History

Two New Not-Quite-Books from Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

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emancipating manuscripts

The libertarian historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, author of the excellent Civil War book  Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men, has posted two book-manuscripts-in-progress at ssrn.com. "I wasn't sure when I was going to be able to revise them up to my standards for publication," he says. "So I decided to make them available as is, with all their flaws, and revise them as time permits." You can download War is the Health of the State: The Impact of Military Defense on the History of the United States here, and you can download Deadweight Loss and the American Civil War: The Political Economy of Slavery, Secession, and Emancipation here.

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  1. “So I decided to make them available as is, with all their flaws, and revise them as time permits.”

    Good thing Congress doesn’t work that way with its legislation and regulations. If you ask me, Hummel is just crowdsourcing his editing, the cheap bastard.

  2. Did someone light the Liberty Mike signal?

  3. Oh no, not another attack on St. Abraham Lincoln. Hindsight, of course, is not wisdom but a strong case can be made that it would have been better – net net – to let the South secede and stew in the
    juices of their peculiar institution.

    1. So it would be better to have the South turn into Haiti, the one country were slaves ever successfully revolted, or appartaid South Africa rather than what it is today?

      If you really really hate the South maybe so. But for the country as a whole, no way. The North saved the South from itself. And Hummel is smoking crack in his claim that slavery was dying. The price of slaves was going up in the South before the civil war. The South had all of Texas and eventually the SW to colonize and use slave labor to perpetuate the southern lifestyle.

      And the South needed new land. Unless the North was willing to give the South the entier Southwest, war was inevitable. There was no letting wayward sistes go their way. The wayward sisters wanted most of the West.

      1. I don’t recall ever reading that the South had notions that secession would lead to its ability to claim Western territories. Clearly they wanted to prevent new states from becoming non-slave states and thus put them in the minority and put their slaveowning in jeopardy. But secession was about independence from this, not expansion.

        1. It was totally about expansion. Why do you think they wanted those states to be slave? The land in the eastern states had been depleted. You couldn’t grow cotton there anymore. They needed more land. Virginia and the Carolinas were in the business of producing slaves as much anything by then. They had visions of a hemisphere wide slave empire. They invaded Kansas didn’t they? They certainly would have done the same to New Mexico and Colorado has the war not happened. The whole system was dependent on obtaining new land for which the rest of the South could then sell slaves.

          1. Why do you think they wanted those states to be slave?
            For continued political detente in Washington. I think it’s very difficult to re-frame their actions in wartime into actions that would have been taken given a peaceful separation.

            1. They had to have the land. And they also couldn’t tolerate free states next to slave states because of the runaway problem.

              The antebellum South was a boil on the asshole of American history. I have no idea why anyone has any sympathy for them or what happened to them.

              1. The antebellum South was a boil on the asshole of American history. I have no idea why anyone has any sympathy for them or what happened to them.

                The sympathy is not for the slaveholding states. The sympathy is for the 800,000 men who died in the Civil War; the 1,600,000 who were permanently maimed in that war; and for all the future generations enslaved by the coup d’etat Lincoln pulled off where he rewrote the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and prohibited states from seceding from the growing tyranny Lincoln helped usher in.

                1. The sympathy is not for the slaveholding states.

                  You don’t understand. If you are critical of the Civil War or of Lincoln in any way, then you support slavery.

                  Period.

                  The Civil War was the most wonderful thing to ever happen to the country because it ended slavery.

                  Either you agree or you’re evil.

            2. I’m with MP–it was about votes, not territorial expansion of the “South.”

          2. “They invaded Kansas didn’t they? They certainly would have done the same to New Mexico and Colorado has the war not happened.”

            More likely they would have tried to take Cuba and Northern Mexico, which were more vulnerable and geographically more Southern.

      2. And the South needed new land. Unless the North was willing to give the South the entier Southwest, war was inevitable. There was no letting wayward sistes go their way. The wayward sisters wanted most of the West.

        How exactly would slavery have worked in the dry Western states, where to get around the huge ranches needed to eke a living, workers needed horses to ride?

        Because nothing is more conducive to keeping a person enslaved then giving them a horse to ride, and forbidding them from galloping off to freedom.

        1. It’s also important to note that the majority of Southerners weren’t slaveowners.

  4. What I really liked about ESEFN was that it asked questioned that don’t seem to be asked enough regarding motivations. I still find it amazing that “preserve the Union” remains such an unquestioned justification.

    1. It was more complex than that. The South really did a lot of asshole things to piss the north off. The Fugitive Slave Act made every state and local cop into a federal agent who faced criminal penalties if he didn’t return fugitive slaves. So much for the South being about states rights. There were numerous raids into Ohio and even Michigan against towns of free blacks where southerners kidnapped black people alledging they were runnaway slaves. They invaded and terrorized Kansas for the sake of fixing the election.

      None of those things ever gets talked about. The popular history makes it look like South was just minding its own business and then asked polititely to leave the union after Lincoln was elected. That is not true. The South was a bunch of unrepetant assholes who never gave a shit about anything beyond keeping and expanding slavery.

      1. None of those things ever gets talked about.

        I don’t think that’s true at all. It’s just that much of the literature is more focused on the war itself than the 20 years beforehand.

        In any event, the South was leveraging the political capital that they had in Washington. The FSA was still Federal. And it was consistent with the property rights notions that led to Dred Scott. The raids into the “North” as they were still had some measure of legal coverage.

        I am not for a second arguing that the South seceded for any reason beyond preserving slavery. But I will staunchly argue that secession was far more about preserving it within their own boundaries than it was about any notion of expansion. They saw the North (or more specifically, the abolitionists) gaining political power at the Federal level, and they wanted to extract themselves from that oversight after it became clear that they couldn’t put their own pawn into the Presidency.

        1. The FSA was still Federal

          No it made states enforce federal law. And Dred Scott was worse than just property laws. It said that if a Southerner brought his slave to a free state that slave was still a slave. That meant universal slavery. Under Dred Scott, a southerner could buy a farm in Illinois, send his slaves to work on it and as long as he never changed his residency to Illinois, those slaves were still slaves. Under those circumstances, how is Illinois in any way a free state anymore?

          The South wanted to expand slavery into the West. It had to. Lincoln never said he was going to end slavery. The only thing he ever said was he was not going to let it spread. And that is why the South left. They left because they knew that for slavery to continue it had to spread.

          1. They left because they knew that for slavery to continue it had to spread.

            And that’s where well have to just agree to disagree. They left because it had to continue to spread in order for them to maintain their grip on Washington. When they realized that maintaining their grip was no longer possible, they seceded. They did not try to lead a revolt and overthrow. The just said Fuck You and left.

            They were not debating that it needed to be spread simply to preserve the institution itself.

          2. In order to maintain influence in the federal government they needed slavery to expand. Every new state that didn’t allow slavery weakened their position in the House and Senate.

            When it became clear that this was not going to happen they succeeded.

            I believe that slavery would have gone the way of the wagon wheel and buggy whip. It is not economically viable in the modern economy.

            1. Why would it have gone away? You can run an industrial economy on slaves. Stalin built the White Sea Canal with slaves. Hitler ran most of his war industry throughout the war with slave labor. Moreover, slaves were often very skilled workers. There wasn’t any Lowes back then. Plantations were self contained units that made most of their materials on site. Many slaves were highly skilled blacksmiths and carpetanters. The biggest motivating factor for Jim Crow was to keep skilled black laborers from competing with white workers.

              People have this racist idea, fed to them by the South and their moron apologists, that black slaves were all unskilled beasts of burden out picking cotton. They were not. They were often very skilled laborers. There is no reason why the South couldn’t have used them in modern industrial production.

              Slavery was going nowhere. It was profitable. And would have continued to be so.

              1. Incentives.

                Put a slave and a paid worker next to each other, and the paid worker has more of an incentive to bust ass than the slave, because it could result in higher pay.

                Because of this I do not believe that a slave economy could compete on the world stage.

                Look at all these Asian shitholes. They are competing precisely because the workers have an opportunity to better themselves.
                Something slaves did not have.

                Or they could have kept slavery and used tariffs and such to “protect” domestic industry, but that’s the road to poverty.

                No, I think that they would have wised up and slavery would have ended, just as it has everywhere else in the world.

                1. Because of this I do not believe that a slave economy could compete on the world stage.

                  I have a ton of shit built by prison labor in China that says otherwise.

                  1. I have a ton of shit built by prison labor in China that says otherwise.

                    Now you’re moving the goalposts.

                    The majority of the shit you have from China was made in sweatshop factories that are unimaginable to most Americans, but still an improvement for the workers.

                    They may appear to be slave labor by American standards, but for the people involved they are an improvement compared to the life of a subsistence farmer.

                    They are able to compete because they are not slave labor.

                    Workers can better their lives. Slaves cannot.

                    Incentives matter.

                    1. A lot of the things out of China are made by prison labor. China makes a nice profit with prison labor. And agin, Hitler managed to supply his Army and do it quite nicely with prison labor. In South Carolina they managed to move more earth than moved to build the paramids to create the rice fields in the low coutry, all done with slave labor.

                      If slave labor doesn’t work, why did they have it in the first place? How is agricultural work any different than industrial work? If what you are saying is true, wouldn’t have northern farms out competed the South? Yet they didn’t.

                    2. As usual you don’t get it. Whatever. I’m done wasting time on you. Fuck off.

                    3. What don’t I get? Tell me, why is industrial work any different than agricultural work? The plantations in the South were pretty amazing things. Why couldn’t the same system have built factories?

              2. One cannot overlook the fact that the Confederate States would have become a pariah if it kept slavery. Moral sanction would have isolated it economically, abolitionists would have raided it, sensible Southerners would have lobbied for gradual emanicipation. Yes, it may have taken a hundred years for the last slave to be freed and that must be weighed against 750,000 dead and
                the waste and destruction of property and constitutional government.

                1. Yes, it may have taken a hundred years for the last slave to be freed and that must be weighed against 750,000 dead and
                  the waste and destruction of property and constitutional government.

                  It is pretty fucking rich of us to sit here fatter and happier and freer than pretty much 99% of the people who have ever lived and look back on people held in bondage and tell them “you and your children will just have to stay slaves because Lincoln might do some bad things trying to free you”.

                  That is really what it comes down to with Southern apologists. The slaves should have remained slaves because their precious pre war government ended. Well tough shit. It is not the slaves job to control the federal government. It is the people’s jobs. There is nothing to say that Federal Government could not have gone back to what it was after the war. The fact that it didn’t is not the slaves fault.

                  And further, lets not lump in the reconstruction government with what we have now. The government didn’t get huge until after the New Deal. And that had nothing to do with the civil war. And the civil war didn’t cause the Slaughter House cases, which killed the P&I clause. It was the fucking post war Southerners on the Supreme Court who did that. I would give my left nut to have the federal government we had in 1868 instead of what we have now.

                  1. That is really what it comes down to with Southern apologists.

                    Secession was about slavery. The war was about preserving the union. It had nothing to do with slavery.

                    Arguing against he war is not arguing for slavery.

                    Fucking straw man fellating asshole.

                    Fuck off.

                    1. Arguing against he war is not arguing for slavery.

                      Since the war was necessary to end slavery, yes it is. There are two choices, have the war and end slavery or not have the war and let slavery exist for God knows how many more years.

                      There is no third choice of avoiding the war and slavery going away in any kind of reasonable time. You just are pretending there is.

                    2. Since the war was necessary to end slavery, yes it is.

                      I do not accept that premise. So all conversation afterwards is completely pointless.

                    3. I do not accept that premise. So all conversation afterwards is completely pointless.

                      Yes you do. You think the South would have just ended slavery then? If not, how long? I would say it would have hung on for at least another generation or two. And if that is true, then isn’t not fighting the war telling slaves that they and their children will remain in slavery for the forseable future?

                      Over a million Americans were in bondage. Is there no moral imperative to do something about that?

                    4. Yes you do.

                      Now you’re telling me that I don’t know what I think in order to perpetuate your straw man?

                      People must punch you in the face a lot.

                    5. There is no third choice of avoiding the war and slavery going away in any kind of reasonable time. You just are pretending there is.

                      You’re just gagging on the military’s cock, as usual.

                    6. You are missing the point. Slavery wasn’t going to end as quickly as it did. How would it have taken to end slavery on its own? First, you have no way of knowing if that is even true. You just believe it despite lots of evidence to the contrary. And second, how long is too long? A decade? A century? The lives of every slave living in 1865?

                      Is it your position that we should have let the South hold slaves for as long as the Southerers found it profitable to keep them? If it isn’t that, what is your position?

                2. It is an appalling and immoral argument to say that millions of Americans should have remained slaves for another generation just so we can have the federal government we like. And it is no argument any classical liberal or libertarian should be making.

                  1. It is an appalling and immoral argument to say that millions of Americans should have remained slaves for another generation just so we can have the federal government we like.

                    Go suck your straw man’s cock, you tiresome troll.

                    1. Go fuck yourself sarcasmic. That is exactly the argument Romulus is making. We should have let the South go and then in a hundred years or so slavery would have solved itself. That means telling millions of Americans in bondage they had to stay there for another generation or two because we like our federal government and don’t want anyone to get hurt.

                    2. That is exactly the argument Romulus is making.

                      No it’s not, asshole.

                      As usual you’re twisting words to mean something that they don’t, then arguing against a straw man.

                      Fuck off.

                    3. If that is not what it is, then what is it? I am not twisting words at all. I am just pointing out the logic consiquences of what he is saying. Sorry you don’t like it. But too bad.

                    4. If that is not what it is, then what is it?

                      It has been explained here numerous times, but you’re too obtuse to understand.

                      No point in repeating it.

                    5. It has been explained here numerous times, but you’re too obtuse to understand.

                      In other words, it is exactly what I say it is and you know it. Thanks.

                    6. No John.

                      I do not accept your premise that military action was the only possible way to end slavery.

                      That’s like saying FDR’s Keynesian policies ended the Depression.

                      No different at all, Red Tony.

                    7. I do not accept your premise that military action was the only possible way to end slavery.

                      It was the only possible way to end slavery within any timeframe not measured in decades. If you were living in slavery I am sure you would be totally understanding that your government would do nothing about it on the assurance your master will some day see the need to free you maybe in 10 years or so if you were lucky.

                3. Quite a few of the abolitionists including, I believe, Spooner and Garrison believed that slavery would have been short lived if secession had been allowed to happen.

                  Unencumbered by southern congresscritters, repeals of the slavery supporting legislation like the Fugitive Slave Act would have happened pretty quickly leading to an end of slavery even in the deep south. Their logic was that the new border states retaining slavery would have bled slaves escaping to the north, quickly removing the pressure to keep slavery alive as an institution and driving the border between slaveholding and non-slaveholding states ever southward until slavery disappeared. IIRC their thinking.

                  1. Their logic was that the new border states retaining slavery would have bled slaves escaping to the north, quickly removing the pressure to keep slavery alive as an institution and driving the border between slaveholding and non-slaveholding states ever southward until slavery disappeared. IIRC their thinking.

                    That assumes the South would have quietly let that happen. That is unlikely. More likely, given their appalling behavior in the 1850s, is the South would have launched raids into the North to return fugitive slaves and the war would have started then.

                    Do you really think the South would have stood idely by while all of their slaves ran to the North? What about their behavior makes you think they would have?

  5. Sounds to me like the dude is talking a LOT of smack man!

    http://www.anon-e.tk

  6. This is where the Christian perspective (alluded to in the Second Inaugural) is useful – that God can bring good (abolition of slavery) out of evil (a devastating war). You can still call the war evil, even while recognizing that good came out of it. But since the good wasn’t in any case intended by many of the participants, it’s hard to invoke as a justification – at first neither side wanted to emancipate any slaves, that developed gradually as a matter of perceived military and diplomatic necessity. It wasn’t as if Lincoln and his pals got together in advance and said let’s have a war to abolish slavery.

    1. I wouldn’t say no one. There were a lot of abolitionists in the North. They may have been a minority, but they were certainly significant. And even the people who were not abolitionists were often motivated by the South’s efforts to shove slavery down their throats in the form of the FSA and Dred Scott.

      1. I *didn’t* say no one. I said “the good [of emancipating the slaves] wasn’t in any case intended by *many* of the participants” [emphasis added]

        The Northern leaders (Lincoln and a majority in Congress) started out by saying their only goal was to restore the union, not interfere with slavery in the South. Lincoln and many others changed their tune because an early, easy victory wasn’t forthcoming and the issue was forced on them.

        That’s why retroactive debates about “was it good to go to war to end slavery” are misleading, failing to account for the actual dynamics of the war.

        1. The actual dynamics of it were that the South went nuts, claimed all federal property in the South to be its own and started shooting.

          1. Secession wasn’t invented by the South. New England flirted with it at one point. Calling the idea “nuts” doesn’t make it so – even if it was mistaken, it had a perfectly respectable pedigree.

            And this gets us beyond the slavery issue and into questions which apply whenever any smaller unit breaks off from a larger one – eg, the USA from the British Empire, Norway from Sweden, East Timor from Indonesia, etc. There’s always someone to call the idea crazy and won’t someone please think of the public property.

            1. Did New England ever try to confiscate federal property and fire on US troops?

              1. The confiscated *British* property and fired on *British* troops.

                They never seceded from the U.S., but the fact that they flirted with the idea (as I mentioned) casts doubt on the idea that secession was some crazy notion the South invented.

                1. It was an insane notion. Why did the South need to do it? Lincoln wasn’t going to end slavery. He didn’t have the public support. There was no reason to go nuts and start shooting.

                  1. I’m happy to say that seceding to protect slavery was a bad idea – because slavery was a bad idea.

                    But it wasn’t nuts from the standpoint of a slavery supporter. Staying in the Union would (according to Lincoln’s own plan for long-term peaceful extinction of slavery) have meant a country with a growing antislavery majority, and a government which appointed nonslaveholding whites to public office in the South – including postmasterships, meaning no more censorship of abolitionist papers – and building up a patronage party among poor whites (“Helperism”).

                    The South shouldn’t have objected to this, because the South should have wanted to get rid of slavery. But it wasn’t crazy for a proslavery person to want to escape from the U.S.

                    1. But it wasn’t nuts from the standpoint of a slavery supporter.

                      I suppose gasing Jews wasn’t nuts from the view of the Nazi. The point is that sure succession may be perfectly reasonable and justifiable in some circumstances. But doing it to keep slavery is not one of them. Just because the South was wrong to succeed doesn’t mean everyone who wants to do the same will be as well. I don’t understand why people who want to support the idea of succession do so by pointing to the worst possible example of it.

                    2. It’s premature to rush into the Hitler comparisons when your comment – the comment to which I was replying – said secession was nuts even from a proslavery perspective (“Lincoln wasn’t going to end slavery”).

                    3. Also, the Northern leadership didn’t say, “since slavery is wrong, secession is wrong.” They said, “secession is wrong, as for your protecting slavery excuse, we’re not threatening slavery in your states!”

                      Since the war didn’t start as an antislavery crusade, it’s hard to defend the North in such terms – as if that was their aim all along.

                    4. And succession did make sense for the South. But not because they wanted to live peacefully. It made sense because Lincoln was going to stop them from expanding slavery. So much for the idea that they were anything but expansionistic.

                    5. My point was that just because succession to preserve slavery was wrong doesn’t mean all succession is wrong. The validity of succession depends on the reasons you are doing it for.

                      Imagine if California decided to impliment full on communism complete with re-education camps and was going to leave the Union to do it. The state legislature voted to leave the union, repeal the constitution and institute the dictatorship of the proletariat.

                      Would such an action be valid? If the South could leave for slavery, why couldn’t California leave for communism? And if so, we are basically saying that states are free to leave the union and murder and enslave their citizens as they wish.

                    6. I’m not even endorsing secession as a general rule – but your complaints were *not* the complaints of the North as of 1861. They objected only to secession, not to the existence of Southern slavery, at the start of the war. The North changed its mind later and made abolition a war aim. But to defend the North’s position prior to that time, you need to grapple with their actual arguments – that secession is inconceivable, always wrong, and that the validity of secession wasn’t affected by the slavery issue.

                    7. Plus, only a Cassandra-like minority on each side thought the war would be anything near as bloody as it turned out to be.

                      So, again, it’s not as if the North got together beforehand and said, “we must free the slaves no matter what the cost!”

                    8. What the North can’t get to the right result for the wrong reasons? The fact is that the South was succeeding to preserve slavery. And they were taking all of their slaves with them against their will. Those slaves were Americans. That makes Southern Succession invalid. The fact that the North didn’t make that specific argument is immaterial. The North’s failure to fully recognize slaves as citizens doesn’t make the Southern position any more correct or justifiable.

                      If Lincoln had said “you may have the right to leave the union but you can’t leave the union and prevent black Americans from leaving and therefore essentially kidnap them” he would have been making the right argument. But what does it matter that he didn’t say that? The right action was to go to war and free the slaves. And that was the action he took. I don’t see how that action is somehow less right because he had different motives for doing it. It is the same action and same result isn’t it?

                    9. “What the North can’t get to the right result for the wrong reasons?”

                      I’ve said something similar above.

                      “I don’t see how that action is somehow less right because he had different motives for doing it. It is the same action and same result isn’t it?”

                      You could justify *secession* on those grounds – the secessionists provoked a war which freed the slaves, therefore secession was a good thing, justified by the result, even if it’s not the result the secessionists intended.

                      You don’t seem inclined to let the secessionists off the hook, though. Because they weren’t *trying* to end slavery. So they don’t get to take credit for a result they disavowed.

                      The North went to war intending to retake the seceded states, and hoping for a quick victory with slavery intact int he South. I don’t think, then, that they can be given the moral credit for the decision to go to war.

                      However, Lincoln and the others who freed the slaves, later in the war, can get the credit for that, because they were by this time actually seeking the abolition of slavery. But they can’t get the credit for planning it all along, nor do they get credit for going into the war in the first place, when emancipation wasn’t their goal.

                      That’s why I suggested the broader, providential view of history, by which God took lemons (the war) and made lemonade (emancipation).

                    10. I wasn’t the first to suggest this, by the way:

                      “The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’ If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”

                      http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres32.html

                    11. That is my favorite speech of all time. And I think he was dead on. The war was the country’s punisment for slavery.

                    12. and:

                      “Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease.”

                    13. I don’t think, then, that they can be given the moral credit for the decision to go to war.

                      That just is it. That is the slight of hand that people play. The fact that the North doesn’t deserve the moral credit for fighting the war for the right reasons doesn’t mean the war itself was wrong. Objectively, the war was right. Slavery was an awful horrible insitution and fighting a war to end it is about as good of a war as there could be. The fact that the people who fought just such a war often fought it for other less noble reasons, doesn’t diminish the rightness of the war. The rightness or wrongness of the war is independent of the intentions of the people fighting it.

                    14. “The rightness or wrongness of the war is independent of the intentions of the people fighting it.”

                      Then you have a big quarrel with the authors of the Just War doctrine – right intention is a key part of legitimately starting a war:

                      “Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose?correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.”

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J….._ad_bellum

                      (And just let me add that I misinterpreted Lincoln’s inaugural – he wasn’t saying that the war was the lemon and emancipation the lemonade, he was raising the possibility that Americans (both North and South) incurred the war as God’s punishment for slavery. He was much more reflective here than in many of his other public statements, and rose above many of those previous statements by suggesting that things had gone beyond his original intentions)

                    15. No docrtine is perfect. Look at it this way. Take my California example. If that happened and there were a few hundred thousand Americans rotting in gulags, would it matter that most people supported the war to bring California back into the union because they wanted Yosimite back? Would California’s succession somehow be vindicated because of that?

                    16. Exactly. The other day, some guy looked at me wrong on the highway so I ran him off the road, killing him. Turns out he was a child molesting serial killer, so I was right all along. My intentions were completely irrelevant.

                    17. Yes – right intention is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for a war being just. Otherwise, we could let Mussolini off the hook for invading Ethopia, because slavery!

                    18. And the flip side of making right intention irrelevant is to make *wrong* intention irrelevant – so again, the secessionists could get credit for starting a war which ended slavery!

                    19. And the flip side of making right intention irrelevant is to make *wrong* intention irrelevant – so again, the secessionists could get credit for starting a war which ended slavery!

                      Except that it wasn’t their intentions that fought the war. They actively fought against it. That is not intentions. That is actions. Yes, you should be held responsible for your actions. That is the point. The South gets no credit for starting a war to preserve slavery just because they lost said war.

                      But that is what we are left with and why I find these discussions and positions so infuriating. Libertarians basically think that because Lincoln was not pure as the driven snow the whole war, a war which resulted in the end of the worst insitution in American history, is horrible and should have never been fought. That to me makes no sense. And what makes even less sense is the position that sure slavery was wrong but the Southerners had every right to keep their slaves until they were good and ready to give them up. And the fact that Lincoln wanted to expand the federal government and didn’t say up front he wanted to free the slaves make all of his actions that resulted in their freedom invalid and him worse that the Sothern slave holders WTF? Really?

                    20. But Edward, you can’t compare the North to Mussilini. If they had invaded the South for a truly horrible reason you could. But they didn’t. They invaded the South to keep it in the Union. You may not agree with that reason. But it is hardly Mussolini invading Ethopia.

                      Again we are left with the preplexing issue of why Libertarians love to defend the South and why people who want to justify succession point to the worst example of it in human history as a defense.

                    21. The point with the Mussolini example was to illustrate the reductio ad absurdam of totally ignoring the issue of right intention. If we were allowing room for right intention, at least Lincoln would get points for his antislavery views and his decision midway in the war to free the slaves, but if motives are irrelevant then it is, indeed, hard to distinguish him from Mussolini.

                      We can stipulate that wanting to conquer Ethiopia is a worse motive than wanting to reconquer the South. But neither motive involves freeing the slaves. And neither motive, when separated from the slavery issue, is exactly a self-evidence justification for a bloody war.

                    22. And neither motive, when separated from the slavery issue, is exactly a self-evidence justification for a bloody war.

                      So what? There was a very big justification for a bloody war, slavery. It was there and it was real. Why does the North’s failure to state that justification from the begining render it non existent? What you seem to be saying is that because the North didn’t use that justification, that it didn’t exist and anything the North did was invalid and wrong even though it could have been had the North just used slavery as their justification. That is bunk.

                    23. Exactly. The other day, some guy looked at me wrong on the highway so I ran him off the road, killing him. Turns out he was a child molesting serial killer, so I was right all along. My intentions were completely irrelevant.

                      That is a completely idiotic example. The South did a hell of a lot more than look sideways. And while intentions are relevent in some instances, they are not dispositive and do nothing to justify they other side.

                    24. And if so, we are basically saying that states are free to leave the union and murder and enslave their citizens as they wish.

                      No, you are arguing that states should NOT be free to leave the union, and the federal government can murder and enslave “their” citizens as they wish.

                      I’d link to Obama’s “disposition matrix” re the murder thing, and the lack of any upper limit on taxation and SCOTUS not honoring the Bill of Rights re the enslavement thing, but you’ve had ample opportunity to see where the feds seem to be headed.

  7. Lincoln instituted the draft. So he enslaved the young men of the north and killed them in battle in order to preserve a tax base.

    1. Oh those men and their children remained enslaved for life? I don’t think “slavery” means quite what you think it does.

      1. Those draftees who died in battle were enslaved for the rest of their lives.

      2. So a slave who gets freed at some point was never a slave? WTF

        1. A drafte is not a slave. To claim otherwise is to totally devalue the term. And it is especially appalling to equat northern draftees to southern slaves.

          1. A military draftee is a temporary slave. Go to boot camp, where someone is yelling at you literally from the moment you awake, giving you orders you must blindly obey, and imagine that you are not allowed to quit, and that you will be subject to being shot if you desert, and then report back on me on how that is not slavery.

            And it is appalling to think that Lincoln outlawed slavery in the North prior to starting the civil war.

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