Thomas Naylor on Vermont, George Bush, and Secession

A self proclaimed Rage Against The Machine fan, Thomas Naylor stands well over six feet tall and has a list of credentials many academics can only dream of; Thomas H. Naylor, former Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University where he taught for thirty years has acted as an international strategic management consultant to governments and corporations in over thirty nations.

Naylor comes off as somewhat perplexing at first, speaking and behaving very calmly while addressing the complete and definitive separation of Vermont from the United States. What separates Naylor from other secessionists can be surmised in two words: credentials and experience.

The legitimacy lended by these two factors are not lost on Naylor, as he is quick to reference his own accomplishments in the field of economics. What really sets Naylor apart from his contemporaries is not his dress, nor is it his political views. Naylor is different from his secessionist counterparts (David Koresh, in his presentation

Thomas Naylor went on to identify the economic, social, and political reasons behind The Second Vermont Republic’s goal. The economic reasons hinge mainly on the unusually steady nature of Vermont’s economy, being supported largely by steady flow of tourism through Vermont.

The Constitutional legitimacy of secession was another aspect of The Second Vermont Republic explored by Naylor. While some may question the legality of secession there are several states, including Virginia, that have secession written into their Constitutions. A constitutionally legal separation from the United States is not only be feasible under Second Republic philosophy, it is necessary.

The social reasons outlined by Naylor behind succession were varied, ranging from the different demographic make up of Vermonters to its long history of non-violence.

Politically, according to Naylor, Vermont is at a serious disadvantage by continuing to be a member of a “faltering empire”. Naylor went on to explain political independence necessary, often comparing The United States to the Roman and Greek Empires of antiquity, with independence being an option analogous a zero sum game.

Naylor compared Vermont’s independent economic feasibility with that of other small independent nations like Iceland, Norway, and several others.

The Second Vermont Republic is not without allies, and is able to claim the Bread and Puppet Theatre, one of the oldest nontraditional independent theatres in America, as one of its strongest supporters.

Although violence and chaos are usually synonymous with secession, Naylor stressed the centrality of nonviolence in The Second Republic’s goal of independence.

Naylor came to the interview armed with the first copy of The Vermont Second Republic’s manifesto in hand (the manifesto outlines and expands upon the case made by Naylor for Vermont independence) and an announcement that The Second Republic would be officially accepting applications for membership shortly. The combination of The Second Republic’s recently published manifesto, and announcement of membership openings, marks a definitive peak in the Second Republic’s popularity and growing public appeal.

Naylor also expressed his dissatisfaction with not only the Bush Administration, but several other Republican administrations, as being one of the Second Republic’s motives behind separation from the United States.