Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Neo-Confederates and Libertarians, freedom to own other human beings and have sex slaves

There's a strange breed of libertarianism in Texas and much of the South.  You might call it "Lost Cause Libertarianism." See this article from Wikipedia on Neo-Confederates and Libertarians.

"Neo-Confederates and libertarianism[edit]
Historian Daniel Feller asserts that libertarian authors Thomas DiLorenzo, Charles Adams, and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have produced a "marriage of neo-Confederates and libertarianism." Despite an apparent disconnect ("How can a lover of liberty defend slavery?"), Feller writes:
What unites the two, aside from their hostility to the liberal academic establishment, is their mutual loathing of big government. Adams, DiLorenzo, and Hummel view the Civil War through the prism of market economics. In their view its main consequence, and even its purpose, was to create a leviathan state that used its powers to suppress the most basic personal freedom, the right to choose. The Civil War thus marks a historic retreat for liberty, not an advance. Adams and DiLorenzo dismiss the slavery issue as a mere pretext for aggrandizing central power. All three authors see federal tyranny as the war's greatest legacy. And they all hate Abraham Lincoln.[29]
Hummel in turn, in a review of libertarian Thomas E. Woods, Jr.'s "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History", refers to the works by DiLorenzo and Adams as "amateurish neo-Confederate books". Of Woods, Hummel states that the two main neo-Confederate aspects of Woods' work are his emphasis on a legal right of secession while ignoring the moral right to secession and his failure to acknowledge the importance of slavery in the Civil War. Hummel writes:
Woods writes 'that the slavery debate masked the real issue: the struggle over power and domination' (p. 48). Talk about a distinction without a difference. It is akin to stating that the demands of sugar lobbyists for protective quotas mask their real worry: political influence. Yes, slaveholders constituted a special interest that sought political power. Why? To protect slavery.[30]
Hummel also criticizes Woods' "neo-Confederate sympathies" in his chapter on Reconstruction. Most egregious was his "apologia for the Black Codes adopted by the southern states immediately after the Civil War." Part of the problem was Woods' reliance on an earlier neo-Confederate work, Robert Selph Henry's 1938 book The Story of Reconstruction.

Lots of these folks are upset because Lincoln took away their freedom to own other human beings and buy "fancy girls." (female sex slaves).


  1. Isn't it factual that at the beginning of the Civil War, Lincoln's primary view was for keeping the nation together? Didn't he specifically state that slavery was not his primary concern; that it was of little moment?

    Sure, slavery was/is evil. But if a group can join another group, why cannot that joining group exit if it so desires? Why was joining the Union a one-way street? Where's the Liberty and self-rule in that?

    I note that in this recent half-century, the Confederate Battle Flag has become a symbol of rebelliousness and personal independence for those who fly it. A resentment of Big Nanny government. Nothing at all to do with slavery.

    Similarly, the Gadsden flag is a symbol of the attitude, "Leave me alone!"


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  4. Art:
    Thanks for the comment. The leading book on Lincoln and slavery is Eric Foner's "The Fiery Trial." A Pulitizer Prize winner by the man who is probably the #1 civil war historian. Let me summarize some of the points.
    Before becoming Pres. Lincoln felt that there was something wrong with slavery and that it did not fit in a free society. He obviously thought it was not a good thing and proposed that it not be expanded beyond current boundaries. He doubted that he and/or Congress had authority to ban it, and feared an attempt at a ban would incite a civil war. Like most Americans, he believed in white supremacy. However, after meeting a number of educated blacks, like Frederic Douglas, he saw the fallacy of white supremacy, and began to move toward abolition. The war arguably gave the C in C power to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and discussion turned to an amendment to abolish slavery.

    It seems somewhat hypocritical for people who claim the right to own other people to complain about their rights being lost. Freedom to own other human beings is not a freedom, it is an abomination.
    Nowhere in the Constitution is there a right to secede. The Constitution was a compact among the people, not the states. See the preamble. If you want to secede peacefully, start a move for a constitutional amendment to set up a peaceful process for secession.
    If one want to celebrate the Confederacy, why not use the official flag. A battle flag is a flag of war. A war fought to try to preserve slavery.

  5. For a review of Foner's book see
    The reviewer writes:"Because of his broad-ranging knowledge of the 19th century, Foner is able to provide the most thorough and judicious account of Lincoln’s attitudes toward slavery that we have to date. "