The Commonwealth of Vermont presents...
A 21st Century Statement of Principles
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Our primary objective is political independence for our once and future Vermont republic, through the legitimate constitutional process of nonviolent secession from the United States.
Entrusting the Commons.
We advocate the creation and maintenance, through legislation and oversight, of a Vermont "Commons" - environmental, cultural, social, informational - to value and protect all that we Vermonters share in common - our air, our water, our land, and our property, both private and communal.
We believe that life is best lived on a human scale, in face-to-face contacts with neighbors and friends, in communities that are decentralized in structure. Small is still beautiful.
We support the creation and use of a publicly-owned Bank of Vermont that would issue low-interest loans and foster a peer-to-peer mutual credit system, and the creation and use of a statewide alternative currency system.
We support family-owned farms and small businesses that produce innovative, premium-quality, healthy locally manufactured products.
We recommend that Vermont, in conducting its local and state elections, replace all corporately-owned electronic voting machines with the time-honored traditional hand counting procedure used by each Vermont town's board of civil authority, encouraging a process that is open, public, and transparent.
We encourage 21st century approaches that move us away from our reliance on imported fossil fuels and centralized electrical generation, and toward policies that encourage import-substitution, and a more local and diversified energy portfolio, with emphasis on self-sufficient home-2nd business-generated energy.
We celebrate Vermont's small, clean, green, sustainable, socially responsible towns, farms, businesses, schools, and places of worship. We encourage the diversification of our 21st century Vermont's working landscape, and the creation of more opportunities for Vermonters to produce their own food, energy, and value-added products.
Education for Democracy.
All young Vermonters should have open access to learning opportunities that enable them to realize their own unique potentials and to participate actively and responsibly in their communities and society at large. Drawing on the "Vermont Design for Education," we advocate the replacement of federally-mandated standardized testing and rigid rote learning with "hands on" community-centered education, and the creation of a "communiversity" in every Vermont town's public school.
We encourage Vermonters to buy locally produced products from local merchants, rather than purchase from giant, out-of-state mega-stores. We support fair and open trade with nearby states and provinces.
Vermont's strong democratic tradition is grounded in its town meetings. We favor devolution of political power from the state back to local communities, making the governing structure for towns, schools, hospitals, and social services much like that of small decentralized states like Switzerland. Shared power also underlies our approach to international relations.
We support equal access for all Vermont citizens to high quality education, preventative and routine health care, housing, and employment.
We urge the Vermont state legislature and governor to issue a call for the return of Vermont National Guard troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and the other 700 plus U.S. military bases in more than 130 countries around the world. Consistent with both Vermont's long "live and let live" tradition and policies of nonviolence, we do not condone state-sponsored violence inflicted either by the military or law enforcement officials. We support a voluntary citizens' brigade to reduce tension and restore order in the event of civil unrest, and to provide emergency assistance when natural disasters occur. We are opposed to any form of military conscription. Tension reduction is the bedrock principle on which all international conflicts are to be resolved.