planning your successful secession (sovereignty article)

Researched, compiled and written by volunteer faculty, associated fellows and staff at NEU’s School of Natural Law:

successful secession planning

The following justifications for secession represent the core arguments made toward the case for secession.  They are worth bearing in mind when planning your secession, so you may have the best chances of success:

  • economic enfranchisement of an economically oppressed class.

All members/nationals/citizens of all nation-states are currently subjected to economic oppression by virtue of the debt-based fractional reserve banking systems which control the economy. This is a solid foundation for any attempt at secession.

In the U.S., most states have now passed at least one law, which limits the right to private property.  And most, if not all, have passed at least one law that impinges upon one’s liberties – the requirement to be licensed for private travel would be one example.

  • consent of the governed takes precedence over the democratic principle under natural law.

If a group of people do not consent to be governed, their right to secede should be recognized.

  • self-defense – when a larger group presents lethal threat to a minority.

Where the laws of a nation-state provide for its citizens to be detained without charge, or for its administrative officers to be held free from liability for the natural and common law offences they commit in its name, a lethal threat is surely present.

  • Self-determination of peoples (Wikipedia link)
  • Preserving culture, language, etc. from assimilation or destruction by a larger or more powerful group
  • Furthering diversity by allowing diverse cultures to keep their identity  (Wikipedia link)
  • Rectifying past injustices, especially past conquest by a larger power
  • Escaping “discriminatory redistribution”, i.e., tax schemes, regulatory policies, economic programs, etc. that distribute resources away to another area, especially in an undemocratic fashion
  • Enhanced efficiency when the state or empire becomes too large to administer efficiently
  • Preserving “liberal purity” (or “conservative purity”) by allowing less (or more) liberal regions to secede
  • Providing superior constitutional systems which allow flexibility of secession
  • Keeping political entities small and human scale through right to secession (Wikipedia link)


The following arguments against secession represent a nation-states’ principal rational justifications for the use of force to oppose a secession attempt.  Making sure that you do not leave room for such arguments to be made may be crucial to your success as a budding Micro-nation:

  • Self Defense – if losing part of the state would make it difficult to defend the rest of it.

This argument carries little weight unless the claimed territory of your micro-nation sits on the border of the nation-state from which you are seceding (unless your claimed territory includes a military base!). If your claimed territory is on the border, your stated intention to nurture peaceful and friendly relations between yourselves and all nations should be sufficient invalidate this argument.

  • Protecting Majority Rule and the principle that minorities must abide by them.

This argument is counter-intuitive and repugnant to the very principle of freedom upon which democratic governments around the world pride themselves on espousing.

  • Soft paternalism – that secession will be bad for secessionists or others
  • Preventing wrongful taking – such as the former state’s previous investment in infrastructure
  • Distributive justice – which affluent areas cannot secede from poorer ones
  • Protecting legitimate expectations of those who now occupy territory claimed by secessionists, even in cases where that land was stolen


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