[Marxism] Deja vu all over again, or 1812 and all that: Liberals threaten secession
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Dec 3 04:15:54 MST 2004
Back in 1812, it was the Federalists, who had lost one too many
elections. Seems like a better parallel than 1860 for the present
Will the new country be a one-party -- or one-half of a party -- Liberal
comment | Posted November 24, 2004
Blue State Secession
by Kirkpatrick Sale
Take Action Now!
I n the shadow of the election that returned to power the most
autocratic and illegitimate government the nation has ever experienced,
many are beginning to talk about "blue state" secession. Most of the
talk has seemed frivolous, but over the weekend of November 5-7 in
Middlebury, Vermont, three dozen people met to discuss and
promote--seriously--the prospect of secession from the United States.
The three days of speeches, presentations and debate were sponsored by
the Fourth World, an organization based in England devoted to the
separatist movements working for independence within the other three
"worlds," and by the Second Vermont Republic, a grassroots movement that
is ardently working for the state to become a republic, as it was from
1777 to 1791 (www.vermontrepublic.org). It is safe to say that not many
people knew such organizations even existed, but the passion and
earnestness of the weekend's deliberations showed there is a real
feeling that consideration of such an extreme measure as secession is
not beyond the pale.
"I think November 7 was a watershed occasion," said Thomas Naylor, a
retired Duke University economics professor who has lived in Vermont for
a decade and is the founder of the Second Vermont Republic. "We've put
the idea of secession into the public arena and found it has a lot of
resonance." Indeed, the local Rutland Herald gave the conference a
prominent fourteen-paragraph story ("Secession enthusiasts meet in
Middlebury"). The leading French daily in Quebec did a front-page story
on the meeting (naturally, it liked the idea).
The pattern of the meeting, billed as a "Radical Consultation," was to
consider the options open to people wanting to challenge and change the
current American empire and to test the viability of what might be put
in its place, especially if, as the call for the conference argued, "it
has most probably become unsustainable economically, politically,
militarily, agriculturally, socially, culturally, and environmentally."
Among the options considered and rejected were denial, compliance,
reform and revolution, leaving the discussion to concentrate on
decentralization, separatism and secession.
A statement signed by most of the participants gives a sense of where
that discussion led: "In our deliberations we have considered many kinds
of strategies for a new politics and eventually decided upon the
inauguration of a campaign to monitor, study, promote and develop
agencies of separatism," meaning "all the forms by which small political
bodies distance themselves from larger ones...creating small and
independent states that rule themselves."
The statement went on to argue that "there is no reason that we cannot
begin to examine the process of secession in the United States." It
cited twenty-eight separatist organizations already operating in this
country, including those in Alaska, Hawaii, Texas and Puerto Rico, in
addition to Vermont. "The principle of secession," it said, "must be
established as valid and legitimate."
The model of secession put forth by the Second Republic people was
specifically endorsed by the meeting. That group has been working for a
year and a half and has issued a Vermont constitution, a bill of rights
and a 128-page manifesto arguing that secession is in fact legal under
the US Constitution and that "all American states have a moral and legal
right to leave the Union." They believe that "a peaceful, democratic,
grassroots, libertarian populist" approach can indeed make great
The conference also specifically endorsed an effort to establish a think
tank to examine issues of sovereignty, independence and secession, and
to create a journal that would explore popular and scholarly approaches
to this area.
In a dark time of rampant "political capital" Bushism there are still
people willing to shine a different light, and in that context the idea
of separatism and secessionism might have a real attraction to
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