From the June 2004 Idaho Observer:
Will necessity give way to the Second Vermont Republic?
A secessionist movement, led by Professor Thomas Naylor, is beginning to gain ground in Vermont. Naylor, author of The Vermont Manifesto, the Second Vermont Republic, believes the time has come for all good people to support secession from Washington, D.C. A specter is haunting America -- the specter of separation, alienation and powerlessness. We are enmeshed in a global system of conquest and destruction in which Corporate America and the United States government manipulate and control the lives of millions of ostensibly free individuals through money, markets, media and technology, resulting in the loss of political, economic, agricultural, social, cultural, and environmental sustainability and independence. We have been enslaved by American imperialism -- internal and external, and most of us don't even know it, wrote Naylor.
The Vermont Manifesto is an extremely lucid overview of where the citizens of the several states stand in relation to the central government in Washington, D.C. We, the people no longer have a voice in D.C. and it functions without our approval and $7.2 trillion beyond its means. Most would agree there is no stopping the monster that has become the federal government; there is no changing the system. Logic, therefore, determines that we have two choices: 1) Suffer the system though it no longer serves our needs; 2) Leave the system.
It would appear that secession is the only option available to the citizens of the several states. Once we have seceded, we may reestablish cooperative relationships with the other states and, eventually, perhaps, the world will breathe a sigh of relief when Washington, D.C., is no longer the capital of global corporate technotyranny.
A Declaration of Independence
by the People of the Sovereign State of Vermont
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and mankind entitle them, let them declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and 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 governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on 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. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations evinces a design to compromise their sovereignty and to mandate their complicity in the building of empire, in oppression and exploitation throughout the world, and in the suppression of the rights of individuals, societies, tribes and nations, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future.
Let the reasons for Vermont independence be submitted openly before the world.
Vermont is small, rural, democratic, peaceful, communitarian, egalitarian, and independent. Vermont has suffered, as have other states, from the debilitating effects of big business, big government, and big agriculture. Its people have seen big markets deliver inferior goods and produce. They have been burdened with technology that is inappropriate to their needs.
Since Vermont became the fourteenth state of the Union, the United States government has become too big, too centralized, too powerful, too intrusive, too materialistic, too impersonal, too grasping, too militarized, too imperialistic, too violent, too undemocratic, too corrupt, and too unresponsive to the needs of individual citizens and small communities. National and Congressional elections are sold to the highest bidder. State and local governments assume too little responsibility for the well-being of their citizens - too often abdicating their responsibilities to Washington.
The free people of Vermont have reached a turning point: whether to fight for liberty and justice or to trade in their heritage for the shackles known as progress. It is not progress. It is comfort. It is an illusion.
We, the people, here assembled choose liberty and justice, and we reject a system of intrusive federal control that is antithetical to a prosperous way of life, and to the well being of a sovereign state.
Fundamental to liberty, statehood and citizenship is the right to self-preservation. This right includes the obligation of each sovereign state to protect is citizens from the oppressive, harmful, or unlawful policies of the federal government. To wit:
First, the United States is no longer a sustainable nation-state: not politically, economically, agriculturally, socially, morally, culturally, nor environmentally.
Second, Vermont has been dragged into the quagmire of affluenza, technomania, megalomania, globalization, and imperialism by the U.S. government in collaboration with corporate America.
Third, the U.S. government provides Vermont with little protection from the ills of globalization including economic uncertainly, unemployment, environmental degradation, and the loss of sovereignty, political will, and cultural identity.
Fourth, the federal government is using its war on terrorism to undermine constitutionally guaranteed liberties.
Fifth, the U.S. government's unprovoked, unilateral, pre-emptive attacks on nations with which it disagrees such as Afghanistan, Grenada, Guatemala, Iraq, Nicaragua, Panama and Serbia are unconstitutional and in violation of the U.N. charter and international law.
Sixth, Vermont has no military bases, no strategic resources, few defense contractors, and no big cities, and is a threat to no one. However, as long as it remains in the Union it runs the risk of attack, it must accept the military conscription of its youth, and it remains complicit in the most egregious violations of international law.
There is a moral, legal, and absolute imperative for an independent-minded Vermont to revert back to its rightful status as the independent republic it was between 1777 and 1791. This is a call for Vermont to reclaim its soul, and, in so doing, provide an alternative to a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed and greed. It is a call to reject the fear of terrorism. Let us secure our future with the skills and strengths of our past, our ingenuity and our self reliance.
Our founders Thomas Jefferson and James Madison held that the U.S. Constitution was a compact of sovereign states which had delegated specific powers, but not sovereignty, to a central government - powers which could be recalled. By international law, sovereignty cannot be surrendered by implication. It is surrendered only by an express act, and nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any express renunciation of sovereignty by the states. Each state was conceived and formed as sovereign, and, sovereign, each state remains.
According to the tenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. That which is not expressly prohibited by the Constitution is, therefore, within the legal province of the individual states. And therefore all states have a constitutional right to leave the Union. Indeed, when the federal government usurps their sovereignty and becomes destructive to the preservation of life, and liberty and the pursuit or happiness, they have a constitutional duty to reclaim the independence in which they were formed.
Therefore, we the sovereign people of the state of Vermont, while affirming our allegiance to the principles expressed in the U.S. Constitution, do hereby declare our independence from the United States of America, and call upon the Vermont Legislature to authorize a convention of the people to vote on rescinding the petition for statehood approved by the Vermont Assembly in January 1791 and ratified by the Congress on March 4, 1791.
James R. Hogue, Thomas Naylor and, posthumously, Thomas Jefferson.
Copyright 2004 Second Vermont Republic
Second Vermont Republic
The Second Vermont Republic is a peaceful, democratic, grassroots solidarity movement committed to the return of Vermont to its rightful status as an independent republic as was the case in 1791 and to support Vermont's future development as a separate, sustainable nation-state. Members of the Second Vermont Republic subscribe to the following principles:
1. Political Independence. Our primary objective is to extricate Vermont peacefully from the United States as soon as possible.
2. Direct Democracy. Vermont's strong democratic tradition is grounded in its town meetings which have served as the state's political mainstay for over two centuries. We favor devolution of power from the federal and state governments back to local communities and the extension of participatory democracy to the workplace and the farm.
3. Sustainability. We celebrate and support Vermont's small, clean, green, sustainable, socially responsible towns, farms, businesses, schools, and churches. We encourage family owned farms and businesses to produce innovative, premium-quality, high-value added, healthy products. We also believe that energy independence is an essential goal towards which to strive.
4. Economic Solidarity. We encourage Vermonters to buy locally produced products from small local merchants rather than from giant, out-of-state mega stores. We support trade with nearby states and provinces.
5. Quality Education. We would return to local Vermont communities the control and financing of small local schools.
6. Wellness. We encourage small locally controlled health care systems similar to those found in Switzerland in which, unlike the United States, patients, physicians, clinics, hospitals, and insurance providers are all in community with one another.
7. Nonviolence. Consistent with Vermont's long history of nonviolence, we do not condone state-sponsored violence inflicted either by military or law enforcement officials. However, we do support a voluntary citizens' militia to restore order in the event of political unrest or natural disasters. We are unconditionally opposed to any form of military conscription.
8. Foreign Policy. We also favor negotiations with Maine, New Hampshire and the four Atlantic provinces of Canada possibly to create a New Atlantic Confederacy - a nation about the size of Denmark. We would not rule out similar negotiations with Quebec, as well as membership in the U.N.
9. Membership. Second Vermont Republic membership is open to anyone who subscribes to these principles, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
Note: Dr. Thomas Naylor is a professor of economics from Duke University. His book, The Vermont Manifesto, was reviewed by such notables as Economics Professor Walter Williams, retired Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith and others. They all came to similar conclusions: That Dr. Naylor makes a good case for Vermont's secession and that secession may be the only answer to our growing problem with Washington, D.C.
Secession: The constitutional solution
The U.S. was intended to be a confederation of independent states. It was not a perpetual union; the states have the right to secede should they determine continued membership in the confederation is not in the best interests of their citizens.
Three of the original 13 states, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island, wrote into their constitutions the right to secede. In fact, there was an on-going secessionist movement in the New England states from the 1790s to the early 1800s.
The greatest secessionist movement in U.S. history gave birth to the Civil War (also known as the war of northern aggression).
Americans are taught to believe that the Civil War was fought over slavery. President Lincoln is quoted several times to be more committed to preserving the union than freeing the negro slaves.
The southern states, according to numerous scholars who have studied the history of secession, legally seceded from the union. Lincoln lawlessly used the resources of the federal government to prevent the lawful secession of the southern states.
At this time, the U.S. government is engaging in activities that are not in the best interests of the citizens of the several states. Not only is it enforcing federal mandates here at home that are harmful to the well-being of the American people, its militaristic intentions are making enemies all over the world.
The state of Arizona is currently making preparations to secede from the union (The Idaho Observer, Feb. 2004). Professor Thomas Naylor has started a secessionist movement in Vermont (see page 4).
Most Americans are horrified by what they see happening all around them. They see the Bush administration as a militaristic force that cannot be stopped since those who try, are persecuted, tried, convicted, imprisoned, tortured and/or killed.
Perhaps it is time to secede.
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