Secessionists of the World Unite!

The Boston Globe has an interesting article on a conference on secession co-sponsored by southern far-right secessionists (the League of the South) and far left secessionists from New England (the Middlebury Institute in Vermont, headed by longtime left-wing activist Kirkpatrick Sale).

I am not opposed to secession on principle. It can, in some circumstances, be a useful check on excessive central government power in a federal system. However, secession movements must be evaluated on the basis of the types of new governments they intend to establish. And, to put it mildly, I’m not a big fan of either of the ones on offer here.

The article also mentions a controversy over whether the neo-Confederate League of the South is racist. Based on this extensive report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (a watchdog organization that tracks racist groups), I’d have to say that they are.

To be clear, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically racist about the idea of secession per se. But there are and have been people who support secession for racist reasons, and the League of the South falls in that category.