-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
The 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.