Review: Secession–How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire

5 Star, Secession & Nullification
Amazon Page

Elegant plain speaking, superb overview, November 4, 2008

Thomas H. Naylor

This book is a follow-on to The Vermont Manifesto, which I absorbed and reviewed in 2006 when I first realized that there existed a vibrant nation-wide network of secessionist movements, with Vermont being among the most ably represented.

I strongly recommend this book for every citizen. Regardless of who “wins” this mock election, we all lose–the two-party bi-opoly is a crime family, and absent electoral reform the Republic is dead. As the author of this book puts it, “our” government is corrupt to the core.” I will be speaking briefly to the annual reunion of the two dozen secessionist movements in New Hampshire on 15 November 2008, and I will be encouraging every one of the movement to announce an intent to exercise its right to withdraw from a corrupt Union *unless* the pseudo-President agrees to implement four core reforms (they are outlined, along with the legitimate grievances of the varied secessionist movements, in Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography).

This book opens with a tremendous introduction by Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale and dean of the Middlebury Institute that furthers the secessionist movement.

The book then offers a summary of the earlier work, eight points in the manifesto:
1) increasingly difficult to protect ourselves from big everything
2) government is too everything, including intrusive and unresponsive
3) US government has lost its moral authority both at home and abroad
4) we have a single (criminal) political party [I for one weep at the charade that the Democrats have put on with 700 million in largely illegal contributions made possible by Obama not being able to honor his word to the public)
5) The “American way” is a way of greed, exploitation, and waste
6) America's foreign policy is immoral and illegal as well as unconstitutional
7) To be a part of the Empire is to invite terrorist attack
8) The existing “nation” is ungovernable, unfixable, and unsustainable.

Beginning on page 43 the author addresses each of the options he can think of (the author is a professor emeritus from Duke):

1) denial
2) compliance
3) political reform
4) implosion
5) rebellion
6) dissolution

I am charmed by the author's overview of many of the emerging trends, mostly negative, that I have found in so many non-fiction books over these past few years. He outlines examples of domestic imperialism, calls into question the 9/11 “official story”, and lambastes both corporations and the federal government for fraudulent book-keeping.

On page 76 he lists the eight principles that are explained at length in the earlier work:

1) Political Independence
2) Human Scale
3) Sustainability
4) Economic Solidarity (some would call this “buy local”)
5) Power Sharing
6) Equal Opportunity
7) Tension Reduction
8) Mutuality

This program is achieved in four steps that are discussed in detail by the author:

1) Denunciation (I have certainly tried to do that with my own reviews)
2) Disengagement
3) Demystification (i.e. secession is NOT sedition, it cannot be)
4) Defiance

The middle of the book is a description of Vermont in compellingly attractive terms, and two points stay with me: they outlawed billboards; and Vermont is one of two states whose banks did not fail in the Great Depression, and one of three states whose banks did not fail in the 1980's.

The author observes that the Inter-State Commerce Act is used to force Wal-Mart into Vermont, and sadly notes the reality that too many Vermonters do not understand that cheap prices from Wal-Mart are achieved by destroyed local jobs and the rest of the earth (see among many works, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.

The author provides a very helpful overview of Constitutional History of Secession which is the thickest book in my secession reading pile, and the last I will get to. Bottom line: every state has a right to secede from the Union, and it is the Constitution, not the Union, that we are all sworn to uphold.

The author provides a fine overview of how Eastern Europe led the way in modern secession, with favorable references to Vaclav Havel and his book, Power of the Powerless: A Brother's Legacy of Love (Crossroad Book).

The book moves to a conclusion in observing that Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, and California (the latter with three secessionist movements calling for three separate republics to be made out of the state, the eighth largest economy on the planet per the author), are all ripe for activism. The author does not make this point so I will: the best time for any group to secede is when the larger group is bogged down in a foreign war that is bankrupting the whole.

He ends by citing Switzerland, with 7.3 million people total, as an excellent model for the Second Vermont Republic by itself, but his own hope is for a New Arcadia consisting of the eastern part of Canada with New Hampshire, and Main joining Vermont. This presumes Quebec's eventual success (and one can also anticipate Alaska moving on the Empty Quarter while British Columbia links up with Washington and Oregon and the sane part of California (the northern part). See The Nine Nations of North America, still the best overview around.

I cannot say enough good things about this book, I consider it a core reading for any adult with brain who cares about the Constitution, the Republic as it was conceived by the Founding Fathers, and the cause of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which our federal government is supposed to be about, but is not.

Three others books within my ten link allowance:
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

I do not favor secession IF (big IF) we can force the matter of the four reforms on the pseudo-President at the Citizens Summit that will take place in Denver in February 2009.

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Who’s Who in Commercial Intelligence: Ellen Naylor

Alpha M-P, Commercial Intelligence

Ellen Naylor
Ellen Naylor

Ellen Naylor, CEO, The Business Intelligence Source

Ellen Naylor has 30 years of sales and marketing experience across many industries. She initiated a competitive intelligence (CI) process at Bell Atlantic (Verizon subsidiary) and conducted financial competitive analysis and economic forecasting at Northwest Airlines. She started her career in sales, first in fine jewelry and later in telecommunications products and services, where her customers were major financial services companies.

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Review: The Vermont Manifesto (Paperback)

5 Star, Democracy

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Leading Voice for Non-Violent Secession from the Union,

April 12, 2006
Thomas H. Naylor
The US federal government is failing to serve the people, and according to the precepts of the American Republic, that gives the people the right to abolish the government. In the case of the Second Vermont Republic, the author and his very thoughtful colleagues are proposing instead to succeed from the Federal Union that is not Federal anymore–the federal government is now a “hired hand” for Wall Street and a servant to dictators of Saudi Arabia as well as the Israeli lobby.

Professor Naylor, also a successful software businessman many years ago, is a citizen-philosopher and by no stretch of the imagination could he be labeled “fringe.” In his case, radical is the opposite of reactionary, and exactly where we need to be.

The elements of the Vermont Manifesto are ten in total: political independence; grass roots democracy; nonviolence; environmental integrity; sustainable development; regional trade; sustainable agriculture; rail revitalization; quality education; and wellness.

The premises of the Vermont Manifesto, apart from recognition of the corruption and immorality that prevail on Wall Street and the energy industry and their servants in Congress and the White House, is that big is bad and small is good. This is totally consistent with the end of Peak Oil and the need to get back to localized sustainable energy and food production that does not need to be transported great distances. The Vermont Manifesto also recognizes that evil done by the American Empire “in our name” ultimately comes back to pillage and loot the state-level commonwealths.

Lest anyone think this book is “fringe” I would point to my many other reviews (I am the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction about foreign policy–I would not be reviewing this book if it were not fundamental), but especially to my review of, and the book itself, Joel Garreau, The Nine Nations of North America and more recently, a swath of books on the Iraq blunders and the immorality of George Bush and Dick Cheney, such as:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
Why the Rest Hates the West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage

It is clear to me that sanity is re-asserting itself in the Pacific Northwest and the far Northeast. This specific book would be useful to every single state in America, and I have a specific question that every single state should put on its 2008 ballot:

“Should we join a Constitutional Convention to discuss the abolishment of the present government and the reconstitution of the Americas as a new Republic that restores representative democracy and moral capitalism?”

There are 27 secessionist movements in the USA, among which Vermont and the Pacific Northwest are the strongest and most reasoned. No President can take office in 2009 without fully understanding the legitimate grievances represented by this book and the varied secessionist movements.

There is another angle from which to appreciate this book as well. The federal government has failed to adapt, as Katrina and other disasters have shown us. The some of the following books on how a combination of Ron Paul's restoration of Jeffersonian diplomacy and a regionalization of America might increase our resilience, especially if combined with an end to absentee landlords and a greening of America.

The Collapse of Complex Societies (New Studies in Archaeology)
Catastrophe & Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster (School of American Research Advanced Seminar Series)

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