Secession

  • The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought
    Some people ask whether local groups or provinces have the right to secede from the country of which they are a part. The answer is: on ethnic grounds, no. Ethnicity is not a valid consideration, morally or politically, and does not endow anyone with any special rights. As to other than ethnic grounds, remember that rights belong only to individuals and that there is no such thing as “group rights.” If a province wants to secede from a dictatorship, or even from a mixed economy, in order to establish a free country — it has the right to do so. But if a local gang, ethnic or otherwise, wants to secede in order to establish its own government controls, it does not have that right. No group has the right to violate the rights of the individuals who happen to live in the same locality. A wish — individual or collective — is not a right.