Kirkpatrick Sale


Kirkpatrick Sale, director of the Middlebury Institute, discusses Vermont’s secessionist movement that derives from the state’s unique historical independence, the need to scrap the US Constitution due to its failure to preserve freedom and liberty, the inverse relationship between population size and the ability of government to function properly, the strong secessionist language enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Liberal tradition of supporting a strong national government to enforce civil rights despite the (at best) mixed results.

MP3 here. (33:33)

Kirkpatrick Sale is the author of many books, including Secession: How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire. He is the director of the Middlebury Institute and has written for The Nation, Counterpunch and Mother Jones.

25 thoughts on “Kirkpatrick Sale”

  1. Didn't the U.S. have a war that settled that secession is not possible? Typed this at the beginning of the interview. I'll listen to see if that angle is covered.

    1. "Secession is not possible?" Tell that to battered women who "secede" from their "unions" with their abusive spouses.Tell that to all of the breakaway soviet republics. Tell that to the Irish who finally succeeded in breaking away from Great Britain. Tell that to the founding fathers of the United States. What was the Declaration of Independence if not a declaration of secession? No, secession is possible – providing that those who are trying to secede are determined to do so and, if need be, are able to martial enough force to prevail.

  2. Unlike many libertarians, I have no problem with secession. It seems many conservatives favor secession. Personally, I would rather see the federal government abolished. I question why there are conservatives who advocate secession but freak out over the thought of abolishing the federal government altogether. This seems inconsistent to me. So, what's up with that?

  3. Actually when the original 13 colonies banded together it was ONLY with the stipulation that they could pull out / secede at any time – that is why what is known as the 'Civil War; in our History books, is considered to have been the 'War of Northern Aggression' by the South.

    With a current Marxist President and the move towards dictatorship in America – perhaps more states will want to secede? Let's face it – the 'Republic' has lomg been dead. It has been murdered by the 535 idiots and morons, crooks and thieves, TRAITORS, perverts, and by the totally corrupt members of Congress who NO longer look after the interests of the America people which is what they were elected to do.

  4. Personally I wouldn't call our present president a marxist. Besides being a non-sensical talking point, it is lacking in truth. I would call him a lackey for the banking system and other corporate fiends. He is only a lackey. Our previous president (and vice president) was an instigator of fascism. Neither of these men are defenders of the constitution, deconstructionists would be more applicable. Bush I could excuse because he barely graduated, but Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional scholar. Both have disassembled this country for profit. Like the corporate barons of the 80s and 90s, buy it, sell it off and then dump it. Love that free market.

  5. K Sale tosses around the idea that vermont is at the threshold of being big enough but not too big to be a peaceful democracy like switzerland. i think i recall that middlebury vermont has a celebrated school of languages, not to mention the skiing. my impression of the situation of switzerland is not the same. swtizerland is situated in a geographically challenging location that made it a natural borderland between the romans on the south, the franks on the west, the germans on the north and east. there is concentrated effort to achieve extra language skills to be able to deal with the diverse neighborhood. once you have gotten proficient in a second language it is possible to learn another language even more efficiently, because you have learned to focus on languages. however, even switzerland has reached an impasse with influxes of middle eastern refugees lately. the middle eastern refugees are unpopular there, because they are not integrating, and i think this may be true of an influx of east europeans too. and part of the reason is there simply that the newcomers do not come with egalitarian access to their language. you are expected to marry into or be born into their languages, or convert to their culture as they colonize you, just like it was in the dark ages, when language access was restricted to being born into or married into a culture by a fixed or arranged match.
    any way, that is my experience with foreign languages and with switzerland. the point of all this is that the optimum size for a country in my opinion is that nobody is subjected to bullshit if they want to learn any other language. and that too is my criteria for the minimum population of an enclave. that nobody there is denied access to other languages, and that nobody on our planet is denied access to the language of that enclave. and my main argument is very clear: does the policing of this enclave require that you look like the residents? it should not. does it require that you fluently speak the language of that enclave? then make there be free access to learn these skills, because otherwise, you are excluding your fellow democratic citizens for qualifying for a government job based on their ethnicity or who they married. that is discrimination, plain and simple. and that is one reason why K Sale's argument about the minimal size for a peaceful democratic country is incomplete. no wonder our imperial military had only gay arabic translators, and i still wonder if american students are welcome to enrol in EU higher education. transitivity in languages, and education, that is the minimal requirement for the size of a democracy, independent of the domestic product per capita, since language skills should not be considered exclusive property.

  6. I agree with, oh, about 90% of what Sale says. The U.S. Government is a failed government, utterly contemptuous of its organic law, the Constitution.

    At the very least, a new constitutional convention is in order. We could work out a new government. We’d keep this, we’d get rid of that; we’d fine tune this, we’d take a meat axe to that.

    Secession? Philosophically, I’m cool with that. Shit, when the U.S. Government implodes under the weight of its wars, corruption, and bankruptcy, it just might come to that. . . .

  7. I've read that US health care spending is $7500 a year per person and Obamacare would force people to pay for that but there wouldn't be any coverage for the first three years. Now if that's true, how long do you think the federal government will last? I'd say about six months.

    1. Hi Joe,
      The US does spend about $7500 per person on health care per year, twice as much as any other country in the world. And we get worse results for it, while insurance companies and drug companies make billions. Obama's plan won't change that. It is kind of like the bank bailouts (which was a Bush administration plan, remember.) Try to keep the system going with more deficit spending, and make the people pay so corporate profits can rise.
      But it's not true that you would be forced to pay and then wouldn't get coverage for 3 years. You will receive the (probably crappy) insurance you pay for.

  8. If people on this site are so pro dissolution of our government, then they should encourage this supposedly impossible bureaucratic nightmare called healthcare reform. Allow the government to implode and then you can pick up the pieces with your libertarian ideals.
    The Baptists don't hide their "love" of the Jews. They encourage the state of Israel to do whatever is needed to bring on armageddon. Libertarians should welcome the monstrosity of health care that will end up bringing down the government. Or at least force the government to choose between its people and the wars it proliferates. What a choice… war or health. Since war is the life of the state, and the people are what make up the government, it's a tough choice.

  9. This aint the horse and buggy days of years gone past. Travel by horse and buggy was one of the main reasons we needed a represenative form of government, now we have the internet, we don’t need “represenatives” to screw us any longer.

  10. Scotty Horton is an enemy of the Old South, the old Confederacy, and he is an anti-white bigot and he routinely uses his radio show to belittle and demean and cast aspersions upon White Male Southerners. This means that he is also a liar, if he pretends to support secession.

    I will tell you what Scotty Horton supports: White people being overwhelmed by, and subjugated to, rule by a hostile, non-white Third World population of people – not one of whom had ANYTHING to do with the creation of the US Constitution, or the Bill of Rights and not one of whom has shown ANY affection or devotion to the First or Second Amendments or any other aspect of our Constitution or Bill of Rights – which came from the brains of White men of European descent and not from the brains of third world, non-white, non-Europeans.

    I know all of this without even bothering to listen to this radio show – because Horton has vomited this anti-white, anti-Southern white male. and anti-Southern white culture bile out on so many previous shows that I have memorized this guy's list of favorite hates.

    1. WTF are you talking about Luke? Scott Horton is a southern white male himself. I've never heard him "vomit anti-white bile" or anti-anything except anti-war, ever.

      1. DavidSpero

        Are you familiar with a fairly regular guest that Horton has on his show from time to time, who's last name is Ketchum? I forget what his first name is, and for that I apologize. The reason that I mention Ketchum – is because it was during one of his appearances, he and Horton were discussing White Southerners – and it turned into the typical, Hollywood-bashing exercise whereby White Southerners were all toothless, moonshine slurping, pickup truck driving rednecks who drove around with Confederate Flag bumper stickers on their trucks, chewing tobacco and spitting out the windows of their pickups and basically looking for minorities to harass in some way. I am sure that you and all other white Southerners are familiar with this relentless demonization and negative stereotypes that have been flowing out of Hollywood about the white South for at least the last 40 years, right?

        Horton might live in Texas, but believe me – he projects the impression that he looks down his elitist nose at the good white folk of the South. Its related to this Cultural Marxist ideology that refuses to tolerate any white racial pride – and which tries to associate it with having a mental pathology. Meanwhile, all other ethnic groups – Jews, Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, and the rest are all cheered and applauded for having and showing ethnic pride.

        1. You don't get any credit in life for having been born to your parents. It's happened to all of us. To show "pride" for your ancestry—a fact of your biological existence that you have absolutely no control over—is about as sophisticated as a monkey protecting its own troop. Vulgar, boring, retrograde tribalism. Free yourself from its clutches.

    2. hey Luke, skin colour is irrelevant. You seem obsessed with it. Would it be preferable to be subjugated by a white man or a brown woman? It would be the same!!!

      ps. Scott is doing a top job (best show on the Internet). He and his myriad of knowledgeable guests inspire me and have helped me consider a wider range of political theories.

  11. For an American to be against secession would be…well, unamerican. Afterall, what was the Declaration of Independence if not a declaration of secession? The only diffrence between the American Revolution and the War of Northern Aggression was this: In the Revolutionary War the good guys won; in the War of Northern Aggression, they lost.

  12. wow,thats funny;obomba is a socialist.a fascist socialist maybe but he sure as hell aint pink.why southern working class people support the confederacy is beyond me.the plantation system jobs was all about slave labor;jobs denied to southern working man.not having a viable industrial capacity was a direct reason for souths defeat.and today southerners still kowtow to the rich mans schemes to enrich themselves at poor whites expense.(oil,health care,insurance,nuclear industry,non union labor,coal what have you).solar panels are freedom from energy gouging,and medicare for all frees us from job slavery to keep benefits.why do you think your slavemasters are against these programs.

  13. Luke,
    What makes you think that the Framers would have anything to do with you if they were alive today? Unlike you, I’m pretty sure that they’d be enlightened enough to understand that no one chooses who their parents are or where they were born, and thus to discriminate against someone based on their ancestry is not only immoral but just plain bad business.

    So take a dump, man. It’ll lighten you up.

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