Libertarianism And The Confederacy

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
burn_CSA_flagThe resignation of Jack Hunter, the social-media director of Sen. Rand Paul (R, Kentucky), also known by the moniker “Southern Avenger,” has brought to the surface a not insignificant minority who identify themselves as libertarians. This minority defends the Old South, the Southern cause, and the Confederacy. These Neo-Confederate libertarians claim to be anti-slavery and their arguments are a case study in cognitive dissonance.

Timothy Sandefur (pdf) gives lie to any notion that states have a “right” to unilateral secession:

Since the Constitution is a law binding the People, and not a league of states, states have no authority to intervene between the people and the national government. If the people of a state wish to leave the union, they may not do so unilaterally, but must obtain the agreement of their fellow citizens—or they must rebel in a legitimate act of revolution.

Sandefur also notes that the Declaration of Independence imposes harsh restrictions on those seeking a legitimate act of rebellion. The right to throw off a government can only be exercised after “a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute Despotism.” The Confederacy was formed to violate rights, especially the right to self-ownership, not secure them.

The Confederate states were motivated to secede by the desire to maintain slavery. In their Declarations of Causes, four southern states, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi, make clear that abolition of slavery was their primary reason for secession. The Confederate Constitution stated: “No law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.” One cannot rationally justify Confederate secession on morals grounds while ignoring the great evil that such a secession intended to  preserve.

In the postbellum South racial dominance was practiced unashamedly. “State’s Rights” became the rallying cry whenever the Federal Government insisted on adherence to the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. The right of association and property owner’s rights were a common smokescreen used to defend Jim Crow, southern apartheid, laws. Today, “voter fraud” allows politicians cover when African-American voters are disenfranchised. The perversion of these concepts to scam voters into supporting the elite white power structure should not be tolerated.

The right to have your children attend a neighbor school was invented when the Supreme Court found segregated schools unconstitutional and busing was the solution. Today, taxpayer funding of private academies through voucher programs seeks to circumvent the 14th Amendment restrictions.

One cannot rationally support the Confederacy while condemning slavery. The raison d’être for the Confederacy was slavery. If one condemns slavery, then one condemns those who practiced it and sought to preserve it. One cannot simultaneously support the Southern state’s right to secede from the Union while supporting the denial that right to the individuals in those states. One cannot endorse the claim that secession was supported by a majority of the population when 40% of that population is not allowed to participate in the decision.

H/T: Ilya Somin, Jacob Levy, Jonathan Blanks, Jason Kuznicki, Randy Barnett, Conor Friedersdorf, Corey Robin, Massimo Pigliucci.

666 thoughts on “Libertarianism And The Confederacy”

  1. I think it’s odd that OS is posting things about “conspiracy theories” and “delusional” people when it has actually been the other way around here. I am the one who posts facts, quotes—-and it is everyone ELSE that posts fantasies and ignores most of what I say. So, good job OS, that article actually described everyone BUT me.

    Do me a favor everyone—-ask Turley himself who is right. Ask him to weigh in on this. Ask Turley if:

    1. The Civil War was authorized by Congress
    2. Nearly everything Lincoln did was unconstitutional
    3. Secession is a core American principle in which all the founders believed in
    4. It matters that Lincoln supported Corwin

    and so on and so on…

    I think he’s afraid to weigh in on this because he is ashamed of the responses of his “writers” and that I am kicking all of your asses.

  2. OS, where’s the research being done on people who ask someone a question, the person ANSWERS it and the same person asks the question AGAIN as if the person never answered it? Then they re-post their original answer, and the question is asked AGAIN as if the person never answered it or re-posted the answer?

    Any research being done on that? Because that person [who asks questions over and over AFTER they are answered] is YOU.

  3. Also ignored:

    1. Proof that shows that the Civil War was authorized by Congress

    2. Madison’s quotes that he opposed decentralization

    3. Any quote by Lincoln that proves HE FOUGHT THE WAR OVER SLAVERY

  4. AND you ignored this:

    “The Union—that is, the government created by the Constitution of 1789—was proposed by a convention that was called by the states, it was ratified by the states, and can only be amended by the states. Article VII of the Constitution declares, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same,”

    It concludes, “Done in convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present.”

    The Virginia, New York and Rhode Island state conventions explicitly reserved the right to secede at some future point, and those reservations were accepted by everyone involved. US senators were elected by state legislatures from 1789 to 1914, during which time the legislatures took for granted their right to instruct their federal representatives how to vote on policy issues.

    When Thomas Jefferson and James Madison authored the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1798, which declared the supremacy of the states in the federal system, they received little criticism. The Kentucky Resolution, for example, declared that “the several states composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by a compact…they…delegated to [that government] certain definite powers, reserving…the residuary mass of right to their own self-government.”

    These resolutions announced the policy of nullification, whereby the states could nullify acts of the federal government which they believed to be unconstitutional.

    The states were so instrumental in forming the federal government that even during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress was a standing committee of the states that coordinated the war effort.

    The colonial delegations awaited instructions from home before assenting to the Declaration of Independence, which itself proclaimed the colonies to be “Free and Independent States.” The Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution, reserved to each state “its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

    The founding fathers, who had just fought a war against a highly centralized state, were not about to turn around and create one of their own.

    The STATES created the Constitution and delegated certain powers to the federal government as their agent, while reserving the right to withdraw from that compact, as three states did explicitly.”

    What exactly did I ignore?????

  5. “What continues to go ignored are not the “arguments” of the fantasists, but the facts presented to the contrary.”

    Oh really??

    You ignored this:

    “phb—–you sock puppet “understanding inflation” is another moron—well [it’s YOU].

    I asked for ONE example of inflation being GOOD. He [YOU], said :

    “There is always, always correlations between inflation and limited supply goods. Let us suppose, for the sake of Larry’s intellectual abilities, that the economy has a money supply of $5.00 and 5 identical houses are the only goods within the economy. Each house is then worth $1.00. The Fed prints more money and increases the money supply to $10.00. Each house (in this simple exercise as the only goods) is now worth $2.00. Increasing the money supply causes inflation and house prices rise.”

    Uhhhhhhh, jack ass……house prices RISING is NOT GOOD.

    VALUE in houses rising is GOOD, but that’s NOT what your sock puppet SAID, is it? He said “HOUSE PRICES RISE”. Prices of ANYTHING rising is NEVER GOOD.

    So, Im still waiting for an answer. So, your sock puppet’s response of “answering [the] challenge to name one example of good inflation with increase in house value was correct” is COMPLETE BS.

    Here is an article that states the reasons for real estate to go up in value. They list these 6 things:

    1. Supply and demand

    2. Local zoning

    3. Changes in infrastructure

    4. Economic obsolescence

    5. Maintenance procedures

    6. Motivation to buy or sell

    Notice how INFLATION isnt one of them. In fact, the word INFLATION is nowhere in the entire article.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?What-makes-Real-Estate-Value-go-up-or-Down&id=153498

    Larry wins AGAIN.”

  6. pbh51m
    There has actually been research on this phenomenon among neocons, neoconfederates and conspiracy theorists. The phenomenon of cognitive dissonance began as a serious issue with social psychologists beginning in 1954. More recently, research coming from behavioral scientists at the University of Kent in England has shed more light on the subject. These deniers/conspiracy theorists have many aspects of the Shared Delusional Disorder. However, instead of folie à deux, it morphs into folie à plusieurs.

    Dr Wood from the University of Kent’s School of Psychology said: “Conspiracy theories are more about disbelieving the official story than believing in some alternative story, and that is reflected in how a lot of these online arguments unfold.”

    In a nutshell, here is how a conversation with one of these folks typically goes:

    Denier: (makes anti-factual statement)

    Normal Person: (factual refutation, with citations)

    Denier: (change of subject, with new anti-factual statement)

    Normal Person: (new factual refutation, with citations)
    ….
    Denier: (THE SAME ORIGINAL anti-factual statement)

    The interesting thing Dr. Wood and his colleagues discovered was that the more facts, science, and hard evidence is presented, the harder conspiracy theorists hold onto the delusional belief. This is a pattern that borders on, or perhaps edges into, mental illness. I posted a story on climate change last night, and as Pete pointed out, that kind of story is a magnet for deniers. This is another area where deniers will still be denying when they are standing neck-deep in rising ocean water. One of the other things psychologists have observed is the fanaticism and persistence with which these deniers pursue lost causes on comment boards and blogs.

    Security expert Dr. Bruce Schneier had a few observations to make about this phenomenon on his blog as well. Guess what? The CT folks were diving in on him with the first comment. Dr. Schneier observes that one might think the Internet and ease of access to vast amounts of factual information and documentation would make things better. In fact, he notes that in many ways the Internet has made it worse. He says:

    “Confirmation bias—the tendency to pay more attention to evidence that supports what you already believe—is a well-documented and common human failing. People have been writing about it for centuries. In recent years, though, researchers have found that confirmation bias is not easy to overcome. You can’t just drown it in facts.”

  7. Otteray Scribe:

    What continues to go ignored are not the “arguments” of the fantasists, but the facts presented to the contrary. \ ; )

    pbh

  8. phb—–you sock puppet “understanding inflation” is another moron—well [it’s YOU].

    I asked for ONE example of inflation being GOOD. He [YOU], said :

    “There is always, always correlations between inflation and limited supply goods. Let us suppose, for the sake of Larry’s intellectual abilities, that the economy has a money supply of $5.00 and 5 identical houses are the only goods within the economy. Each house is then worth $1.00. The Fed prints more money and increases the money supply to $10.00. Each house (in this simple exercise as the only goods) is now worth $2.00. Increasing the money supply causes inflation and house prices rise.”

    Uhhhhhhh, jack ass……house prices RISING is NOT GOOD.

    VALUE in houses rising is GOOD, but that’s NOT what your sock puppet SAID, is it? He said “HOUSE PRICES RISE”. Prices of ANYTHING rising is NEVER GOOD.

    So, Im still waiting for an answer. So, your sock puppet’s response of “answering [the] challenge to name one example of good inflation with increase in house value was correct” is COMPLETE BS.

    Here is an article that states the reasons for real estate to go up in value. They list these 6 things:

    1. Supply and demand

    2. Local zoning

    3. Changes in infrastructure

    4. Economic obsolescence

    5. Maintenance procedures

    6. Motivation to buy or sell

    Notice how INFLATION isnt one of them. In fact, the word INFLATION is nowhere in the entire article.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?What-makes-Real-Estate-Value-go-up-or-Down&id=153498

    Larry wins AGAIN.

  9. I see my post was ignored so I’ll post it again:

    “The Union—that is, the government created by the Constitution of 1789—was proposed by a convention that was called by the states, it was ratified by the states, and can only be amended by the states. Article VII of the Constitution declares, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same,”

    It concludes, “Done in convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present.”

    The Virginia, New York and Rhode Island state conventions explicitly reserved the right to secede at some future point, and those reservations were accepted by everyone involved. US senators were elected by state legislatures from 1789 to 1914, during which time the legislatures took for granted their right to instruct their federal representatives how to vote on policy issues.

    When Thomas Jefferson and James Madison authored the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1798, which declared the supremacy of the states in the federal system, they received little criticism. The Kentucky Resolution, for example, declared that “the several states composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by a compact…they…delegated to [that government] certain definite powers, reserving…the residuary mass of right to their own self-government.”

    These resolutions announced the policy of nullification, whereby the states could nullify acts of the federal government which they believed to be unconstitutional.

    The states were so instrumental in forming the federal government that even during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress was a standing committee of the states that coordinated the war effort.

    The colonial delegations awaited instructions from home before assenting to the Declaration of Independence, which itself proclaimed the colonies to be “Free and Independent States.” The Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution, reserved to each state “its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

    The founding fathers, who had just fought a war against a highly centralized state, were not about to turn around and create one of their own.

    The STATES created the Constitution and delegated certain powers to the federal government as their agent, while reserving the right to withdraw from that compact, as three states did explicitly.”

    IGNORING this doesn’t make it untrue.

  10. OS: “How about showing me where Congress is required to declare war on a rebellion.”

    THIS is the very reason why Turley should immediately scrap you as a “writer” for his blog. I never said the Civil War WAS a rebellion. I’m saying it was, by definition, a war. Lincoln CALLED it a rebellion…what it ACTUALLY was, was a war. But since it was UNAUTHORIZED by Congress, it technically drops it to the title of “undeclared war”—-therefore, everything did was unconstitutional. Do you understand this now, or do I need to send some 2nd graders over to help you get this?

    How about showing me (and this is like the 8th time I’ve asked now—–WHAT PROOF YOU HAVE THAT CONGRESS AUTHORIZED THE CIVIL WAR????? You have the proof yet???

    If it wasn’t authorized by Congress, the war was ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL. And it WASNT authorized by Congress, you stupid jack ass.

  11. Understanding Inflation

    “answering [the] challenge to name one example of good inflation with increase in house value was correct.”

    Thanks for the assist.

    pbh

  12. Otteray Scribe

    “Lincoln did not do anything unconstitutional by putting down a rebellion any more than if he had put down any other riot. The seceding states were not a separate country–they were, and still are, part of the USA.”

    As if there was any question:

    “During the New York ratification convention, there was a move to propose amendments, and to reserve a right to withdraw from the Union if these amendments were not accepted. Alexander Hamilton wrote to James Madison about this, and Madison replied, “My opinion is that a reservation of a right to withdraw if amendments be not decided on under the form of the Constitution within a certain time, is a conditional ratification, that it does not make N. York a member of the New Union, and consequently that she could not be received on that plan. Compacts must be reciprocal, this principle would not in such a case be preserved. The Constitution requires an adoption in toto and for ever. It has been so adopted by the other States. An adoption for a limited time would be as defective as an adoption of some of the articles only. In short any condition whatever must viciate [sic] the ratification. What the New Congress by virtue of the power to admit new States, may be able & disposed to do in such case, I do not enquire as I suppose that is not the material point at present. I have not a moment to add more than my fervent wishes for your success & happiness.

    “This idea of reserving right to withdraw was started in Richmd. & considered as a conditional ratification which was itself considered as worse than a rejection.” [James Madison to Alexander Hamilton, July 20, 1788]

    http://studycivilwar.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/did-the-states-reserve-a-right-to-secede/

    So, Madison rejected the idea of secession twice, once in Virginia and again with regard to New York. Both State Conventions discussed it and subsequently rejected it.

    The compromise, which Madison drafted, was the Bill of Rights, which strangely, did not include the right of secession.

    pbh

  13. How about showing me where Congress is required to declare war on a rebellion.

  14. OS—–STOP RE-ASKING QUESTIONS AS IF I HAVE NEVER EVER ADDRESSED THEM. IM SICK OF IT!! I ALREADY ADDRESSED THIS! THIS IS LIKE THE 5th TIME YOU’VE DONE THIS IN LIKE YOUR LAST 6 POSTS.

    HERE WAS OUR EXCHANGE:

    OS: “FDR declared war on Japan because the Empire of Japan is a foreign power. That declaration of war was extended to Germany and Italy because US ships were already under attack and being sunk in the Atlantic. Like Japan, Germany and Italy are foreign powers.”

    ME: I have no disagreement here, but where do you get that wars do NOT have to be approved by Congress if they’re NOT foreign?

    OS: “The secessionist states were not foreign powers, but a part of the Union.”

    ME: Actually they were neither. They weren’t foreign because they were still American, but they were NOT part of the Union after the secession

    OS: “To this day, they are part of the Union, and subject to the laws of the government, just as they were then.”

    ME: They were NOT after secession

    OS: “Get this straight. The confederate states were never not a part of the United States of America.”

    ME: This is where your thinking is flawed. The founding fathers NEVER spoke of the “United States” in the singular, as if it was some monolithic entity. They always spoke of the “United States” in the plural—–meaning INDIVIDUAL, sovereign, independent states that were part of a confederation of states that could break off any time they wished. When the states seceded, they were broke off from the US government. Whether they were “not part of the United States of America” as the singular, monolithic entity you’re referring to is irrelevant, because NO state is a “part of a giant piece of land”. Each state is independent and sovereign. Remember, the states came FIRST, THEN the Union—–not the other way around (as Lincoln FALSELY believed).

    READ MY RESPONSES THE FIRST TIME I POST THEM. STOP RE-ASKING QUESTIONS I ALREADY ADDRESS!!!

    You IGNORED my question earlier:

    Show me WHERE it says Congress can ONLY declare war on FOREIGN countries. STOP IGNORING THIS. Or I will re-post it over and over and over and over and over.

  15. “Who cares what the King of England thought he was signing.”

    Yeah, who cares about that small, insignificant fact?? LOL

    OK, wingnuts…time for your history lesson. Pay attention OS:

    The Union—that is, the government created by the Constitution of 1789—was proposed by a convention that called by the states, it was ratified by the states, and can only be amended by the states. Article VII of the Constitution declares, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same,”

    It concludes, “Done in convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present.”

    The Virginia, New York and Rhode Island state conventions explicitly reserved the right to secede at some future point, and those reservations were accepted by everyone involved. US senators were elected by state legislatures from 1789 to 1914, during which time the legislatures took for granted their right to instruct their federal representatives how to vote on policy issues.

    When Thomas Jefferson and James Madison authored the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1798, which declared the supremacy of the states in the federal system, they received little criticism. The Kentucky Resolution, for example, declared that “the several states composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by a compact…they…delegated to [that government] certain definite powers, reserving…the residuary mass of right to their own self-government.”

    These resolutions announced the policy of nullification, whereby the states could nullify acts of the federal government which they believed to be unconstitutional.

    The states were so instrumental in forming the federal government that even during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress was a standing committee of the states that coordinated the war effort.

    The colonial delegations awaited instructions from home before assenting to the Declaration of Independence, which itself proclaimed the colonies to be “Free and Independent States.” The Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution, reserved to each state “its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

    The founding fathers, who had just fought a war against a highly centralized state, were not about to turn around and create one of their own.

    The STATES created the Constitution and delegated certain powers to the federal government as their agent, while reserving the right to withdraw from that compact, as three states did explicitly.

  16. Larry,
    Lincoln did not do anything unconstitutional by putting down a rebellion any more than if he had put down any other riot. The seceding states were not a separate country–they were, and still are, part of the USA. War is declared by Congress if it is a foreign country. I am not sure how that could be any plainer. The US government had no intention of giving the rebellion legitimacy by declaring war. If they had declared war, they would have been acknowledging the confederate states were a separate country. THAT would have been unconstitutional. Do you have a point?

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