A California Republic?

CalExit?

The state flag of California shows a grizzly bear and the words “California Republic”

The 1846 Bear Flag Republic was a split from Mexico. It didn’t last long and California eventually became part of the USA.

Now, today, because of disgust with the Trump regime, some Californians are talking of splitting from the USA and becoming an independent country. alt

There’s even a political party pushing the idea.

How about a passport?

Also see this news article

Secession is not unheard of. Alaska and Texas have entertained the idea. And of course we still see people waving the stars and bars of the Confederate States of America

Viability

Here are some thoughts about CalExit – California’s exit from the USA.

California is an economic powerhouse. There is Silicon Valley and the Central Valley, producing technology and food. The University of California is world-class. Los Angeles / Long Beach and Oakland are major ports. The California economy is the fifth largest in the world.

But California is is not independent, because its economy is closely tied with the rest of the world. It can’t just go a separate way; even an independent California would be very dependent on world trade.

The state borders seem adequate for the proposed country; California already has fruit and vegetable inspection stations, which could be upgraded to do customs/immigration.

Immigration

Ideally the California Republic would welcome all comers. Perhaps there ought to be a sponsorship system by which an established resident would guarantee an immigrant a place to live and a job.

Of course the California Republic would implement a single-payer health system for all residents.

Religion

The California Republic would be a secular state. The Republic would leave all residents free to believe and practice as they like, without annoying others. No religious sect, Christian, Muslim or whatever, would be allowed to impose its beliefs on the government.

Language

Would the California language remain English? Perhaps Californyo speech would evolve to include elements of Spanish, Chinese and other languages?

Could techies work up a simplified compact printed language augmenting text with ideograms?

National/Ethnic Idcentity

California residents would need to acquire a distinct identity. which would supersede a resident’s racial, ethnic or previous national identity.

What are you? I’m a Californyo.

What’s your dos (secondary identity)? That may be Black, Belgian, Minnesotan or Mexican, but it’s secondary to being a Californyo.

Opposition

Would US opposition to CalExit provoke an economic blockade, or lead to a civil war?

Could military bases in San Diego and Camp Pendleton be maintained as US enclaves, or would those areas have to be excluded from the secession?

Going it alone would be disruptive and difficult. It could only happen with substantial help from allies. Mexico? Japan? China? Russia? Canada? Would technology, food and wine buy aid?

Might the secession idea spread? Might California merge with parts of Mexico? Would other US states try to secede? Texas? Alaska? Would a solid majority in California go along with secession? California has zones of conservatives in the wealthy hills, along the coasts, in the Central Valley. Would these popuations cause independent California to crumble into factional fragments? Or could they be convinced to put their money into CalExit and become a governing faction?

National Currency

What monetary system would California Republic use? US Dollar? Euro? Join the BRIC group?

Could California Republic become a major world financial center? Could it offer a tax haven like Cayman Islands?

Political System

Have a one-house legislature. No supreme court: unresolved disputes are returned to the legislature for resolution.

No two-party system. Let many parties bloom. Run elections under ranked choice.

One-person, one-vote; majority rule. No nonsense like the Electoral College

All registered voters either cast a vote or accept a default choice made by a designated official.

Taxes

Budget deficits not allowed. Every expenditure must have a designated revenue source. If the source is inadequate, the expenditure is curtailed; disbursements disallowed.

Social Engineering

As part of starting a new country, it is tempting to do some social engineering, perhaps dealing with tobacco use, alcohol abuse, homophobia, bullying, abortion and marriage customs. These impositions (along with some of the ideas already mentioned) could blow up the new country before it became stable. Such issues might be dealt with by local government, where people have the option of going elsewhere within the country.

Freedom to Opt-Out

Because of discontent, there may well be some exchanges of population between the red states of the rump USA and the blue California Republic.

Dangers

In the uncertainty during secession, the new country might well end up as a dictatorship. There’s the possibility of a demagogue playing the many racial, religious, political and ethnic groups off against one another.

Could California Republic stay out of world conflicts but still protect itself? Could it be prosperous and neutral like Sweden and Switzerland?

Prospects

Maybe, if CalExit started a serious move toward implementation, it would bring on the fall of Trump and California's secession would become unnecessary.

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