Sunday, February 18, 2007

SVR Advisory Board Member Kirkpatrick Sale Vows To Maintain Ties to White Supremacists of the League of the South

In what I can only describe as a bizarre development over this weekend, Kirkpatrick Sale, an Advisory Board member of Second Vermont Republic, contributor to the publication "Vermont Commons" and director of the Middlebury Institute, a self described "umbrella" organization to a variety of groups advocating secession from the United States that include racists, anti-Semites, misogynists, homophobes and white supremacists, has reaffirmed a commitment to partner with the League of the South, a documentably racist and white supremacist organization.

To Sale, the racist attitudes and agenda of some of his secessionist colleagues, and the potential consequences to his fellow citizens, is of no importance.  Not every Vermonter will share this cavalier attitude.

Remarkably, Sale has further revealed that his group intends to co-sponsor a convention later this year with the LoS.  It is unclear from his statement at the SVR website if SVR itself intends to maintain such strong ties to the racist elements of the secessionist movement that Vermonters of a broad cross section of political persuasions have demanded be severed.

Author: The Middlebury Institute (Kirkpatrick Sale)

A statement about who are colleagues and allies, what it means to be part of a movement, and how to regard the League of the South.

Concern has arisen in some quarters in recent weeks regarding secessionist organizations that express values—or are charged with expressing values—that others do not like, and questions have been raised about alliances with such groups. The Middlebury Institute would like to establish a basic response to such concerns and questions.

First, the secessionist movement is made up of organizations of many different kinds that are alike in their advocacy of secession—of secession in general and of secession of their particular part of the planet. That is what makes them colleagues and allies—because in this difficult task of making secession and separatism a legitimate political goal they stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.

Second, it is not up to any organization in the movement (or its friends) to judge the attitudes, philosophies, or beliefs of others. While one would hope to have those compatible with one’s own, it must be understood that different people in different places will have different ideas, desires, goals, and strategies—that, after all, is the whole point of secession. A group is for secession precisely because it does not want to be part of a larger entity whose beliefs and actions it does not like, and wishes to live free on its own terms.

Third, the kind of people who insist on telling others how to live and think so as to have one unanimous right-minded uniformity are dangerous people and precisely the kind that establish national governments and pass laws applicable to entire populations. Fascism is one obvious and ugly form of this, but mass industrial democracy is a similar, if often more benign, form. And it is exactly this that secession and separatism are opposed to.

Fourth, as to the League of the South, it is demonstrable that as an organization it is not racist and would not establish a racist state if they were successful in secession. (The official position of the LOS on this matter is added below as an appendix.) The Middlebury Institute has offered to be a co-sponsor with the LOS of the next Secessionist Convention this year squarely because it believes it to be an honorable and legitimate—and non-racist—organization sincerely and intelligently devoted to peaceful secession from the empire.

We accept the fact that there may be people in the LOS who have expressed intemperate and intolerant opinions—but of what group, we ask, could that not be said? (And the scare-mongering charges along these lines by the Southern Poverty Law Center have much more to do with its desire to squeeze money out of people made to be afraid of hobgoblins than by any genuine exposure of misbehavior.] Moreover, even if there are, as individuals, LOS people we could from our point of view deem racist, that would matter not one whit as to whether they were legitimate colleagues in the secessionist movement. It is irrelevant.

People turn to secession because they want their own form of government, on their own terms, and hope to create a state that will live out their beliefs, principles, ideals. It is no more justifiable for one organization to question or criticize or castigate those goals if they work toward a Christian-directed government that outlaws abortion and adultery than if they work for a secular democracy favoring gun-control and same-sex marriages. The beauty of secession is that it looks toward having a world where those and many other kinds of states can exist, free and independent, and not impose its ideas on others or have others’ ideas imposed on it.

Ultimately we in the secessionist movement stand divided, but we stand together. We believe in secession, each of us, and though the ends we work for may be different—and what a thriving, vibrant, multi-variant world that would bring us to—the means we use unites us all.

Kirkpatrick Sale

Middlebury Institute February, 2007   [1]


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