Truth's Flashlight

I Believe: ‘For us to survive and thrive in a new century, we must peaceably dismantle the United States of Empire’

by Rob Williams, Burlington Free Press

Here’s a question I hear asked more and more by friends and neighbors in the Green Mountains of Vermont: How might we in Vermont create a more sustainable world for ourselves, and for our children, and for our children’s children, in a 21st century Age of Limits?

Let me answer by starting with first principles: I believe the United States is no longer a functioning republic, but a dysfunctional empire.

An “empire,” you ask? What is this — “Star Wars?”

Indeed, the United States is an “empire” comprised of more than 700 military bases networked together in more than 130 countries around the world, an “empire” that spends more on annual “defense” — $1 trillion (not including special war-spending earmarks) — than the next dozen countries combined, according to Chalmers Johnson’s book “The Sorrows of Empire.”

The “United States of Empire” makes possible an unsustainable and inequitable global paradigm: 8 percent of the global population — us, the people of the United States — are consuming 25 percent of the world’s resources.

And we, all of us on planet Earth, are living at a historical moment when the twin sisters of peak oil and climate change are ushering in a 21st century world of energy scarcity that will look quite different than the 20th century world of energy abundance.

I believe that for us to survive and thrive in a new century, we must peaceably dismantle the United States of Empire, and create a new political and economic paradigm.

The UNtied States.

Vermont is perhaps uniquely suited, out of all 50 states in the empire, to spearhead such a decentralist project. This is 21st century Vermont’s radical, sustainable imperative: to peaceably secede from the United States and re-invent ourselves as a more resilient and independent republic.

Why Vermont? First consider Vermont’s political origins and culture.

Vermont is the only state to exist prior to the creation of the United States as its own independent republic, from 1777-1791.

The state of Vermont, moreover, was front and center throughout 19th century New England’s secession conversations related to militarism, war and expansion. Vermont was the first state to outlaw slavery within its borders, and Vermonters still speak out against tyranny of all kinds — nuclear war, genetically modified seeds, the unlawful conscription of National Guard troops by the U.S. government for foreign invasions — every March during our annual Town Meeting Day.

Read the rest at this link.