Most Likely to Secede – Contents

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The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union Wendell Berry iii

Introduction Ron Miller 1

PART ONE Empire and Overshoot 11

Voices for Independence Ian Baldwin 13

The Collapse of the American Empire Kirkpatrick Sale 16

Liberals and Conservatives: Relics of the Past Thomas Naylor 20

Our Land, Our Destiny: Vermont Independence Convention Keynote Address James Howard Kunstler 22

PART TWO Global Problems, Local Solutions 27


The Real Economy Robert Costanza 31

Economics of Scale vs. the Scale of Economics: The New Movement for Responsible Living Kirkpatrick Sale 42

Local Living Economies: Toward Basic Principles of a Bioregional Economy Judy Wicks 47


Money and Liberty Adrian Kuzminski 49

Sovereignty and the Money Problem: A New Beginning Charles Eisenstein 54

Local Currency: A Revolution That Sounds Like a WhisperAmy Kirschner 59

The Buck Slows Here: Slow Me the Money, Vermont Woody Tasch 63


Powering Vermont’s Future by Embracing the Peak-Oil Challenge Carl Etnier and Annie Dunn Watson 69

The Way of All Empires: The United States on the Eve of Peak Oil Ian Baldwin 74

The Great Hydropower Heist: How Corporations Colonized Our Watershed Commons Dr. Richard Foley and Hervey Scudder 80

Energy Crisis, Energy Opportunities Gaelan Brown 88


What Will You Eat if Vermont Secedes? Amy Shollenberger 97

The Food Less Traveled Enid Wonnacott 102

Putting the CSA Model to the Test Robin McDermott 107

The Case for Local Wheat and Bread in Vermont Erik Andrus 110

A Portrait of Food Sovereignty Ron Miller 115


(Un)Covering the Empire Rob Williams 121

Project Censored: News Media Checking in at the ICU Taylor Silvestri 123

Beyond Facebook: Building an Electronic Front Porch (An Interview with Michael Wood-Lewis) Rob Williams 128

Decentralizing Educational Authority Ron Miller 132


The National Healthcare “Debate”: Greed, a Fear of Death, and a Vermont Alternative? Thomas Naylor 141

From Common Wealth to Common Property Peter Barnes 146

Vermont’s Common Assets: From Banana Republic to Sovereign Commonwealth Gary Flomenhoft 149


The Great Re-Skilling: Inventing a Twenty-First-Century Vermont Rob Williams 155

Designing Our Future in a Changing World (An Interview with Ben Falk) Rob Williams 157

When the Ecofads Fade, Ditch the Carbon-Footprint Calculator and Pick up a Shovel Ben Falk 164

Be Here Now, and in a Thousand Years: Toward a Tree-Crop Culture Ben Falk 167

PART THREE Decentralism and the Vermont Tradition 175

Left and Right: An Introduction to Decentralism John McClaughry 177

The Decentralist Movement: A Third Way Kirkpatrick Sale 184

Distributism: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism Kirkpatrick Sale 188

The First Populist Republic Adrian Kuzminski 191

The First Vermont “Republic”: What’s in a Name? James Hogue 197

Vermont’s Genetic Code: Toward a Decentralist Manifesto Frank Bryan 200

The Cultivation of Our Own Tradition Rowan Jacobsen 203

PART FOUR Sovereignty and Secession 207

The Violence of the Centralized State Donald W. Livingston 210

War and the Second Vermont Republic Ben Scotch 216

Origins of the New England Secession Tradition Donald W. Livingston 219

Beyond Our Independence Daze: Secession, Common Sense, and the “Spirit of 1777” Rob Williams 223

The Second Vermont Republic: Frequently Asked Questions Thomas Naylor 227

The Fall of Empire: A Time for Renewal Ben Hewitt 231

Afterword Ron Miller 233

Postscript: V for Vermont: A Concluding Call to Action Juliet Buck and Rob Williams 239

Appendix: The Middlebury Declaration 241

Contributor Biographies 245

Resources for Further Reading 252

Index 256