Libertarians And The Civil War

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Jonathan Blanks, a research assistant at Cato Institute, has written an essay about the incoherent position of those libertarians who defend the Confederacy and claim that the Confederacy was within its rights to secede from the Union. Banks writes: “there is no legal or moral justification for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War, it is impossible that there could be a libertarian one.”Slavery, as practiced in the Confederacy, would seem to be wholly inconsistent with libertarian principles. However, libertarianism is divided into economic libertarianism and personal libertarianism and these two views come into conflict regarding the Civil War.

In an ingenious observation, Jason Kuznicki noted that “Secession is the decision to step out of an existing political order, so it’s a category error to try to justify it legally.”

Some claim that the Confederacy represents a legitimate act of rebellion and point to the principles in the Declaration of Independence for support. But the Declaration of Independence places conditions on the right of the people to overthrow their government. “Prudence … will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes,” and the overthrow must come after “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” If the new government that is instituted violates individual rights instead of securing them, then the new government is not legitimate by Declaration of Independence standards.

Current justification of the rebellion via the Declaration of Independence would have been met with derision in 1861. John C. Calhoun, a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina, denounced the principle of that all men are created equal saying it was “inserted into our Declaration of Independence without any necessity. It made no necessary part of our justification for separating from the parent country, and declaring ourselves independent.”

The rationale for secession can be discerned by searching these four Declaration of Causes. Contrary to revisionist claims, economic policy factors (except as it applies to slavery) are nowhere mentioned. As Blanks states, “it is clear that the South’s actions—the catalyst for war—were explicitly motivated by freedom’s suppression.”

The “states’ rights” argument in also incoherent. As Clint Bolick puts it: “The very notion of states’ rights is oxymoronic. States don’t have rights, States have powers. People have rights. And the primary purpose of federalism is to protect those rights.”

H/T: Jonathan Blanks, Ilya Somin, Jonathan Blanks, Timothy Sandefur (pdf).

191 thoughts on “Libertarians And The Civil War

  1. The word ‘Lincoln’ is mentioned 98 times in this thread (not counting this comment). Lincoln is mentioned about 67 times either directly by Larry, or quoting Larry’s harangues about Lincoln. Most of the remaining mentions of Lincoln are in response to his bringing up Lincoln.

    Why would anyone think Larry is obsessed with Lincoln?

    Larry, and briefly Tootie, are the only folks on the thread that are interested in talking about Lincoln.

    Lincoln has little to do with the topic of the article.

    Starting a Lincoln blog might be just the thing for you, Larry. Are your bedroom walls covered by photos of, and articles about, Lincoln?

    Too bad Lincoln is dead. It’s difficult to stalk him.

    There, now there are 110 uses of ‘Lincoln’ in this thread. Is that better?

  2. “You’re only further proving my point about your obsession. Seriously, Larry. Get some help.”

    And you keep proving my point that when I post FACTS about Lincoln, you simply just ignore them with comments like those. And you claim you have REFUTED them? You just IGNORE them!

  3. Bob, great job ignoring every single one of my posts above. Gene claims my facts about Lincoln have been refuted, but you and Gene just prove over and over that you simply just IGNORE comments you cannot refute.

    Mike and Nal does the same thing. I will leave a post that has 4 paragraphs in them and every single one of you copy and paste a small portion of the entire post and comment on it and claim the entire post was refuted. Or, most of the time, as evidenced above, you simply just ignore the entire post altogether and claim I am “off topic”, despite the fact that the story is about the Civil War, which has EVERYTHING to do with Lincoln, since he is the one who started it and murdered 700,000 Americans to accomplish his agenda.

    It’s like writing a story on the Holocaust and saying I’m off topic if I mentioned Hitler. The “off topic” bullshit is just one of several tactics you frauds use to deflect away from Lincoln’s wrongdoings and un-American stances on just about every issue he acted on. It’s all deflection and I’m not buying it. Another tactic is to point out that I’ve used words like “nuts” and “twits” to deflect away from the real issue—despite the fact that in 95% of your responses, there lies ad hominem attacks and that is A-OK to you, just as long as your purpose is accomplished: avoiding Lincoln’s words and actions. You guys are gatekeepers to a fictional Lincoln that only exists in school text books and is so far from reality, it’s truly insulting to anyone who is not afraid to confront the truth.

    You claim it’s all the South’s fault and they did all the bad shit—-despite the fact that the NORTH had slaves, the NORTH wrote in newspapers how tyrannical Lincoln was, the NORTHERN soldiers took off to Canada when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued because they were pissed because they were told the war was to “save the Union” only to think the war was about freeing blacks. Lincoln was hated in the NORTH too, but to you nimrods the South were the only ones who abandoned virtue.

    Why don’t you frauds go through each of my 9 points above and tell me where I’m wrong and provide links to show evidence that I’m wrong. If I’m bullshit and you claim you have refuted it, then provide the evidence. Show PROOF that each of my 9 points is false.

    Do you need my posts above re-posted Bob or can you address them this time?

  4. Larry,

    I’m not going to refute your crap every time you regurgitate it. It has been adequately refuted in the past by me and others. Mostly by others. Despite that fact, you still foam at the mouth every time someone mentions Lincoln or the Civil War. I’m ignoring your “facts” for the same reason I’m suggesting that you need to get professional help.

  5. “I’m not going to refute your crap every time you regurgitate it.”

    Translation: Because I can’t.

    “It has been adequately refuted in the past by me and others.”

    Show me where?? If you claim it’s been refuted, you should have NO problem whatsoever to just simply re-post it—-like I have done with MANY of the things I have said—only to have you fools IGNORE it the 2nd and 3rd time. How many times did I post that the New England states attempted to secede in the early 1800’s and NO ONE questioned their RIGHT to secede??? I’ve posted that like 3 times, IGNORED every single time. So, why not re-post things you “claim” has been refuted?? You CANNOT, that’s why, because nothing I said has been refuted.

  6. “you still foam at the mouth every time someone mentions Lincoln or the Civil War”—yes every time someone mentions the Civil War. So, WHO has the obsession?? I’m not the one bringing it up. I only comment on it when YOU all mention it on this blog. So, the obsession lies with the bloggers here——not ME.

    I’m still waiting for you to refute my 9 points. Hell, just refute ONE.

  7. “No. I won’t, Larry. Why? Because you may feed a fever, but you starve a psychosis.”

    Translation: I can’t refute it, because Larry states documented FACT and the only thing I can offer is ad hominem attacks.

    I will assume that your lack of/refusing to [whatever you wish to call it] refute my facts about Lincoln obviously means you simply CANNOT. I already knew you couldn’t before your refusal to, so it’s really no shock to me. It doesn’t even shock me that you blatantly admit it—-because twits like you [members of the Lincoln cult] love to get the last word in, but ironically also refuse to offer evidence their claims are right and refuse to debunk people like me with the facts about Lincoln.

    “Brilliant, Gene H.!

    I’m starvin’ it.”

    Brilliant?? Gene claims I’m crazy but yet he has no problem making the “crazy” person justified by their claims by his refusal to debunk them? Of course both of you would starve it, but it’s not from choice, it’s from lack of being able to feed it. If you have no food [and are unable to get any] you claim you’re “starving it” as if you are making the choice to. You can’t. Not being able to is NOT a choice.

    Once again [with Lincoln cultists] I win by default.

  8. Larry,

    The logical fallacy you are committing is called argumentum e silentio. Your conclusion is based on my silence, not any actual evidence that my assertion that your tired rants against Lincoln have all been addressed at some point or another on this blog is false. I’m not going to rehash the arguments because that’s simply feeding into your psychosis. I’m going to dismiss your babbling because that is all it merits at this point.

  9. Larry is arguing with himself. There aren’t, and never were, any people here who are in some sort of Lincoln cult. There seems to be one person who is in an anti-Lincoln cult. There’s no opposition.

    Larry,
    No one is interested in talking about Lincoln. He’s dead. It doesn’t matter, particularly, that Lincoln did this or Lincoln did that. I’ve never met him, so he’s just some name, to me. I forgive him his errors. He’s dead.

    I don’t believe Lincoln is somewhere listening to you go on and on about him. Lincoln doesn’t care whether you like him. I don’t care whether you like him. You never met him, either. He seems to represent some concept that you are obsessed with. I’m not.

    A group of southern states started a Civil War, and lost it. You started an argument about that war, and lost it. You backed the wrong side.
    Forget it. Get over it. Move on.

  10. “The logical fallacy you are committing is called argumentum e silentio. Your conclusion is based on my silence, not any actual evidence that my assertion that your tired rants against Lincoln have all been addressed at some point or another on this blog is false. I’m not going to rehash the arguments because that’s simply feeding into your psychosis. I’m going to dismiss your babbling because that is all it merits at this point.”

    Actually, what you just said [above] is false. Not only has anyone NOT refuted what I said about Lincoln, when I posted those 9 things above—MOST of those 9 things I had not yet typed in this thread BEFORE you said my points had been refuted. I had NEVER posted point #8, the fact that Lincoln supported a constitutional amendment preventing Congress from interfering with slavery. I had never posted that before—so for you to say ALL my points had been refuted [even if it true that even ONE was refuted, which is not the case], is a bald-faced LIE.

    You won’t rehash the arguments because NONE of my points have been refuted, not one. You can’t use the excuse that you “don’t have time” to rehash them, because you have plenty of time to post entries like the one above [saying they have been refuted, when they have not], so it’s not a time issue. The issue is simply that you are WRONG and CANNOT rehash them because the refutations do not exist.

  11. “Larry,
    No one is interested in talking about Lincoln. He’s dead. It doesn’t matter, particularly, that Lincoln did this or Lincoln did that. I’ve never met him, so he’s just some name, to me. I forgive him his errors. He’s dead.

    I don’t believe Lincoln is somewhere listening to you go on and on about him. Lincoln doesn’t care whether you like him. I don’t care whether you like him. You never met him, either. He seems to represent some concept that you are obsessed with. I’m not.”

    So, your point is that if something happened long ago or someone lived long ago, it doesnt matter and not worth talking about? Then why didn’t you tell Nal no one gives a fuck about the article he wrote and posted about secession?? Hmmm? That happened long ago, right? So, tell Nal you don’t care about it and tell him to “move on”.

    In fact, you very first comment in this thread was this one….

    “idealist707,

    Mike Spindell did not say, nor did he imply, “…that all Southerners are treasonous, etc.”

    You inferred it.

    There’s a difference.”

    Since you don’t care about things that happened long ago because the people are dead, why did you obviously care enough to defend Mike to a comment “idealist707” said? Hmmmm?

    I think I know why….when you feel you’re right about something, then people who lived long ago and events that happened long ago MATTER. But when you have been defeated and can’t refute a single thing someone says [I’m referring to my 9 things about Lincoln above, that no one attempted to refute by the way], you simply claim they “don’t matter” because the people are dead. I just proved things DO matter to you or you would have told Nal in your very first comment that Southern secession happened long ago and it doesnt matter now, and you wouldn’t have defended Mike in your first comment.

    You and Gene are pathological liars. I’m not just saying you are, I’m PROVING it, and I’m quite sure it makes your blood boil that the “nut” is destroying you two with your own words used against you.

    Why can’t you refute just ONE of my 9 Lincoln evils?? Why??? You OBVIOUSLY have the time to spend on this thread, so why not devote that time to making me look foolish and refute just ONE of the 9? Why is that so hard if you claim to be the beacon of truth?

  12. Larry,

    “…why didn’t you tell Nal no one gives a fuck…”

    I just love it when you talk dirty. May I have some more?

    I cannot make water wet; it’s already there.
    I cannot make you look foolish; you’re already there.

    If my blood boils, thereby driving off water vapor, will my blood pressure decrease? Thanks for the idea!

  13. Bob, GREAT job of once again IGNORING my questions only to focus on the word “fuck”. You continue to do EXACTLY what I said you were doing days ago——focusing on EVERYTHING but the issue at hand. Funny how Gene claims he doesnt want to “feed my psychosis” [his excuse for not wanting to confront FACTS] because you’re feeding by continuing to do exactly what I said you are doing days ago when I said you focus on everything else [than the issue] as just an avoidance tactic.

    You continue to do that, and that alone makes you look like a babbling fool.

    How about answering my questions?

    “So, your point is that if something happened long ago or someone lived long ago, it doesnt matter and not worth talking about? Then why didn’t you tell Nal no one gives a fuck about the article he wrote and posted about secession?? Hmmm? That happened long ago, right? So, tell Nal you don’t care about it and tell him to “move on”.”

    Will there be an answer anytime soon?

  14. I found one of Bob’s big lies above:

    He said this on March 12 before I joined the discussion…

    “The separation of the British colonies from Britain was illegal by British law. It was considered treason. The signers were appealing to a ‘higher’ law than that of Britain. They certainly were stepping outside the British legal system, and making their own.

    If you’re declaring yourself independent of the U.S. Constitution, by seceding, you’re in the same situation. You just stepped out of the legal system of the Constitution.”

    OK, did everyone see what I just re-posted from Bob? Above he is saying basically that secession is treason, right? He said it was treason for the British colonies to secede—did he not? THEN, he says in the next paragraph that if anyone declares themselves independent of the US Constitution, by seceding, they are in the SAME situation….which he is saying is “treason”. [By the way, Bob is wrong, because the South was NOT declaring themselves independent of the Constitution, they were actually following it].

    Here is Bob’s lie: After I chimed in to the discussion, Bob said this to me on March 16:

    “I do not find, in the massive texts above, my referring to secession as ‘treason.’ I referred to the attack on the army of the U.S.A. at Fort Sumter as treason.”

    LIE. You DID say secession is treason—as I displayed above—where you said “If you’re declaring yourself independent of the U.S. Constitution, by seceding, you’re in the same situation”—and the “same situation” as you pointed out was “treason” when you said that what the British colonies committed.

    Bob is a BIG FAT LIAR. I PROVED it. With, as in the cases of Lincoln, his OWN WORDS.

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