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The Calhoun Review, Issue 1, Volume I, 2016 – Secession and Devolution in Contemporary Geopolitical Theory

Authors:
  • The Calhoun Institute

Abstract

In this inaugural issue of The Calhoun Review we examine the topic of secession, particularly as it applies to contemporary political discussions in the US and internationally. In the standard narrative of US history, particularly as told over the last 30-40 years, Calhoun was the godfather of secession which lead to a war and was proven a flawed and illegitimate concept.
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Winter 2016
Volume 1, Issue 1
The Calhoun Institute, www.calhouninstitute.com
Publisher
The Calhoun Institute
Abbeville, SC
Editor:
Barry Lee Clark
The Calhoun Review
3
Secession and Devolution in Contemporary
Geopolitics
In this inaugural issue of The Calhoun
Review we examine the topic of
secession, particularly as it applies to
contemporary political discussions in the
US and internationally. In the standard
narrative of US history, particularly as told
over the last 30-40 years, Calhoun was
the godfather of secession which leads
to a war and was proven a flawed and
illegitimate concept.
If we accept the common story that
Calhoun was the godfather of secession,
then his legacy is powerful indeed as
numerous successful acts of secession
occurred either in his lifetime or after
and movements toward devolution
continue around the world today. Texas
seceded from Mexico, Finland from the
USSR, the Balkan states from the USSR
followed by several other SSR states, and
Sweden from Norway, etc. Currently,
there are several secessionist
movements, varying in popular support,
active across the globe.
Of course as powerful as the philosophy
of Calhoun may be, his words are not
the genesis of the entire concept; self-
determination and self-rule might be
traced as far back at 1648 with the idea
that sovereignty belonged to the
people, not the king (government).
Calhoun merely articulated the concept
of a right relation to the governed to
their government within a representative
republic in a Burkean style in his time
and place. The fact that others since
and still come to many of the same
conclusions serves to point out that
perhaps there was more validity to his
words than what is taught currently in
public schools and universities. In this
issue we examine opinions by:
Rivka Weill in “Holey Union” points out
the disparity between the interpretation
of constitutional law and the
implementation of the said law. In the
United States the implementation of the
law, as applied through legal realist
jurisprudence and case law, have
made the actual meaning of the
Constitution incomprehensible to the
ordinary, educated citizen; one
cannot simply read the words, as
plainly written, and understand what
that document currently means.
Igor Calzada in “What Do We Talk
About When We Talk About Political
Innovation in the Age of Devolution?”,
discusses devolution, specifically in
Europe and more specifically in terms
of city-states, in what he calls the “age
of devolution”.
Edward Stiglitz in “Folk Theories,
Dynamic Pluralism, and Democratic
Values”, examines the relationship
between electoral accountability and
innovations relating to one such
offensive institution -- the legislative
veto -- in the context of the American
states between 1950-2010.
Kalevi Holsti in Introduction on the
‘State of the State’, discusses the long
list of civil wars, wars of secession,
genocides, ethnic and religious armed
strife, and politicides since 1945 is
accounted for primarily by the
relations between governments and
the socially complex societies over
which they rule.
Steven Wheatley in “Recognition and
secessionist in the complex
environment of world politics”
questions whether the incoherence in
the doctrine and practice on external
self-determination is the result of
international lawyers using the wrong
conceptual tools.
Aziz Sheikhani in “Secession’s Theory
(Remedial Right Only Theories)” argues
that to ease conflicts and nationalist
tensions in the world, it should be
taken that people have the right to
have their own state.
Finally, James A. Bayard, a
congressman from
Delaware, provides explicit
examples of what Weill
describes in his argument.
The Calhoun Review
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Holey Union: The Constitutional Paradox of
Secession
The notion that because a
constitution is silent on secession
does invalidate the concept. The
very ideal of consent of the
governed and democratic
representation serves as a first
principle, higher than
constitutions that seek to codify
relationships and forms of
government.
Abstract: “There are secessionist
movements in all parts of the
world, encompassing both
democratic and non-
democratic countries. It is
typically thought that this
important phenomenon is
regulated by international law
alone. But, this article argues that
when looking anew at
constitutional law through the
lens of secession, democracies’
weak spots are revealed. While
political actors and scholars
traditionally believe that bans on
political parties ('militant
democracy') and constitutional
eternity clauses
(`unconstitutional constitutional
amendment`) are used and
justified to protect democratic
values alone, they are in fact
also used to fight against
secession. Democracies have
been able to conceal their fight
against secessionists, by creating
a large gap between “the law
on the books” and “the law as
practiced.” This raises paradoxes
so extreme, the democracies
begin to appear to be using the
tools of authoritarian regimes. In
addition to exposing the facts on
the grounds, the article also makes
two normative claims: First, it argues
that secession reveals the ways in
which both doctrinesthe ban and
eternity clausesare inextricably
intertwined. This assertion is general
and goes beyond the secession
context. Second, the article argues
that secession is helpful in revealing
the intricate relationship between
constitution-making and
constitution-amending powers.
Even those who hold that the
power to amend the Constitution
should be treated as equal to the
constitution-making power may
find that an exception is needed in
the secession context. Secession
may be regarded as an
annihilation of the Constitution
because it redefines the sovereign
bodies. As such, secession
necessitates extra-constitutional
mechanisms. Contrary to the
prevailing understanding that it is
sufficient to garner the support of
the seceding population, secession
may require the independent
deliberate consent of two new
peoplesthe seceding as well as
the remaining population. Studying
the delicate dance of
constitutional democracies and
secessionist movements not only
enables a better understanding of
constitutional law but may also
shed new scholarly light on
assumptions that Constitutions are
generally silent about secession
and may even implicitly allow it.”
(Weill 2014)
Weill, Rivka, Holey Union: The
Constitutional Paradox of Secession
(November 27, 2014). Available at
SSRN:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2708859
or
http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.
2708859
The Calhoun Review
Quick Fact:
In Europe, there are currently
twenty-one active secession or
devolution movements.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-
interactive/2017/oct/27/beyond-catalonia-pro-
independence-movements-in-europe-map
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What Do we Talk About
Igor Calzada argues that
devolution in general may
be the only reasonable
method to provide
democratic representation
to scale. This is a very
Calhoun-like argument.
What Do We Talk About
When We Talk About
Political Innovation in the
Age of Devolution?
Comparing 'Smartness' in
Scotland, Catalonia and
the Basque Country
“Nation-states are facing
constant re-scaling and
devolution demands from
the strongest city-regional
economies, whereas
welfare policies are
weakening due to the
austerity policy
implemented by national
governments. However,
nation-states, as
international actors, depict
difficulties to cope with this
uncertain equilibrium
between self-determination
demands from the
nationalists and a clear
contestation to the
political-economic severe
austerity policy. It is in this
context where pervasive
but disruptive political
innovations could be taking
place in some city-regional
small nations, even beyond
their nation-states.
Generally speaking, the
nature of the nation-states
has been understood so far
as a static and presumably
homogeneous entity, which
requires an updated
‘smart’ comprehensive
agenda of power
relationships, shared
sovereignty and policy
implementation between
nation-states and city-
regional small nations. Such
‘smartness’ now involves
being able to proceed with
devolution between the
two counterparts that play
in the international arena.
As a general trend,
devolution is being
increasingly included in the
EU multilevel policy
agenda, or at least, in the
political debate of many
member states, such as the
UK, Spain, and Germany,
among others.
Nevertheless, there are
remarkable differences not
only in the way nation-
states assume this current
geopolitical trend, but also
the strategies of city-
regions aiming for more
autonomy, devolution and
independence. These are
the cases of the UK and
Spain, and also Scotland,
Catalonia and the Basque
Country. This paper aims to
explore two aspects: 1) the
notion of what we mean
when we talk about the
Age of Devolution in the
European context and 2)
the evidence-based facts
of the Political Innovation in
selected cases of smart
city-regional governance.
Therefore, this paper will
present a comparative
analysis of the Political
Innovation ‘smartness’ in
the three city-regional small
nations of Scotland,
Catalonia and the Basque
Country.” (Calzada 2015)
Calzada, Igor, What Do We
Talk About When We Talk
About Political Innovation
in the Age of Devolution?
Comparing 'Smartness' in
Scotland, Catalonia and
the Basque Country (June
1, 2015). Available at SSRN:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2
612860
“…devolution is being
increasingly included in
the EU multilevel policy
agenda, or at least, in
the political debate of
many member states.”
The Calhoun Review
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Folk Theories, Dynamic Pluralism, and
Democratic Values
Edward Stiglitz highlights
several points that are
particularly relevant to and
set the stage for the
discussion of executive
usurpation contained later
in this issue.
Abstract: “Constitutional
values often motivate
separation of powers
doctrine and doctrines in
other areas of law. A jurist
favors one doctrinal
position over another
because, under some
implicit positive theory, it
promotes a consequential
value: for example,
abstract liberty, rule of law,
or democratic values. Yet
this jurisprudential posture
falters if theory is
incomplete or inept. As an
object lesson into the perils
of incomplete
functionalism, I consider the
relationship between the
so-called unitary executive
and democratic values. I
first formalize a theoretical
account of the unitary
executive along the lines of
the one that animates
judicial decisions; I then
show that viewed in a more
complete setting, judicial
decisions seemingly
promoting a unitary
executive may engender
pluralism and undermine
the value of accountability.
I empirically examine the
relationship between
electoral accountability
and innovations relating to
one such offensive
institution -- the legislative
veto -- in the context of the
American states between
1950-2010. I find that the
offending institution of the
legislative veto is, if
anything, associated with
stronger, not weaker,
executive accountability
for administrative actions,
questioning the soundness
of democratic values as a
motivation for pursuing a
unitary executive. I
conclude with thoughts on
the role of courts in
managing functionalist
constitutional values.”
(Stiglitz 2016)
Stiglitz, Edward, Folk
Theories, Dynamic Pluralism,
and Democratic Values
(February 25, 2016).
Available at SSRN:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2
737997
7
Introduction to the ‘State of the State’
Why Secession
Abstract “My book The
State, War, and the State of
War concluded that the
main source of armed
conflict in the
contemporary international
system is not in the relations
between states, but
problems within states. The
long list of civil wars, wars of
secession, genocides,
ethnic and religious armed
strife, and politicides since
1945 is accounted for
primarily by the relations
between governments and
the socially complex
societies over which they
rule. This section of the
book explores these critical
relationships and locates
some of the sources of
state failure.” (Holsti 2016)
Holsti, Kalevi. "Introduction
on the ‘State of the State’."
In Kalevi Holsti: Major Texts
on War, the State, Peace,
and International Order,
pp. 89- 90. Springer
International Publishing,
2016.
http://link.springer.com/ch
apter/10.1007/978-3-319-
28818-5_6
Not since the crisis of 1861 has a moment more
clearly presented itself for the heirs to the birthright of
the Republic formed in 1789 to reassert the principles of
our founding. The various liberties and inalienable rights
enjoyed by the people as a natural result of God's gift
to man and the sovereignty of the several States has
been gradually eroded over the course of the history of
this nation. Those that have stood on the principles of
States Rights and individual liberty have always suffered
the disadvantage of lacking the moral high ground in
their cause. It was thus in the 1860; and it was so in the
1960's. Without the power of legitimate moral issues and
principles efforts to assert the Sovereignty of the States
has failed. These failures have created a precedence
that has allowed the power of the central government
to usurp the State on more trivial and mundane
matters.
The sum and total result is a current federal
government that lives and operates far outside of the
bound envisioned by our founders. To the State this
means a loss of sovereignty and freedom of action. To
the individual this means tyranny imposed by a
government that is far removed geographically and
indifferent to the needs, values and principles of the
individual.
As citizens we find now that we have a choice. We
might submit to the lot that we have inherited via
generations of central government usurpation and
apathy of the populace. To accept and embrace this
option is to acquiesce to of life and a future in which
the federal government determines what is moral,
what is right and what principle we and our children
shall live under. On the surface the benefits of living
under a socialist system of strong central control might
seem palatable to many. The perks of the current
system of welfare, managed healthcare, and
governmental regulation of nearly every aspect of life
appeal to a certain class of people. These are
individuals have determined to surrender their birthright
of freedom for a paternalistic system that provides for
them what they ought to provide for themselves.
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Theories of
Secession
In order to scope the arguments that will follow it is
necessary to highlight some of the political theories
that justify secession in general.
Primary Right of Secession
Holds that a group has a basic right to secede
regardless of whether injustices have been committed
or not. This is also called unilateral right secession.
Nationalist Variant of Primary Right
Holds that every nation (territorially contiguous
ethnic/cultural group) has the right to establish its own
state (country) if they choose and may do so
unilaterally and without any other justification.
Liberal Primary Right
Holds that because government’s legitimacy derives
solely from consent, any group of people may
withdraw their territory from an existing state and set
up a new state, so long as a majority of the group
agrees, and the rights of the minority are respected in
the new state.
Remedial Right Only
Holds that a national group enjoys a unilateral right to
secede if and only if its members have suffered serious,
fundamental injustices and secession is the only
alternative left to remedy those injustices. RRO theories
strictly confine the right to secede to a small set of
cases.
Partial Right Variant of Remedial Right
An expansion of the former with conditions. Anthony
Birch, in “Another Liberal Theory of Secession”, states
that one of the following prior conditions must be
present for secession to be justified:
1.The seceding region was included in the state by
force and its people have displayed a continuing
refusal to give full consent to the union;
2.The national government has failed in a serious way
to protect the basic rights and security of the citizens
of the region;
3.The democratic system has failed to safeguard the
legitimate political and economic interests of the
region, either because the representative process is
biased against the region or because the executive
authorities contrive to ignore the results of that process;
or
4.The national government has ignored or rejected an
explicit or implicit bargain between sections that was
entered into as a way of preserving the essential interests
of a section that might find itself outvoted by a national
majority.
State-Federal Contract Theory
Holds that in the United States a contract (compact)
exists between the federal government and the various
states. This theory is best articulated by John C. Calhoun
(although Calhoun did used the term compact rather
than contract) and was the bedrock behind the states of
the former Confederacy declaring their independence.
This theory is easily combined in application with the
above theories in various circumstances.
The Calhoun Review
9
Executive Usurpation
Mr. President, during the special
session of the Senate in March last,
when seven States had withdrawn, by
the action of their people, from the
Federal Union, disclaimed all
allegiance to the Government, and
organized a separate common
government, I took occasion, before
the public mind had become excited,
to express fully my views of the
structure of our Government, and the
unhappy condition of the country;
and also to indicate the course of
action which I believed most
conducive to our happiness and
prosperity in the future. I then thought,
after the most anxious and gravest
consideration, and actuated by no
earthly motive but the good of my
country, that the only alternative
which remained was an assent to the
revolution by which the Gulf States
had left us, or civil war. That though
the secession of a State was an act of
revolution, it was an event not
provided for by the Constitution and
could only be met by war or peace.
That the power to coerce a State by
the General Government by arms,
having been expressly refused by the
framers of the Constitution, we had no
other resource left but war against
them for a breach of the compact
upon which the Federal Government
is founded, or peace and the
recognition of the common
government which they had
organized.
I did not doubt that the right of
judgment as to peace or war-rested in
Congress; but I was unable to see how
any plea of executing the laws or
retaking the public property justified
the use of the. military power as a
primary power, for that purpose, within
the intent of the Constitution and the
powers conferred by it on Congress or
the Executive. Believing, also, that the
withdrawal of those States did not
subvert our Government, but left us a
great and powerful nation, I thought a
peaceful separation preferable to
what I consider the greatest curse
which the providence of God can
inflict upon a nationcivil war. I
also indulged the hope, and now
believe that hope would have
been realized, that by conciliation
those States might be restored to
the Union and expressed the
opinion that an attempt at
coercion would drive other States
out of the Confederacy; and in
this, at least, subsequent events
have shown that I was not in error.
The Executive, as I deem most
unfortunately, adopted the policy
of coercion, and collision followed.
An appeal by proclamation was
made to the people for volunteers,
which, involved of necessity
coercion by arms and war, and
four more States withdrew from the
Union, and joined the Confederate
States. The convention of Virginia
had shown by repeated votes that
a majority exceeding seventy
existed in that body deeply
attached to the Union, anxious to
retain the State in the Union, and
to settle the causes of difficulty
which had arisen among us. On
the President’s proclamation, that
convention seceded from the
Union, and by an overwhelming
majority of the people of Virginia
their action has been ratified.
Tennessee, which a brief time
before had refused by thirty
thousand majority to call a
contention, immediately, by the
action of her Legislature, left the
Union, and her people ratified the
act by sixty thousand majority.
North Carolina withdrew with entire
unanimity, though she had voted
down a convention a short time
before; and Arkansas, which had
from her love to the Union
postponed any consideration of
the question of secession till the
fall; in order that so eventful a
matter should be fully discussed
before her people, and its effects
gravely weighed before
determination, also left us, as
consequent upon the proclamation.
Much as I deplored the loss of the
Gulf States, I was then willing, to use
the language of Burke, in 1777, in
relation to our, Revolution:
“To part with them as a limb, but as a
limb to save the body; and I would
have parted with more, if more had
been necessary; anything rather
than a fruitless, hopeless, unnatural
civil war.”
Sir, I am as deeply attached to the
Union as any man who claims a seat
in this body. I would have saved it in
its integrity by conciliation and
compromise; and it is my consolation
that, in my past life, no word or act of
mine ever encouraged a sectional
feeling among my countrymen. Nay,
more, if any sacrifice on my part,
involving property or even life itself,
could now end this unhappy
struggle, and restore and preserve
the Union, with the fraternal feeling
and national sentiment in which it
was founded by our forefathers, that
sacrifice would be readily and
cheerfully made. I could leave no
richer or prouder inheritance to my
children than the reflection that their
father, had sacrificed himself for the
prosperity and welfare of his country.
But the passions of the nation have
become excited, and the cry now is,
“unconditional submission and the
crushing out of rebellion,” without the
first step having been taken for the
purpose, of conciliation. States are to
be reduced to provinces, and the
military power to become the
dominant power in a representative
republic. Even a servile insurrection is
threatened, should it prove
necessary, for the purpose of
conquest and subjugation.
The Calhoun Review
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“Unconditional submission, and the
crushing out of rebellion” was the
language of the Crown and ministers of
Great Britain in the struggle in which our
ancestors achieved our liberties. No
terms should be offered to armed rebels;
the sword and the bayonet were the
only admissible arguments. The
Government was to be strengthened,
and the Colonies to be subdued. The
habeas corpus act was suspended in
America and on the high seas, and those
who sailed under letters of marque issued
by the United States Congress were
denounced as pirates. Let me read the
answer to this course of policy of Mr.
Burke, which embodies the general
sentiment of the greatest statesmen and
truest patriots of England in that day. I
read from his letter to the sheriffs of
Bristol, in April, 1777, less than a year after
our independence had been declared;
and for its general truths, as applicable
to the present struggle, the whole letter
might be read with profit by every well-
wisher of his country:
“It is said that, being at war with the
colonies, whatever our sentiments might
have been before, ail ties between us
are now dissolved; and all the policy we
have left is to strengthen the hands of
the Government to reduce them. On the
principle of this argument, the more
mischief we suffer from. any
administration, the more our trust in it is to
be confirmed. Let them but once get us
into a war, and then their power fs safe,
and an act of oblivion is passed for all
their misconduct. But is it true that
Government is always to be
strengthened with the instruments of war,
but never furnished with the means of
peace? In former times, ministers, I allow,
have been sometimes driven by the
popular voice to assert by arms the
national honor against foreign powers.
But the wisdom of the nation has been
far clearer when those ministers have
been compelled to consult its interests by
treaty.” Further:
“This mode of yielding would, it is said,
give way to independency without a
war. But if it had this effect, I
confess that I should prefer
independency without war to
independency with it; and I have
so much trust in the inclinations
and prejudices of mankind, and so
little in anything else, that I should
expect ten times more benefit to
this kingdom.” The United States,
Mr. President
“from the affection of America,”—
The South
“though under a separate
establishment, than from her
perfect submission to the Crown
and parliament”—
The Federal Government
“accompanied with her terror,
disgust, and abhorrence.
“Bodies tied together by so
unnatural a bond of union as
mutual hatred, are only
connected to their ruin.”
Could we, Mr. President, if after a
desolating war we succeeded in
subjugating the South, bind her to
us by any other bonds of union
than mutual hatred, and is it not
true that such a bond of union
would involve the ruin of both the
North and the South?
It has been said that if we let these
States go in peace we yield to the
right of secession at will by a State,
and that such a principle will lead
to the entire disintegration of the
Union. But we do not yield to the
right of secession by recognizing
revolution. I admit that were a
single State to secedeeven a
large Staterestriction and
coercion, (not by arms,) coupled
with conciliation, might well be
used, and would be successful in
restoring her. Such was the course
of our ancestors in the adoption of
the Constitution to the small State of
Rhode Island and the larger State of
North Carolina, one of which remained
out of the Union after the organization
of the Federal Government for one
year, and the other a year and a half. I
admit, also, that secession is revolution,
and that we have the right of war in
such a case, if Congress so decides.
But the object of the war ought to be
the restoration of the State to the
Union, and, as against a single State,
the menace of war would in all
probability, from the superior power of
the Federal Government, effect its
object without bloodshed.
Sir, on this subject let me show you
what are not merely my opinions of the
impracticability of a single republic
over so extensive a country as ours
without the existence of the internal
governments of separate independent
States, bound together by one
common government over
communities separate among
themselves and constituting us a
nation as regards the world at large;
but the opinions universally entertained
at the time the convention sat which
framed the Federal Constitution. No
abler man, with rare exceptions, at
least, if any, than Mr. Wilson, of
Pennsylvania, was found in that
convention. His name appeared as an
active participator in all its debates. He
was one of the framers of the
Constitution, peculiarly entitled to our
gratitude, and one of its most ardent
supporters, both in its original formation
and in its adoption by his own State. I
read from a speech which he made in
favor of the adoption of the
Constitution by the people of
Pennsylvania, in the convention of that
State, and I read it in order to show the
danger of consolidation into a single
government, which is inevitably
incident to the subjugation of the
Southern States by the military power:
The Calhoun Review
11
Executive Usurpation - Continued
I have read it, sir, to warn
gentlemen that the system
of government adopted in
1787 is inconsistent with the
prosecution of war for the
subjection of the South;
and yet you cannot
execute the laws, as you
claim to do, within the
Confederate States without
their entire conquest and
subjugation. You must, if
successful, convert, and it
has been threatened by
many leading papers, and
by at least one leading
member of the
administration, that you will
convert this Government
into a single Government,
and absolve all State lines.
In answer to such a
purpose, and as an all-
sufficient objection to it, I
give you the great general
truth enunciated by Mr.
Wilson, that a government
of that kind, to exist over
the extent of this country,
must be “a system of the
most unqualified and
unremitting despotism.”
Sir, I would preserve the
Union. Why? To preserve
the liberties of my country.
If the Union is to be made
the means of prostrating
those liberties, then it is far
better that the Union
should be abandoned than
that free institutions should
be abolished. I value and
cherish it, not merely
because it gives us a
powerful Government, but
because its power secures
and protects the individual
liberty of the citizen, and
because the Union, under
a Federal Constitution, will
perpetuate republican
institutions, and preserve
self-government by the
people.
“The united States may
adopt any one of four
different systems. They may
become consolidated into
one Government, in which
the separate existence of
the States shall be entirely
absolved. They may reject
any plan of union or
association, and act as
separate and
unconnected States. They
may form two or more
confederacies. They may
unite in one federal
republic. Which of these
systems ought to have
been formed by the
convention? To support
with vigor a single
Government over the
whole extent of the united
States would demand a
system of the most
unqualified and most
unremitted despotism.
Such a number of separate
States, contiguous in
situation, unconnected
and disunited in
government, would be at
one time the prey of
foreign force, foreign
influence, and foreign
intrigues, at another the
victims of mutual rage,
rancor, and revenge.
Neither of these systems
found advocates in the
late convention. I presume
they will not find advocates
in this.” After, discussing the
relative merits of a union of
two or more republics, or
into one, he speaks of “the
remaining system,” which
was’ adopted, “as a union
of them into one
confederate republic.”
No man can doubt that
the words “confederate”
and “federal” are
synonymous, and when
applied to this republic, or
any other, imply, from the
force of the words, a
common government over
separate independent
communities.
Government over the
whole extent of the united
States would demand a
system of the most
unqualified and most
unremitted despotism.”
The speech quoted above from Mr. Wilson was not that of a lone voice, it was in fact the
understanding of the majority of those involved with the framing of the Constitution and
the Federal Republic not on unitary government but a federal system with only
delegated powers relinquished by the sovereign States.
The Calhoun Review
12 TYPE TITLE HERE
By war you may subjugate
and devastate the
Southern States; but the
large army you must
permanently maintain to
keep them in subjection will
inevitably, in the end,
subvert our own institutions
and convert a republic into
an autocracy. It is easier to
organize than to disband a
large army; and more
difficult still to disband a
dictator when you have
yielded to him the power of
the sword and the purse
and subordinated the civil
to the military power.
But have Senators reflected
on the effects of civil war
upon the character and
habits of the people, and
its demoralizing influences?
Let me give you the
portraiture of those effects
and influences, in the
language of the same
great statesman; because
the truth is general and as
applicable to our times as
to the day in which he
lived. “Civil wars,” said Mr.
Burke “Civil wars strike
deepest of all into the
manners of the people.
They vitiate their politics;
they corrupt their morals;
they pervert even the
natural taste and relish of
equity and justice. By
teaching us to consider our
fellow-citizens in a hostile
light, the whole body of our
nation becomes gradually
less dear to us. The very
names of affection and
kindred which were the
bonds of charity whilst we
agreed become new
incentives to hatred and
rage when the communion
of our country is dissolved.
We may flatter ourselves
that we shall not fall into
this misfortune; but we
have no charter of
exemption that I know of
from the ordinary frailties of
our nature.”
If the language of the
statesman will not convince
you, take the corroboration
in the experience of the
soldier:
“It has been my fortune to
have seen much of war,
more than most, men. I
have been constantly
engaged in the active
duties of the military
profession from boyhood
until I have grown gray. My
life has been passed in
familiarity with scenes of
death and suffering.
Circumstances have
placed me in countries
where the war was
internalbetween
opposite parties in the
same nationand rather
than a country I loved
should be visited with the
calamities which I have
seen, with the unutterable
horrors of civil war, I would
run any risk, I would make
any sacrifice, I would freely
lay down my life. There is
nothing which destroys
property and prosperity
and demoralizes character
to the extent which civil
war does. By it the hand of
man is raised against his
neighbor, against his
brother, against his father;
the servant betrays his
master, and the master ruin
his servant.”
Such was the experience of
the great Duke of
Wellington, and I pray God
we may profit by that
experience before it is too
late.
About James A. Bayard
James A. Bayard (1799-
1880) was a United States
Senator from Delaware. His
father, James A. Bayard,
cast the deciding vote in
the 1800 presidential
election, and his
grandfather, Richard
Bassett, signed the
Constitution. His brother,
son, and grandson also
served in the United States
Senate. Bayard was one of
the lone voices of
opposition to the Lincoln
administration during the
War.
This paragraph is
perhaps Bayard’s most
prophetic. Who among
us can deny the
Republic did truly
transform, beginning in
19861 into something of
an autocracy. In its
wake and meddling
one could pin most of
the wars of the 20th
century as well as an
ever-increasing
eradication of freedom
from government
intrusion at home.
13
References
Opinion: Secession and Actual
Democracy
The Abbeville Review.
Calzada, I. (2015). "What Do We Talk
About When We Talk About Political
Innovation in the Age of Devolution?
Comparing 'Smartness' in Scotland,
Catalonia and the Basque Country "
SSRN.
Holsti, K. (2016). "Introduction on the ‘State
of the State’." In Kalevi Holsti: Major Texts
on War, the State, Peace, and
International Order." 89-90.
Sheikhani, A. "Secession’s theory
(Remedial Right Only Theories)."Journal of
Advances in Political Science 2, no.
3."
Stiglitz, E. (2016). "Folk Theories,
Dynamic Pluralism, and Democratic
Values." SSRN. Weill, R. (2014). "Holey
Union: The Constitutional Paradox of
Secession " SSRN.
Wheatley, S. M. (2015). "Recognition
and secessionist in the complex
environment of world politics." 135-
144.
If one takes a moment to
observe the present-day
size of yesterday's worldly
empires, notably Greece,
France, Great Britain &
Rome it is evident that in
the end, "small was
beautiful'.
If France today witnessed
its government with a 30%
or less approval rating,
hence it's people would
call a general strike and
that government would
grind to a halt and be
headed for ouster rather
quickly. But that is an
example of "a government
controlled by its people".
Ironically, the USA who's
founding principles set out
to do even more than that,
has crashed and burned,
with its leader now having
only a 24% approval and
it's Congress at 11%. As for
its people, they have no
control of the situation,
rather the situation keeps
gaining more control over
them.
American democracy now
being dismantled from its
citizenry is left with only one
alternative; "secession". For
a "regional example",
eventually the peoples of
the States of let's say, "New
York" and the "New
England States" for
instance, will find that their
only hopes of securing their
borders, reducing their
federal budgets, cutting
their property taxes and
remedying their
immigration, medical and
socials ills, will be to secede
from the Union of the
United States and to form
their own neighboring
country. It is America's
inevitable fate in the end.
All it needs is the first shining
example and all its war
machinery needs is to be
brought under a saner
control by "a flight of
funds"!
(Try pondering your State
for a moment along with
some of it's neighbors and
consider what type of "new
country" you might come
up with.)
By Paul Casson
Minnesota, USA
There is no direct
and immediate
connection between
the individual citizens
of a state and the
general government.
The relation between
them is through the
state. The Union is a
union of states as
communities and not
a union of
individuals..”
John C. Calhoun
14 TYPE TITLE HERE
About The Calhoun Institute
The inspiration for The
Calhoun Institute comes, in
part, from The Abbeville
Institute. The founding
academics of that
organization in 2002
observed:
We were concerned that
the Southern tradition is no
longer taught in colleges
and universities except as a
function of the ideological
needs of others. With few
exceptions, the Southern
tradition is presented as
little more than the story of
racism and slavery. Eugene
Genovese, a distinguished
historian of the Southa
Northerner and a man of
the lefthas been a rare
voice in criticizing this effort
to purge the Southern
tradition and its symbols
from the American
landscape. In the Massey
lectures he gave at
Harvard in 1994 he had this
to say: ‘Rarely these days,
even on southern
campuses, is it possible to
acknowledge the
achievements of the white
people of the South …. To
speak positively about any
part of this southern
tradition is to invite charges
of being a racist and an
apologist for slavery and
segregation. We are
witnessing a cultural and
political atrocityan
increasingly successful
campaign by the media
and an academic elite to
strip young white
southerners, and arguably
black southerners as well,
of their heritage, and,
therefore, their identity.
They are being taught to
forget their forbearers or to
remember them with
shame.‘”
The situation observed in
2002 has not changed for
the better, in fact, it may
be getting worse. In
academia, professors like
Dr. Donald W. Livingston,
Dr. Clyde N. Wilson, CAPT
(USN R) DR. John Coussins
and others have retired
and others of their
generation will soon follow.
The generation of scholars,
writers, and professors that
followed these men was
shaped in the 1960’s and
their understanding of
history, Constitutional law
and political philosophy is
very different (and wrong)
than the views held by the
generations that
preceded. This
contemporary view
supports a narrative that is
contrary to both the
historical record and
common-sense. This
narrative both supports
what has become of the
role of the central
government and silences
any voice contrary to the
common their version of
the story.
The goal of The Calhoun
Institute is, therefore, to add
another voice in the effort
to thwart the revisionist and
reconstructionist that would
paint the South as a whole
and Calhoun in particular
as nothing more than bit
players in the story of
America and history. We
hope to help inspire a new
generation of scholars,
researchers and ordinary
people that question the
story of our history told in
numerous books, lectures
and essays over the last
forty-five years, and
perhaps, raise up a group
of thinkers/
leaders/teachers to follow
giants like Wilson and
Livingston.
The Calhoun Institute
Abbeville, SC 29620
E-mail
articles@calhouninstitute.c
om
DEDICATED
TO THE
POLITICAL
LEGACY OF
JOHN C.
CALHOUN
AND THE
SOUTHERN
TRADITION
.
We’re on the Web!
See us at:
www.calhouninstitute.com
The Calhoun Review
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Book
In honour of Prof. Kalevi Holsti’s 80th birthday, this book includes key texts by the renowned Canadian International Relations scholar on war, the state, peace, and the international order. The first part includes texts on the Study of War, Use of Force in International Politics: Four Revolutions, and The Decline of Interstate War, while the second part analyses International Sports Competition and the Creation and Sustenance of Statehood, as well as Internationalism and Nationalism within the Multi-Community State. The third part addresses The Peacemakers: Issues and International Order, Governance Without Government: Polyarchy in 19th-Century European International Politics, and The Post-Cold War ‘Settlement’ in Comparative Perspective. Prof. Holsti is a former president of the International Studies Association and the author of a major textbook that was translated into Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Bahasa Indonesian. Thousands of undergraduates around the world are acquainted with his work.
Article
There are secessionist movements in all parts of the world, encompassing both democratic and non-democratic countries. It is typically thought that this important phenomenon is regulated by international law alone. But, this article argues that when looking anew at constitutional law through the lens of secession, democracies’ weak spots are revealed. While political actors and scholars traditionally believe that bans on political parties ('militant democracy') and constitutional eternity clauses (`unconstitutional constitutional amendment`) are used and justified to protect democratic values alone, they are in fact also used to fight against secession. Democracies have been able to conceal their fight against secessionists, by creating a large gap between “the law on the books” and “the law as practiced.” This raises paradoxes so extreme, the democracies begin to appear to be using the tools of authoritarian regimes. In addition to exposing the facts on the grounds, the article also makes two normative claims: First, it argues that secession reveals the ways in which both doctrines—the ban and eternity clauses—are inextricably intertwined. This assertion is general and goes beyond the secession context. Second, the article argues that secession is helpful in revealing the intricate relationship between constitution-making and constitution-amending powers. Even those who hold that the power to amend the Constitution should be treated as equal to the constitution-making power may find that an exception is needed in the secession context. Secession may be regarded as an annihilation of the Constitution because it redefines the sovereign bodies. As such, secession necessitates extra-constitutional mechanisms. Contrary to the prevailing understanding that it is sufficient to garner the support of the seceding population, secession may require the independent deliberate consent of two new peoples—the seceding as well as the remaining population. Studying the delicate dance of constitutional democracies and secessionist movements not only enables a better understanding of constitutional law but may also shed new scholarly light on assumptions that Constitutions are generally silent about secession and may even implicitly allow it.
What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Political Innovation in the Age of Devolution? Comparing 'Smartness' in Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country
  • I Calzada
Calzada, I. (2015). "What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Political Innovation in the Age of Devolution? Comparing 'Smartness' in Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country " SSRN.
Secession's theory (Remedial Right Only Theories)
  • A Sheikhani
Sheikhani, A. "Secession's theory (Remedial Right Only Theories)."Journal of Advances in Political Science 2, no. 3."
Recognition and secessionist in the complex environment of world politics
  • S M Wheatley
Wheatley, S. M. (2015). "Recognition and secessionist in the complex environment of world politics." 135-144.