Welcome to our 2012 Vermont Independence Party here at the Vermont Statehouse legislative chambers – “the people’s house.”
We are here today to recognize the reality of our 21st century situation. We live in a time unique in human history, beset by deeply rooted global crises – climate change, Peak Oil, and a nation/Empire engaged in endless war and endless debt. The 20th century is history – and the 21st century will end up looking very little like today.
As Vermonters interested in both sustainability and self-determination, we recognize both the independence and interdependence of our lives – embodied in Vermont’s state motto Freedom and Unity” – inscribed here on our prototype of a Second Vermont Republic silver coin.
We also recognize our 21st will be radically different than the 20th, and so, we are here to acknowledge that we, too, must be resilient, adaptable and forward-thinking and acting in the face of a future marked by uncertainty.
We begin by acknowledging some unpleasant and hard truths, documented in Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence news journal, where we have worked hard to crowdsource and publish some of the best independent news and reporting here in the Green Mountains since 2005.
The United States is no longer a functioning republic, but an out-of-control Empire, unresponsive to the needs, concerns, and desires of ordinary citizens, including those of us who live in this great state, the once and future republic of Vermont.
Nonviolent secession – the detaching from Empire and exercising our right to independence, a deeply American right first expressed in the Declaration of Independence, first embodied regionally by 19th century New Englanders - nonviolent secession is a right that demands re-exploration today.
As the only state to ever exist as an independent republic, and as a state that has been a national leader on progressive political issues - the abolition of slavery, responsible gun ownership, leadership positions for women, the nuclear freeze movement, GMO food labeling, anti-fracking - Vermont is uniquely poised to lead this national conversation on self-determination. This is why we are here today.
2012 has given birth to a new model for our newspaper: The Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence COOPerative. Our goal is to provide an organizational news model that is transparent and equitable, one that balances crowdsourcing of actions, access to leadership positions, and governance by an accountable decision-making body.
The Vermont Commons COOP will enable contributors to support our shared goals: monetary sovereignty, energy independence, regenerative agriculture, government uncontaminated by the influence of non-persons, and a republican culture able to shrug off the burden of Empire in the service of the Military Industrial Complex.
Our COOP champions a Vermont that will serve as a model of democratic and decentralized governance, providing the best overall standard of life for Vermonters while respecting individual liberties. Trying to achieve these goals while under the oppressive dominion of an unresponsive, corporate-controlled national government is futile. Our goal is reclaiming Vermont independence.
Now let's get specific.
Vermont can realize a high quantity of affordable local food if: We remove barriers to small production including safety regulations that favor large processors, We allow people to buy their food from whomever they trust to provide it. We allow farmers to grow hemp, YESTERDAY and We change our tax structures to support the local use and sale of Vermont products.
The siren song of the Smart Grid is just the opposite of the locally owned distributed grid that we actually need. We need disaggregated, small scale, largely renewable energy solutions that both serve and are answerable to the communities in which they operate.
I’ve got 2 words for you: State Bank. A State Bank would put the wealth of Vermonters to work for Vermonters according to rules and at rates decided by human beings in the interest of the greatest over-all prosperity rather than by corporations whose highest god is the highest rate of return.
Do we vote for a Democrat who has governed well to the right of George Bush or a Republican who governed well to the left of Bill Clinton. Both men are in the pockets of the war and finance industries, and their embrace of American Empire is equally passionate.
Romney and Obama serve the same masters. While they disagree on divisive social issues they wholeheartedly agree on agenda of Empire: corporatism, globalization and full spectrum military dominance.
Nevertheless, a great wail has gone up among both the liberal class and the party of the unborn and the dead, predicting the end of days if one political party’s plutocrat supplants the other. The bum warming the chair in the oval office is irrelevant.
Ignore the deeply cynical and choreographed circus act of the national elections and focus on what we can do to promote actual liberty and real prosperity in Vermont. It isn’t going to happen as long as we keep electing ever more hollow and generic machine candidates.
The F-35 is a perfect symbol of the Empire’s utter political corruption. It is antithetical to any honest sense of security and defense. Vermont can’t oppose wars of aggression when we pursue and reap the rewards of these actions. This is exactly what Lockheed Martin and the rest of the wanton war pimps want.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Voting for a candidate because he is only marginally less of a sociopath than the other candidate while allowing a candidate you actually admire to wallow in obscurity all in the name of being a “pragmatist” is equally insane.
As we move into the 21st century with a plateful of problems that won’t be solved using the same paradigm that created them, let an independent Vermont show the world how we can be both prosperous and sustainable, just and secure, independent and involved. Free Vermont!