Why I Did Not Create a Vermont Secession Request

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

At the time of this writing, people from 48 of the 50 tax farms comprising the “United States of America” have created “We the People” web-based petition pages to the White House in Washington, District of Criminals, requesting Obama to peacefully allow their tax farm of residence to have a government entirely independent of the federal one. Only Maine and Vermont remain absent from this list.

I find this to be a little odd: After all, where are the Second Vermont Republic folks at a time like this? Well, never to be daunted, I generally heed the observation of the late, great Russell Means who once stated, “There are a lot of people waiting around for someone else to do what they think they themselves should be doing.” Fair enough.

But my hand was stayed, and has remained so. By whom or what? My own conscience. Not that I give a monkey’s ass for Obama, or the federal government, or the alleged “Union,” or any of that pathetic bombast. It’s because of entirely different and far more rational reasons.

Should I beg Obama for permission to secede, hoping that he won’t order armed goons to violently force me back into obeying federal “laws” and paying federal taxes? Is that a worthwhile, or even practically realistic course of action? Even were such a pathetically symbolic gesture on my part to be successful through some Powerball-winning fluke, should I believe that a smaller “state” government, freed from all connections with the much larger federal one, will be any picnic – or even if so, will remain one for very long? And do I really want to be in legion with those throngs of petition signers who, while not representative of the whole by any means, have only signed since the fraudulent puppet-show known as the 2012 American elections didn’t turn out their way, and never ended up landing their darling fascist Romney in the Oval Office, instead of the Marxist Obama?

I even thought of modifying the language of the petition for Vermont to something like: “To Peacefully Recognize the Individual Sovereignty of All Residents of Vermont.” But that’s contradictory too: Other than, again, asking permission from someone to whom no permission of any kind is legitimately owed, can I or any other signer legitimately speak for every human being living in Vermont? And if I modify such a petition to include only myself, again, why should I have to ask permission – even if the net result were that Obama would agree to not authorize the use of violent force against my peaceful personal secession?

By the time this is published, and you in turn will have had time to read it, someone or other may have created a Vermont secession petition to the White House. But it won’t have been me – although I full well had the opportunity to be the first to do so. And I won’t sign any such petition, no matter how it is worded – even though I would concur with its basic spirit.

We must learn that we are all individuals, and that any collective is merely the product of verbal semantics. It doesn’t exist as an entity by itself. Governments are the same. Groups of men and women call themselves governments and impose their will and “services” and the financing of such on populations at gunpoint – rather than offer protection and services to willing customers on a peaceful, voluntary basis. Therein lies the difference, and therein also lies the basis of my rejection of the idea called “government.”

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 113

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Glock27's picture

Cheers Alex,

When I initially first heard of this there were about 20 states involved in this petition and that Texas accumulated 75,000 signatured wherein only 25,000 are legally required. At first I thought wow! What a brilliant strike but as time passes I sense it more of a disaster that having a positive effect, just like the Democrats wanting us to run over the cliff economically.
I kind of sounds odd that citizens can initiate such an action without the approval or blessing of state legislatures. I think this is merely a token expression. It would be interesting if 20 or thirty states did manage to succeed from the Union. I cannot imagine what the results would be. It does make me smile though.

Jim Davies's picture

No reason why you should forgive me, Alex, but I had not been aware of the surprising statistic in your opening sentence. In case there are other ignorami present, here's one confirmation - though not as up to date as your report.
 
50 separate governments would be an improvement to the present monolith. Each could be just as vicious in its treatment of the crops being tax-farmed, but only CA and TX would be big enough to make an international nuisance of themselves so there'd be some hope that the other 48, at least, would be detested less worldwide and so that peaceful trade and tourism would resume. The TSA would dissolve, as would of course the IRS.
 
But like you, I'll not settle for such a second-best outcome. Glad your hand was stayed. To request permission to be sovereign? - how oxymoronic can one get?
 

KenK's picture

Good call Alex. The previous unpleasantness between the states and the feds on that issue (circa 1861-65) showed how that whole succession thing works out. The feds are exercising some "repressive tolerance" here (i.e. allowing some steam out of the kettle so that it doesn't explode) but tempers will moderate and the moment will pass. I'll believe it's a serious movement when the people who say it's a serious movement act likes it a serious movement. Until then it's just excess steam out of a kettle: sound and fury signifying nothing.

Suverans2's picture

VERY good, Alex R. Knight III. You hit upon three important points, in my opinion.

1. “There are a lot of people waiting around for someone else to do what they think they themselves should be doing.” (Russell Means)

2. “Should I beg Obama [or anyone else, for that matter] for permission to secede [i.e. withdraw from membership in the political association]...?”

3. “...can I or any other signer legitimately speak for every human being living in Vermont [or any other group, that has not consented, at least tacitly, to me being their representative]?”

I don't have time, right now, to elaborate on these. Perhaps later today, or tomorrow morning, because I know that many of you are just dying to hear my thoughts on these. lol

Scott Lazarowitz's picture

It's not a good idea to sign anything on the White House website (or do business of any kind on the White House website). Especially don't give them your name. But also, when you sign something, they are also getting your IP. Those criminals there are not to be trusted.

Suverans2's picture

If you a "citizen", everything done by those in government, is done in "your name", i.e. by your authority. This is what is meant by; "government of the people, by the people, and for the people".

    NAME, n. ...8. Authority; behalf; part; as in the name of the people. When a man speaks or acts in the name of another, he does it by their authority or in their behalf, as their representative. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

Which, of course, is why...

    I DO NOT CONSENT TO BE A MEMBER OF YOUR POLITICAL ASSOCIATION AND I WAIVE ALL MEMBER-ONLY BENEFITS. I AM NOT LAWLESS, MY LAW IS THE NATURAL LAW.

...I don't ever give them my name.
____________________________________________________________________

P.S. My workday got set back two or three hours, so you get to enjoy my company just a wee bit longer. For those interested, I am currently remodeling a bathroom...no ssn, no checking account, no licenses of any kind and paid cash, (daily, if I request it). Prior to this I was doing major maintenance on a rental house, which included laying laminated flooring in three rooms, installing FRP (fiberglass reinforced paneling) in the bathroom, and a myriad of other assorted maintenance tasks.

Suverans2's picture

Update

I completely gutted their 1960's bathroom, bath/shower surround down to studs, vanity, bar lights, toilet, ceiling fan, door...everything. Tiled the tub/shower surround from tub to ceiling with 12" tiles with a 4" color-coordinated glass strip through the middle, tiled the floor, patched all the holes in the dry wall (from removing bar lights and ceiling fan, etc.), installed Spanish style sconces and ceiling light/fan combo including new (and smaller) venting, installed new vanity and faucets, with matching mirror and medicine cabinet, painted/installed new door and painted everything else. Just got this e-mail from my client.

    Oh, Robert,
    First, I would like to thank you for being so patient, for being so supportive, and for being so helpful and kind to me/us.
    I do love my new bath room! It is more than I even imagined!

Should make a great referral for a free man. Taking a week off...then on to restoring a renter-demolished rental property...same as always...no ssn, no checking account, no licenses of any kind and paid cash, (daily, if I request it).

KenK's picture

I can just imagine how the Minutemen at Concord and Lexington would be treated today. Late night "comedians" would laugh at those gun nuts. The SPLC would declare them a racist hate group, the various "public interest" groups would probe their funding sources and the media would dox the prominent members in order to discredit them, and the View ladies would dismiss them as kooks and question their manhood.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Just FYI, it seems that Vermont has now officially been the last to chime in on this, with 64 signatories as of the time of this writing.  Mind you, the petition was started by someone from New York City, of all places.  I did note one early signatory is a close neighbor of mine.  Oh well, my reasoning stands, in any case.  :-)

mjackso6's picture

When I first saw this movement, I admitt to being tickled just a little bit pink, but I never seriously considered signing any of the petitions. As Jim and others stated, the only result in the wildly unlikely case that some state actually managed to succede, peacefully or otherwise, would be a miniature copy of the original problem. Until everyone, or as close to everyone as we can possibly talk sense into actually ~believes~ that government is a waste of time and energy and ~understands~ what Voluntaryism and Free Market Anarchy are actually about, any attempt to change or break away from the 'old order' is futile. Knowing no better, people will simply recreate a miniature version of that old order, which will of course eventually grow back into what we have today. Succession might be a small stopgap, and it might curtail some of the harm that today's massive federal government is doing, but in the end it's only the beginning of a new problem, not a real solution. The only real solution is widespread education and delegimization of the political process through lack of participation. At least, that's my take on it. :)

Paul's picture

Well, I'm going to swim against the current here, as usual.

First, I can't believe people are saying a breakup of the US would be of no value, because there would still be governments. This is crazy talk. It is saying a complete world empire would be no worse than what we have today. It certainly IS better to break up the US; much, much better. Centralization of power is almost always a disaster. One size fits all government is always a disaster. If we had 50 Americas rather than one, the states would stop being homogenized districts of the central power. They could go their own way, diversify. One or two might even make room for anarchists or for panarchy.

The only way anarchists will be left alone, is if others are left alone too. Subsidiarity is our only way to freedom that I can see.

As to the petitions, of course they will not bring secession, directly. Yet they have value. Secession and further steps toward decentralization (including down to the individual level) have to start somewhere. People have to start talking about it. These petitions are a perfect way for that to start happening. At the very least they are an embarrassment to the ruling class.

It is possible to be too negative. Sometimes good things happen. Let's cheer them on, rather than sneering.

Oh, by the way, I did sign the Oregon petition. I don't care if "they" now have my name; as far as I'm concerned I've been on lists like that since the '70's. Fuck 'em.

Samarami's picture

Anthony Wile at Daily Bell agrees with Paul, as do I:

    "...What would be the result if by some chance secession took place? "The country would be fractured into a network of thousands of tiny fiefdoms by now." Personally, I think that would be great! Devolution is greatly to be wished for. It is unification and centralization that is adversarial to freedom generally. The bigger the US empire gets, the more oppressive it becomes..."

Sam

Glock27's picture

Cheers Paul,
I have no certainty about this. Initilly I thought great, but when it was an individual petition rather than a state effort I thought screw it, it's not going anywhere. Even if it did, the same model would be used. The general public has already voted for what they want, a Monarchy. God save the king, royal parades, and all kinds of freebies.
A hand full of pissed off voters is not going to impact the numb mindedness of the gross populace.

Res;pectfully.

Jim Davies's picture

There's an interesting article on secession by a Bob Unruh in WND; he contrasts Jefferson, who said he certainly believed in a fundamental right to secede, with Justice Antonin Scalia.
 
The latter, who is in a position to know, said recently "a state’s right to secede died with the... Civil War" and that the present petitions "will be fruitless." He added that the "U.S. can’t even be sued over the issue without first granting permission, which would not happen anyway."
 
Unfortunately, he's right. Recently on STR I wrote St Abe, which noted that before 1861 hardly anyone questioned the right of secession, for it was integral to American history; but that after 1865 it was a dead duck. Lincoln didn't even acknowledge that secession had taken place - he called the Southerners "rebels."
 
This petition process is just a small part of the gigantic fraud that pretends this is a free country.
 
 

Suverans2's picture

The only thing that the so-called Civil War did was prove that the stronger party in a conflict may violate the law with seeming impunity. Questions of law, however, cannot be settled on a battlefield.

Samarami's picture

Suv, I quoted on another thread from a piece by Doug Casey in yesterday's Lew Rockwell page, but here's something else he said (which is in line with your post):

    "...At the beginning America was founded as a confederation of independent countries – that's what a state is. Or was, in our language. The original United States of America was a confederation of countries that banded together for protection against larger and more powerful countries they feared might be hostile. This is not a disputed interpretation of history, but as solid a fact as the study of history produces – and yet a largely neglected one...

    "...the US Constitution was essentially a coup; the delegates to what we now call the Constitutional Convention were not empowered to replace the existing government – only to improve upon the Articles of Confederation between the then-independent states. The framers of the Constitution drafted it with the notion of a national government already in place, but calmed fears of loss of state sovereignty by calling the new government the "United States of America" – a verbal sleight of hand that worked for over half a century. Then the southern states decided to exercise what these words imply; their right to leave the union. While slavery was and is a wholesale criminal activity I object to in every way possible, the southern states did have the right to secede, both legally and ethically. But the question was settled by force, not reason, and the wrong side won..."

So, according to the esteemed Doug Casey (and I agree fully), the term "United States of America", just like the "Federal Reserve" and the "Income Tax", is a verbal slight of hand to cover criminal activity of perpetrators of "evil".

Sam

Suverans2's picture

WND? Bob Unruh, (who joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press,)? Justice Antonin Scalia..."who is in a position to know"? Bruhaha! Bruhaha! To quote Paul Bonneau, "Fuck 'em."

"Most countries have laws that punish persons[1] who secede or attempt to secede. The United States has no specific law on secession..." ~ West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
___________________________________________________

[1] Notice, too, that that says "persons", as in INDIVIDUALS.

Suverans2's picture

The "petition process" is necessary only because the individual members of an individual state have, at least tacitly, agreed to abide by the decisions of their representatives, who are supposed to do what the majority of their individual members tell them to do. Once again, Bruhaha! Bruhaha!

Same with the individual sovereign state known as the United States Government, seceding from the collective known as the United Nations, for example. It is supposed to do what the majority of individual member-states tell it to do, and the representatives of each state are supposed to do what the majority of their individual members vote for them to do. And, again, and again, and again, Bruhaha! Bruhaha!

Paul's picture

Just to make something clear, I agree with Alex's central point, that to actually secede, one does not ask permission. One simply secedes (that works for individuals as well as for states). The War of Northern Aggression clearly did not settle the question forever any more than the winning or losing of any war settles any question forever. If the former Soviet "client" states can secede from the Soviet Union, trust me, secession is still and always will be an option. Of course there are better and worse ways to go about it.

The petitions are not really good tools for secession per se, but they are great tools for a necessary prerequisite of secession, getting people to think about it.

I suspect Jim is looking at this through his particular set of rose-colored glasses, in which no freedom can exist anywhere until all government is destroyed. For him, the federal government must vanish before states can secede. I think it works the other way around. Individuals and states stop paying attention to the federal government, and eventually it vanishes or at least becomes moribund.

Jim Davies's picture

Paul, might you be able to disagree with me without using nasty, sneering, ad-hominem remarks?
 
Also and for the record, I've never said "no" freedom can exist while governments persist, and still less that the Feds must "vanish before states can secede." Obviously, if the Feds vanished there would be nothing from which States could secede.

Paul's picture

My my, touchy, aren't we? I advise growing a thicker hide.

"The latter [Scalia], who is in a position to know, said recently 'a state’s right to secede died with the... Civil War'.... Unfortunately, he's right."

Pardon me for misinterpreting the above statement, but if my interpretation is incorrect, then I have no idea what you were saying.

Jim Davies's picture

Actually no, Paul, my hide has a satisfactory thickness and there is no touchiness on my part.
 
I am however tired of seeing your bitter, nasty, sneering posts on this forum that demean the person rather than just expressing disagreement with his perceptions. Your total failure here to respond with any kind of apology or regret is another example of what I mean. You are, in my opinion, accordingly not fit to contribute to this otherwise civilized and courteous exchange of views. I am drawing our Editor's attention to that opinion in case he should happen to agree.
 
If you'd misinterpreted the quoted sentence I'd have been happy to forgive you, but I can't find any such misinterpretation. Perhaps you meant just that you couldn't understand it. I suggest that a re-read of my recent St Abe may help you grasp Scalia's meaning.

Suverans2's picture

"Just to make something clear, I agree with Alex's central point, that to actually secede, one does not ask permission. One simply secedes (that works for individuals as well as for states)."

    Absolutely correct, Paul. Secession is simply the act of "withdrawing from membership" in a group; to believe that one needs "permission" to do that is completely irrational. This is not to say that some number of the humans in the group, or the men and women who act as representatives of the group, cannot "say" that they don't "legally recognize" that secession, but that has no bearing whatsoever on the fact that one has withdrawn from membership, any more than, because those same individuals don't recognize the natural right of self-ownership means that one does not own himself.
Suverans2's picture

Paul, although I gave you a thumbs up, I would reassemble your last sentence there to read, when individuals stop paying attention to the federal government, and state governments, they eventually vanish or at least become moribund.

"All governments must have citizens in order to exist." ~ tzo