portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary oregon & cascadia

actions & protests | political theory

The Problem With Seceding

Small Porblems We May Run Into.
I for one am all for seceding from the union, and fully support the creation of a Republic of Cascadia, let the U.S. crumble like the other evil empire before it. There is a slight problem though, having grown up in Roseburg, I happen to know that they hate your guts out there. Most of rual Oregon see Eugene and Portland as evil bastions of godless liberalism. I really don't think they will want anything to do with a new nation directed by leftist from the urban centers. Even if one was to try and impose it upon them, we have to remember they have the guns and they're the ones who know how to use them. For all the militant posing, I doubt one member of the black bloc can properly use a fire arm.
That's not to say that there isn't a speratist sentiment in the rual regions, there is for sure, it runs deeper out there then in the cities. I just don't think thery're going to go for anykind of socialist or social saftey net, kind of programs. One solution would be the formation of the state of Jefferson as has been proposed by people in that region, but that would cut off Cascadia from Northern California, were support for a Cascadian Republic should be strong. Another problem would be feeding the new nation, without the rual farms.
The only solution I can think of for these problems, would be to grant almost total autonomy to the rual regions. The problem with that idea being, that it would be a hot bed of racsim and religious fanaticism in our back yard. Maybe help the farmers make some money by becoming the primary supplier of industrial hemp in the world, prospertiy would certainly soften the prejiduces agaisnt city dwellers. We could also consider creating massive public works projects to employee the loggers, who would lose their jobs with the creation of an eco-topia.
So those are just some problems I forsee with any serious movement for the creation of an independent nation in the North West. Any ideas or suggestions about bringing the rual sector into the movement?
I suggest you look at the model proposed for New England. 18.Nov.2004 12:57

New Englander

Independence 18.Nov.2004 13:11

Brian Setzler

Let's not copy the nation/state, top-down model where Cascadia is king and everyone else (our more rural friends) are the servant. If the folks in Roseburg want to live a certain way, let em. By allowing them freedom, independence and self-determination we allow ourselves the same thing.

There isn't a community in Oregon where you could go and get complete agreement on anything. Roseburg may be conservative but I'm sure there are pro-choice/pro-life splits and war/peace divisions just like there is in most families and every community.

There is NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE. People in southern Oregon can choose to live one way while we may choose to live another. This worked well for humans for over 1,000,000 years.

Yeah... 18.Nov.2004 13:12

Shosh s_biggers@msn.com

The fact that there are SOME conservative minded people in the Cascadian region is the biggest flaw in the secession plan. I'm not saying secession is a bad option... I'm not sure if it's the best, but I am definitely sure that the rural regions of Cascadia would have some major gripes with the movement.

How do we solve that?

Another concern of mine in regard to secession is how the newly formed country would build an economy... I have a fairly good grasp of politics, but economics is frequently over my head. We'd have our own currency... Our interaction in the global economy would be much different than traditional interaction. Would we have shorter work weeks? We wouldn't have a stock market, probably...

Yeah, things like these make me wonder. I could use some answers -- Thanks!

get to know each other before hating each other, people: watershed councils 18.Nov.2004 14:14


I'd start a process of actually creating the politics you want using a metric that is already being used: watershed councils.

You are required to build independent democratic organizations in my opinion, to create a culture of locality representation instead of depending on the whole importation of a 'culture' entirely derived from the ideas of the Democratic and the Republican parties.

In other words, if you keep importing or expecting to import the left/right dichtomy (without there actually being clear demarcations or species separations ;-), you are still participating in the whole United States cultural sense. These categories will melt away if you actually have representative frameworks on the ground in place.

Actually, to the lefties out there, many "right-wing" guns rights organizations are very ecologically conservation minded regardless of left-headed hotheaded stereotypes to the contrary, regardless of the stereotypical broad brush that many lefties and greenies paint them with. And you righties, the same goes for many very calm rational lefties out there who for sure are much more "religiously moral" and ethical to their fellow humans and other creatures than what typically than what passes for warmongering right-wing claims to "spirituality" by the way. I think many on the right would agree with that assertion if you look at what lefties work for for the most part.

See, what passes for your knowledge of each other has been mostly a lie you are attached to. And this lie came directly from the Democratic or the Republican parties themselves. If you keep addressing each other in terms of the stereotypes, you will always be manipulated by your own fears about each other. Of course if your personal identity is anti-left or anti-right (instead of pro-right and pro-left), you are going to have a hard time divorcing yourself from a hatred mindset. You are going to have to ask yourself what is the motivation for you framing your identities based on either hatred or love. Fear is the mother of violence, so they say. It's strangely the mother of identity for many and people are attached to despising others as their motivation (whether right or left) more than proactively working for what they believe in as rightists or leftist, in many cases of people I personally know.

This is hardly to say some stereotypes are incorrect for certain individuals, though most of the world fails to fit into these stereotypes and the stereotypes were invented in the first place to manipulate different grass roots positional interests--who have the same local geographical interest when it comes down to it--for utilization of divide and conquer by elite mobilizations of politics. Unrepresentative elites require the stereotypes more than I think actual democracy does. Many are raised to be willing followers. To work for something sustainable, means you are going to have to break that cycle of following.

Check out River Network:  http://www.rivernetwork.org/

and check out, along similar lines, THIS WATERSHED CIVIL DEMOCRATIC organization, to start:


Something I would like to pass along, along the lines of generating a community level organizational/recognition structure.

I have been popularizing the following for about a year on the internet. It has interested many people, and it may be started in Amherst. Hope it interests you.

Mark Whitaker

CDI: Civic Democratic Institution
a strategy for empowering coalitional politics

I created the following 'open-ended' organizational form with an interest in creating a means for citizens concerned about democracy to be able to recognize leaders among themselves, and decide on their politics on a grass-roots level, to get their own issues straight before being swayed by existing political outlets. If the total vote counts in recent Congressional elections are any clue, then most people consider the government to be highly unrepresentative.

This is designed to help formulate coalitions, get local issues on nation-state and state level agenda, as well as provide an 'introduction' service for people working on the same issues who are unknown to each other. If anyone knows about the arguments make by Robert Putnam concerning 'vanishing social capital' (fancy term for weak informal links between groups that facilitate mobilization of democracy), this structure is designed to 'knit' people together, to 'generate social capital'--yet on a community's own terms. Curious? Read on.

Doesn't it often seem that one is forced to 'go it alone' in attempting to get the word out about something. The CDI helps people meet the people, the press, and other social networks interested in working to facilitate democracy--those interested in preserving its heritage, expanding it, as well as those concerned it is almost gone. Helping out local networking is recognized as the basis for 'civil society,' instead of a minor off-stage voice in power politics. Here's how to make *them* work with *you* instead. Here's how to change the balance of power to be more inclusive of your issues. Here's how to make coalition building part of the very social, cultural, and political air you breathe. And in doing so, facilitate a renaissance of political democracy.

How do you facilitate this? Simply by doing what you have been doing before. Sound ridiculous? Are you serious? Nothing else to do except what you have been doing already? How can that be? Simply by getting more social coverage, recognizing existing leaderships democratically, and 'generating more social capital' by 'magnifying existing social capital.' Read on.

Who, What, Where, When, Why, and most importantly--How


Mark D. Whitaker, 2 B.A.'s, working on a degree in Sociology with a
Minor in Urban and Regional Planning, interested in urban sociology,
comparative urbanization, political sociology, and environmental sociology.


An organizational method for generating a social forum which is representative; and from this forum, a source for networking and coalition building can be established on a PERMANENT, ROTATIONAL BASIS.


Wherever it can go, urban areas, rural areas, inside organizations, dare I
say nation-wide cultural recognition, or global ? It's 'modular.' It goes
where you want it to go. I would recommend it be started using watersheds as the jurisdictional base for those interested in sustainability. This way you can avoid stepping on each other's toes, and your work will be cumulative in a territorial sense, instead of oppositional and overlapping.


Whenever a group sponsors it in their hometown, area, organization
(or nation, or watershed, etc.). Instructions below.


The CDI comes out of my following concerns: concern with social
polarization increasing with globalization, lack of political intermediaries, ideological lines separating people who have much in common which can be used for politics, interest in facilitating that ubiquitous 'civil society,' avoiding media bias by serving as a facilitator for airing what the media is silent upon yet still important to communities of people, creating a sense of civic citizenship instead of political consumerism, putting the polis in politics.

HOW: Easy as 1,2,3

This section quickly highlights the structure of the CDI, and how it is a facilitation tool for networking and coalitional building. This is summarized in three areas.

1. Through two tiers of voting

This is the complex part. The CDI has two tiers (or levels) of voting. A long first tier followed by a short second tier of voting, which will be explained. Who does one vote for? Anyone. Anyone? That's right. Anyone. You can vote once for anybody, for as many people as you want. This is a cultural representative body, designed to be comprised of those whom a society feels worthy of recognition. The accumulated social totals will reveal where and who the potentially admired leaders are, without requiring them to 'run' for an office--which draws a different caliber of people. This just 'spots' them in society, IN WHATEVER CAPACITIES IN WHICH THEY ALREADY ARE BEING SUCCESSFUL. It's a recognition for what they are doing ALREADY, instead of related to how well they can convince people of their future good intentions.

The first tier of voting is a nine month period. It is so long as to allow for a slow accumulation of voting totals, instead of only the rush of one day's voting. This allows time for reflection, discussion, and even withdrawal of one's vote later if this person does something within the nine month period which warrants poorly on their potential representative role (yes, you can withdraw your vote in this nine month period, as well as cast it).

The second tier of voting begins after the publication of the first tier's totals. This list of everyone in the first tier becomes the billet for the second tier of voting. The second tier is short. It lasts for only a month, in which people can vote for or against anyone on this billet of potential candidates (just like the first nine months, except without one's vote going to the same person's total twice.). This allows a 'whittling down' of vote totals, so that the people who would prefer to avoid seeing this candidate as a cultural representative (and want to vote against them to show it) can do something about it. While this is occurring, you simultaneously can be 'chipping in' as well for other candidates, if there is someone whom the first tier of voting has recognized that you completely forgot about or was unaware of and whom you think would be a good cultural representative for you as well.

A wider cultural influence in politics, a combined sense of civic participation and citizenship recognition, and a coalitional framework for politics can simultaneously come of such procedures.

2. Through equality of sex/gender representation.

This part is less complex. From the above section, you may be thinking of how ungainly this body of potential cultural representatives will be, in terms of sheer size. In addition, you may be thinking that most of these 'representatives' potentially will have incredibly low vote totals for the entire ten month period and will 'squeeze by' and be accorded the same public recognition and role as those with larger vote totals. Both issues of the ungainliness and the vote totals difference are addressed by taking the least common multiple of the sex with the least overall votes (or whatever method or multiple the CDI decides) after the second voting tier, and making that the determining factor for the equal number of the other sex. That addresses the potential ungainly size.

In addition, this addresses equity of gender representation publicly. The 'trimming' occurs from both the top and the bottom of the other group. Why? Because, this addresses a 'stacking' of the vote totals for any one gender group when the process of creating a public parity is achieved.

Why explicitly address sex/gender in coalition facilitation? This assures that the CDI is a representative body which can deal equitably with the very different lives and experiences that men and women lead. Different genders have different economic and social positionalities taken as a group, and neglecting this would leave certain social issues innately covered over if this was unaddressed. The CDI is designed to widen the cultural discourse upon which politics is based, allowing for more potential for coalition building. In this capacity, the CDI can be a place of developing leadership and speaking skills in a public venue as well.

3. Though other methods of tailoring the CDI to suit your application.

The CDI creates its own procedures of voting, meeting, visiting, investigating--whatever they feel capable of doing as individuals or groups. I suggest that you meet (or party together and talk) at least once a month.

These are the main three points, designed to provide a guide to understanding the processes described in greater detail elsewhere.

Toward a Bioregional State:

don't be so quick to judge the rural areas 18.Nov.2004 14:44

empire slayer

i lived in a rural part of colorado for a while, and what i experienced there gives me a little hope. sure there was racism, and lots of people with limited educations, but there was almost always a very strong libertarian "live and let live" ethic. we had a neighbor who was very obviously racist towards a black member of our group. this was difficult, and yet we reached out to this person. eventually we were working together with this person because they had a home-made sawmill where we could mill our own lumber. it became a relationship of mutual aid, and over time their prejudice softened towards the black member of our group. while this neighbor will likely never move beyond their deep racism, i came to appreciate this person as much more real and honest than almost any person i meet in the city. and there was not a doubt in my mind that this person would have come to our aid with his gun if needed. and when looked at from a meta perspective, i would trust this neighbor every time over the latte-suv-kerry liberals. and my personal values are much more in align with those "liberals". so, my point is, don't be so quick to judge or condescend. rural cascadians can figure their shit out without our "help", just as iraqis can. live and let live...

"Cascadian" autonomous free state everywhere 18.Nov.2004 15:16


Cascadia's supposed boundaries have also perplexed me also. Where do we draw the line between autonomous free state and military controlled capitalist Bushdom? Do the well armed libertarians living in Nevada really support nuclear waste being dumped at Yucca mountain? Probably no more than the anti-gun liberal socialist from Portland. Common grounds like nuclear waste are more life centered than lifestyle preference differences..

As a NorCal resident who likes both the coast and the eastern high desert/mountains, even the flat Sacramento valley, it seems that common ground is needed 2 have autonomy 4 everyone everywhere, from the "right-wing" duck hunter in Willows to the "left-wing" vegan tree-sitter in Arcata, "right-wing" rice farmer in the Sac delta to the "left-wing" houseless artist in a bay area city..

Watershed councils focus on rivers as the bond that connects everyone. Water makes up our bodies and we can't live without it. Whatever you believe about religion and politics, water is a priority not subject to "left/right" personal beliefs. Land, trees and air are also in the same category, part of the commons, shared by everyone..

Most loggers in Humboldt Nation don't really like Maxxam, the Texas based holding corporation that is responsible for the hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber and subsequent clear-cutting of the local forests. Most of the redwood trees are exported and the value of what is lost is never returned to the local community. If the option of a logger's owned/operated co-operative was a realistic option without military helicopters shooting at locals after they declared independence, most loggers would be happier having a say in how their backyard forests are managed, and less trees would be cut as the value would remain in the community..

Same goes for the vast farmland/wetland complex of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley. Having ducks, wild rice and domestic rice living in ecological harmony without the need 4 pesticide/herbicide/GMO would benefit everyone, from human to hawk. River restoration is the link between differing political beliefs. Only profit driven agribusiness corporations would find themselves no longer needed. Family farm permaculture would be a reality and the sexual orientation of the family need not matter..

If it seems like a dream fantasy 2 most people, then it is. Who said u couldn't make your dreams reality?

common ground 18.Nov.2004 15:43

cynic carpe_viam@hotmail.com

People need to realize, that once you get out of the "dim-o-crap" vs. "re-pig-lickin" mode, there is a lot more common ground between Eugene anarchists and Jackson County farmers than you might think.

Consider - both want local control over the natural tools necessary to provide food and shelter; both want to be allowed to engage in the "pursuit of happiness" that the U.S. Constitution promises, neither wants to remain under the thumb of the centralized gummint in Salem or Washington D.C. Neither, on the whole, wants to be taxed in order to pay for murderous empire-building across the world. Both groups have an appreciation for the natural world that runs deeper than the desire to rape the forests and watch tillable farmland wash into the sea.

There is a lot of common ground if we were all, collectively, free to find it.

Viva Cascadia.

Greens believe in bioregionalism 18.Nov.2004 15:44

Brian Setzler

This is a well-supported principle in "Green theory". Our current geopolitical boundaries were created over 150 years ago and have little relationship to the current world.

Watershed are natural boundaries because we all drink the same water and water is vital to life.

Problems with the current boundaries can be seen in place like Vancouver/Portland. One side of the river you have WA law and the other side you have OR law. Yet its the same water, same air, same regional traffic and same regional issues. Portland has far more in common with Vancouver than we do with Redmond, Oregon or Zig-Zag. Vancouver has more in common with us than Spokane.

However, some watersheds are too large and we need to allow smaller groups as well.

A good rule for all of us to live by is: There is no one right way to live.


watersheds 18.Nov.2004 16:26

a dude

> However, some watersheds are too large and we need to allow smaller groups as well

Actually that's a bit of a mis-statement. Watersheds are nested in each other, and progressively larger scales... The Balch Creek watershed is a relatively small watershed in Portland... it flows into the Willamette River, making residents of the Balch Creek watershed also residents of the Willamette... a watershed they share with people in Eugene and beyond. The Willamette flows into the Columbia River, whose watershed ties large parts of Oregon and Washington, as well as smaller parts of Idaho and Montana and even British Columbia.

I agree that the watershed is a natural unit, and thus for various purposes it makes sense for decision-making to take place within that context... it's not the be-all end-all though - considering for example small coastal watersheds that drain directly to the Pacific - there is no larger scale watershed into which these people fit, for decision-making.

roadmap? 18.Nov.2004 16:31


In the left image, below, you have around 2,000 plus areas to work with to ponder about interactions, boundaries, and politics. I've been pondering on that for about four years now and the ongoing work is called Toward a Bioregional State. EPA has a nice and even pretty site on watersheds and all their maps. Download your watershed image! It's easy to look up. Some other links below:

1. Find your watershed:

2. United States Geological Survey. "Hydrological Units."  http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/sparrow/wrr97/geograp/geograp.html

"The Water Resources Council developed a hierarchial classification of hydrologic drainage basins in the United States. Each hydrologic unit is identified by a unique hydrologic unit code (HUC) consisting of two to eight digits based on the four levels of classification in the hydrologic unit system (see HUCS.TXT below). The first level of classification consists of 21 water-resources regions as shown below. Subsequent levels include 222 sub-regions, 352 accounting units, and 2150 cataloging units."

3.  http://www.planetdrum.org/ "Planet Drum was founded in 1973 to provide an effective grassroots approach to ecology that emphasizes sustainability, community self-determination and regional self-reliance. In association with community activists and ecologists, Planet Drum developed the concept of a bioregion: a distinct area with coherent and interconnected plant and animal communities, and natural systems, often defined by a watershed. A bioregion is a whole "life-place" with unique requirements for human inhabitation so that it will not be disrupted and injured. Through its projects, publications, speakers, and workshops, Planet Drum helps start new bioregional groups..."

4. Title: The Nine Bioregions of Oregon
Author: oregon_alive
Date: 2004.03.06 09:26
Description: Oregon can now be seen as nine distinct regions, each with its own values, economic approach and political outlook. These differences are at the heart of why the Legislature has been gridlocked, why there is little consensus on how to compete in the global economy and why Oregon's prospects don't seem as clear as they did 30 years ago when timber was king. While the Legislature was embroiled in its longest session ever, The Oregonian sent a team of reporters and photographers to survey the new Oregon. Increasingly, the nine bioregions of Oregon are fighting different global competitors while questioning whether their government in Salem understands what they're up against. Although many economists, business groups and finance experts continue to push for a sales tax, voters statewide have rejected that nine times. Oregon also could consider changing the balance in taxes between businesses and individuals. Businesses enjoy many tax breaks that individuals do not. Corporations pay an income tax rate of 6.6 percent, compared with a top rate of 9 percent for individuals. IF CORPORATIONS WANT TO PRETEND THEY ARE PEOPLE, THEY SHOULD BE TAXED EQUALLY, JUST LIKE PEOPLE.

5. Toward a Bioregional State

Below, the left image is the "HUCs" (USGS's 'hydrological unit codes,' so called; in simple English, watersheds and how they are linked by flows. Rather an admirably detailed and ornate project, if you ask me.

Below, the right image is the greater watershed coverage of "lesser Oregon".

If anyone knows where to find similar watershed maps of all of North America, I would be obliged. I seriously question that all the watersheds between the United States and Canada, for instance, respect the border. ;-)

Greater Watersheds, Lesser Oregon
Greater Watersheds, Lesser Oregon

there are effective solutions to these problems 18.Nov.2004 16:49

a person

I spent most of my childhood years growing up in a few areas of rural eastern Oregon. They generally do not like being governed by Portland/Salem/Eugene and consider it to be another state. Their resentment of Portland/Salem/Eugene is NOT because of our political differences; it is because they feel we try to assert our way of life upon them without consideration of their side of the matter.

One solution is to, instead of making a new "nation" of Cascadia, break the state down into sovereign counties. These new county-nations will work together under some sort of alliance or commonwealth, dealing with such issues that are difficult to deal with on a small scale like prisions, defense, currency, trade and open borders, large civil projects that benefit the region, etc. State assets would be divvied up to the county-nations and many of them will continue to function under some sort of alliance agreement, such as prisions, colleges, etc.

Or perhaps go ahead and make a nation of Cascadia, but keep the national government thin and weak, allowing for a significant amount of control at the local level.

This would also alleviate the polarity. A big part of the polarity is fueled by the fact that the "other guys" can have a lot of control on "our" way of life. I think the "red" parts of Oregon would welcome secession if they retain control over their way of life, and would be happy to be in an alliance with us "blue"-bees if we are not a threat to them with our political differences. The "red" regions would not hate us so much if we didn't have so much control over them, and would be much more willing to work WITH us on matters where we have differences.

Perhaps some Southern Oregon / Northern California counties band together to form a State of Jefferson and rejoin the U.S. So be it. Perhaps some western Oregon and western Washington counties band together to form a nation of "Cascadia". So be it. All those things can be worked out -*LATER*- and can be easily done once we break down to nation-counties.

This is just my proposed solution. I am sure there are other effective ones.

I can imagine forming a national government of some sort over the area, but have it constitutionally limited from making laws that cannot be overridden at the local level (perhaps breaking national laws into two classes: 1- can be overridden by local govt, and 2- cannot be overridden by local govt. Passage of laws of class 2 can be made to be more difficult, requiring voter approval in every county, etc.

Another solution is to break Oregon and similar states into two pieces, a predominantly "red" part and a predominantly "blue" part, and only secede the "blue" part. The "red" part remains "Oregon, U.S.A. The "blue" part joins with other seceding states/regions for form a new country or alliance/commonwealth of some sort.

The point I am making is that there are solutions to these things, whether the selected solution is one I mentioned above of something else.

Rural Oregon 18.Nov.2004 17:50

rural oregonian

First of all, if we want to create Cascadia, more and more of us should move to the country. I'm a little surprised their isn't a stronger Anarchist rural communal movement. The greatest individual freedom is possible in chosen communities in rural areas. Move to the country, and the country will be us.

As someone who has lived in the boonies for a long time now, I know a lot of my neighbors who don't like the US any more than I do. Some of them may not appreciate my lifestyle, but they leave me alone. For the most part the government doesn't have much place here, and I doubt many would take much notice if the system changed, as long as they were left alone.

That said, there are still a lot of blindly patriotic, rabidly right wing folks around here. They're mostly pretty good people, but the have absorbed a lot of propaganda and haven't had a chance to see much else. These people are a danger to a secessionist movement, and they are well armed and a pretty hardy lot. I definitely believe we need to find creative ways to connect with this minority if we want to restructure the state and separate from the US. I think carefully designed policy proposals can move a significant portion of this demographic into favoring Cascadia, such as giving homestead rights to people who are renters, or even homestead plots in selected areas. But the original poster is definitely right. This is a problem we need to consider seriously.

well now 19.Nov.2004 00:42

scary answers to scary questions

There isn't a strong rural communal movement because the models anarchists use to build their little "communities" don't really work. The fundamental unit of anarchist organization is the bookstore. Anarchists really know how to run a bookstore. You can go almost anywhere in the country and find one. Anything else degenerates into one guy's farm and everybody else is a serf. That's no fun, so they go home.

Rural life costs money. You can't just bike everywhere. You need a truck and you need to be able to take care of it. You need either an independent income (i.e. be either a pensioner or a rich guy playing games) or you need a business model that works. And life as a businessperson and landowner far from any kind of hip scene will wear away at your convictions. Eventually who can tell you apart from any other rural city-hating hick?

Holy Cow! 21.Nov.2004 17:04

Scary Answers knows me!

I went from far left college liberal to fairly right rural libertarian across the last 20 years or so. That second paragraph really hit home. Every move I made towards independence and self sufficiency has indeed moved me to the right. Somthing to think about!

I wonder what would happen to the cities 22.Nov.2004 13:11

if Cascadia seceeded

All the SUV-latte-Kerryites-etc might not like urban life so much post-succession, I don't know what they would do. Perhaps even leave? I don't seriously believe anarchy is supposed to just be fun and games, and the anarchist sub-culture that exists now depends pretty heavily on the waste and spoilage of corporate globalization. But I do think it's pretty cool that the leaders of anarchist culture are learning and teaching people how to build houses out of mud, grow food without chemicals, move things around without engines, feed a lot of people with nothing too exciting in the way of food, spread information without TV, and heal with herbal medicines (to name a few). There's a lot of weakness in the ways we depend on technology, like the internet, to build sustainability into our lives. We definitely need to get rid of the electronic-device-on-each-hip mentality, but we might actually be able to keep our technology level up fairly high to keep some electricity generation, mass transit, and some of the other features we'd need to keep chaotic meltdown from occurring. The more educated people are, the more high tech we could probably hold onto, and there is the possibility of trading with foreign nations. But still, the conditions which support the upwardly mobile SUV drivers are unlikely to be maintained, and I wonder what they'd do or where they'd go. Perhaps secession isn't possible until we figure out what those people would do.

While city folks would have to drastically decrease their dependency on vehicles, rural folks would also probably need to get used to living with fewer trucks. And as post-secession relations with the oil-refining corporate sphere would probably be somewhat strained, they would need to develop sustainable ethanol or vegetable oil fuel sources if they expect to be able to move around. I appreciate all of the respectful comments about rural folks made above, I too have observed some quite sensible features of rural life and have a lot of respect for the people who (are able to) pull a life together out there. I feel like there is much more authentic communication between people out there, and sometimes I feel like I've gotten much more respect for standing up for my beliefs than I would if I kept silent. That doesn't always happen in anarchist circles, which often tend to melt down over sometimes trivial offenses. But I would definitely want to know what would happen to the remaining forests if we seceeded. Whether I live in urban or rural conditions, I can't sanction decimating the last of the temperate forest habitat we have left, and I fear that's what would happen if secession did occur.