I've never liked the "right to self-determination"--it seems to be the right for the thugs with the most guns and spears to do what they please without interference from outside.
I think that it's much better to start from rights that people have, not rights that the thugs called their rulers have to a peaceful untroubled existence. Discussions lead to much more insight if it starts from a perspective where (can I resist? No, I can't):
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the
pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among
Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of
these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to
and to institute new Government, laying its foundations upon
such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient
causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that
mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,
than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they
are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their
right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to
provide new Guards for their future security...
WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assebled,
appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of
our intentions, do, in the name, and by Authority of the good
Poeple of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That
these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND
INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are Absolved from all
Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection
between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be
totally disolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they
have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract
Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and
Things which Independent States may of right do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on
the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each
other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock--Geo. Taylor--Button Gwinnett--James
Wilson--Lyman Hall--Geo. Ross--Geo. Walton--Caesar
Rodney--Wm. Hooper--Geo. Read--Joseph Hewes--Tho. M.
Kean--John Penn--Wm. Floyd--Edward Rutledge--Phil.
Livingston--Thos. Heyward, Jr.--Fras. Lewis--Thomas Lynch,
Jr.--Lewis Morris--Arthur Middleton--Richd. Stockton--Samuel
Chase--Jno. Witherspoon--Thos. Stone--John Hart--Charles
Carroll of Carrollton--Abra. Clak--Josiah Bartlett--George
Wythe--Wm. Whipple--Richard Henry Lee--Saml. Adams--Th.
Jefferson--John Adams--Benj. Harrison--Robt. Treat
Paine--Thos. Nelson, Jr.--Elbridge Gerry--Francis Lightfoot
Lee--Step. Hopkins--Carter Braxton--William Ellery--Robt.
Morris--Roger Sherman--Benjain Rush--Sam.
Morton--Oliver Wolcott--Geo. Clymer--Matthew