Editor’s Note: I will share my thoughts as I listen to the two hour replay of the show. I was only able to catch a portion of it this weekend.
1:30: At the outset of this debate, I would like to note that “secession” is a constitutional theory which holds that the people of the states are sovereign and have the absolute right to unilaterally alter or abolish their government in a state convention. The states created the Union and separately ratified the Constitution which delegated powers to Congress. Before the War Between the States, Americans were citizens of their states and only by extension were citizens of the United States. The ultimate tribunal in our system of government is the people of a state acting in their sovereign capacity assembled in a state convention such as those that ratified the Constitution, not any office of the federal government. The same power that was exercised to join the Union through consent can be exercised to leave it.
Such was the American theory of government. It was laid out in the Declaration of Independence. The sovereign people have a right of last resort to revolt against their government. They didn’t need the permission of King George III or the British Parliament to do so. The Federalist Party spent decades trying to walk that back. It was ultimately Lincoln who did so and called it a “new birth of freedom” in the Gettysburg Address which ushered in the new era of centralized and consolidated government and national citizenship in which states are subordinated to the federal government.
I stress this because it is important to emphasize that “secession” isn’t necessary to experience severe political instability and civil conflict. Most civil wars in the world don’t involve secession. In the United States, secession was preceded by the collapse of the national Democratic Party.
7:18: Scott Greer singles out the skull mask accelerationist crowd which is a miniscule group which isn’t at all representative of the secessionist sentiment that is brewing in the country. In reality, it is MAGA or Trump supporters who have been warming up to the idea. Most of these people likely voted for Trump once or twice or have been apathetic in the past. They have soured on mainstream politics.
8:45: It is true that feds infiltrate and subvert “far right” groups, but anyone who has been around for any length of time can tell you this has been going on for decades. The police state has also been unleashed on leftwing groups in the past like the Black Panthers. The “intelligence community” has recently gone far beyond that though to subverting an elected president. The groups which the feds infiltrated on January 6th like the Proud Boys, Threepers and Oathkeepers aren’t even secessionist groups.
10:45: In his list of honeytraps, Scott strangely has nothing to say about the “Stop the Steal” rallies that he supported. Before the Capitol Siege, Nick Fuentes and the Groypers were flying all over the country and drumming up support for these rallies. The event that got hundreds of people arrested was a Trump rally in the U.S. Capitol. Trump era influencers like Owen Shroyer of Infowars and Brandon Straka of Gays for Trump and Baked Alaska were arrested. The smaller rallies that Nick and Scott were holding around the country and which Ali Alexander was organized culminated in the Capitol Siege.
11:08: Wasn’t it Alex Jones who was screaming “1776 Will Commence Again” at the top of his lungs? Clearly, the line between participating in mainstream politics and revolutionary rhetoric, conspiracy theories and violence is blurry in Scott’s own faction. Nick, of course, applauded the Capitol Siege and said that it was epic that Trump supporters were laying siege to Congress. What happened to Pat Casey?
11:50: Ramzpaul opens with calling Thomas Jefferson a wignat.
13:12: Ramzpaul is correct in pointing out the options here: go postal, knuckle under and submit, organize outside the system, vote for an establishment politician and ratify the regime or vote for a populist candidate. The “intelligence community” is just going to subvert anyone who does get elected like Trump who doesn’t have the support of the establishment.
16:42: Ramzpaul is correct that anyone who tries to organize outside the system will be infiltrated by the “intelligence community,” but that is because the “mainstream” which is controlled by the “intelligence community” and the media is already so fake and gay and rigged. The difference here is between spaces which are totally controlled and managed to stifle dissent and ensure the status quo continues and spaces which are uncontrolled and full of problematic people and thus have to be subverted.
17:00: Everyone agrees that the “intelligence community” tries to disrupt dissident groups.
21:13: Scott is correct that the GOP leadership is worthless, but isn’t that the whole point? Nothing can be expected from these people. The policy agenda is purchased by donors and lobbyists. Even Donald Trump sold out his own followers and grifts off them. As those people become disillusioned with mainstream politics, secession and “civil war talk” gains greater traction.
21:46: In the USSR and Eastern Bloc, dissidents were also paralyzed with fear of the “intelligence community,” losing their jobs, getting snitched on by friends and family, being labeled “anti-Soviet” which was a mental illness and being put on a list.
22:27: Scott’s solution actually is to keep voting and doing nothing as the “intelligence community” launches a “domestic war on terror” and rolls back the boundaries of permissible dissent to the point where every Trump supporter in the country is basically a “white supremacist.” The protest that went so horribly wrong on January 6th was a Trump rally.
23:00: As we just saw with the 2022 NDAA, House Republicans voted to entrench CRT and draft women into the military. CRT is becoming more institutionalized, not less. Every few years the GOP comes up with a new variation of this scam. What happened to the anti-sharia movement?
24:00: Once again, I agree with Scott that Republican politicians serve the interests of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I agree that they are controlled by lobbyists and wealthy donors. I agree that their strategy is to harness resentment and grift off endless rounds of backlash politics. This is Donald Trump’s aim. DONATE NOW and join the Diamond Club to save your family from Antifa. Why then should anyone who believes this and sees through this scam go out and vote for them?
25:53: Scott describes the flaws of a centralized and consolidated government. It is true that states and local governments are now nothing more than administrative units of the federal government. Southern states are notorious for prostrating themselves at the feet of corporations and essentially bribing them to spur economic development. We do this while sanctimoniously condemning “socialism.”
27:57: Scott is exaggerating the lack of geographic sorting. The intense partisan divide is rural vs. urban these days with the suburbs being the primary battleground. It is a cultural rift that is centered on modernism which has been opening up since the 1920s. Americans are becoming a lot better at sorting themselves into homogeneous communities. There are fewer and fewer swing congressional districts.
32:24: Ramzpaul is underplaying his argument here. Nothing is holding this country together except inertia. The traditional pillars of American national identity and social cohesion – race, culture and religion – were jettisoned a long time ago in favor of pure ideology. It was assumed at the time by confident mid-twentieth century liberals that ideology would be sufficient to hold the country together. The American Creed isn’t holding this country together. Not even shopping is a unifying thread these days.
41:42: Does anyone remember forty years ago when the practical thing to do was to vote Republican to “Take Back America”? How about twenty years ago? How about ten years ago? How about five years ago? This assessment never seems to change even though things only continue to get worse.
42:26: We just lived through four years of “Taking Back America” and have emerged on the other side of it. How did that work out?
42:43: The Virginia GOP had nothing to say about the desecration of the Robert E. Lee monument. The big issue in the Virginia governor’s race is the state grocery tax.
45:19: What is the track record the world’s most powerful empires? In the last century, the British Empire, French Empire, Soviet Empire, German Empire, Dutch Empire, Portuguese Empire, Spanish Empire, Japanese Empire and the Ottoman Empire all fell.
45:34: The Roman Empire endured for as long as it did in part because news traveled so much slower in Antiquity than it does today.
46:16: The George Floyd riots are a symptom of mounting political instability.
47:50: It is a myth that comfort and prosperity is a vaccine against political instability and civil conflict. America had the highest standing of living in the world at the time of the American Revolution and the War Between the States. Both conflicts were driven by fanaticism and conspiracy theories. The Great Depression was also a turning point in the sense that social capital and social stability reversed and began to recover and go up in a time of dire poverty.