To-day the Wall Street Journal ran an article by Paul Starobin, Divided We Stand. The article deals with a hypothetical redrawing of the North American political map. Mention is made of Novacadia and it is identified on a pop-up map.
My sensation is one of awe and gratitude, as it was me who coined the term “Novacadia.”
On April 6, 2008 I placed a call to Thomas Naylor, founder of the Second Vermont Republic, and ran the idea past him. He had no problem with it. On April 8, 2008 I sent an email to Kirkpatrick Sale of The Middlebury Institute and Burt Cohen who had interviewed me for his Portside radio program in New Hampshire. The email reads verbatim:
Please see attached word doc. I discussed this shift with Thomas on the week-end. He had no problem with it. As I have had a few days to toss it around and put things to paper, I shall fax a copy of the attached word doc to him to-day. The spark for this shift came from a tactical disagreement I had with Jonathan Dean of the Atlantica Party several days ago, IMO, nothing more than a pretense to squeeze me out. Cutting bait with the AP is all for the better anyway. Now things will be out in the open on a very clean slate where I can push my own personal envelope…and a true secessionist agenda at the provincial level.
Kirk: Please make appropriate change from Atlantica Alliance to Novacadia Network on the Questionnaire for Registry which I sent to you yesterday. Nothing has been lost over the one-week lifespan of the AA. Hits to the site were minimal. For those who have visited, they will be re-directed to www.novacadia.org. The domain change will hopefully be in place by day’s end. You will note that I have also fired up a dedicated gmail account.
Burt: If you can somehow squeeze in a plug for the Novacadia Network site prior to Thursday’s broadcast that would be great and, again, nothing has been lost during the short lifespan of the AA. Actually, not having plugged it during the original broadcast now comes in as an asset.
I would appreciate your feedback on the rationale for making this shift. Thanks for your attention. Later.
The attached Word doc referenced to in the email reads as follows:
Political Mandate and Identity Shift to The Novacadia Independence Party, Rationale for
- Distance and differentiate from Atlantica Party
- The Atlantica Party is somewhat soft on Maritime Union (a political necessity prior to secession as a unified region)
- The Atlantica Party’s motive/premise for Maritime Union is to foster greater economic prosperity for the Maritimes
- The motive/premise for Maritime Union of the Novacadia Independence Party is diametrically opposed to Atlantica Party’s position, as it is politically misleading within the context of “owning” the economic and social consequences of Peak Oil and incorporating such into party constitution and policies
- Atlantica Party identified by the public with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), if valid or not does not matter
- In the public mind, AIMS is the front organization/think tank for a right wing, corporatist agenda
- The Atlantica Party’s constant denial that it is not affiliated with AIMS hardly negates the fact that it is one of the first questions asked of it
- Rightly or wrongly, the perception of affiliation exists
- Lastly, in spite of the Atlantica Party’s constant refutation of affiliation with AIMS, that it in fact may be a shill for AIMS is quite probable
- Although the “marketing baggage” for the Atlantica Party at this stage is minimal, it can only increase rather than decrease; it is barely out of the gate and having to deal with a serious political liability
- Rather than work with a hidden agenda within the Atlantica Party, take the secessionist initiative on the provincial level to the fore, i.e. the high ground, and position the secessionist initiative for the public to clearly see, contemplate, and decide to support or not (“no secrets” is a much stronger and more ethical tactic than “hidden agenda”)
- Will make for several interesting years on the Nova Scotia and Maritime political fringes (Novacadia Independence Party, Atlantica Party, Green Party)
- There’s certainly nothing wrong with some good old competition
- I am confident that, over time, support can be weaned from both the Atlantica Party and the Greens
- If I did not believe that the Novacadia Independence Party will come out on top after several years of ideological street fighting, then I would not bother putting this initiative into the world
- Meet SVR halfway with its proposal for New Acadia; makes for a sincere and concrete diplomatic gesture that may hold great media appeal at the conference
- Novacadia, as an identity, speaks politically to both Scottish and French history and heritage in The Maritimes, ergo a hybrid identity incorporating Nova Scotia and Acadia
- Until such time as the Novacadia Independence Party is up and running, use the organizational tool of the Novacadia Network with which to promote, i.e. shift from Atlantica Alliance to Novacadia Network (tentative domain name change by my server has already been approved)
- As “peak oil and hard political action” will be one of the major themes of my presentation at the conference, the Novacadia Independence Party serves as a regional political entity and prototype for delegates to consider to further their own secessionist agendas
- With this initiative I cross a personal Rubicon, thus forcing me to own it fully and assume responsibility at the highest levels of my own political conduct
So in the span of 14 months the notion of Novacadia has gone from idea to the pages of the WSJ. The political designation of Novacadia was officially introduced at the Third North American Secession Convention last November in Manchester, New Hampshire via my paper and presentation, Post-Peak Oil and NAmerican Regional Secession. Since the convention, two blogs and a web site have been dedicated to the idea of Novacadia, plus a Facebook page has recently been launched. During the winter a probe went out to New England secessionists for a Novacadia conference in the spring. There was no interest. It seemed that focus was going towards creating the Switzerland of North America. Outreach in the Maritimes is ongoing, though slowly and carefully. A discussion on the role of the monarchy in Canada is here, after all, still legitimate political discourse.
It is for such reasons that I find it odd that, when quoted in the WSJ article, Kirkpatrick Sale would say that the idea of Novacadia, “did not actually evolve into very much.”
Hosting my position paper on the Middlebury Institute site might alleviate that, although that would compete with other secessionist interpretations. The guess is ventured that showing some courage and decency by the Vermont Commons editorial board against one stringent voice might alleviate that. Making the slightest of dents in one’s American exceptionalism might alleviate that. Pointing the writer of the WSJ article towards the founder of Novacadia might have alleviated it even more.
“Did not actually evolve into very much!” I mean honestly, what kind of a politically and diplomatically asinine comment is that to make by the self-anointed, go-to guy for the NAmerican secessionist movement?
Paul Starobin, the writer of the article, states, “The Middlebury Institute, a group that studies and supports the general cause of separatism and secessionism in the U.S., has held three Secession Congresses since its founding in 2004.”
I doubt if the term “Secession Congresses” dropped into Mr. Starobin’s mind out of the blue. It has already been pointed out that the Middlebury Institute went out of its way to bill its events as “conventions.” Now that concrete plans are underway to hold the inaugural meeting of the proposed North American Secessionist Congress in 2010, backtracking and a re-writing of history to make Joe Stalin proud is all in vain.
If it quacks like a thief, then odds are, it’s a thief.
Alas, contrary to Mr. Sales’ pedestrian and myopic secessionist agenda, the geographical designation of Novacadia is doing just fine, thanks very much, all things considered. We’re in the WSJ! It only took 14 months to get there! And no one, no one who has not earned it deserves any credit for it being there.
During times of intellectual revolution great and courageous perceptions and statements will occur, as will the small and petty. The onus falls on the pioneers who congregate around a movement to determine who makes which, from which motives, and towards which ends.
We make our beds, and then we get to sleep in them.