Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Vermont Secession: A Blog

Each week I pick-up a copy Seven Days.  A mid-January issue had an insert from a paper that I hadn't seen before called "Vermont Commons".

While I'd heard in passing about a group advocating discussion of Vermont seceding from the United States, this was my first contact with material directly from the group "dedicated to the proposition that Vermonters should peaceably secede from the United States and govern themselves as a more sustainable independent republic once again."

I did a quick search of local blogs and found something about The Vermont Convention on Independence held in 2005 at a site I often visit, Cut To The Chase.  The convention's objectives were described as:
"First, to raise the level of awareness of Vermonters of the feasibility of independence as a viable alternative to a nation which has lost its moral authority and is unsustainable.  Second, to provide an example and a process for other states and nations which may be seriously considering separatism, secession, independence, and similar devolutionary strategies."
Cut To The Chase's companion site, Vermont, Now and Zen has more on the group.

As I've read and learned more about the group at Second Vermont Republic and its publication, Vermont Commons, I've become concerned about some of what they say and even more so about things that they aren't saying.  My purpose in this blog won't be to gevaltize about the various people and their connections to organizations that promote ideas (or as they would have it, "Truths") that are inimical to generally accepted Vermont values of inclusion and respect for others.  I'd simply like for my neighbors to have additional facts not being presented by those who are proposing secession.

My fear is that Vermonters may be about to undergo a boiling frog experience as they consider this idea of secession from the United States.  The proponents of secession go to great lengths to suggest what may be gained by seceding.  But are they being less than forthright about what we may stand to lose by seceding?

Since what I've learned comes from sources other than those offered by those looking to secede from the U.S., I thought this blog might be a way to get this additional pertinent information out to my fellow Vermonters, so as to benefit the conversation that SVR proposes that we have about secession.

Recently at one blog, PoliticsVT, the bloggers there decided that it was time to "lay down their pens."  Theirs had been a blog that used the pseudonyms of dead Vermont governors.  Their use of those names had caused some controversy when they began.  They said that they had their own reasons for using pseudonyms at the time, just as do I now.  Should that be a cause for some further controversy, so be it.  It won't alter or diminish the facts that I intend to present here.

Thomas Rowley was one of the lesser known Green Mountain Boys.  As spokesman for Ethan Allen, "he had once motivated (Vermonters) to fight for their independence as a state against a feudal system that was threatened on them from New York."  I fear that the secession we are being asked to consider may not be exactly what we are being led to think that it is.  While I don't think that what I'll be saying in future posts as the long dead Thomas Rowley will necessarily "set the hills on fire," there may be some heat as I shed light on the topic of secession, where it may possibly take us and about just who may be actually guiding the secession discussion.


At Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 4:11:00 PM EST , Blogger Katharine said...

I think the secession discussion in Vermont really runs the gamut from "regular" Republicans and Dems who are simply sick and tired of the nonsense from Washington, especially post 9-11, all the way to the really most extreme folks possible, the people for whom Bernie Sanders will never be "independent" enough and the likes of Amy Goodman and "Democracy Now" will always be referred to as "corporate shills" when they really do offer a bit better than mainstream corporate media. Perfection remains elusive and always in the eye of the beholder. ;)

I myself am undecided on secession; I see some benefits and some failings. But I've been trying to pass along information, both within and outside of Vermont, since I know that Vermont isn't the only place with disenchanted people who feel Washington as it is currently run serves few people well.

Glad I "found" you, if belatedly; and you are always most welcome at Cut to the Chase and Vermont Now and Zen; glad you're dropping by.

At Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 7:54:00 AM EST , Blogger Thomas Rowley said...

I've been of like mind on the secession discussion but because of earlier endeavours having to do with civil rights and hate crimes, I was aware of the decades long effort to mainstream or re-brand the more radical, separatist elements of secessionism.

When I heard references to certain touchstones of the old re-packaged , racist movement for secession, it caused me to set aside that mild detachment I had and to take a harder look at the facts. They just weren't being presented to Vermonters and I feel that we have a right to make an informed decision, particularly if our own efforts could be used elsewhere to advance the success of racists or Christian Identity separatists who have spoken openly of "removing" blacks, Arabs, Jews and sexual minorities from their new "nations." Certainly it is fair to consider the potential negative consequences of actions that we may take here and not then be criticized for a failure to be disinterested in who we may be aiding and associating with, as is being suggested by SVR's leadership.

I don't think that those facts necessarily mean that SVR or its members and supporters are bad people by any means. There are a lot of good people who have associated themselves with the discussion that SVR has sheparded thus far, who all failed to do even the most basic form of homework. Sometimes, in our political efforts, we don't engage the same degree of appropriate skepticism that we employ when handling personal finances or screening phone calls and, so, find ourselves in a situation such as we have here.

The issue then becomes what do we do about that? Sadly, there's been far to much focus on messengers, irrelevant elements and useless, high sounding posturing coming from SVR's leadership, and less understanding for the valid concerns of many Vermonters like myself. SVR can still turn this around but if they continue on the path they've started on, I think they'll have seriously damaged the prospect of having a worthwhile discussion of secession for the time being.

I'm glad you're glad to have found my blog. I've quietly enjoyed yours for some time now and look forward to returning that state in the future.

At Sunday, April 8, 2007 at 10:30:00 PM EDT , Blogger marc awodey MFA said...

dear mr. rowley

thanks for your excellent blog. my name is marc awodey, and i do consider myself a vermont secessionist, and have been for perhaps 25 years. however i think the goal of withdrawing from the united states, may take 100 more years, and be the result of the same sort of centrifugal forces which dissolved the soviet union. nevertheless i do think certain concrete steps could be initiated by secessionists, given the times we now live in. unfortunately, the SVR has totally discredited it’s self with it’s adherence to the 9/11 “truth” fad, and the growing paranoia of Dr. Naylor, Mr. Hogue and others.
I am not savvy enough to launch a secessionist alternative to the well financed and well organized sites of the SVR and vt commons, but a sensible alternative definitely seems needed. the pseudo intellectualism of vt commons is rife with logical fallacies and non sequiturs that make for mind numbing reading - devoid of honesty, passion - and especially dialog with common citizens asking serious questions. And i do think it's self evident that the SVR leadership has many hidden agendas detrimental to stated goals.

please feel free to contact me if the notion of breaking free of SVR hegemony in the secessionist discussion- seems worth considering, and perhaps acting upon. i’d be interested in discussing this idea with you or any of your readers who might agree that eventual secession is possible... if vermonters approach the issue with hope and optimism for our independant future, rather than a torrent of vitriol for the united states.

thanks again for your good work.

marc awodey

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 3:44:00 PM EDT , Blogger The Statesman- Sincere et Constanter said...

I find it interesting that 100 years ago the south tried to peacefully secede and we were forced to stay under martial law. Now that some of the north wants to leave everybody is all fine with it. Hmm...........


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