There’s the Rebellion Blog, “Current events and commentary from a Southern perspective. The most powerful political forces of our time — localism, secession, and confederalism — vindicate the Southern Cause.” Their subtitle doesn’t mention race, but race is frequently the topic of the day, with blogposts like The REAL Martin Luther King, The hypocrite-in-chief, contd., or one of the many shots taken at the NAACP, a popular target.
And then there’s perhaps the most notable of all the movements: “The Second Vermont Republic: the Green Mountain Independence Movement” (http://vermontrepublic.org/about) or SVR, which is very active, in the real world and not just on its blog. Vermont’s secession movement features endorsements by what I would call celebrity intellectuals (as opposed to intellectual celebrities). John Kenneth Galbraith and George F. Kennan. It’s helped them garner media coverage – though usually of the smirky, quirky kind – in outlets like Utne Reader and the New Yorker. When the Wall Street Journal covered their movement, the SVR blog triumphantly headlined their own post: “The Wall Street Journal Discovers Secession.”
SVR lists on its Advisory Board several college professors (Loyola, Dartmouth, SUNY-Buffalo) as well as several state-independence activists:
Clarence “Ku” Ching – Hawaiian independence movement political activist.
Lynette Clark – Gold miner, founding member and Chair, Alaskan Independence Party.
SVR rails against the deployment of Vermont’s Air National Guard Unit, and its six Vermont F-16 fighter jets, to South Korea. “Could the Vermont Air Guard Inadvertently Provoke World War III with China?” They don’t like their U.S. Senator, or “Pentagon Patrick Leahy” as they call him. “While pretending to be opposed to the war in Iraq, Leahy supports every new military appropriations bill, every Vermont based defense contract, and every deployment of Vermont National Guard troops overseas.”
SVR activists Ian Baldwin and Frank Bryan plucked a chord in the heart of the federalist empire (yes, they use that term) back in 2007. I’m sure some people took it as evidence of an April Fool’s prank, but they meant nothing of the sort with their op-ed in the house journal of the United States of America – the Washington Post.
“The Once and Future Republic of Vermont”
Author: Ian Baldwin and Frank Bryan
The winds of secession are blowing in the Green Mountain State.
Vermont was once an independent republic, and it can be one again. We think the time to make that happen is now. Over the past 50 years, the U.S. government has grown too big, too corrupt and too aggressive toward the world, toward its own citizens and toward local democratic institutions. It has abandoned the democratic vision of its founders and eroded Americans’ fundamental freedoms.
Vermont did not join the Union to become part of an empire.
Some of us therefore seek permission to leave.
In 2007, SVR’s founder Thomas Naylor published a book, Secession: How Vermont and all the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire.
Dedication: George F. Kennan
Foreword: Kirkpatrick Sale
The headline of an Associated Press release dated 2 June 2007, seen around the world read “In Vermont, Nascent Secession Movement Gains Traction.” Across the Green Mountains there is a whiff of revolution in the air – – a quiet and thoughtful revolution in which the revolutionists are well-educated, articulate writers, artists, academics, blue collar workers, doctors, farmers, lawyers, merchants, publishers, and other rebels committed to the belief that the United States of America has lost its moral authority and is unsustainable, ungovernable, and therefore, unfixable. These genteel rebels have called for the peaceful return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic as it once was between 1777 and 1791 and the dissolution of the American empire.
Taking their cues from the 1961 Broadway musical “Stop the World – – I Want to Get Off,” these modern day secessionists want to free themselves from a technofascist state which condones a convoluted war on terrorism, a foreign policy based on full-spectrum dominance and imperial overstretch, the rendition of terrorist suspects, prisoner abuse and torture, the suppression of civil liberties, citizen surveillance, corporate greed, pandering to the rich and powerful, environmental degradation, pseudo-religious drivel, and a culture of deceit.
These radical intellectuals recognize the importance of the village green as a metaphor for Vermont – – a place where people meet to chat, have a coffee, a locally brewed beer, a glass of wine, or a bite to eat; read a newspaper; listen to music; smell the flowers; and pass the time away. They know that the village green is all about the politics of human scale- – small towns, small businesses, small schools, and small churches. The Vermont village green is neat, clean, democratic, nonviolent, noncommercial, egalitarian, and humane. It is a mirror image of the way America once was, but no longer knows how to be.
Among the principles to which supporters of Vermont’s genteel revolution subscribe are political independence, human scale, sustainability, economic solidarity, power sharing, equal opportunity, tension reduction, and community. The very essence of the village green is a strong sense of community among its citizens and their neighbors. It is this sense of community which makes Vermont so radical.
Vermont provides a communitarian alternative to the dehumanized, mass-production, mass-consumption, overregulated, narcissistic lifestyle which pervades most of America. In Vermont the politics of human scale always trumps the politics of money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism. Living in Vermont is a lot like living in a small European country.
America, too, needs a genteel revolution. Vermont separatists stand ready to help save Vermont, America, and the rest of the world from the American empire by leading our nation into peaceful disunion.
A Eulogy for the First Vermont Republic
Chapter 1 The Endgame for America
Chapter 2 Vermont’s Radical Imperative
Chapter 3 The Untied States of America
Chapter 4 Secession and Independence Movements Across the Country and Around the World
Chapter 5 Some Models for an Independent Vermont
Chapter 6 Free Vermont
“Tom Paine for the 21st century. A surprisingly compelling argument for applying the small-is-beautiful philosophy to the United States itself.”
– Jay Walljasper
Editor of Ode magazine
“I must assure you of my pleasure in, and approval of, your views on the Second Vermont Republic. The assertion by Vermonters of a sensible foreign policy is wonderfully to the good. You have my agreement and my admiration.”
– John Kenneth Galbraith
“All power to Vermont in its effort to distinguish itself from the U.S.A. as a whole, and to pursue in its own way the cultivation of its tradition. My enthusiasm for what you are trying to do in Vermont remains undiminished; I am happy for any small support I can give it.”
– George F. Kennan
Former Ambassador to Russia and Professor, Institute for
Advanced Studies, Princeton
“This book not only lays out a convincing case for secession from the American empire, but provides a working model of how an American state might really go about achieving that. It is an important part of the process of creating a movement. It is a beacon not only for the good citizens of Vermont but for all those wishing to dismantle the American empire and create real independent democracies in its stead.”
– Kirkpatrick Sale
Director, Middlebury Institute
“A serious examination of our God given right of self governance and that right’s implication for secession. Dr. Naylor has made a persuasive case of the identical response to today’s ‘train of abuses’ that led the Founders to secede from King George’s tyranny.”
– Walter E. Williams
John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics,
George Mason University
“In 1991 the Soviet Union was peacefully dissolved by the secession of 15 states. It had become simply too large and centralized. So has the American Union. Thoughtful people from every side of the political spectrum are beginning to realize that the only check to the tyranny, insecurity, and spirit numbing mass culture that continued centralization would bring is to seriously consider breaking the American empire up into alternative unions and/or smaller polities. Professor Naylor is part of this debate and has made a compelling case that little Vermont would be better off out of the Union.”
– Donald Livingston
Professor of Philosophy, Emory University
“Thomas Naylor makes a powerful case for an independent Vermont. I think folks may soon be ready to consider this kind of wise and humane radicalism.”
– Bill Kauffman
Author of Look Homeward, America
“Tom Naylor makes a serious case for an independent Vermont, a Second Vermont Republic that could immediately enter the world of nations and thereby begin the peaceful, democratic, and indeed moral process of disuniting the United States.”
– Frank Bryan
University of Vermont Professor
And Author of Real Democracy
“From the standpoint of puppeteers and their subversive papier-mâché, the Vermont Second Republic sounds like a very good idea to fight the megalomania of the globalizers.”
– Peter Schumann
Founder, Bread & Puppet Theater
“There are very few radical thinkers. Thomas Naylor is one of the most courageous of these. Distinguished, deeply moral, genius wild man.”
– Carolyn Chute
Author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine, Merry Men and Snow Man