by Thomas Naylor
What is the Second Vermont Republic?
The Second Vermont Republic (SVR) is a peaceful, democratic, grassroots, libertarian populist movement opposed to the tyranny of the U.S. Government, corporate America, and globalization and committed to the return of Vermont to its rightful status as an independent republic, as it was between 1777 and 1791.
What is the primary objective of the movement?
Independence. To extricate Vermont peacefully, legally, and democratically from the United States as soon as possible and create an independent nation-state based on the Swiss model.
Does that mean secession?
Why does Vermont want to secede?
First, the United States suffers from imperial overstretch and has become unsustainable politically, economically, agriculturally, socially, culturally, and environmentally. Second, Vermont finds it increasingly difficult to protect itself from the debilitating effects of big business, big agriculture, big markets, and big government, who want all of us to be the same—just like they are. Third, the U.S. Government has lost its moral authority because it is owned, operated, and controlled by corporate America. Fourth, American foreign policy, which is based on the doctrine of full-spectrum dominance, is immoral, illegal, unconstitutional, and in violation of the United Nations charter. Fifth, as long as Vermont remains in the Union, its citizens face curtailed civil liberties, the risk of terrorist attack, and the risk of military conscription of its youth.
But isn’t secession unconstitutional?
No. “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government,” said Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Just as a group has a right to form, so, too, does it have a right to disband, to subdivide itself, or withdraw from a larger unit. The U.S. Constitution does not forbid secession. According to the tenth amendment, that which is not expressly prohibited by the Constitution is allowed. All states have a Constitutional right to secede.
To which other principles does the Second Vermont Republic subscribe?
Direct democracy, Swiss federalism, sustainability, economic solidarity, quality education, humane healthcare, nonviolence, political neutrality, and international solidarity with its neighbors New Hampshire, Maine, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Notwithstanding its policy of neutrality, the Second Vermont Republic does not rule out some form of political alliance with the aforementioned states and provinces.
Does the Second Vermont Republic want to take over the government of Vermont?
Absolutely not. The people of the independent Republic of Vermont will decide how it is governed. Unlike the Free State Project in New Hampshire, our aim is not to take over the government. For that reason, the Second Vermont Republic takes no official position on such controversial issues as abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and legalizing marijuana. These are issues for the citizens of the independent republic to decide.
Could Vermont survive economically as an independent nation-state?
Unquestionably. Of the 200 or so independent nation-states in the world, 50 of them have a smaller population than Vermont’s 620,000. Five of the ten richest countries in the world as measured by per capita income are smaller than Vermont: Liechtenstein, Iceland, Luxembourg, Bermuda, and Cayman Islands. Independence does not mean economic or political isolation. Over 600 Vermont firms export nearly 24 percent of the state’s gross product. We see no reason why this should change after independence.
A New Vision of the Future for SVR (2012)
Over the past seven years SVR has evolved beyond the stage of simply wanting to free Vermont from the clutches of an immoral, unsustainable, ungovernable, unfixable empire. It now views itself in a much broader context.
Vermont, like most small nations and most aspiring nations, finds it increasingly difficult to cope with the chaos of a meganation world under the cloud of empire. Fifty nine percent of the 7.035 billion people of the world live in one of eleven countries having a population in excess of 100 million people. These megacountries bear the primary responsibility for a plethora of global megaproblems including the 2008 financial meltdown (ongoing), the euro crisis, the threat of terrorism, imperialism, excessive population growth, poverty, peak oil, and climate change.
In light of these developments SVR has broadened its mission to include a commitment to 1) the peaceful breakup of meganations such as the United States, China, and Russia; 2) the self-determination of breakaway states such as Quebec, Scotland, and Vermont; and 3) a strategic alliance with other small, democratic, nonviolent, socially responsible, egalitarian, sustainable nations such as Austria, Finland, and Switzerland, which share a high degree of environmental integrity and a strong sense of community.
Above all, SVR now sees itself as pursuing a path that will enable Vermont to join the community of small nations of the world.
Is Vermont independence politically feasible?
Yes. Ultimately whether or not Vermont achieves political independence is a question of political will. Is the will of the people of Vermont for independence strong enough to overcome the will of the U.S. government to prevent them from achieving their goal? In 1989 six Eastern European allies of the Soviet Union unseated their respective Communist governments and seceded from the Soviet sphere of influence. With the bloody exception of Romania, this all took place nonviolently. The Second Vermont Republic has been particularly influenced by the solidarity movement in Poland, and Czech leader Vaclav Havel’s concept of the “power of the powerless.”
What are the necessary steps?
The Vermont legislature must be persuaded to authorize a convention of the people to vote on rescinding the petition for statehood approved by the Vermont Assembly in January 1791 and ratified on March 4, 1791. To be credible, the vote should pass by at least a two-thirds majority. Articles of Secession should then be submitted to the U.S. President, Secretary of State, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House. Diplomatic recognition should be sought from Canada, Quebec, Mexico, England, France, and the United Nations. And then the moment of truth—Vermont would start behaving like an independent nation-state.
What if the Vermont independence movement fails?
Vermont still provides a communitarian alternative to the dehumanized mass production, mass consumption, narcissistic lifestyle that pervades most of the United States. Vermont is smaller, more rural, more democratic, less violent, less commercial, more egalitarian, and more independent than most states. It offers itself as a kinder, gentler metaphor for a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism.