Thomas Naylor writes at Counterpunch:
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my solemn duty to inform you that on 4 March 1791 the First Vermont Republic, the only American republic which truly invented itself, entered immortality and became the fourteenth state of the American empire. Fourteen years after declaring its independence, Vermont was seduced into the union by the promise of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Two hundred twenty years later the Green Mountain state finds itself in a nation whose government condones the annihilation of Afghanistan and Iraq , a convoluted war on terrorism which it helped create, the illegal rendition of terrorist suspects, prisoner abuse and torture, citizen surveillance, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, staggering deficits, corporate greed, Wall Street bailouts, pandering to the rich and powerful, a culture of deceit, and a foreign policy based on full spectrum dominance, imperial overstretch, and unconditional support for Israel.
A state convention convened by the Vermont Assembly on 10 January 1791 petitioned the United States Congress for admission into the Union. By a vote of 105 to 4 the delegates of the convention opted to sell the soul of the independent Republic of Vermont to the Empire. Vermont’s statehood petition was ratified by the U.S. Congress on 4 March, a day that will go down in history as a day of infamy.
America was supposed to have been immortal, but in the end it could not deliver. Its government has lost its moral authority. It has no soul. As a nation it has become unsustainable and unfixable because it is effectively ungovernable.
Is it possible that out of the ashes of the First Vermont Republic a Second Vermont Republic might emerge? Might not Vermont experience a kind of resurrection from the dead, or at least from its two-century long slumber, resulting in a new state of consciousness opposed to the tyranny of Corporate America and the U.S. government and committed to once again becoming an independent republic? Might such a republic embrace these principles: political independence, human scale, sustainability, economic solidarity, power sharing, equal opportunity, tension reduction, and community?
What if tiny Vermont, the second smallest state in the Union, were to become an example for other states to follow leading to the peaceful dissolution of the largest, most powerful empire of all time—the United States of America? Literally every reason why Vermont might want to opt out of the Union is equally applicable to every other state. Vermont’s paradigm for secession could easily be adapted to any other state.
Is it possible that the Green Mountain state might actually help save America from itself and help save the rest of the world from America by seceding from the Union and leading the nation into peaceful disunion?
In the words of Reverend Ben T. Matchstick, we pray for Vermont independence “in the name of the flounder, the sunfish, and the holy mackerel.”
[Note: On Jan. 10, 2011, Time Magazine included Vermont in its list of top 10 aspiring nations.]
human rights, Vermont