As our audience is growing a bit, I am going to start a page defining terms we throw around, but perhaps don’t have a well agreed upon mutual understanding. Terms like patriot, partisan and redoubting. I will start with soft secession because as far as I can tell I invented the term. This definition will be obviously much longer than most because this concept is not as well known. I define soft secession as informally withdrawing in some way from active participation in a socioeconomic system for the purpose of living a more independent life while forcing that system to change or collapse. Another way to describe soft secession is an informal network of small actions taken on a personal level to live a more self-sufficient life and degrade a socioeconomic system.
We use the term “soft” to indicate it is may not be obvious or direct confirmation with the socioeconomic system. We use the term secession because it best describes the idea of intentionally withdrawing support for a socioeconomic system on an individual or small group level. This is secession at the personal level. Soft secession requires implementing and supporting an alternative socioeconomic system. This is not simply sleeping in an RV filled with ammo and MREs. That is simply taking yourself off the board.
Soft secession is being as secessionists as possible on the individual level without crossing the line and going directly to jail or being immediately killed in the street. Soft secession is to secession, what a work slowdown is to a strike. The objective is the same, the means may be somewhat less direct. Soft secession often calls for you to withdraw your support from a larger system, say the federal government and its laws, while remaining very active in your local community. However, you defined “local.” As my civil rights activist mother taught me before I could walk “…think globally, act locally.” The way I came up with this term is almost an interesting story so I will share it.
I use to listen to a radio talk show host named Mark Levin “the great one” daily on my long commute home. I have a different commute so I only catch his show sometimes now. Mark Levin is a fairly smart guy, who is very politically conservative. Mark Levin has a reoccurring theme on his show called soft tyranny or soft despotism to describe the hybrid mutated “Bourgeois socialist,” crony capitalistic, administrative, surveillance and police state that America has become. Alexis de Tocqueville who invented the term soft tyranny and soft despotism describes it as a system that “gives people the illusion that they are in control, when in fact they have very little influence over their government. Soft despotism breeds fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the general populace.” Alexis de Tocqueville observed that this trend was avoided in America only by the “habits of the heart” of its 19th-century populace.
It is called “soft” implying it is not as obvious as “hard” tyranny. “Hard tyranny is blatant and indisputable, where “soft” tyranny is cloaked and obscure and foisted upon an unwitting and unknowing public. We can certainly feel it’s effects, but can’t quite put our finger on the pulse of it.” Patch.com.
For most voting middle-class Americans, America is not an overt tyrannical police state. However, a growing number people are running into many forms of soft tyranny implemented through ever increasing laws and regulations. Simply search Jackboot on this site for many examples. Alexis de Tocqueville describes a soft tyranny / soft despotism as “It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute, and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting.” Few doubt that the modern American soft despotism has created a “turn-key” police state. What few seem to understand is that key is turned when the State wants it to be, it is called selective enforcement.
As I sat in traffic listening to Mark day after day, I would ask myself, short of having a violent secessionist movement today what could I do? I begin to make a mental list of actions I could legally take to withdraw from this soft tyrannical system and to withhold my support from it by using the freedoms left to us. Eventually, I hit upon the term and realized that soft secession is one answer to soft tyranny.
In my opinion, the civil rights bus boycott was a form of soft secession from a system that was exploitative. Instead of using a corrupt busing system, the people would choose to walk to work, to carpool, and taxis would provide rides at cost. They took personal responsibility and withdrew their active support for a government system they disagreed with. They did not wait around until the “immoral bus system failed on its own.” These people would rather personally sacrifice in a legal way that caused the corrupt busing system to collapse, change or at minimal withdrawing their active support. If you want to change the system, you are responsible for changing it. Are you willing to walk to work every day, in the defense of liberty? This was not civil disobedience. There was not a civil law mandating the use of the bus system; this was a boycott for a political purpose. My view is that boycotts have their place, but soft secession is much more than boycotts. Some of the most popular focuses of soft secession include, but not limited to the following areas
1. Rejecting rampant consumerism – and crony capitalism
2. Cloistering away from authoritarian progressive anti-Christian bigots
3. Food security – the fight for locally produced beyond organic food
4. Avoiding the use of debt and “too big to fail” banks
5. Withdrawing from public education, homeschooling, private and charter schools
I have met both very liberal and conservative people who are living examples of soft secession. I have not met any statist or authoritarians who support soft secession. I once attended a camping class run by neo-hippies, anarchist and pagans deep in the Appalachian mountains. They are back-to-the-earth more socially progressives. When I was there, I attempted to buy a bottle of home made “mead” from a hippy as I had forgotten to stock up on booze after traveling to attend this week long camping and skill building course. He refused. He said that his personal beliefs were to avoid using money as much as possible. He lived by barter as much as possible. He claimed he had lived this way in the Appalachian Mountains so long, he would not even know how to value the mead in cash. He had stuff, and he needed other stuff, and that is how he lived. I was struck by his personal conviction.
I have met very conservative people who also are also withdrawing from societies they do not agree with. The notable growth in homeschooling parents is one example of a “more conservative” form of soft secession. Did you know in the homeschooling setting the difference in performance between minority students and whites disappear? It is impressive to me to see such a large number of people flee high tax places like Detroit, Chicago, California and New York. Many of these people who leave high tax states for low tax states are, for the purpose of avoiding those taxes in my opinion implementing a form of soft secession. They are voting with their feet. When you see Wyoming Catholic College or Hillsdale College, refuse to take part in the Federal student aid program this is a form of soft secession. The American Redoubt movement which encourages people to move to deep red low population states including Idaho, Wyoming and Montana for the purpose of driving those states more to the Right is obviously a form of soft secession.
Other examples of soft secession are, being as aggressive with taxes as legally possible, without being put into debtors prison, withdrawing from the “too big to fail” banking sector, use Credit Unions if you must, participating in local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and stop buying poison food pump full of GMO, antibiotics and growth hormones. Supporting locally produce services and products even if those American made products cost more than the slave-labor overseas created products. Other examples include the growth in the self-reliance movement including urban gardens, homesteading and the new focus on the personal generation of electric power. Other people invest in fair-trade environmentally responsible companies that agree with your morals. One of the easiest ways to implement soft secession in your life simply use cash for the majority of your purchases. This takes you a little bit off the grid, and you provide that business or worker a 3% increase in profits simply by using cash. You also deny “too big to fail” banks a significant stream of revenue. Some call for a tax strike. That is their right. However do you know what would happen if 10% of the people simply withdrew their money from the banks, and stopped using debit and credit cards? The banking system would either collapse or drastically change. There is no civil law that mandates you to use the corrupt banking system. Using cash is a lot easier than walking 20 miles to work.
Even States are getting in on the soft secession concept. When California refuses to enforce federal immigration laws because “they don’t agree with them.” When Washington State refuses to enforce federal drug laws because “they don’t agree with them.” Then Wyoming can choose not to enforce federal gun laws because “they don’t agree with them.” And Texas can close 90% of its abortion clinics through State law because “they don’t agree with the killing of the unborn.” None of these states are currently trying to secede from the Union, but each of them in their way is deciding simply not to obey the union in matters their local people feel strongly about. We have not “declared” a war since War World II. Perhaps the coming “troubles” will also not be declared. This “soft” anti-federal movement may continue at the State level.
I encourage all people who don’t agree with the way our country is going to look at how you can personally withdraw your support from it. If you want Christianity and liberty to survive, you are personally responsible with finding some way to demonstrate your non-compliance to this post-Christian socioeconomic system. Let soft secession cover the surface of our society with a network of small actions of protest, self-reliance and noncompliance, through which original minds and energetic characters can flourish in some way. Let soft secession strengthen and free the will of man, and encourage him to act.