Over at lewrockwell.com, historian Jonathan Kolkey, who runs The World Wide War Project (which argues that leaders have started all wars for "purely cynical self-serving motives designed to enhance their own political fortunes"), makes a call for secession.
No surprise there, as one gathers that talk of disuniting the so-called nation has long been a favorite topic at the barber shops in and around Auburn. What is surprising, given the venue, are Kolkey's comments regarding the last great secession in U.S. history:
If you personally sport Dixie roots, don't hesitate to apologize for your slaveholding ancestors. Just because they were dead wrong on slavery doesn't morally compromise you today. Everybody is born with a clean slate – historically speaking. So make sure to distance yourself from the South's allegedly heroic "Lost Cause." And speaking of Calhoun and other Southern "statesman," stop pretending that their high-sounding constitutional doctrines were anything more than an opportunistic fig leaf designed to cover the abominable institution of slavery. Acknowledge that the Southern regimes were basically "illegitimate" and embrace the stark conclusion of Wendell Phillips, the North's foremost Abolitionist, that the Southern system resembled a "pirate ship."
Again, at the risk of repeating myself, the object is peaceful Secession, not a violent showdown like that engulfing Russian Chechnya or Eritrea today. And efforts directed to rehabilitating the South's slaveowning crew will only muck up the process.
Furthermore, stop claiming that by the 1850s the South was headed towards emancipation. For any society that could produce and embrace a writer like the Virginian George Fitzhugh – the man who seriously argued that slavery was such a fantastic institution that the poor Whites should also be enslaved, thus enjoying its evident benefits! – was hardly headed for speedy emancipation. And accept that all pre-Civil War talk of abolishing slavery was invariably coupled with ambitious plans to deport the newly freed Blacks back to Africa or wherever. Full citizenship was never deemed a viable option. And face the fact that as late as 1938, Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo introduced legislation designed to facilitate the colonization of American Blacks back to Africa.