Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Vermont Secessionist's Call To Arms

Marc Awodey, over at VT Secessionist, has posted a call to arms, at both his blog and at, to Vermonters who wish to move past the disaster that Thomas N. Naylor, founder and supreme ruler of the Second Vermont Republic, has made of the idea that Vermonters might secede and form a republic meaningful to all Vermonters and not just as an adjunct to an elite corps of Naylor's neo-Confederate schemer friends from the League of the South.

Awodey says that...
"... (Thomas N. Naylor's) role as a leader and founder of contemporary Vermont secessionist thought will always be acknowledged, however, as one of our leaders he should realize that his personal statements and affiliations matter. Those prominent in the movement should live up to the mantle of leadership they’ve assumed by abandoning pet causes, and by speaking judiciously to the media and to our citizens. Lincoln revisionism, for example, has crept into Vermont secessionist dialog: why? It's (a) slap in the face of Vermont's (Civil War )history. Vermont contributed more troops per capita than any Northern state to defeat the slave holding oligarchy, and out troops suffered an unequaled 15% casualty rate in the war. The descendants of those farmers and tradesmen who went to war are the people we should honor in our noble cause of Vermont Independence - not alienate by saying their grandfathers were stooges or duped into their graves."
Further, that...
"... (p)et causes enmeshed with the independence movement do it great harm. Why have Vermont secessionists found it important to band together with other North American secessionist groups, regardless of beliefs? At the First North American Secessionist convention, in Burlington in 2005, representatives from fundamentalist Christian groups, neo- Confederates, and other right wing extremists were welcomed into the Green Mountain State. There is no reason to form alliances with such groups, especially ones that an overwhelming majority of Vermonters would certainly consider unsavory."

"Our secessionist movement should focus on gaining allies WITHIN our borders. We must be working from our own history..."
Getting to the heart of it, Awodey says that
"(w)hile there is no elected leadership in the Vermont independence movement there clearly are leaders, and I’m concerned that the personal agendas of some high profile people in the movement have diminished the independence movement's impact."
"... destructive to our credibility has been adherence to the 9/11 “truth” fad. 9/11 conspiracism is totally alien to the sober mindset of most Vermonters, and indeed virtually all of the central tenants of truthers have been thoroughly refuted..."

"We can let extreme positions in cause célèbre issues like Peak Oil, and 9/11 conspiracism project our identity to Vermonters. Or we can begin to lay a firmer foundation built an understanding of Vermont’s history, and what the concerns of moderate Vermonters actually are. The latest incarnation of the Vermont secession movement will whither and die in the post Bush era, unless it begins to appeal to moderates in Vermont’s body politic."
I would only add that the proponents of these extreme positions, Naylor, Sale and Williams, are in reality more closely aligned to anarcho-primivitist claptrap than to a rational view of how we might successfully deal with societal resource dilemmas that face us all in future.
"Secessionist leaders - including contributers to the online editions "Vermont Commons"
- who have painted themselves into a corner with 9/11 conspiracism need to start repairing the damage by focusing on Vermont concerns, rather than trying to fix the United States."

"Vermont first, Vermont foremost. And let Vermont independence be our only cause. Perhaps the time has come for a Republic of Vermont secessionist legislature to be formed, to inaugurate a leadership that will formulate real political policy?"

"... We’ve embarked on a very long march toward the goal of establishing a nation state that lives within its means, respects other peoples, and treads lightly on the environment. One hundred years from now our descendants will see us as either prescient, or as babbling idiots. Which shall it be my friends? Which shall it be?"

Marc Awodey,


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