Our Blog | July 2009

Too Hot - Need Some Rain...

by: Heather on 07/29/2009

Too hot to think, too hot to breathe, too hot to blog.

So in lieu of scintillating reading, I bring you the rain that my garden so desperately needs (and thanks to Sandy H. - from whose Facebook page I scooped the link)!

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Human Scale Author and Secession Advocate Kirkpatrick Sale featured in Iranian Media

by: Heather on 07/28/2009
Posted in: Author Events

Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale and director of The Middlebury Institute for the Study of Separatism, Secession, and Self-determination recently shared this interview which appeared, interestingly enough, in the Kayhan International newspaper of Tehran, Iran on July 21, 2009, and in the Persian language Kayhan News the same day. The interviewer was Seyed Yasser Jebraily. It makes for some very interesting reading. Thanks Kirk!

Q. You have argued that the major theme of contemporary history is the break-up of great empires. Would you elaborate on this and also evaluate the current status of U.S. Empire, I mean its failures and successes?

A. It is important to realize that the separatist and self-determination movement is actually the most important and most widespread political force in the world today and has been for the last half-century, during which time the United Nations, for example, has grown from 51 nations in 1945 to 193 nations in 2009. The break-up of the Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia are recent manifestations of the separatist trend, and there are separatist movements in more than two dozen countries at this time, including such well-known ones as in Catalonia, Scotland, Wales, Lapland, Sardinia, Sicily, Sudan, Congo, Kashmir, Chechnya, Kurdistan, Quebec, British Columbia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.


I believe the American empire is succumbing to these same pressures. It has grown too large and distended to maintain its political and military hold over the world, or even to control its own economy. It is unable to wage war anywhere, despite piling on huge resources and tons of money, and as it does so it creates enmity in most of the world and unpopularity at home. It is corrupted by corporate interests to the core, and is inept and inefficient, unable to solve the myriad problems its oversize and overstretch have created, including its enormous debt, its out-of-control health system, its failing public school system, its unregulated financial sector, its dependency on foreign oil and other resources, and its significant contribution to global warming.

Q. In 1995 you predicted that by the year 2020, there would be a convergence of three disasters: Global currency collapse, significant warfare between rich and poor, and environmental disaster. It seems that these are happening. What was the basis of these predictions?


A. They are happening, and sooner than I expected. My hope now is that by the time the worst of it occurs I will no longer be around to observe it. But I don't think it took any genius to see that this would occur. Anyone could see back then that all systems and institutions, domestic and globabl, had grown too big and complex to control, or even to understand, and that was before the impact of the internet and the dominance of cyberspace in our lives. Anyone who could understand that everything had grown way beyond the ability of humans to cope with it, and with the technological superapparatuses that have been created to advance global capitalism, could have made the same prediction.


Q. In 2004 you founded Middlebury Institute. What do you do there and what have been your achievements? We do not have so much information about the secessionist movement in the U.S., can you tell us about these movements?

A. The Middlebury Institute is devoted to the study and encouragement of separatism, secession, and self-determination. We have built up a body of literature showing the legitimacy and value of secession in the United States (on our website) and we have held three North American Secessionist Congresses that have brought together the thirty or so secessionist organizations on the continent.


At this time there is more attention being paid to secession than any time since 1865, when the Federal forces finally won in the War of Southern Secession (miscalled the Civil War).

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Turning the Super Tanker of the American Economy Around

by: EJ on 07/23/2009

The Economist is publishing a series on rebalancing global growth highlighting the world's four biggest economies, starting this week with the United States. I found the article an interesting window into an economist's world view. How difficult it has become to persist in the belief that perpetual growth is the only option for our economic …

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Five Ring Circus Author Questioned by Vancouver Olympic Security Unit

by: Heather on 07/21/2009
Posted in: Activism

Here at New Society, we have always been proud to call ourselves an activist publisher - we are committed to bringing you books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and we are no strangers to championing ideas that challenge the dominant paradigm.

Christopher Shaw is also no stranger to …

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Evolving for the Sake of Gaia

by: EJ on 07/16/2009
Posted in: Climate Change

James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia theory (the idea that the Earth is a living and self-regulating organism), was interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti on May 27th on the CBC Radio 1 program The Current. In his new book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning, Dr. Lovelock argues that we must very quickly learn to adapt to the impending …

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