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Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit! Texit?

The British voted to leave the EU.

I realize that the political structure of Britain within the EU is different than the political structure of Texas within the United States, but if Texas wanted to leave, from the perspective of human rights and the right of self determination, would a TEXIT be that much different than a BREXIT?

56 comments:

erp said...

The last time state(s) wanted to leave the union, it caused quite a stir. :-) Hope it doesn't come to that.

Bret said...

Yes, but should it cause a stir? Should people not have the right of self-determination? Should they be forced to submit to a distant entity for governance?

erp said...

... yes, when they've signed on to something as important as the Constitution, the process of disengaging should be long and arduous to avoid frivolity. I'd rather Texas stay on board and help oust the fascists and return our country to those who appreciate our values.

Bret said...

Ok, so people don't have the right of self-determination?

(Note that those who signed on the Constitution, as you say, have been dead for a long time and signed on to a very different interpretation of the Constitution).

Peter said...

Take it from a Canadian, there is only so far talk of abstract self-determination and logical consistency will take you on this question, in large part because there won't be general agreement on what sub-national or sub-multilateral unit has the legitimacy to decide, especially with a referendum. What if East Texas is overwhelmingly in favour of secession but the rest of Texas wants to stay by a small majority?

Bret said...

Ummm, since the vast majority of the population lives in East Texas (where Houston and Dallas are), I'd say the rest of Texas is either outta luck or could've negotiated ahead of time to not be included in self-determination.

So I'm hearing that people DON'T have the right to self-determination?

erp said...

If Texas leaves the union, it would become a Mexican state because those who want to remain American would leave. I doubt many would think that would be an improvement.

We drove all over Mexico and one side of the Rio Grande looks like the landscape of the moon and the other side is green and vibrant filled with people, cars, shopping, huge irrigation machines, miles and miles of crops ...

The pollution in Monterrey isn't to be believed. The mountains are practically obliterated from view. We saw women washing clothes in a muddy river within view of the white beachfront hotels of Acapulco. Driving through small villages, we saw women sweeping the dirt floors in front of their essentially thatched hut homes. A young girl all alone was selling birds in primitive cages at a stand at the side of the road to Brownsville miles and miles away from any habitation. We stopped and gave her all the Mexican money we had left, not a very large sum. She was so stunned, if she was told we came off one of the chariots of the gods, she would have believed it.

Peter said...

Sorry, Bret, my Texas geography is lousy. I meant to suggest a scenario where overwhelming pro-secession sentiment in one section results in a narrow majority overall even though most of the rest of the state is anti.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
So I'm hearing that people DON'T have the right to self-determination?
---

As with any other 'right', they only have real meaning when enforceable.

Since Texas will hardly win a war against the USA, they would only get to it through peaceful resistance. Which would only be possible if the TEXIT were nearly consensus among Texans.

I've read that,

"Today, the movement says it has advocates in most Texas counties and 200,000 members statewide (although those numbers are hard to verify and are just a small percentage of the state’s population of 26.9 million)."

It looks quite an uphill battle, if those numbers are right.

erp said...

Clovis, your link is to the Washington Post, not considered a creditable source and of course, self-determination is not possible for each individual as to the nature of his country's political system.

Harry Eagar said...

To answer your question, the official policy of the United States is that Kurds don't. Nor Vietnamese, Iraqis, Hawaiians, Samoans, Iranians, Chileans, Guatemalans . . ..

I could go on, but your question mystifies me. Do you think the US ever stood for self-determination?

erp said...

Harry, the above may be the most ridiculous of a long series of ridiculous comments you've made. What, in your lingo, is the definition of "self-determination"?

Harry Eagar said...

At a minimum, not having the United States overthrow your government

erp said...

... to what end did we overthrow all those governments?

Harry Eagar said...

Protecting ITT's profits, also Texaco, Chiquita, etc.

Bret said...

Harry asks: "Do you think the US ever stood for self-determination?"

No, but that's not my question.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "It[TEXIT] looks quite an uphill battle, if those numbers are right."

Uphill for sure, but not inconceivable. Back in 2009 (from your link), "if it were put to a vote, 75 percent of voters would decide to stay with the United States." I bet it's fewer now and the BREXIT might push that a long a bit.

Keep in mind my question is somewhat more hypothetical - I don't actually expect a TEXIT in my lifetime. It's just interesting to contemplate.

Harry Eagar said...

'No, but that's not my question.'

Wasn't it? It's not an individual choice; it's something that happens collectively.

Bret said...

Harry,

So if a group collectively wishes for self determination, ought it be allowed? (Note that "ought" is different than "is" and things that ought to be rights might be oppressed, trampled on, etc.)

For example, the Kurds. Ought they be allowed to rules themselves or ought they by under the oppressive thumb of Turkey till the end of time?

Harry Eagar said...


RtO has supported a free and independent Great Kurdistan and has for many years. This has had no effect. I think the US government should, too.

The Kurds have asserted their rights but -- surprise -- it hasn't worked because powerful interests oppose those rights.

Reality counts

Bret said...

So we're in agreement that it would be right for Kurds to have self-determination even though reality is oppressing and will probably continue to oppress the right of self-determination for the Kurds.

I believe that the Brits certainly have the right to leave the EU and that's looking possible (just the successful vote for the BREXIT is a looooong ways from meaning it will actually happen).

I believe that groups within the US also potentially have the right of self-determination. But I also agree that reality will almost certainly oppress that right if any group actually wished for self-determination.

Harry Eagar said...

Are we agreed about the Kurds? Aside from Kurds, very, very few people have expressed agreement with RtO's position.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

If that makes you happy, add me as favoring Kurdistan.

But unless you are willing to kick Turkey out of NATO, it is not happening.

----

Bret,

"I believe that groups within the US also potentially have the right of self-determination. But I also agree that reality will almost certainly oppress that right if any group actually wished for self-determination."

How big such a group ought to be in order to be taken seriously?

If you would like to declare your own home a country by itself, should you be free to do so?

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "How big such a group ought to be in order to be taken seriously?"

Obviously room for debate. But consider the population being around 10,000,000 or less for some countries that I think we'd agree have every right to be separate countries: Switzerland, Cuba, Czech, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Costa Rica, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia... The last three have populations of less than 3,000,000.

So I'd say one might start taking a group seriously at a few million. That's not to say that reality wouldn't get in the way and make it impossible for even a much larger group to not have self-determination. For example, the population of Texas is 30,000,000 and I agree that it's unlikely that Texas would be allowed to leave, even if every last Texan wished to do so.

On the other hand, I have to ask what it means for a group not to be allowed self-determination. Why not? The only reasons why not is to loot them, enslave them, or otherwise oppress them. Otherwise, let them go, no?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
For example, the population of Texas is 30,000,000 and I agree that it's unlikely that Texas would be allowed to leave, even if every last Texan wished to do so.
---

well, you surely know your country better than I, but I doubt the USA could keep Texas if every last Texan wished to secede. They wouldn't even need to fight, peaceful resistance would be their most powerful means to do so.


---
Why not? The only reasons why not is to loot them, enslave them, or otherwise oppress them. Otherwise, let them go, no?
---
Though it is true most of the time, let't not get so cynical just yet.

For example, I do not think the rest of the USA would object to Texas leaving due to any loss in taxes that would entail. Nor it looks like that you guys in California, or any other State, looks so interested in looting, enslaving and oppressing Texas. Or are you?

erp said...

Clovis, if conditions were so dire as to cause every Texan to vote to secede, there would millions of like-minded people in other parts of the country and it would a lot better for us to "throw the bums out" and and return to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness that is our birthright and the right of all like-minded legal immigrants who came here to become one of We, the People.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I doubt the USA could keep Texas if every last Texan wished to secede."

Maybe. A couple of nukes might deter them though.

Clovis wrote: "Or are you?"

Good question. Harry? Any input?

erp would apparently want to keep Texas to help "throw the bums out" but that's sort of oppression - making them pawns in a bigger political struggle.

I'll also try to ask other progressive friends why they wouldn't let Texas secede (if that's true - and I think it is) and get back to you.

Harry Eagar said...

I would be happy to dismember Turkey, as well as Iran (Syria and Iraq have already been done) in favor of the Kurds. Rump Turkey's membership in NATO would be a matter of indifference.

If you've followed RtO, there's more to it than the nationalism of the Kurds. There are 10 states in southwest Asia. There should be at least 19. Until there are 19, the chances of dragging that area up to the level of order and stability enjoyed by, say, Europe, are nil.

If some groups (anywhere, not jut southwest Asia) wish to associate themselves along national lines that include more than one language, religion, etc., fine. self-determination does not have to be a chopping of large into little. It could be associative. There have been many aspirational groups who worked along those lines, although not usually with success: UAR comes to mind.

erp said...

Harry, bbbbut globalism is the new name of the game.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I take from your view here that you believe the Civil War was a big mistake, right?

But since you often show a view of your country's past as a much more freer place, pray tell me, how could the North loot, enslave, or otherwise oppress the South?

Bret said...

Clovis,

In hindsight, I can't possibly argue that the civil war wasn't nearly certainly extremely beneficial to the world. It was obviously a little less beneficial to the several hundred thousand confederate soldiers who died, and perhaps the hundreds of thousands of southern women who were raped, and those in the south who lived out their shortened lives in a severely damaged economy.

On the other hand, if it weren't for the slavery thing, I would've let the south secede. With the slavery thing, I would've let the south secede if they agreed to free the slaves. Otherwise, I probably would've supported going to war even though the costs were staggering.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Getting to another topic, I would like to ask: may I finally do a guest post in this most beloved Blog?

I have a proposal to pose to our friends, and it will be better done at a thread for itself, I guess.

Bret said...

Clovis,

Of course you can post any time you like!

I use gmail.com and there I'm bretwallach (I will delete this comment after I hear from you to try to minimize spam).

I can add you to the list of bloggers once I have your email or if you'd prefer, just email me what you want to post and I'll do it for you.

Harry Eagar said...

As the great great grandnephew of the man who fired the third shot on Ft. Sumter, I'd like to suggest that it wasn't the North that started the war.

erp said...

... correct Harry and the war wasn't about slavery. It was about states' rights and started the unfortunate trend of the feds taking over just as the founders feared would happen.

Bret said...

Ft. Sumter was a northern/federal fort in southern territory, no? Thus, the occupants of the fort were "invaders." So sure, the south fired the first shots and instigated the war be seceding in the first place. But it was pretty clear the north was going to invade and certainly would've started the shooting part of the war if the south hadn't beat them to it.

Harry Eagar said...

Invade with what? You need to study the events more closely.

And the war was only about slavery.

It is amazing how little Americans know about their own history. It's almost as if they think it means nothing.

Howard said...

It is amazing how little Americans know about their own history. It's almost as if they think it means nothing.

So says the fellow who got upset at the mere suggestion that he read some history that was in conflict with his narrative.

erp said...

Here's why we don't have an informed citizenry by one who knows.

Bret said...

erp,

I'm pretty sure if schools decided to focus more on history, they would teach History according to Harry. Would that be better?

erp said...

Schools are teaching the narrative, not history. That's the problem.

Bret said...

History has always been written (and taught) by the winners. The progressives are currently the winners.

erp said...

Yep.��

Hey Skipper said...

… but if Texas wanted to leave, from the perspective of human rights and the right of self determination, would a TEXIT be that much different than a BREXIT?

The situations aren't even close to analogous, because the issue of self-determination is completely different.

[Bret:] Ok, so people don't have the right of self-determination?

Which people? Is it only the opinion of Texans that matters?

(Note that those who signed on the Constitution, as you say, have been dead for a long time and signed on to a very different interpretation of the Constitution)

That's the favorite argument of those, particularly progs, who wish to be rid of its shackles.

Unfortunately for them, the Constitution is a contract with no expiry date.

[harry:] To answer your question, the official policy of the United States is that Kurds don't. Nor Vietnamese, Iraqis, Hawaiians, Samoans, Iranians, Chileans, Guatemalans . . ..

Interesting what you left out. The South Koreans. And also interesting that, in your elision-fest, the South Vietnamese apparently had no preference worth noticing about being invaded with the support of China and Russia.

And then you stumble, once again, on your inability to use tense properly. What, exactly, is the US's position on Iraqi self-determination? Iranian?

RtO has supported a free and independent Great Kurdistan and has for many years. This has had no effect.

A walk through the depth of my dismay wouldn't get the soles of your shoes wet.

I think the US government should, too.

What you should be asking yourself is that why, presuming it is such a self-evidently good thing, what exactly the US's position is, and why it has it.

[Clovis:] Well, you surely know your country better than I, but I doubt the USA could keep Texas if every last Texan wished to secede. They wouldn't even need to fight, peaceful resistance would be their most powerful means to do so.

+11

It is an empty exercise to wonder about a Texit without considering context: what would it take to prompt a majority of Texans to want to leave the US?

Near as I can tell, any state could at any moment hold a referendum telling the rest of the US to pound sand, and from that moment refuse to send any tax money to the Federal Govt, or enforce federal laws.

However, that isn't quite the end of the affair. The Federal Govt would, among other things, set up border controls, and might very well refuse to allow free trade. Or continue to allow the state to be connected to the power grid, etc.

But other than that — which is on its own a fair amount — the US could do. I very much doubt the military would consent to become involved.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "Is it only the opinion of Texans that matters?"

Ummm, since we're discussing SELF determination, it would indeed be the SELFs who would determine who they are.

Hey Skipper wrote: "...the Constitution is a contract with no expiry date."

It, and the rule of law, were gutted a looooong time ago. And that is the reason I think that some would opt for self-determination if it were a realistic option (as you point out disallowing trade via borders and a naval blockade would kill Texas pretty quickly). And the EU "constitution" and bureaucracy are part of the reasons for the BREXIT.

So now you've taken it a bit further away from even self-determination. Someone born to a land MUST live under its constitution and laws or must leave the land and search for somewhere else that will allow them in? That's truly serfdom, no?

erp said...

Our Constitution says it cannot be changed by violent means, only by legal means as stipulated.

Hey Skipper said...

Ummm, since we're discussing SELF determination, it would indeed be the SELFs who would determine who they are.

You have imprisoned yourself in your own assumptions.

I hate arguing by analogy, but I am going to take the risk. One person in a marriage wants a divorce. According to you, that is an exercise in self determination, and the opinion of the other person might as well not exist. But since the consequences of divorce upon the person who wants to stay married are significant, just as the consequences of staying married are upon the person who wants out.

So why does self determination apply only to the person who wants out?

The marriage contract has two equal parties; the Constitution consists of multiple parties (each of the states, and the entire country). Why does Texas get to elevate its self determination above the rest?

It, and the rule of law, were gutted a looooong time ago.

Neither the Constitution nor the rule of law are adhered to perfectly, but I don't think they are any more gutted now than at any other time in history.

And the recent FBI decision isn't an example. Comey didn't say it directly, but the reasoning is loud and clear between the lines: no prosecutor would bring this case not because the evidence for indictment isn't there, but because no jury would convict Hilary, and the cost to the justice system of the exercise would be considerable.

The same thing could be said of the ACA cases before SCOTUS: the outcome in each was the least bad. Not because the Constitution is gutted, but because it does not exist without regard to the polis.

So now you've taken it a bit further away from even self-determination. Someone born to a land MUST live under its constitution and laws or must leave the land and search for somewhere else that will allow them in?

I have no idea how you arrived at that conclusion.

I think there are problems with your conception of self determination: it is totally one-sided. Beyond that, there is the question of how far self determination goes, or why it is defined by state boundaries. As Peter noted, one region of Texas might vote to stay. If they are forced to leave because the total number of votes in TX was to leave, then that region's self determination is denied.

The concept is not self evident, and shouldn't be treated as if it is.

Hey Skipper said...

And erp nails it: there are peaceful means to change the constitution.

If TX wants out, that is the place to start.

Harry Eagar said...

'History has always been written (and taught) by the winners.'

This is one of those things that everybody seems to accept as self-evident without checking to see. It isn't true.

For American history, the classic example is U.B Phillips, but there are others.

erp said...

... in what way is Phillips a loser?

Harry Eagar said...

He wrote the losers' version; the one you have adopted.

He was a winner personally; his phony history was dominant for two generations

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, let me see if I have this straight. A historian about whom no one has ever heard except for those who substitute name dropping for an argument disproves the truism that history is written by the winners.

Does "exception that proves the rule" mean anything to you?

erp said...

... the losers' version ... the one I have adopted???? Harry, I'm a little distracted right now and don't have the energy to ferret out what you mean by that statement.

Perhaps as a Public Service, you might give us the short version of the real skinny on history, how Phillips distorted it and how we got back on the right track.

Looking forward to reading about it.

Harry Eagar said...

U.B. Phillips is not a historian nobody has ever heard of. Wikipedia sez: "Together with his highly eloquent writing style, his new approach made him the most influential historian of the antebellum south."

erp and Skipper often repeat Phillipsian ideas, even if they do not know where they originated, for example that the cause of disunion was state rights. You know, te side that lost de wah



erp said...

Harry, states' rights were written into the Constitution by the FF and those of us who understand the issue do not need Phillips to clarify it.

Here in a nutshell is the issue: the Constitution spells out very clearly what responsibilities are federal and what are left to the states. Issues not spelled out revert to the states. Sorry, I used have this memorized, but now my memory doesn't serve for a direct quote, but that is the gist.

Even if something is grossly repellent like slavery doesn't mean it's a federal issue, but because of it, the feds have stuck their nose in where it doesn't belong until we have the hot mess we have today.

Hey Skipper said...

erp and Skipper often repeat Phillipsian ideas, even if they do not know where they originated, for example that the cause of disunion was state rights.

I won't speak for erp, but I will for me: you are lying. I have never said that. (Of course, should you be able to quote me on that point, then I will apologize profusely. I'm not worried.)

I've asked before, and though it hasn't done any good, I'll ask again: use direct quotes. It isn't hard.

Well, unless they don't exist, that is.