I recently uncovered a seeming inconsistency in my thinking, and I thought I’d air it here for people to discuss.
I support secessionists. If the Catalans want to secede from Spain and form an independent country, good for them. If the New Caledonians want to secede from France and form an independent country, good for them. If the people in Western Australia want to secede from Australia and form an independent country, good for them. I don’t believe anyone should be forced to be governed by a government not of their choosing.
Meanwhile, I don’t support individuals seceding from a country and becoming sovereign citizens (or freemen on the land, as they’re also known). In my mind, this is effectively anarchy: if everyone secedes, then there’s no government and it’s everyone for themselves. I don’t support this at all. I’m definitely pro-government.
However, both these movements share something at their cores:
Secessionists are people who refuse to be governed by a government they didn’t choose and don’t want.
Sovereign citizens are people who refuse to be governed by a government they didn’t choose and don’t want.
During a conversation today, I realised the inconsistency in my supporting one form of separatism but not the other. I’m okay with a million people seceding from a country, but not a single person seceding. And I can’t find the dividing line, or the principle, which underlies this inconsistency. I know that I believe in government, so a secessionist group must be just that: a group. However, while a group of two million seceding is reasonable, a group of two seceding is just ridiculous.
What are your thoughts? Are secessionists and sovereign citizens effectively the same at the core (or not)? Do you support either or both of these movements? Why or why not?