The Scourge of Bigness: A Secessionist Primer By Thomas Naylor Instead of union, let us have disunion. Instead of fusing the small, let us dismember the big. Instead of creating fewer and larger states, let us create more and smaller ones. - Leopold Kohr During the Cold War, Ronald Reagan used to rail against the Soviet Union, which he affectionately referred to as the “evil empire.” After 9/11, George W. Bush warned us repeatedly of the perils of the “axis of evil” consisting of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Both portrayed America as the source of goodness and light in contrast to our demonic enemies enshrouded in darkness. The line had been drawn in the sand. Our very own empire, the U.S.A., with its foreign policy based on full-spectrum dominance and imperial overstretch, has become all too similar to its former nemesis the Soviet Union. Bush's axis of evil is no match for the unseemly combination of the United States, England, and Israel, the three countries most responsible for the immoral, illegal, and completely unjustified annihilation of Iraq. Is it possible that evilness is just a cover-up for the real issue? In his classic 1957 book, The Breakdown of Nations, read by virtually no one, Leopold Kohr said, “There seems only one cause behind all forms of social misery: bigness. It appears to be the one and only problem permeating all creation. Wherever something is wrong, something is too big.” Eleven of the nearly two hundred nations of the world have populations in excess of one hundred million people. In descending order of size they include China, India, United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Japan, and Mexico. Five of these countries have nuclear weapons and at least two more, Brazil and Japan, are flirting with the possibility. Again Kohr warns, “The danger of aggression arises spontaneously irrespective of nationality or disposition, the moment the power of the nation becomes so great that, in the estimate of its leaders, it has outgrown the power of its prospective adversaries.” And how do we respond to the problem of size? We create alliances such as the United Nations, WTO, European Union, and NATO that enable us to transform small local problems into giant global problems. Our propensity to unify knows no limit. It's hard to imagine a more impotent organization than the 193-member UN, which claims to represent all 6.3 billion people of the world. Not only was it unable to prevent a plethora of wars, but it was powerless to bring them to an early conclusion. The Bush administration appears to be committed to bringing down the UN, even though it is primarily an instrument of American foreign policy. But maybe all is not lost. The people of France and Holland defiantly rejected the 25-member European Union constitution, fearing a loss of sovereignty, culture, language, and economic independence. Britain's Tony Blair followed suit by refusing to even schedule a referendum to consider the issue. Hopefully, this combination of events may have dealt a lethal blow to the ill-conceived notion of a United States of Europe. Notwithstanding the European unification movement, Kirkpatrick Sale argues that separatist/independence movements have become much more important and widespread during the last half-century than unification schemes. He cites the UN, for example, which had only 51 nations in 1945. The implosion of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia are two examples of this tendency. Today there are separatist movements in over two dozen countries. The Basque region of Spain is but one of eleven regions in Spain calling for more autonomy. Catalonia and Valencia also have full-fledged separatist movements. Popular support for Quebec independence from Canada has risen to an unprecedented 54 percent as a result of a major corruption scandal in Ottawa. Other independence movements can be found in Lapland, Scotland, Sardinia, Sicily, Sudan, Congo, Kashmir, Russia, Kurdistan, British Columbia, and Mexico. In the words of Leopold Kohr, “A small-state world would not only solve the problems of social brutality and war; it would solve the problems of oppression and tyranny. It would solve all problems arising from power.” No country better illustrates the upside of Kohr's philosophy than tiny Switzerland, which is one of the wealthiest, most democratic, least violent nations in the world, with the most decentralized social welfare system. Founded in 1291, the Swiss Confederation may be the most sustainable nation-state of all time. Switzerland has not been involved in a foreign war since 1515 and has remained neutral since 1815. Although it recently joined the United Nations, it has avoided membership in NATO and the European Union. Interestingly enough, the U.S. has separatist movements in nearly half of its states, including Alaska, Hawaii, California, Texas, Puerto Rico, Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the eleven states of the Confederacy. Secession is a radical act of peaceful rebellion against government authority, grounded in fear and anger. Whether or not your state should consider seceding from the Union depends on your answers to the following eight questions: 1. Do you find it increasingly difficult to protect yourself from the debilitating effects of big government, big business, big markets, and big agriculture, who want all of us to be the same? 2. In addition to being too big, is our government too centralized, too powerful, too intrusive, too materialistic, and too unresponsive to the needs of individual citizens and small communities? 3. Has the U.S. Government lost its moral authority because it is owned, operated, and controlled by Corporate America? Are national and congressional elections bought and sold to the highest bidders? 4. Do we have a single political party in America, the Republican party, disguised as a two-party system? Is the Democratic party effectively brain dead, having had no new ideas since the 1960s? 5. Have you become disillusioned with corporate greed, the war on terrorism, homeland security, patriotic hype, the denial of civil liberties, pandering to the rich and powerful, environmental insensitivity, pseudo-religious drivel, and the culture of deceit? 6. Is American foreign policy, which is based on the doctrine of full-spectrum dominance, immoral, illegal, unconstitutional, and in violation of the UN Charter? 7. Does your state face the risk of terrorist attack and military conscription of its youth so long as it remains in the Union? 8. As a result of imperial overstretch, has the U.S. become unsustainable politically, economically, agriculturally, socially, culturally, and environmentally? Has it also become ungovernable and unfixable? If you answered all eight of these questions affirmatively, then you have a moral obligation to lead your state out of the Union. It matters not whether you live in a Red State or a Blue State, the categorical imperative to secede is absolutely inescapable. This is a wake-up call to reclaim your soul—to decouple from a truly evil empire whose power knows no limits.