This afternoon the Nevada County Supervisors heard a presentation on the State of Jefferson by the movement's local steering committee. It was followed by public comment from both pro and con residents of our county. I made the following statement during the public comment segment.
I too want to thank you for hearing from the State of Jefferson steering committee. I am a proponent of advancing this historical experiment in constitutional self-government. It is indisputable that the voices and values of rural counties have been largely ignored in many state houses. Until recently these counties have been resigned to their second class status by staying the same ol’ same ol’ course. But to more of us, continuing to follow Rodney King’s appeal to ‘just get along’ brings to mind a famous man’s definition of insanity.
We realize that today the SoJ movement is still new, not well understood, and therefore opposed by more than the usual collectivists whose historical aim has always been to increase the size of Leviathan under which we labor today. For them the creation of smaller and more like-minded jurisdictions such as SoJ is counter to the global unification goal they hold dear.
It also appears that our Nevada County government staff has taken a strong stand against SoJ by suggesting that when compared to other so-called SoJ counties in northern California, our county stands out as the best while still ‘working together with’ Sacramento. However, to me the staff’s data tables tell a different and more illuminating tale. Historically these rural counties have enjoyed productive economies based on agriculture, timber, mining, and recreation. But that was before Washington and Sacramento unleashed their massive bureaucratic assault, enforcing on them versions of dubious and scientifically unsupported bromides that promise to save the environment and stop manmade global warming.
Today the years of buckling under diktats from the likes of the EPA, CARB, Water Resources Board, and other government agencies have devastated the region’s economies and resulted in the dire statistics that our county staff has assembled. Nevada County’s placement at the top of that sorry heap has less to do with any bounty from Sacramento, than with our fortunate proximity to a large urban corridor, and our historical but now diminishing industrial base. In short, the data you have been presented is simply a detailed epitaph in the making for rural counties that have gone along to get along with Leviathan, only to reap a dismal reward for their cooperation.
To my mind the only remaining viable alternative to SoJ is our joining or even leading the growing national movement to restore ‘permissionless innovation’ by simply adopting ‘Just Say NO!’ as a response to insane and inane regulations. As a fortuitous coincidence, today is the release date of By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission from the celebrated political scientist and sociologist Charles Murray. This book is a ‘how to’ manual for America’s small businesses and political jurisdictions going viral to effectively resist and turn back regulations which are “pointless, stupid, and tyrannical”. It contains a detailed plan of how Americans can start saying NO!, one regulation at a time. And in the event you missed Murray’s nationally published essay on the subject this weekend, I will gladly email you the link. Gentlemen, I suggest that change for the better is afoot across this land.
Finally, all the arguments against SoJ rest on stasist projections. Stasism is the belief that we can see tomorrow only through the lens of current practices kept rigidly unchanged. Its corollary is ‘if it hasn't been done, it can't be done’. But proponents of the State of Jefferson believe that in this most exceptional country the world has ever seen, the new and the never-been-tried has always served as a beacon to innovation, enterprise, and in the end, a better life. Thank you.