April 20, 2003


Secession! Why stick around? The Bay Area is already a nation unto itself (G. Pascal Zachary, San Francisco Chronical) (via The Corner)
I wish to propose an immodest remedy for this sorry situation: We, the people of the Bay Area, need to leave the United States. We are held prisoner by a foreign power, colonized by an alien civilization. We require cultural and social self-determination. We demand, in short, a declaration of independence -- and our own nation. . . .

In U.S. history, preservation of "the Union" has long been presented as virtually a religious necessity. Our greatest national myth remains the inevitable rightness of the Northern victory in the Civil War. We are taught again and again about the greatness of Abraham Lincoln, who held our nation together. Yet at what price? Lincoln freed the African American slaves, but they fell victim to "Jim Crow," the peculiar institution, to paraphrase historian Kenneth Stampp, that maintained racial separation in the South (and sanctioned violence against blacks) well into the 1960s. With the South in tow following the Civil War, the United States subdued the Native Americans in the West in the most brutal fashion, seized Cuba and the Philippines from Spain in 1898, thus ushering in an era of imperialism. American hegemony in the second half of the 20th century might have been impossible without a Northern victory in the Civil War.

First of all, the idea of the Bay area seceding is so brilliant, so obvious in hindsight, so well-calculated to lead to the betterment of the country as a whole, that it is hard not to suspect the subtle hand of Karl Rove at work here. I'm not sure there's any downside, other than the intense pressure to readmit the Bay area when the whole thing comes crashing down 10 months later.
Posted by David Cohen at April 20, 2003 6:58 PM

Sounds like a west coast, and more elaborate version of the campaign Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin ran for Mayor/City Council President in New York in 1969, arguing that the city should secede from New York State and become the 51st State (managing to make John Lindsay look moderate in the process). Based on the then-hidden budget time bombs that would explode in 1975, had the Breslin-Mailer plan succeeded, New York would have ended up being run by U.S. Treasury Scretary William Simon in 1976 instead of by Gov. Hugh Carey, in all likelihood with far stiffer cost-cutting measures than even those that were enacted.

A Bay Area secession completely from the U.S. would no doubt produce the same results a few years down the line, especailly after all the survivng high-tech firms are taxed to Sweedish confiscatory levels and decamp for Fresno or the Monterrey Peninsula, which would then force President Brown (Willie or Jerry, take your pick) to go hat in hand to Washigton seeking foreign aid or help with a World Bank loan.

Posted by: John at April 20, 2003 10:54 PM

Zachary probably represents a (hysterically vocal) minority. After all, 63 percent of Bay Area residents support the Iraq campaign.


Posted by: Jorge Curioso at April 21, 2003 12:18 AM

Not new. William Appleman Williams, presented

to our wet-behind-the-ears college freshman

as a respectable historian, demanded that

the Pacific Northwest secede decades ago.

His reasoning, if that's what you can call it,

was similar, though he did not drag in the


Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 21, 2003 12:44 AM

Ultimately, nature may bequeath what politics dare not.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at April 21, 2003 3:33 AM

Best anti-war sign I saw:

"US out of Iraq and San Francisco"

Posted by: mike earl at April 21, 2003 10:15 AM

Naw, we'd just send the tanks in. Did it before.

Posted by: Andrew X at April 21, 2003 10:44 AM


Would the 16% hardcore fit on Alcatraz if we gave it to them? Along with the ferry concession as their navy of course.

Posted by: Genecis at April 21, 2003 11:34 AM

Ya love those progressives.! In the second paragraph this one actually manages to say that the world would be a better place with a Confederate victory.

No only do they love contemporary tyrranies like Soviet Union, North Viet Nam, China, Cuba, so-called Palestine and Saddam's Iraq, but can find a warm place in their cold hearts for a reactionary regime run by slaveowners which was consigned to the trashbin of history over a century ago.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 21, 2003 11:46 AM

Reason Foundation publishes heavily subsidized editions of Acton, and he loved the CSA, too.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 21, 2003 5:26 PM