My point is simply that it is power, not reason, that ultimately decides such questions.
Secession is legal only to the extent that force allows it to succeed. Had the South won, it would have been “legal.” Because it lost, it was “illegal.”
This has been true throughout history. Peaceful secession is almost unheard of.
“My point is simply that it is power, not reason, that ultimately decides such questions.
Secession is legal only to the extent that force allows it to succeed. Had the South won, it would have been ‘legal.’ Because it lost, it was ‘illegal.’”
It’s okay to say what matters is what powers says matters. That’s historically accurate. But it’s not okay to say Might Makes Law, anymore than Might Makes Right. That’s a contradiction. Just as when you say Might Makes Right you’re actually saying there is no such thing as right or wrong, when you say Might Makes Law you’re saying there is no such thing as law. Which I guess is what you mean by putting quotation marks around legal and illegal.
Well, just to be clear, they can say this or that is legal or illegal, but that’s not how it works. New laws may be whatever the side that wins says they are, since they get the power to pass laws once they’ve won. But they do not get to change what the laws were or continue to be if they don’t replace them.
Why would you assume that power is something divorced from reason? It seems likely to me that power is the result of reason. Irrational power up against rational power is generally a loser.
No matter what happened in the Civil War it would not have changed the contradiction between what was attempted and the meaning of “constitution”.