Getting one’s news from underground and alternative sources can be eye opening and enlightening, but it can also be extremely frustrating. The non-corporate controlled media not only covers news that the corporate owned media would never dream of, but also sheds new light on some stories that are covered by the COM. Many of these websites allow anyone to post almost anything they want at any time. While this is good, it ends up being a lot of strange news items to sort through, especially the conspiracy theories. This is why, when I first starting seeing links to articles about states petitioning to secede, I ignored them. After a few days, when the links became more and more abundant, I decided to check some out.
Turns out this wasn’t some crazy conspiracy theory, but rather some crazy redneck plot. In order to present a petition to the feds, one has to go on the white house website, set up an account, create a petition, and get 25,000 other people to sign it within thirty days. Then the petition goes to the executive branch and an official response is given. I’m not a researcher by any stretch of the imagination, but in a half an hour of searching I could not find a lick of evidence that one petition in the history of the US has been accepted by the white house.
As an anarchist I obviously don’t agree with any petitioning of any government. I believe that the government (local, state, federal) is illegitimate and therefore I try my best to avoid recognizing it. Obviously, the few times I’ve been in front of a judge for criminal charges, informing him that “I don’t recognize your authority” didn’t seem to work. However, I will not stand when that judge walks in, nor will I respect her decision. I didn’t choose to allow myself to be judged by someone who doesn’t know me. I didn’t vote for these laws that I’m told I have to follow. This is the way I feel about petitioning the government. If I don’t believe that they are legitimate, what is the point in asking them for anything.
Putting aside my anarchist beliefs, the fact still remains that the majority of people starting these petitions give reasons like Obama being a non-citizen to explain their desire to no longer be a part of the country they claim to love so much. So, while I’d love to see the dissolving of the federal government, there are two reasons why I don’t support these means. A- I don’t think asking them to dissolve themselves is reasonable; to quote Fredrick Douglas, “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has, it never will.” And B- I don’t think it’s being requested for sane reasons (It still blows my mind that there seem to be more self-proclaimed “birthers” than there are anarchists).
It has been suggested to me that maybe there is a better way to do it. Maybe if someone can get the required 25,000 signatures, then instead of going to the feds to decide, it should go to the people. For example, Texas has collected many more than the required amount of signatures. So now, instead of going to the white house, it would go to the people for a vote. The people of Texas would come out for a special vote and decide whether or not to secede from the US. Again, the anarchist in me shoots up red flags.
I think the concept of having people vote for bills and acts that control our lives would work better than having us elect a representative who has free reign to do whatever she wants in our name. However, majority rule is still no way to ensure fairness. If we voted on everything, slavery would exist in many states, while abortions would exist in less. The majority of voters in California think people shouldn’t be able to marry other people of the same sex (this is doubly unfair because people do not even get to chose their own pronoun). Voters of the same state disagree that food companies should have to tell us if they are using genetically modified ingredients. There is a quote that I like, that has been among others, attributed to Ben Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.”
No matter what is drilled into our heads by teachers, the media, and politicians, nothing beneficial to personkind has ever been achieved by voting or asking. It must be taken.