Libertarian History/Philosophy

Libertarianism, the Anti-Slavery Movement, and Black History Month

Classical liberalism and the fight for racial equality.

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Public Domain

At The Huffington Post, David Boaz has a sharp column tracing the key role that libertarian and classical liberal ideas played in the abolition of American slavery and the struggle for racial equality. As Boaz puts it, "black history is American history, a story of oppression and liberation rooted in the libertarian idea of individual rights." He explains:

Some people think libertarians only care about taxes and regulations. But I was asked not long ago, what's the most important libertarian accomplishment in history? I said, "the abolition of slavery."

The greatest libertarian crusade in history was the effort to abolish chattel slavery, culminating in the nineteenth-century abolitionist movement and the heroic Underground Railroad. It's no accident that abolitionism emerged out of the ferment of the Industrial Revolution and the American Revolution.

How could Americans proclaim that "all men are created equal . . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," without noticing that they themselves were holding other men and women in bondage? They could not, of course. The ideas of the American Revolution—individualism, natural rights and free markets—led logically to agitation for the extension of civil and political rights to those who had been excluded from liberty, as they were from power—notably slaves, serfs and women.

The great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass offers a case in point. Throughout his long career as a writer, editor, and orator, Douglass routinely championed the classical liberal principles of self-ownership, individualism, and free labor. What's more, he railed against slavery's defenders for violating both the spirit of the American Revolution and the text of America's founding documents. "You are a man and so am I," Douglass wrote in his famous 1848 letter to his old master. "In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living." According to Douglass, his escape from bondage was not just an act of self-preservation—it was a fundamental affirmation of his unalienable natural rights. "Your faculties remained yours," he declared, "and mine became useful to their rightful owner."

For more on the history of classical liberalism and anti-slavery, check out "The Trouble with Thomas Jefferson" and "Frederick Douglass, Classical Liberal."

Click below to watch David Boaz discuss his new book The Libertarian Mind with Reason TV.

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  1. “The greatest libertarian crusade in history was the effort to abolish chattel slavery”

    This! x 1000

    1. Heck they even got Abraham Lincoln on board?years after the war started.

      1. I don’t think we should confuse Lincoln not starting the war with the aim of ending slavery with Lincoln as a person not being a fairly dedicated abolitionists. He certainly opposed slavery and wanted it to dry up and blow away.

        1. He wanted it to wither on the vine? You know who else wanted something to wither on the vine?

          1. Miss Havisham?

        2. That’s probably fair. I mean it’s not like Lincoln had any way to influence the war’s aims or federal laws.

          1. There wasn’t that kind of executive power back then. It takes hope and change to bring in that kind of influence.

          2. He did, but only to an extent. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a wartime measure to fight the Confederacy (which many people thought was stretching his power as is), he didn’t have the power to unilaterally free all slaves the instant he stepped into office.

            1. No I know. I just like to take shots at Lincoln when I get the chance.

              1. You know who else liked to take shots at Lincoln when he had the chance…

                1. You know who else liked to take shots at Lincoln when he had the chance…

                  I hereby declare this threadwinner of week.

            2. Prosecutorial Discretion?

          3. I think he wanted to see slavery end, but he wasn’t willing, at first, to fight a war over it. Iirc he hoped just cutting off its expansion would doom it.

            1. You’re right about this. You’re also a colossal dick. Fuck off and die.

              1. Yes, I’M the one who is a d*ck.

                1. Recognizing that fact is the first step.

              2. This seems excessive.

              3. BP, you need to have more empathy. Being a colossal dick is a matter of choice. Having a mental illness isn’t. With help, support, and understanding, we may be able to assist him in leading a normal life.

                http://www.aane.org/about_aspe…..dults.html

                1. A person following someone around, saying the same things ritualistically over and over regardless of response…Hmmm.

          4. What the fuck do people think Lincoln should have done? It seems like he couldn’t win. Should he have taken more power for himself? Or is he history’s greatest monster for taking on what powers he did?

            I really think that there is about as much point to arguing about Lincoln as there is wishing no one had invented agriculture so we could all gambol about the plains. That’s what happened. And it’s why the US exists as it does today.

            1. By that logic we shouldn’t criticize any President.

  2. But, but, but libertarians want everyone to be slaves to the corporations!!!11!1

    1. “Agents Boaz and Root, I want to commend you on your excellent work providing intellectual cover for our true pro-slavery agenda. First their pocketbooks, then their bodies, and ultimately, THEIR SOULS!”

      (rubs fingers together in nefarious glee)

      1. Hi Mr. Koch!

        1. Stop interrupting my swim…

          …IN MY MONEY POOL.

          1. Like the Kochs would ever store fiat currency.

            1. They use it as back up toilet paper – just to taunt the poor downtrodden Bolivarians!

            2. It’s just softer than gold doubloons.

  3. The question arises in my mind, when will blacks in this country embrace liberty? Is free shit really that appealing?

    1. Maybe when those that embrace liberty appear less condescending or hostile to them?

      1. Embracing Liberty is not joining a team. It isn’t making friends. Just the opposite. It is a principled stand. Your statement shows no understanding of that.

        If my recent ancestors were in chains I would be even more enthusiastic about Liberty and guarding it than I am now.

        C’mon Bo you had at least one good moment today, don’t ruin it with more retardedness.

        1. Many blacks look at our history and see this incredible denial of the basic principles that are supposed to be the heart of our exceptionalism. They see that when the movement began in earnest to eliminate slavery that the Southern Slavocracy invoked state’s rights and small government (ironically considering slavery was upheld by numerous government actions) to preserve it. They did the same thing through Reconstruction, where for many blacks the federal government’s assistance was their only meaningful ally against racist local/state officials and terrorist bands like the KKK. Then supporters of Jim Crow invoked state’s rights and small government to resist federal efforts to fight things like lynching and racist laws. Then they saw the New Deal start to make moves to get rid of racism in the federal government employment, then they saw LBJ pivot his party to provide significant relief of what was often state racism via federal legislation. They saw the same people who championed that were the same people who championed other big government, and the one’s who opposed it, like Goldwater, seemed allied with the Jim Crow Supporters.

          So they’re quite naturally given that history more likely to look with a favorable eye on federal and big government and more likely to be very skeptical of supporters of devolution of power to the states and small government.

          It’s up to us to get that and make sure our pitches are sensitive to that.

          1. It takes a whole lot of stupid to believe that government enforced slavery and government enforced racism equals small government.

            1. There are a lot of stupid people in this world, sarc.

            2. But see, blacks have heard similar things since Reconstruction, and they’re rightly skeptical of that.

              1. Too bad they’re not more skeptical of the people who say smaller government means more government, and pay more heed to the people who say smaller government means smaller government.

            3. He means small government in the sense of “a weak federal government and most powers residing with the states.” Such a system is not inherently racist by any means, anymore than a strong federal government isn’t racist, but Bo is correct in that such rhetoric was often used by racists over the course of 100+ years to defend their practices (of course, they were often really inconsistent about using federal power, but that’s not surprising, and the same can be said for many Republicans who spout that rhetoric today).

              One thing that often gets lost in these sort of debates on libertarian websites, in my experience, is that the dominant political divide and debate in this country is not progressivism vs. libertarianism, it’s progressivism vs. conservatism, and those things cannot be equated. Most people have little to no idea of what libertarianism is, and the average person they see advocating limited government rhetorically is not a libertarian.

              1. He means small government in the sense of “a weak federal government and most powers residing with the states.”

                But that’s not smaller government. That’s just shifting power from the feds to the states.

                1. I agree, but that doesn’t mean that a lot of people haven’t used words like “small government” or “federalism” to defend such a power shift rather than to actually support liberty and restricted government at all levels.

                  Furthermore, a lot of conservatives in my experience have trouble grasping that distinction, and to be honest even a good number of libertarians (this subset in my opinion places too high an emphasis on federalism) do too.

                1. For Calidissident

              2. the dominant political divide and debate in this country is not progressivism vs. libertarianism, it’s progressivism vs. conservatism

                I’d go a bit further and say that it’s a battle between liberal progressivism and conservative progressivism. Neither side is very interested in actually getting rid of the government for social engineering goals, they just have different versions of it.

                1. “liberal progressivism and conservative progressivism”

                  Why not just say ‘liberal and conservative statists’?

                  1. Whatever trips your trigger, but progressivism hits closer to the mark, in my opinion. From immigration, to drugs, gay marriage, kultur warz, etc., a great deal of energy is expended trying to create the ideal society or derail the opposing one. Progressivism became the dominant ideology of American politics around the time of FDR. Today’s conservatives have a lot more in common with progressives than say, Coolidge.

                    1. I reserve ‘progressive’ for that strain of liberalism that embraced the idea of technocratic rule of others as something distinct from, say, populist liberals or the old fashioned ACLU type liberals, and distinct from, say, socons who whatever else their faults are not usually technocratic.

                2. Conservatism is by its nature a vague term highly dependent on context. In most places, conservatives have not been pro-liberty. Social engineering was an integral part of progressivism, but that movement certainly didn’t invent the concept of using the government to mold society to fit your ideal image of it.

                  1. Conservatism is by its nature a vague term highly dependent on context. In most places,

                    And the same can be said of Liberal.

                    1. Sure. I didn’t state otherwise.

                    2. And the same can be said of Liberal.

                      Yes, but not in quite the same way. Conservatism necessarily refers to its context. You can’t be conservative without something to conserve. Which is why, for example, American and European conservatives have very different political beliefs.

                      Liberalism means lots of different things to different people, but that has more to do with a failure to agree on a definition.

              3. the dominant political divide and debate in this country is not progressivism vs. libertarianism, it’s progressivism vs. conservatism

                “Political tags ? such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth ? are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

                ? Robert A. Heinlein

                1. “those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. ”

                  I like Heinlein, but I’d change that to ‘people who want to control others and those who have no such desire.’ Most statists are so because they think they won’t be the ones coerced.

                  1. Most statists are so because they think they won’t be the ones coerced.

                    I used to think that, but now I’m not so sure. They want someone in authority to give them permission and tell them what to do. That’s why I say freedom means asking permission and obeying orders.

                  2. ‘people who want to control others and those who have no such desire.’

                    That’s not quite right either. I don’t think most people actually want to control others themselves. They just want someone to keep the rabble in line. And believe that if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to fear from those who do the controlling.

                    1. That’s kind of what I’m getting at. The SoCon wants to empower people to ban pornography and flag burning because they would never think that prohibition would ever fall on them. Likewise the progressive is fine with banning smoking or guns because they aren’t interested in either. They don’t want to be controlled themselves, they just have no compunction about controlling what other people do.

                2. Not a bad quote. But that’s certainly not how politics is viewed by the vast majority of people in this country, and furthermore, the vast majority of people fit into the former category to some extent, with varying degrees.

                  To go back to my main point, when asking why a group rejects a concept such as “small government” it makes no sense to start by asking why they reject the concept of small government as conceived by libertarians, a small fringe group in society, rather than the concept as its conceived by conservatives, the large, dominant group that professes to support that idea.

                  1. The reason I posted that quote is because both progressives and conservatives want people to be controlled. They only argue over what and how.

                    1. I agree. I think that reinforces my point that one must take into account who exactly has been most prominently advocating (verbally) things like “small government,” “federalism,” and so forth.

                    2. I understand your point. I was just saying that if you think about it, small government doesn’t mean more government. So if someone says they want small government, while advocating for more laws and more power, then they really don’t want small government.

                    3. I agree with that. But this whole conversation is about why black people might be skeptical and hostile towards people who advocate things like small government. Given how many people have insincerely advocated it, and used it as a cover to oppress black people historically (not to mention all the people who advocate it today, yet support stuff like the WOD, government surveillance, reflexively support the police, etc.), is it not surprising that there may be some kneejerk skepticism? That’s all I’m saying.

                    4. If by “kneejerk” you mean not thinking about it, yes.

                    5. Well both, really. While it’s also emotional, I think it’s pretty rational to be skeptical of the sincerity of someone advocating something when there’s every good reason to believe they’re a liar and a hypocrite. And when most people you see advocating something fit that description, it’s not surprising that you might not exactly embrace it.

                  2. a small fringe group in society

                    “surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism”

                3. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

                  So explain Republicans and Democrats of 20 years ago, where whether they want to be controlled depended upon the issue at hand? Dems wanted to control the economy and Reps wanted to control your bed. Or do you lump both into those who want to control people?

                  Perhaps it was a transitory phase, because it does appear to be shifting towards Heinlein’s observation.

                  1. Or do you lump both into those who want to control people?

                    yes

                  2. I’d say they both are in the “want to control people” camp. ANd while they want to do it in a slightly less damaging way, most Republicans seem to want to control the economy, to some degree at least, as well. The Federal Reserve has plenty of support on both sides.

          2. Some things that might help include:

            Not criticizing the federal government as generally bad and state/local ones as generally good. This shouldn’t be hard as we like it when federal courts tell local governments like Chicago they can’t oppress their citizens 2nd Amendment rights.

            Expressing disapproval of Obama’s policies in a way that doesn’t make it seem like we just hate everything the guy (and his wife) do. Many blacks see Obama’s election as a real ‘Jackie Robinson’ moment and see anything like a general running him down as an attack on that.

            Highlighting that whatever happened in the past, there are some rather obvious areas where making government smaller would have immediate and somewhat disproportionate benefits for blacks overall (WOD comes primarily to mind)

            1. Who here has ever said state and local governments are generally good?

              1. I’m sure no one ever, HP. Ever. We don’t spend much more time talking about the evils of ‘the feds’ and such. I’m just making that up.

              2. A lot of conservatives have, and unfortunately they’ve been much more prominent and visible than libertarians have when it comes to verbally supporting concepts like “small government” and “federalism.”

              3. Who here has ever said state and local governments are generally good?

                I don’t know if anyone says they are “good,” but they are easier to influence being less removed from the people they govern.

                1. Easier to influence by the soulless dicks who are attracted to government positions, yes.

                  1. It’s easier for a concerned citizen to get an audience with the town manager than with the president. That’s all I’m saying.

                    1. And that often works out well for people. But if that town manager decides he doesn’t like you and wants to make life difficult, you’d better find a new town.

                2. Local governments are easier to influence. They also seem to attract a certain kind of busy-body, petty tyrants who are empowered to fuck you over in some special ways that state and federal governments generally can’t.

                  1. Also, you have to take into account that historically, for most black people, their local community was a lot more hostile to them than the nation at large.

          3. I withdraw my earlier comment. It was poorly worded.

            Embracing liberty is not the same as joining the Libertarian party, or any party for that matter. As I said, it is not joining a team.

            What I meant is why do the majority of people who identify as african american not embrace the concept of liberty?

            To be fair, they are just people, and most people don’t embrace the concept. It just seems to me they have extra incentive to do so yet they seem to at a slightly lower rate, probably for the reasons you list.

            In fairness, I see a lot more blacks in the 20-30 age range who do view independence and liberty more favorably. The older generations, not so much.

            I also apologize for my knee-jerk criticism of you Bo. Something about wolves and salivating dogs comes to mind.

            1. No problem

          4. It’s funny how you criticize condescension in one comment and then presume to speak for all black people in the next.

            1. That’s a nice try, but I said “Many blacks look at our history and see…”

        2. “Embracing Liberty is not joining a team. It isn’t making friends. Just the opposite. It is a principled stand.”

          Sure, but your comment implies that other races have embraced liberty and that black people are lacking in that area. Is voting Republican a sign of embracing liberty? I sure as hell don’t think it is.

          If you just meant “It seems like black people should be the most willing to become libertarians given their history” then that’s fine, but your comment (especially with the line about “free shit”) carries a lot more implications than that.

          1. “Is voting Republican a sign of embracing liberty?”

            Oh you know what kind of answers you might get to that around here (not when you’ve pointed it out so starkly though, of course).

          2. “If you just meant “It seems like black people should be the most willing to become libertarians given their history” then that’s fine, but your comment (especially with the line about “free shit”) carries a lot more implications than that.”

            That is exactly what I meant to say. I worded it poorly, and again, I withdraw that comment.

            1. Fair enough.

        3. “C’mon Bo you had at least one good moment today, don’t ruin it with more retardedness.”

          It’s not his fault. We’re trying to raise awareness.

      2. If lumping all people with similar skin tones together and calling them freeloaders doesn’t get them on board, what will?

        1. Calling them Uncle Toms when they don’t.

        2. Good grief. Fair point.

        3. Do you deny that there is a culture of freeloading in much of the black community? I don’t see how recognizing that is racist.

          1. Drawing broad conclusions about people ignores individual choices, attitudes, and circumstances. Doing so about an arbitrary distinction like race is inherently racist.

            Just like if you were to say that all Floridians are toothless inbred methbillies because you’ve had one interaction with ProLib.

            1. culture != race

              I’ve known many black people from other countries who were ashamed to be associated with black culture in this country. They were quick to point out that they weren’t from here, and as such had a work ethic and weren’t expecting handouts.

              Sorry, but stereotypes contain at least a grain of truth.

              1. Ascribing cultural traits to races in general could be racism, yes.

                1. Ascribing cultural traits to races in general could be racism, yes.

                  Unless you understand basic logic. You know, some X being Y does not imply all X are Y, nor does it imply that all Y are X.

                  1. When you say “there is a culture of freeloading in much of the black community” it seems to imply that it’s a particular problem of blacks. What community does not have a ‘culture of freeloading in much of’ it these days?

                    1. When you say “there is a culture of freeloading in much of the black community” it seems to imply that it’s a particular problem of blacks.

                      I would say that was originally expressed poorly.

                      There certainly is a distinct “counter”(?) culture in America that, amongst other traits, is characterized by an anti-achievement mentality, mysogyny, violence, and “freeloading”. While not homgenously “black”, blacks are disproporionately represented in this culture. Since the culture is dominated by blacks, it is often preceived as a “black culture”. Regardless, it is a “culture”, not a “race”, and there is nothing “racist” about observing a racial dominance in the culture.

                      Sometimes labels and correct terminology matter… a lot! As long as we focus on the “racial” component of the culuture, critics may be silenced with the ad hominem “racist” retort and no change or improvement can ever be expected because you can’t change race (no matter how hard Micheal Jackson tried…).

                      Not all cultures are created equal…

              2. I’ve known a few black people in this country who were ashamed to be associated with black culture in this country.

                1. Personally I avoid using the term Black Culture when the reality is that what is being identified is primarily urban poor culture. Certainly there are nuances that exist for blacks that are unique to them due to the history of slavery and state sponsored discrimination, but I have met plenty of poor urban whites that have the same fuck everyone free shit for me attitude that gets ascribed to poor urban blacks. Having lived in that environment for years when I was younger I can vouch for its existence, but not all blacks fall into it, even in those poor urban areas, and it’s unfair and unfortunately very common to tar everyone with the same brush.

                  1. Black trash culture is the same thing as white trash culture and it originated in the English-Scottish borderlands. Read Albion’s Seed, or Sowell’s book about it that I haven’t read but I’m told is good.

                    1. And it really has fuck-all to do with being “urban”. The same culture is just as visible in (say) the rural south.

                    2. And it really has fuck-all to do with being “urban”. The same culture is just as visible in (say) the rural south…

                      It is, however, disproportionately represented in the poor urban areas (i.e.: inner cities and ghettos).

                  2. Personally I avoid using the term Black Culture when the reality is that what is being identified is primarily urban poor culture.

                    Good point.

              3. “I’ve known many black people from other countries who were ashamed to be associated with black culture in this country.”

                My step-mother. Also, it works both ways.

          2. “there is a culture of freeloading in much of the black community?”

            I’m not sure what community these days this can’t be said about.

          3. It’s pretty much full-on racism dude.

      3. Because the messages of “we want everyone empowered to keep their stuff and make their own decisions” is so hostile, right?

        1. If that’s all that were said it wouldn’t be.

          1. Said by libertarians or by social-policy-psychos who use buzzwords like “small government” to provide cover for government action on the things that they prefer?

            1. I’m curious as to what you think about the discussion about ‘black freeloading culture’ above us and how it might relate to what we’re talking about?

              1. I think there are entirely too many whites that freeload for freeloading to be “black culture.” That doesn’t mean there isn’t a disturbing and easily identifiable voting trend within the black electorate. They overwhelmingly vote for candidates that espouse massive dispersing of public largesse. Whether that is their primary motivation or voting against Team Red is (for some real and even more made-up characterizations), I don’t know. My fear is that the libertarian position – “I don’t care who you are, what you look like, where you came from, we all should be left alone” – doesn’t carry cache in the politically active black community BECAUSE it doesn’t treat people differently.

                1. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a disturbing and easily identifiable voting trend within the black electorate. They overwhelmingly vote for candidates that espouse massive dispersing of public largesse.

                  Old, white people make up an even bigger voting block for free shit (Social Security, Medicare, prescription drug coverage…)

            2. That may be true, but as I’ve said elsewhere, which group is (and has been) much more prominent in American society?

              1. CaliD, if what you are saying is that the libertarian message has been perverted by Team Red for it’s own ends and Team Red is much more prominent thereby undercutting the libertarian message, I 100% agree with you. I’d like to think that people could take the time to look behind the curtain a bit though. It doesn’t take long to figure out the Boehner and Pelosi theories of government are separated by nothing more substantial than a wet fart, whereas Amash, Paul, etc. have an actual demonstrable record of trying to reduce the size and scope of government in ways that would directly benefit all of us, black community sometimes most of all.

                1. Amash and Paul are a drop in the bucket in the big picture, even more so if you’re talking historically. Most people don’t take the time to take a deep look at every Representative or Senator, and even if they hear them speak, they’re likely to group them in with everyone else they’ve heard say the same shit.

                  And let’s not forget that the most prominent libertarian in recent US history, Ron Paul, has quite a bit of deserved racial baggage in his own right.

                  1. I’m just not willing to let people cop out that easily. Certainly not denying your point about RP’s baggage though.

    2. The question is why are you so racist. People are just trying to get what is owed to them because of things that happened 150 years ago and you libertarians just bitch about it…because of corporations.

      1. Just as soon as those lawsuits are brought against descendents of slave-owning profiteers we can start discussing fair compensation for those still afflicted by the abominable institution.

        1. I believe most of the slave-owning profiteers fled the country after the war. I think it would be quite a challenge to find current residents of the U.S. directly descended from those people.

          It might be more profitable to look in Brasil.

          1. Brazil? You might be thinking of a different war…

            1. No, when the war was lost the southern plantation owners packed up their things, grabbed all the money they had left, and sailed to Brazil.

              They set up there what they had left here. Had they not done so I am fairly certain most would have been lynched, which would have been fitting.

              1. Huh. Didn’t know that. You know who else fled to Brazil after losing a war?

          2. A third of Southern white households owned slaves in 1860. Some people left after the Civil War, but certainly not a third of the Southern white population.

            1. A third of Southern white households owned slaves in 1860. Some people left after the Civil War, but certainly not a third of the Southern white population.

              Not all slave owners were white.

              Indeed…

              According to federal census reports, on June 1, 1860 there were nearly 4.5 million Negroes in the United States, with fewer than four million of them living in the southern slaveholding states. Of the blacks residing in the South, 261,988 were not slaves. Of this number, 10,689 lived in New Orleans. The country’s leading African American historian, Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, records that in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city.

          3. Some did, but certainly not most.

        2. Emmitt Smith is the descendent of both a slave and a slave holder (according to the Who Do You Think You Are show). So does he pay the slaveowner tax to himself and call it good?

  4. “In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living.”

    Ahh, but that isn’t strictly true, is it? You left behind a great deal that rightly belonged to you, namely, recompense for years of involuntary servitude, to be expropriated from the capital owner and apportioned among the enslaved. /Rothbard

    1. It is strictly true, for he took nothing but what belonged to him. Of the things he took, they belonged to him. That allows for the possibility that he left behind a sock or hat that belonged to him.

      1. Then let the first sentence be stricken from the record. *makes throat-cutting gesture*

    2. He was compensated with free food, housing and healthcare. Pretty much what progressives demand today. Just without the work part.

      1. Seriously? He wasn’t compensated with shit, the owner just thought it reasonable to maintain his property in good working order.

        1. I just find the claim that you’re not free until you don’t have to worry about food, housing or healthcare ironic because that was exactly what was provided during slavery.

          1. Stop it. Slavery was an unmitigated horror. Progressives don’t want to be slaves. They want to be children.

            1. Your children AREN’T slaves?

              What kind of libertarian are you?

  5. THE LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!
    Don’t be on the Wrong side of History.

    1. Don’t miss THE LIBERTARIAN MOMENT this SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY (and Monday).

  6. It’s been posted for 8 days, and only two Huffpo readers left a comment.

    1. That is pretty stunning. Don’t HuffPuff articles regularly break 1000 comments?

      I am sure it has nothing to do with confirmation bias.

  7. I have argued with some here that Free Trade should mean free trade between free people.

    Others have said that Free Trade has a much narrower definition of just no tariffs or government restrictions

    So if I was to trade slave made goods, is that Free Trade?

    1. You looking to offload a surplus of monocles or something?

      1. Only if the monocles are made by free people.

        1. Can they be polished by slaves?

  8. I take it alt-text would be racist?

  9. Abolition in America at least was a Protestant Christian crusade. The first place in America to ban slavery was the colony of Rhode Island. They did this because its founder Roger Williams viewed slavery as contrary to Christianity. Later, the founder of the American Anti Slavery Society was William Loyd Garrison. Garrison was a fervent Protestant who credited Presbyterian Reverend John Rankin’s book Letters on Slavery for his conversion to the anti-slavery cause. Garrison is one of the great heroes of American History. He took up the cause of abolition at a time when almost no one else would and doing so often put you in physical danger. And unlike many abolitionists, he believed in full social and legal equality for blacks. Many abolitionists still viewed blacks as an inferior race, though one not deserving of enslavement. Garrison believed in full human equality including that for women.

    When abolition really took off as a cause in the North was in the 1830s and it did so as a result of what is known as the second great awakening, which was a national Protestant revival. I really don’t see how Protestants don’t pretty much own and can take credit for the American abolition movement.

    1. Protestants can’t get on their high horse after all that witch burning.

      1. The entire movement was started by and included almost exclusively Protestants and “Libertarianism” as we know it had not even been invented as a term. Yet, somehow it is a great “Libertarians movement”. Maybe the progs are right about the Libertarians being so powerful. They can time travel apparently.

        1. Libertarianism is just a name given to adherence to certain principles that existed long before the name.

          1. Except that people like Williams and Garrison or any other abolitionist of significance I know of could be fairly described as “Libertarian”. They were not Libertarians and neither was the movement.

            1. What?

              1. Williams wasn’t a Libertarian. Neither was Garrison. They supported all kinds of laws that Libertarians would loath. Are Libertarians okay with making adultery a crime? Williams and Garrison were.

                1. Ok. Reread what you wrote in that original comment.

        2. They can time travel apparently.

          Dude, shut up, I’m trying to have a low profile here.

          *Hides duel singularities containment unit*

          1. You don’t have one. You haven’t gone back and shot Hitler. That is first thing anyone with a time machine does.

            1. How do you know? Titor said all the way back in 2002 that the Everett/Many Worlds model was the correct one.

              1. Also, Heroic Mulatto is right. This is one of the few worldlines where a time traveler hasn’t gone back and killed Hitler, and a Hitler worldline must always exist.

            2. Look, if you try to go back to anywhere between 1889 and 1945, all you see is this infinitely long line of other time travelers in the time stream waiting to enter the worldline and kill Hitler. No one knows what’s at the end of that line, and the Time Cops have put all his ancestors into their Protection Program. I’m just not willing to deal with that shit.

              1. Maybe Hitler was the time traveler.

                1. Nope, last I heard some racist assholes from Future South Africa were covering him.

                  1. I keep thinking about writing – uh, I mean discovering – Hitler’s old diaries from his Vienna days.

                    “Someone tried to kill me today. Babbled something about avenging his people. The bullet missed.”

                    “Another madman accosted me, asked me if it was acceptable to kill people because of what they might do in the future. I replied, sure, why should normal standards of justice apply, those were just technicalities, then the guy said never mind, I can’t be like you, and disappeared.”

          2. Even in a Universe that allows time travel, the only stable time lines are those where time travel is never implemented by anything larger than sub-atomic particles. Thus time travel is never invented in our Universe

    2. It would be very inaccurate to reject the influence and importance Protestant Christianity had on the American abolitionist movement, you are correct. At the same time, one cannot take that to mean that Protestants were unified on the issue. Supporters of slavery (in the US) were mostly Protestant (not surprising given the religious demographics of the US at the time) and used religion to justify slavery just as much as abolitionists used it to vilify slavery.

      1. Oh pish posh, those weren’t true Protestants! Their confusion shouldn’t taint the true Protestants and the true Protestants’ singular success.

      2. So what? A lot of Protestants didn’t support the Temperance Movement either. Yet, I don’t hear any of you claiming that wasn’t a Protestant movement.

        The fact that not every Protestant agreed with Abolition doesn’t change the fact that the people who did support abolition were almost entirely Protestants who supported it because they thought slavery was contrary to their religion.

        1. Because labeling something a “Protestant Christian crusade” can imply that Protestants cohesively fought for abolition over the objections of other groups, when abolition in the US was mostly an intra-Protestant battle. Yes, one can’t deny the importance it had on the Abolition movement, but at the same time one cannot deny the importance it had in the minds of slaveowners and their supporters who resisted abolition. In addition to the financial motivations entailed, slavery supporters overwhelmingly had a religious belief that black people were made by God to be inferior to white people and that slavery and subservience to white people was their natural state.

          If you’re going to say that “Protestants can own and take credit for abolitionism” then why do they not have to own and take credit for anti-abolitionist efforts?

          1. You don’t call it that because people supported slavery for reasons that had nothing to do with religion. They only used religion as a rationalization for what they wanted to do. No one to my knowledge ever decided to support slavery because of religion. They supported slavery in the first place and tortured Christianity to be able to rationalize it. Christianity was used as a rationalization for slave holding. Slave holding was not a Christian idea. Abolition in contrast was. People really did decide to reject slavery because of a religious awakening. People didn’t decide slavery was wrong and then look to Christianity as a way to rationalize that. They became better Christians and because of that decided slavery was wrong. That is a big difference.

            1. John, the opponents and supporters of slavery both said regularly that Christianity, properly understood, leads to the conclusion on the issue they held. Why should we say that the abolitionists honestly believed that but slavery supporters didn’t?

              1. Because the slave holders always supported it. Again, show me a slave holder who decided to become one because of religion. You won’t find one. That is because religion wasn’t the reason why they supported slavery it was just a convenient rationalization.

                In contrast, the abolitionists were all white Northerners who had no need to be anti-slavery and often placed themselves at risk of considerable harm doing so. And all of them didn’t start out anti-slavery. They started out neutral or pro slavery but became anti-slavery after having a religious awakening or deciding that they could no longer support slavery consistent with their religion. Instead of using Christianity as a rationalization for what they already believed, their belief in Christianity caused them to change their minds and become abolitionists. That makes abolition a Christian movement not a rationalization. The two cases are entirely different.

                1. “Again, show me a slave holder who decided to become one because of religion. You won’t find one. ”

                  You really love this structure of an argument, “I can’t think of X, therefore there is no X, and the burden is on you to prove there is X.”

                  That’s a problem with your imagination or knowledge, not an argument. As Calidissident says “here is absolutely no way anybody could read the Bible and think that slavery might in some way be acceptable or condoned…”

            2. “You don’t call it that because people supported slavery for reasons that had nothing to do with religion. They only used religion as a rationalization for what they wanted to do. No one to my knowledge ever decided to support slavery because of religion. They supported slavery in the first place and tortured Christianity to be able to rationalize it. Christianity was used as a rationalization for slave holding. Slave holding was not a Christian idea. Abolition in contrast was.”

              Yeah, there is absolutely no way anybody could read the Bible and think that slavery might in some way be acceptable or condoned.

              And even if the belief initially emerged as a rationalization, that doesn’t mean that people in 1860 didn’t hold it sincerely as a religious belief. One could just as easily say “abolitionists were disgusted by slavery and thus justified its abolition to be consistent with their religion.” A lot of people in the South who supported slavery didn’t own slaves, but supported the system because they thought it was the religiously righteous state of society.

              1. And even if the belief initially emerged as a rationalization, that doesn’t mean that people in 1860 didn’t hold it sincerely as a religious belief.

                That just means people used religion as a rationalization. That doesn’t make Slave Holding Christian. It means some slave holders were Christian and used their religion to rationalize it. If it was the religion that was driving the slave holding, then there would have been people who decided to become slave holders after having some religious awakening. But that never happened. What happened was people who were already slave holders convinced themselves it was okay by their religion. That is a huge difference from what happened with abolition. There people changed their opinion because of Religion. They didn’t start out anti slavery and then figure out how Christianity could be used to rationalize their position. They became anti-slavery because of their belief in Christianity. That is enormously different because it is not using the religion to rationalize what you would have supported anyway.

                1. Christian supporters of slavery put their message out there a lot. It’s ludicrous to conclude that no one ever changed their mind on slavery after reading or hearing such because you can’t recall an instance of it. The reason you’ve probably heard of the flip side is that 1. the winners in history write the history and 2. supporters of slavery were less about how slavery was such a great thing they were called to start doing but about how it was a part of the world that God had made and said was OK.

                  I mean, you can find all kinds of testimonials from vegetarians about how they used to eat meat, had an epiphany, and then stopped but I can’t recall ever reading a testimonial about how a former vegetarian who came across anti-vegetarian or pro-meat eating literature, changed and wrote about it. Of course that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen!

                  1. Bo,

                    If it were a religious movement and not a post hoc rationalization, go find me someone who ever became pro slavery because they felt their religion demanded it. You won’t find anyone or if you do it will be a one off nut.

                    Aboloitionism in contrast was a movement that sprang from almost nothing in the 1830s and was made up entirely of radical Protestants who had decided that ending slavery was their duty as Christians.

                    That makes the two things fundamentally different and makes Abolitionism a religious movement and slavery not.

                    It is that simple. You can obfuscate and deny it all you like. It won’t make you any more correct or any less rediculous.

                    1. You’re just repeating yourself, I directly spoke to your ‘go find me someone who ever became pro slavery because they felt their religion demanded it’ and you elided right past it.

                    2. That is because you didn’t provide an example of that. You just said “but pro slavery people claimed religion demeand it”. Sure they did. But that doesn’t change the fact that slavery existed first and people just used religion to justify it. No one in 18th or 19th Century America decided to become a slave holder because of religion. Millions of people went from being pro slavery or uncaring about slavery to being anti-slavery because of religion. That is what makes Abolition a Protestant movement and slavery not even though slave holders tried to rationalize their actions with religion.

                    3. Christian justifications of slavery existed long before slaves were brought to the US from Africa. Many people believed it was a religious imperative to respect and support the institution of slavery, even if it wasn’t a command to own slaves.

                    4. No one said slavery itself was a religious movement, we’ve said that many people viewed slavery as a moral system due to their religion in many cases.

                      Have you ever read Huckleberry Finn? Do you remember the part where he accepts that he’s going to Hell for helping Jim?

                    5. … go find me someone who ever became pro slavery because they felt their religion demanded it. You won’t find anyone or if you do it will be a one off nut.

                      Black-swan fallacy

                2. John, the people who owned slaves in 1860 were not the first generation to do so. They weren’t the people who invented the rationalization (although, again, it’s not like it was that difficult to rationalize slavery on Christian grounds). They had been raised their whole lives to view that as a religious truth the same as the Ten Commandments or Jesus’s teachings. Furthermore, as I said earlier, many people who didn’t own slaves held that belief. It wasn’t abolitionists vs. slave owners, it was abolitionists vs. slavery supporters (with many people in the middle). Many people who did support him might not have if they did not think it was in line and moral with their religion.

                  Do you really think nobody ever was disgusted by slavery and thus believed in an interpretation of Christianity that fit that? It’s not like there’s an explicit condemnation or ban on slavery in the Bible, there was a long history of slavery in Judeo-Christian society. Sure, many people were won over by religious arguments, but I think it’s naive to think that no Protestant abolitionist would have been opposed to slavery absent their religion.

                  1. “I think it’s naive to think that no Protestant abolitionist would have been opposed to slavery absent their religion.”

                    Yes. Many a person might have found ‘free soil’ philosophies attractive because competing with slave labor was something they were against. Northern climates were not conducive to the ind of agriculture in which slavery seemed to create an advantage. Etc. Both movements were open to rationalizations.

                  2. Do you really think nobody ever was disgusted by slavery and thus believed in an interpretation of Christianity that fit that?

                    No. The reason I say that is that being an abolitionist was a very brave and dangerous thing. And moreover, I have never read of a single instance of such a person. In every single case I have ever seen the person admits they never had a problem with slavery until they realized how unChristian it was. Every single founding member of the movement was a strong Protestant who objected to it on religious grounds. They didn’t go torture the religion to justify their change of mind or original position the way slave holders did. And that is a huge distinction.

                    I know it must sicken you to think about it, but the truth is people sometimes do good things because of religion and religious belief has resulted in good. I almost feel guilty telling you that because the thought has to upset you so much. But I guess someone has to.

                    1. And where did this notion that it was unchristian arise from? What made them realize it was unchristian? It’s not like Jesus explicitly says in the Bible “Slavery is not ok, even for black people.” If it was such an obviously Christian belief to have, it wouldn’t have taken centuries to abolish it and there wouldn’t have millions of deeply religious Christians who thought it was a moral imperative to maintain it.

                      Your victim complex is laughable and it’s hilarious how you have the nerve to lecture other people on being too sensitive or exaggerating how much bias there is against them in society.

    3. Abolition in America at least was a Protestant Christian crusade.

      So was temperance, and to a certain degree the war on drug users.

      1. Protestants own that too. And of course not every Protestant supported the Temperance movement just like not every one was an abolitionist. Both movement are none the less Protestant movements.

    4. It’s more complicated than that. Yes, Protestants were very significant in abolition, but they were also very significant in support of slavery. Denominations split over the issue, with the denominations now most associated with the South being the ones that left in support of slavery (the SBC for example).

      1. Yes there were people on both sides. They prayed to the same God as Lincoln said in his second inaugural address. Just because not every Protestant was an abolitionist, doesn’t make it any less of an Protestant movement.

        There is nothing complicated about it, it was started by Protestants and populated almost entirely by people who supported it because they felt it was contrary to Christianity. The fact that other Christians disagreed doesn’t make it any less of a Protestant movement.

        1. It was largely a Protestant movement but so was it’s opposition.

          I always find it silly when Southern conservative Christians try to position themselves as the descendants of the abolitionists, especially when they are members of denominations, such as the SBC, which owe their very existence to the fact that they could not bring themselves to oppose slavery when their Northern brethern were.

          1. Take it up with southern Christians. Regardless, the abolition movement was created by and populated almost entirely by Protestant Christians who felt slavery was evil and inconsistent with Christianity. Just because the abolition movement did not contain the entirety of American Protestants doesn’t make it any less of a Protestant movement.

            Not every Christian is a Protestant. Millions of Christians disagreed with Luther and fought and died over the issue. Despite this, no one would ever call Protestantism anything other than a Christian religious movement. The same logic applies here.

            1. “Take it up with southern Christians. ”

              You mean like the largest Protestant denomination, by far, in the country?

              Again, yes it’s true Christians were significant in abolition, it’s also true they were just as significant in support of slavery. By your logic then both of these movements were Protestant movements.

              1. No they are not.

          2. I think it is stupid for anyone to claim anything from over a hundred years ago. Sin/piety doesn’t transfer with the genes. I had ancestors who owned slaves. So what. I don’t own slaves nor wish to. What people who have no influence over my life did or didn’t do is irrelevant.

        2. John, is it really supposed to be a surprise that most American abolitionists were Protestant, given that almost the whole country was back then? Or that religious people would have views one way or another on something as fundamental to the human condition as slavery?

          1. is it really supposed to be a surprise that most American abolitionists were Protestant, given that almost the whole country was back then?

            This is what I was thinking. You could equally argue that abolitionists were largely whites as well, for the same reason.

          2. No. But when the people who were abolitionists said they were because they felt it violated their religion, that makes it a religious movement. They were all white too. But I wouldn’t call abolitionism a “white movement”.

            Do you hate Christianity so much that there is no good no matter how obvious you will credit it with? Here we have a movement started by religious people who gave religious reasons for starting it and joining it and you won’t admit it was a religious movement.

            The epic amount of anti Christian bigotry on this board never fails to amaze. No good thing could ever have resulted from Religion. It must have been something else no matter what the people doing it claimed.

            1. We’re giving it credit John, but given the same group was split we’re not going to ignore that second group.

            2. John, I honestly think you’re well-meaning and intelligent, but when you enable and encourage Asperger’s symptoms in its sufferers, you are being very insensitive, intentionally or not.

              http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disor…..perger.htm

              1. 13 year Old Girl with Candy?

                And again, what could be more Aspie than you looking up websites on Aspies and following someone around posting them?

              2. You want aspy Old man. Go fuck yourself with a chainsaw you historic illiterate.

                That ASPY enough for you? My willingness to point out your being a morn does not make my ASPY. It just makes me plain spoken and you an idiot.

                1. It won’t make you any more correct or any less rediculous.

                  John, it’s a condition. Might as well ask a dyslexic to read War and Peace.

                  1. And please understand, John, that I am NOT talking about you; if you took it that way, I apologize for my unclear writing.

                    1. “if you took it that way, I apologize for my unclear writing.”

                      “Difficulty knowing what to say or how to behave in social situations. Many have a tendency to say the “wrong thing.” They may appear awkward or rude, and unintentionally upset others.”

                      http://www.aane.org/about_aspe…..drome.html

                    2. My apologies Old Man. I was wrong. Sorry about that.

                    3. NP, John. I was sincere about the “intelligent” and “well-meaning stuff,” despite how often I find myself disagreeing with you.

                  2. “Intense, narrow, time-consuming personal interest(s)”

                    http://www.aane.org/about_aspe…..drome.html

                2. It won’t make you any more correct or any less rediculous.

                  John, it’s a condition. Might as well ask a dyslexic to read War and Peace.

                  1. Double posting…

                    “Slower than average auditory, visual, or intellectual processing, which can contribute to difficulties keeping up in a range of social settings”

                    http://www.aane.org/about_aspe…..drome.html

                  2. Old Man, ever notice how his one and only tactic is, “No!You are!” Of course you have.

                    1. Warty, yes, I have. That’s one of the things that caused me to realize what we were dealing with and that we were actually doing more harm than good to him.

                    2. Of course he has. He did it to Epi in this same thread farther up.

            3. John, have you ignored the multiple statements I’ve made crediting it for its influence on abolitionism? All I’m saying is that you can’t credit Protestantism for influencing and spreading abolitionist ideology while ignoring that it also did the same for pro-slavery sentiment. That is in no way “anti-Christian bigotry” and it’s indicative of a massive victim complex (which is ironic, given how much you complain about that when other groups do it) that you would even draw that conclusion.

              1. Conservatives can easily give any liberal group a run for the money when it comes to embracing victimization. They’re as quick to cry bias as Chomsky, as quick to cry anti-Semitism as Sharpton is racism, as quick to cry there’s a War on Christians as PFAW is to cry War on Muslims.

              2. Sure you can Cal disident. I explain above the difference between religion changing your opinion and using religion as a way to rationalize what you believed in the first place.

                And it is awfully kind of you to give Protestantism credit for influencing a movement entirely made up of Protestants who said they were doing it out of religious fever. That is damn kind of you to admit that it might have had some influence. It had to have hurt you physically to even give that.

                1. “using religion as a way to rationalize what you believed in the first place.”

                  How can you say what came first, especially when we’re talking about people born centuries after any rationalization would have been invented. I don’t see how you can think someone’s religion is irrelevant to their willingness to support slavery, or that there is a lot of reason why a Christian (especially one living hundreds of years ago) might view slavery as Biblically acceptable.

                  American abolitionism can’t entirely be separated from the abolitionism that occurred around the Western world around the same time. In the US, it was obviously prompted overwhelmingly by Protestants, but in other countries there were other religious or secular support behind it. I do remember Protestant Southerners spreading slavery into Catholic Mexico that had abolished it, just a few decades before the war.

          3. I have to side with John on this one (albeit without the references to “anti-Christian bigotry”). It’s not like the abolitionist movement just happened to be comprised of Christians. It was composed of people motivated precisely by their Christianity. It contrasts very sharply with the slaveholders. Were even the people who used Christianity to justify slavery saying that it was a Christian duty to go out and buy a slave? If support for slavery were a “Christian” movement in the way abolitionism was, they would have been arguing that.

            1. They didn’t argue it was a duty to buy a slave, but they certainly argued that it was a duty to support and respect the institution.

              An example of this from popular culture that I can think of is Huckleberry Finn, where he has a moment where he accepts his fate of going to Hell by helping Jim.

            2. I think you might be misunderstanding how one can defend something via Christianity. You can say, as the abolitionists did, that God condemns X and commands us to do Y about it.

              But it’s also not uncommon for Christians to argue that God is not upset by X, or that X is allowed. The only imperative there is if anyone says X is not allowed, you can argue against it.

              Take the use of animals for food. Vegetarians and animal rights people argue it’s wrong and we should act against it. On the other side you find people, many who are Christians, who say ‘no, God is totally OK with us using animals this way.’ They don’t, however, usually say ‘God commands we use the animals in this way!’

              1. The only imperative there is if anyone says X is not allowed, you can argue against it.

                But, that’s precisely why you can’t say that their support for slavery or meat eating or whatever is driven by their Christianity. The only thing you or Caldissident are saying is that their perception of Christianity didn’t forbid it. It’s essentially the mirror image of the libertarian argument that not forbidding something (drug use, prostitution, etc.) doesn’t mean you support it.

                1. No Bill, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s not just that slavery wasn’t forbidden in their perception of Christianity – mass enslavement of black people by white people was (in their minds) the only morally just set-up for society. Any attempt to end slavery or help runaway slaves was viewed as immoral and contrary to God’s will. Libertarianism doesn’t require one to view drug use or prostitution as moral goods – slavery was viewed as a moral good in the prevailing form of Southern Protestantism in the antebellum period.

                  1. … mass enslavement of black people by white people was (in their minds) the only morally just set-up for society.

                    Slavery was not a strictly black or African condition. The earliest slaves in the American colonies were Irish. And not all slave owners were white.

    5. The first place in America to ban slavery was the colony of Rhode Island.

      Don’t forget that Pennsylvania tried to ban the slave trade a few times in the mid-1700s and was overruled by the Crown. But Quakers are so weird that I’m not sure you can even properly consider them Protestants.

      1. I grew up in a PA town that was part of the Underground Railroad. One of the local (Methodist, I think) churches had a bunch of tunnels dug underneath it for hiding runaways. Pretty cool in a sad sort of way.

        1. There’s one in the PA town I lived in, too. It seems doubtful that it has tunnels under it, since it’s right on the Ohio. Excuse me, Ahia.

    6. The first place in America to ban slavery was the colony of Rhode Island. They did this because its founder Roger Williams viewed slavery as contrary to Christianity.

      The colony of Providence Plantations did ban slavery in 1652, but that ban was later repealed. By the time of the revolution, Rhode Island had twice the per capita number of slaves as the rest of New England and controlled most of the transatlantic slave trade.

      1. So what? That doesn’t make my point any less valid.

    7. David Goldfield dealt with this:

      http://www.amazon.com/America-…..ica+aflame

      Northern evangelical Protestants fought against “Rum, Romanism and slavery” – in Massachusetts the Know-Nothing Party took over the government and passed antislavery laws as well as restrictions on alcohol, while requiring Catholic schoolchildren to suffer through readings from the Protestant King James Bible.

      1. That can be described in many ways, but I don’t think “libertarian” would be one of them.

        They also had an investigating committee to look at Catholic schools and convents, but they expelled the committe chairman when they found he’d billed the state for liquor and loose women.

        1. expelled the committee chairman *from the legislature*

      2. The abolitionists were as a rule radical Protestants. They were not Libertarian.

        1. Don’t interrupt the Reason writers, they’re on a roll.

          1. Well they do manage to say that Protestantism sort of kind of influenced it. I mean I suppose it could have, given that nearly every person in the movement and every person who started it was a Protestant claiming to be doing their Christian duty.

            I mean come on, like maybe 5% of it might have been due to Protestantism. The rest was pure Reason Libertarian fervor.

            1. Are libertarianism and Protestantism incompatible or mutually exclusive?

              1. I guess now they’re not, since we’ve found so many anti-slavery Protestants.

              2. No, no they aren’t.

  10. What, nothing about Lysander Spooner?

  11. This story reminds me of a conversation I had about libertarianism recently with a Proggy at a bar.

    Him:”Libertarianism will never work in the US because it’s all about greed, and democracy isn’t about greed. It’s just too different.”

    Me:”Libertarianism is the foundation of our entire system of government in the US. You wouldn’t have our Constitution without libertarianism. The defense of individual liberty is what underlies the entire system.”

    Him:”Libertarians are a recent phenomena in the US, just like the tea baggers. They won’t last.”

    Me:”I would like two more shots and a check please, Mister bartender.”

    1. Yeah, because wanting to keep what belongs to you is greed, while taking what does not belong to you is altruism.

      1. I was going to say the same thing.

        I’ll add, it’s more than a little pathetic that the same people decrying free markets as “greed” will also decry “poor people voting against their interests”.

        1. I used to feel that way. I mean, when you believe that the economy is a zero-sum game, then of course the rich getting richer means the poor must get poorer.

          It takes a bit of thought to understand that in a free market, the only way to get rich is to enrich the lives of others.

          Also there’s the conflation of money and wealth. Yeah, the Walton family is worth billions of dollars, but that’s not money in the bank that can be used to feed hungry children. It’s wealth that is being used to make cheap food available for hungry children as well as jobs for their parents.

          Alas it is much easier to feel than to think.

    2. I’m really curious as to how democracy isn’t focused on ‘greed’ or at least selfishness. Ignoring the whole fact that a lot of democracy is influencing people to vote for you through panem et circenses, even people voting for something to ‘benefit others’ is still largely about the feelings it generates and the reinforcement their moral superiority, and that’s still driven by selfish gratification impulses.

      I mean, we don’t live in bloody Starship Troopers world, where the only way you can vote is to prove you’re willing to sacrifice your personal well-being for the state.

      1. I think that is one of the legacy of Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart has brainwashed an entire generation of Progs to believe that the purpose of politics is to ridicule and insult your opponents rather than convince them of your side. The Stewart generation of Progs are obsessed with how Stewert or one of their own “destroyed” so and so on this or that issue. Look up on the prog boards or face book memes and you will see one post after another about how their side “destroyed” someone.

        That is all fun and games for a while. Eventually however you “destroy” enough people your movement isn’t very big anymore. All they ever do is attack and kick people out of what they consider acceptable society. They have no idea how to persuade or convince people to join them and don’t even realize doing so is necessary.

        1. “Jon Stewart has brainwashed an entire generation of Progs to believe that the purpose of politics is to ridicule and insult your opponents rather than convince them of your side. ”

          Have you never heard of Rush Limbaugh, John? He was doing that for a long time before Stewart had his own show, and as Rush likes to remind people, he does it for a much larger audience than Stewart.

        2. It’s a mass bullying movement, John. It’s a group of people being asshole bullies who all assure each other they aren’t, that what they’re actually doing is noble. You ever notice how quite a few people who were bullied themselves, if given the chance, become nasty vicious bullies in their own right, rather than empathizing with others and not doing that?

          That’s this crowd to a T. And their groupthink allows them to assure themselves that that’s not at all what they’re doing.

          1. You ever notice how quite a few people who were bullied themselves, if given the chance, become nasty vicious bullies in their own right, rather than empathizing with others and not doing that?

            You think Bo was bullied? I think he was just born an asshole.

            1. Look, Warty…I opened the door, and the oblivious idiot walked right through. Fucking comedy gold. I love utterly predictable fools. He even admits you didn’t even need to prime the pump.

              This shit is too good, you can’t make stuff this good up.

              1. “This shit is too good, you can’t make stuff this good up.”

                You’re right, you’re like Poes law.

            2. Warty, it’s a condition.

              http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disor…..perger.htm

              1. Yeah, their obsession with me in no way implies Aspies.

                Also, I guess I’m the one bullying that clique of goofballs stalking me around here who’d like me to stop posting rather than they’re bullying me. Not being a 13 year old girl I wouldn’t whine about ‘bullies’ though.

          2. “And their groupthink allows them to assure themselves that that’s not at all what they’re doing.”

            I was going to write, oh my god, the projection and lack of self awareness, but Warty came in (from doing lunges no doubt) and made my point for me as he does.

            1. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I decided I liked being a child better.

              1. Tell us more about yourself, kinnath.

            2. Epi has always been very upfront about how, as the gayest monster since gay came to Gaytown, he was extensively bullied as a child.

              1. Don’t trigger me, Nicole! God you really are the worst.

        3. http://www.slate.com/articles/…..erals.html

          And as a liberal, college-educated millennial?the almost prototypical viewer for The Daily Show?I’m thrilled Stewart is leaving.

          I’m not saying this because Stewart has given his time or deserves to try something new. I’m saying this because Jon Stewart, with his brand of left-leaning cynicism (sprinkled with occasional earnestness), is a bad example for the liberals who watch and love him.

          The emblematic Stewart posture isn’t a joke or a witticism, it’s a sneer?or if we’re feeling kind, a gentle barb?coupled with a protest: I’m just a comedian.

          1. That is a great article and what convinced me of Stewart being a bad influence on Progs. They don’t know how to convince and persuade. As Episiarch says above, it has degenerated into a mass bullying movement. They have a constant need for new targets. It is so much fun to destroy this or that person except that every person and every view has people who like that person and support the view. Destroying them just alienates those people. it doesn’t persuade them or do your cause any good.

            1. They just started doing what conservative talk radio enthusiasts have been doing for a long time now.

              1. Run along. The grownups are talking now.

            2. Progressives have decided that anyone that does not toe the progressive line is either too stupid to understand the issues or is evil. Either way, they don’t feel any need to converse with anyone outside their world view.

              While all sides in the political realm have people that think like this, it becoming very difficult to find any progressives that don’t.

              1. Every year they kick someone else out. First it was anyone who didn’t support abortion on demand. Then it was anyone who supported any kind of gun rights. Then it was anyone who didn’t support gay marriage. Now it is anyone who doesn’t support tranvestite rights. Who knows what is next.

                I am sure there are plenty of people out there who don’t support abortion rights or who own a gun or object to gay marriage but would be inclined to support Progs on other issues. These people are gradually figuring out they can’t do that. That you either agree with them on everything or you are an enemy. It is not helping their cause.

              2. “they don’t feel any need to converse with anyone outside their world view.”

                The projection, stunning.

                1. Either you are a lying sack of shit troll that just comes to cause grief, or you are way too fucking stupid to have a conversation with.

                  You are polluting one of my favorite hang outs. So fuck off.

                2. Are you really trying to accuse people here of not conversing with someone outside of their world view?

                  That seems a little…far-fetched.

  12. Emancipate yourselves from Bo, you fools.

    1. None but ourselves can free our minds!
      Have no fear for atomic energy,
      ‘Cause none of them can stop the time!

      1. See not bo, hear no bo, speak no bo.

        1. Koko hug all ball.

    2. “Emancipate yourselves from Bo, you fools.”

      Are you literally a 13 year old girl? I mean, what other kind of person is so upset and worried about who is talking to who?

    3. Emancipate yourselves from Bo, you fools.

      It’s not a matter of emancipation, it’s understanding and support for someone suffering from a condition.

      http://psychcentral.com/lib/tr…..der/000878

      Have more empathy.

  13. Let’s play a game of ‘Guess who Wrote the Article.’

    Article headline:

    “The Death of American Unions Is Killing American Marriage”

    Hint: What left-wing writer would love both Unions and marriage?

    1. Unions of matrimony?

    2. Even I’m not masochistic enough to read ESB.

      1. I literally saw that it was an article from the New Republic with a headline regarding marriage and thought ‘Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: So we meet again.’

      2. Did you google the headline, or do you have as finely tuned an ESBdar as I do?

        1. I only know of one true-believing communist true-believing Catholic writer.

        2. Warty is secretly in love with her. He actually reads all her columns…over and over again…

          1. Only for about three minutes at at time, though. And I just skip to the good parts near the end.

            1. Do you have to chisel the pages apart afterwards?

              Is it that bad front tooth that makes the monster barbed cock all twitchy?

        3. I’ll admit I had to Google. The piece looks like garden-variety progressive bullshit. Link to a bunch of other articles by progressives and pretend that constitutes substantive support for your thesis.

    3. Sullivan.

    4. Whatshername, that communist theocrat who wrote that article on how Catholics couldn’t be libertarians.

  14. Just got back from the airport. What did I miss?

    Oh. Ewwww

  15. Next up: libertarians take credit for the moon landing.

    1. How could I have possibly guessed that that is exactly the stance you would take?

      Oh, and keep holding on to your dear racist, slave holding, Dem leaders. It amuses me.

  16. So…….not a mention of Douglass’ party? We pretend that the modern day LP had something to do with this?

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