is a nut job or to the degree, if any, that his theories on the break-up of the United States serve Russian propaganda purposes. The issue for the NASM here is the degree to which it has been caught with its pants down. By all rights, a representative body of the NASM should have been all over this story and the wide public attention it received like a dirty shirt; it should have been collecting PR premiums hand-over-fist via the positioning of the NASM in the public psyche.

Unfortunately, the NASM is asleep-at-the-wheel because it is currently structured to be asleep-at-the-wheel, i.e. there is no structure; there is no representative body. Within a context of political organization, the movement is straddled and limited by an uncoordinated gaggle of state/provincial and regional secessionist initiatives ranging from the politically astute and professional (Quebec, Vermont, The South, Texas, Alaska), to fledgling start-ups, to the ongoing competition amongst Cascadian organizations as to who can design the prettiest web site.

The Middlebury Institute, widely recognized as being the clearing house for secessionist news and information, makes no mention of the Panarin story. The American Secession Project is likewise out of the loop, which stands to reason as it seems that activity there has been dormant since 2007.

Perhaps the current state of the NASM is no better reflected than with the dismal flop of the recent Third North American Secessionist Convention.

After the major international media breakthroughs accomplished at the Second NAmerican Secessionist Convention held in Chattanooga, TN in 2007, the NASM took a step backwards with the Third NAmerican Secessionist Convention held this past November in Manchester, NH. For the media the convention was a non-event, possibly due to a combination of Obamamania, lack of interest (choreographed media boycotting of the convention possibly inclusive), and/or poorly executed press releases. Based on the haphazard organization, a majority no-show of secessionist organizations, lack of parliamentary procedure and decorum, and the tired parading of the usual secessionist “assets”  and ringers, one convention delegate opined that maybe it was just as well that the media were a no-show.

Attempts to pass the buck and tag individual scapegoats in the convention’s aftermath accomplish nothing, largely because such efforts occur in the vacuum of non-organization and non-accountability. A reasonable, objective and legitimate executive de-brief is not possible.

In all fairness, we all do best those things we do best within the context of the most precious non-renewable resource there is: time. The evolution of any social initiative always outgrows the limited resources and tightly-held agenda of the original pioneers; academic and visionary breakthroughs seldom make the transition to hardcore political organizing. If the organizational ball was dropped due to a lack of managerial skill sets and the non-option to delegate properly, then how is it possible to cast individual blame? It is, of course, not possible. It is an organizational problem, not the shortcomings of any one individual or even clique of individuals.

If, indeed, the NASM has in its collective mind the intent to harness a revolution of perception and consequent action amongst its autonomous, regional satellites for the full benefit of a Post-Peak Oil public, then the current organizational non-structure and general invisibility of the NASM will not suffice.

It is put forward for strong and serious consideration that the NASM must evolve in tandem with the historical condition. If not, then we may as well all grab our marbles and go home. To work towards the bankrupt political status of Green Party lobbying is not an option. Actually, as a responsible political force and voice, the NASM should be ahead of the unfolding condition; it should be able to pre-empt the condition in order to most effectively ensure its political positioning. As is, the condition, e.g. the entry onto the Post-Peak Oil slope, financial and economic meltdown, imperial over-reach, NWO geopolitics, etc., is outpacing the isolated managerial and political capacities of the NASM in leaps and bounds.

The onus falls on NAmerican autonomous secessionist organizations to make the democratic, coordinated and organizational efforts to catch up to the condition in order to reap full public relations benefits, to position the NASM in the NAmerican political psyche. The garnering of support and call for the creation of an organizational, coordinating and legally incorporated and registered body such as a North American Secessionist Congress may be the route to go. The necessity to do so would seem to be obvious and crucial. The will to do so, unfortunately, is another thing altogether.

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6 Comments

  1. Sebastian:

    Your analysis of the North American secessionist movement is right on target. Of all the secessionist bloggers out there, you seem to have the firmest grip on reality.

    After giving it some thought, I have posted a reply in The Ohio Republic.

    Harold D. Thomas

  2. I’m sorry that the conference wasn’t very productive for you. I agree that the credibility of the enterprise is diminished somewhat by including a number of fringe groups & play-acting “micronations.” I also wonder whether the decline in the number of groups attending had something to do with the fact that these conferences have not really accomplished a whole lot in the past to advance the idea. For better or worse, I think it’s in the nature of secessionist movements to focus on the particularities and distinctiveness of their own regions and to stress the unique authenticity of their own claims. Making common cause with other secessionists risks turning widespread breakup into a kind of universalist ideological stance, which is incomprehensible to the mass public.

  3. Jason:

    Re “I agree that the credibility of the enterprise is diminished somewhat by including a number of fringe groups & play-acting “micronations.” IMO, to one extent or another, all secessionist organizations are at this time fringe groups. These are early days; this is where we are; it is not a major problem. What is a major problem is how this fringe movement is “marketed” and positioned in the public political psyche. In a nutshell (and you need only resort to the history of NAmerican Greens for confirmation), once a political initiative is stroked with the brush of “flake” it is next to impossible to undo that label. Small and insignificant as the movement currently is, that does not preclude that its political management need be unprofessional and disorganized.

    Re “I also wonder whether the decline in the number of groups attending had something to do with the fact that these conferences have not really accomplished a whole lot in the past to advance the idea.” Exactly my point! Ditto above re above, ergo the need for a medium, with an executive consisting of regional representatives, to assume this responsibility. Let me ask you a simple question: How many chances does any organization get to make a first impression? The answer, of course, is one.

    Re “Making common cause with other secessionists risks turning widespread breakup into a kind of universalist ideological stance, which is incomprehensible to the mass public.” For me, this one is loaded. I’ll put some thought to it. Quickly, I would like to touch on the last two notions. Empire decline, financial and economic meltdown, Post-Peak Oil, etc. all fall under the umbrella of a type of “universalist ideological stance” IMO. For example, I am amazed at how the condition is open to both Christian interpretation and the most stringent Marxian dialectic. The mass public never “understands” the tow of historical dynamics; they react to these dynamics. The pending hardships on the horizon will not be understood, but they will be experienced and felt. The onus of any political philosophy/movement, especially a revolutionary one (a word that floats to the surface of the NAmerican political vocabulary with great difficulty) is to harness this dynamic, as it is perceived to be. Different political factions and philosophies will have different interpretations/perceptions. Is that not the challenge: to philosophically pre-empt the latent condition which awaits all of us on the horizon and then to harness that stallion of revolution…with all of its dire risks and consequences?

  4. I think the trouble with “the movement” is that successful political change is never really the result of ideological correctness, but of perceived self-interest. When Empire is doing well, and even after it’s shakey, people serve it out of self-interest – “to be on the winning side”, or “to be on the tough team”. When the South ceceded, it did so one state at a time, with a common purpose shared by the vast preponderance of its citizen population (never mind the slaves at that point).

    In Cascadia, there’s a growing perception that common interest and longstanding ties make the region a region, and that threats to the common good of the region need to be met regionally. This is a grassroots networking around issues (clearcutting, permaculture, transportation issues, etc.). However, making the jump to institutions requires the sort of funding and coercive structure that brings in people inimical to those grassroots. The best funded regional players are the very villains around which common opposition has enlivened regionalism: Weyerhaeuser, the military, the cement, construction and road building heavies.

    Microsoft is a major presence in Cascadia, and Bill Gates has expressed interest. His main issue (around which he has provided some initial funding): transportation. What happens when roadbuilding and port construction for Microsoft intersect with nuclear weapons and the paramilitary employee base of major lumber companies?

    By the time actual political power wed to the idea of regionalism, I’m concerned that the type of regional entity may be pretty distasteful. Many of the ex-Soviet republics testify to the type of power-grab we could expect. If there are positive lessons to learn from the Soviet breakup, we should get on them. By what means could existing oppressive entities be disempowered as the region took over from Empire?

    Just some thoughts, and thanks for sharing yours.

  5. eyeballs, re “Many of the ex-Soviet republics testify to the type of power-grab we could expect. If there are positive lessons to learn from the Soviet breakup, we should get on them. By what means could existing oppressive entities be disempowered as the region took over from Empire?”

    I agree. Your concerns, and so many, many more are the exact things that need to be brought to the secessionist movement’s table, so to speak. As to your final question, off the top of my head I would venture the following guess: in order to “disempower” such entities it is necessary to politically pre-empt their agenda with a grassroots secessionist agenda. How’s that?

  6. […] fails to understand (or purports to not understand) the several posts on my blogs beginning with NAmerican Secessionist Movement Asleep-At-The-Wheel dated January 9, 2009. (Email records for all of the above available on […]


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