Why bother?

Recently, the New Hampshire secession movement has started to gear up. The more I think about secession, the more I like the idea.

In fact, I can’t see any reason to keep the federal government around. Really, what good is it? All it does is tax, threaten, regulate, and destroy freedom.

It’s quite clear that in America we can’t all get along, and nor should we continue to attempt it. I say let the Liberty lovers all move together, socialists all move together, religious zealots all move together, racists all move together, etc…

Screw the USA, it’s done for. Am I wrong? Is there some redeeming quality to the federal government that I am missing? Why should it continue to exist? Please post your suggestions in the comments.

-FTL_Ian

posted by ianbernard
  • http://www.gabejohnson.org/ Gabe J

    Getting off track, I am a candidate for office here in leon county, florida, and I had uncovered a bit of a scandal involving one of the members of the board i am to be serving on voting to give a $169,00 contract to a company he owns.

    What was the response to the breaking of this scandal? Six of my large signs (4’x4′) have been defaced or torn down in the two days since, and the local county commission have all endorsed my opponent.

    I do not understand why they would throw their endorsements behind a person involved in this sort of scandal, except that they all have their own dirty laundry, and dont want me in a position to sniff it out.

  • http://warcriminal.freeservers.com Sol

    >I do not understand why they would throw their
    >endorsements behind a person involved in this sort of
    >scandal

    Because in this country the rule rather than the exception is that you have to be a criminal in order to be a politician.

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    I used to be a secessionist. These days I’m mildly opposed, for two reasons:

    (1) As Ruby Ridge, JustUs Township, and -especially- the Republic of Texas have demonstrated, the federal government definitely WILL fight a war to keep a few people, never mind an entire state, in the union. No secessionist movement that gives no consideration to neutralizing the federal government’s violent objection has a prayer of success.

    (2) Should secession become a reality, the new government will almost certainly not be created by libertarians. It will be created by the same people who would run the state without secession, who currently represent the state in Congress. Given that, is it more likely or less likely that the new state would better protect individual rights? I suspect less likely- mainly because a seceding Texas would essentially be the kingdom of Tom DeLay and his ilk.

    I don’t support secession and think it’s a dead end- but I wouldn’t be sad to be proven wrong at all.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/pong_god Robert Mayer

    Sounds like a great idea, but I do share Kris’ skepticism as to how realistic it is. The FedGov DOES NOT NEED the paltry million or so people of NH who would be seceeding, but they DO NEED to stop the precedent that would embolden other states to follow suit.

  • Michael Hampton

    We’ll have to burn that bridge when we come to it.

    I’m not entirely opposed to the idea of secession — IF and only IF the question of U.S. reaction can be addressed.

    The U.S. currently thinks it has a right to prevent the states from seceding, and if I remember case law correctly, it won’t recognize a secession unless the several States — all of them — also do.

    Considering that that may not be politically viable, you may just have a civil war on your hands. Again.

  • http://RadioFreeLiberty.com Cato Craft

    Another concern-
    If the secession were to succeed, you would then be out from under the (theoretical) protection of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights (I know…what good are they now?!)

    But rhetorically, is the constitution of NH a more libertarian substitute?

    This isn’t a leading question- I honestly just don’t know.

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    Actually, doesn’t NH’s Constitution declare the right of secession? Since Congress recognized NH as a state in 1789 or whatever, and therefore recognized its Constitution, hasn’t Congress given NH the right to secede?

  • ianbernard

    It does declare the right to secession, as a matter of fact. :)

  • Paul Pace

    If we outlaw the federal government, then only outlaws will have the federal government.

  • scott

    I think the thing to do is support Aaron Russo’s movie America From Freedom to Fascism. If we could get it in enough theatres all over America it would make a big dent in the real problem–the sense of complacency among most Americans about the federal government. Then with enough Americans up to speed on the problems with the Federal Government, a state such as New Hampshire could get enough support from people in other states to make it a peaceful possibility. Or maybe with enough of a paradigm shift in society, secession would not be a necessity.

  • DaveT

    How can a state secede? The last time it was tried, the remaining states retook the seceding states by force.

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    I hope NH does secede. What a beautiful day that would be. And if the federales decided to go against the…I’d hope there’s be lots of signs on libertarian doors everywhere that said “Gone To New Hampshire”.

  • Eukreign

    NH Constitution is much better than the US Constitution so that won’t be a problem.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Secession has been successful several times in the past within our boundaries — The United States succeeded from Great Britain in 1783 and Texas succeeded from Mexico in 1836. Each time, though, armed conflict was the result, but in each of those cases, the militarily stronger party actually lost. The Confederate States of America may have actually lasted longer (or won) had they not attacked Fort Sumter so early.

    Around the world, though, there are many cases of nations gaining independence without bloodshed — mostly former British and French colonies.

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    Chris: Wrong on the first part. The United States won its war of revolution as part of a military coalition- America, France and Spain- which together were militarily superior to Great Britain. The victorious army at Yorktown was more than half French, and only succeeded in trapping the British and forcing surrender due to the presence of a French blockading fleet.

    Questionable on the second part- Mexico never recognized Texas as ever having been independent. It invaded Texas twice after San Jacinto- in 1841 and 1843- and decisively crushed Texan attempts to exercise control over the Rio Grande Valley and Santa Fe. It took the Mexican-American War- in which the United States had the superior military power- to force Mexico to give up Texas (and a lot of other districts).

    Peaceful secession is possible only with the consent of the old government (Norway, Slovakia, most recently Montenegro). Secession in defiance of government rule is insurrection and rebllion- nothing less.

  • Mike R

    In other news, the FBI has been investigating a rise in terrorist activity in New Hampshire.

  • Mike R

    I totally agree with supporting Aaron Russo’s film. I will probably go see it multiple times, assuming it is picked up anywhere in California. I will even drag friends along. This sort of activism has helped other independent movies gain theater acceptance, with an expansion to more and more cities.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “Mexico never recognized Texas as ever having been independent.”

    I don’t think Texans cared whether Mexico recognized them or not.

    The point is peaceful succession is possible, as is violent succession. I think some discount the US governments lack of resolve to kill New Hampshire citizens if they chose to peacfully succeed. That is not to say that they wouldn’t, though. I don’t know.

    There is much New Hampshire CAN do to rid itself of some of the federal government without suceeding. Some of which Kris proposes for Texas in his campaign (education).

  • ianbernard

    Russo will be appearing on Free Talk Live sometime this month. His film is very good.

  • http://www.lpradicals.org Susan Hogarth

    Ian, nice bit.

    Something to keep in mind, though, is indivdual secession. Why should I have to find a bunch of people who think just like me (even if I COULD:) in order to live in peace? Heck, I want the Republic of Hogarth. The English used to beleive that a man’s home was his castle – meaning he was KING of his own domain. THAT’s the sort of secession I can get behind :)

    But, yes, smaller states are probably less odious than bigger ones, so I’m all for group secession as an interim measure. And people say I’m not willing to compromise! ;-)

    Short plug for my new website reviving the LP Radical Caucus:

    http://www.lpradicals.org/

    Radicals take heart! The LP is a radical party!

  • ianbernard

    Yes! I like the message of that site, Susan!

  • http://idic.pitas.com Thane Eichenauer

    Commenting on Kris Overstreet’s post #3, point 1, I find the closest analogy to be the ending of black slavery in the US. While I haven’t read enough on the era to say there was no grand plan to neutralize slavery, my impression based on my education is that black slavery ended based on 2 factors: 1: Slaves wanted to be free and did whatever was necessary to gain freedom, 2: Through general promulgation and acceptance by the general population of the concept that black slavery was immoral, inefficient or simply not necessary.

    Point 2, Same analogy, so long as a former slave was in a free state I can only assume he found himself better off in most situations (perhaps not all black people appreciated the freedom or even preferred it to slavery). In many situations blacks were discriminated against but neither society today nor society then is being offered utopia, just the opportunity that results from reducing oppression (government coercion or government condoned slavery).

  • Stuart Richards

    Something to keep in mind, though, is indivdual secession. Why should I have to find a bunch of people who think just like me (even if I COULD:) in order to live in peace? Heck, I want the Republic of Hogarth. The English used to beleive that a man’s home was his castle – meaning he was KING of his own domain. THAT’s the sort of secession I can get behind :)

    LOL yeah that’s gonna happen.

    When I was a little kid I decided that I was going to declare independence from the USA and my bedroom was my own nation. Sadly, the American government deputized my parents to invade Stuartaria, rescind its Constitution and send its President-For-Life to bed without dinner. The UN never returned my phonecalls. :\

    Anyway, I grew out of the whole secession thing when I was six. Yeah it’d be nice, but get real, kids. And if you honestly believe that that’s what the LP needs to focus on-in this era of the Iraq War and wiretaps and a huge debt-that’s EXACTLY what you are, a kid.

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    Thane: Slavery ended only because the South seceded trying to protect it- leading to a war which was doomed to destroy it. Without the Civil War, it is unlikely slavery ever would have been abolished. Both North and South feared what would happen if millions of former slaves were suddenly freed- and feared social equality of black and white almost as much.

    There was secession to protect slavery; there was a war to prevent secession; and the war led to the end of slavery.

    To address your points: (1) Irrelevant, because in the US slavery did not end peacefully. (2) A slave emigrated- he did not “secede” from his master, he fled his home. He did not create a new government- he fled to a government already well established. The equivalent would be if Libertarians in New Hampshire fled to New Zealand instead… except, unfortunately, that New Zealand prohibits all immigration.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “And if you honestly believe that that’s what the LP needs to focus on-in this era of the Iraq War and wiretaps and a huge debt-that’s EXACTLY what you are, a kid.”

    Some might argue that continually begging daddy to stop beating up other people, stop listening in on your phone calls, and stop spending your allowance money on booze makes you a child.

    Others may prefer to be emancipated minors. You’re free to just keep asking daddy “pretty please”.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Oh, and Ian never said anything about the LP.

    Why does everything have to be about the LP?

  • ianbernard

    Yeah, I was just asking for people to give me reasons why the federal government should continue to exist. So far no one has.

  • http://libertarianwiki.org/User:Thane_Eichenauer Thane Eichenauer

    Commenting on Kris Overstreet’s post #16, one could point out the Former USSR is now a bunch of independent countries now largely (or entirely) free from the previous soviet federal government.

    Operating in defiance or indifference to any particular government is sometimes tolerated and sometimes not. The challenge is to persuade individuals in government that it is immoral, ineffective or just not worth it to squash freedom and persuade those who might support government that it isn’t worth it to support it.

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth

    Leave it to Ian the sensationalist, to dig up a website put together by Caleb and promote it as if it has any support. Except from other very extreme radicals in NH. Other FSPers are clear that secession isn’t viable anytime soon, if ever.
    I wouldn’t call it gearing up, by a long shot.

    See the last paragraph of Jason’s most recent speech at Porcfest. for a more realistic scenario, one over years and years.

    What happened to running for Congress? http://www.calebforcongress.com/
    Yes, the same man actively advocating for secession just abandoned running for Congress as a Democrat.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “Leave it to Ian the sensationalist, to dig up a website put together by Caleb and promote it as if it has any support. Except from other very extreme radicals in NH. Other FSPers are clear that secession isn’t viable anytime soon, if ever.
    I wouldn’t call it gearing up, by a long shot.”

    Ian’s post had nothing to do with the FSP, either (other than a link).

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth

    Chris: agreed, but speaking on behalf of those of us in the FSP who aren’t FOR secession (nor the Org itself), we tend to get tarred with the same broad brush… Googling shows that we’ve spent too many hours clearing that misconception up over and over.

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth

    Oops, didn’t close the link, and it’s broken.
    googling

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth

    Argh, link just won’t post. Oh well. google it yourself :)

  • ianbernard

    Since you think it “isn’t viable”, we should just stop talking about it, right Seth?

    Also, did Caleb announce that he was abandoning his run, or are you putting words in his mouth?

    Clearly, you have a thing or two to learn about publicity and propaganda. I’m the one with the nationally syndicated radio show, if I say it’s gearing up, it’s gearing up. If I say it’s viable, it’s viable. If I say the FSP is the answer, people join. (Who’s the #1 recruiter?) If I say that Keene is the place to be, people move. Get it?

    I’m not your enemy, Seth. I support what you’re doing, and I have not left the political train just yet. There’s no need to be hostile to me, I am not a threat. Distance yourself if you like, but we’re on the same side. I’ll be helping your cause whether you like it or not.

    My people just want to go a little… further than you do.

  • ianbernard

    Perhaps I’ll talk to Gardner Goldsmith about secession tomorrow. I predict he’ll be for it. That will make two radio shows in the state of NH on the side of secession. Plus the Keene Free Press.

    If you don’t think we can influence people, you are in for a surprise! ;)

  • http://keenefreepress.com Russell Kanning

    “The Keene Free Press does not officially support or oppose NH secession.”

    Ah …. who am I kidding? ;) We love the idea! :)

    How about Keene independence?

    I sure hope Seth doesn’t oppose our efforts towards NH independence all over the internet. That could really dampen the enthusiasm and set back the cause of freedom.

    Please send your letters to the editor (russellkanning@keenefreepress.com)
    Thanks

  • ianbernard

    Or, maybe it would just generate more publicity!

    Yell as loud as you can, Seth!

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    The way I read the Declaration of Independence (that some of us celebrated this week), states are sovereign. If that is the case, then there is a right of secession.

    Despite the hysterical hyperbole that the feds would come in with armed soldiers and kill everybody in a state that left the union, I would suggest that it would first be challenged with mere words by the federal government.

    If a state voted for secession, it would most likely wind up in court to decide of it was legal. Of course, the political hacks on the Supreme Court (especially the strict constructionists) would rule it was illegal. But, it would open the topic up for debate and would be in court until it worked its way up to the Supreme Court.

    Lincoln’s war of aggression would be discussed again. The reasons for secession would be debated. Once again, it would probably be revealed that the emperor is stark naked.

    I can think of nothing better for America to go through this no matter what the outcome.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “If a state voted for secession, it would most likely wind up in court to decide of it was legal. Of course, the political hacks on the Supreme Court (especially the strict constructionists) would rule it was illegal. But, it would open the topic up for debate and would be in court until it worked its way up to the Supreme Court.”

    There is already precedent:
    Texas vs. White

  • Devious David

    Well said, Tom Blanton. I think it would take an awful lot of propaganda of demonizing NH to turn public sentiment to support a war of aggression in NH. Plus, they have shown that they can’t fight a 4th generation war. If the people of NH were willing to fight a 4th generation war, it would further threaten The State if it were to engage.

    The USA has enough military problems as it is. More 4th generation enemies – of the domestic persuation, no less, could seriously undermine the agenda. The only solution for The State would be to capitulate and sweep it under the rug or to continue to escalate the situation which would require some seriously draconian measures even on the non-secessionist state’s people. Which of course would undermine the legitimacy of The State.

    What I am saying here is that the FSP and NH secession are great ideas! But expect some serious, well financed (unlimited money) anti-liberty smear campaigns/demonization and propaganda when things heat up.

  • Devious David

    Oh and the US Constitution advocates the right of secession. Besides, if the US Constitution is an agreement between the states and the people, how is one party supposed to act when they have no remedy for a dispute? Who is to be the arbiter? And what of The State being the interpreter of it’s limitations?

    This is why the very idea of using a constitution or other such artifice to “limit” the power of The State is an exercise in absurdity doomed to fail right from the beginning. The State is ALWAYS total. There are no ifs ands or buts about it.

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    Thanks for posting the Texas v White case, Chris. I knew there was some case but I thought it was during the “recent unpleasantness” as opposed to afterwards.

    Regardless, if a state seeks secession, the first step would be a resolution voted on by the state assembly and signed by the governor. Perhaps also a public referendum.

    Another option might be an amendment to the state constitution declaring the state to be independent.

    Then the state would have to seek a negotiated settlement with the US Govt through Congress or the federal court system. As I suggested above, the result would be a national debate on the reasons for secession and the merits.

    Possible grounds for a court action would be the unilateral breach of the contract called the Constitution by the federal government. This would not be such a hard case to make. There are too many instances where the federal govt has ignored the 9th amendment to lose the battle in the court of public opinion.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “Then the state would have to seek a negotiated settlement with the US Govt through Congress or the federal court system.”

    This may actually be enough. NH could agree to remain in the union with the US’s recognition of autonomous rule. Moving through to the Supreme Court would be a looser. Better to deny the SC’s jurisdiction and bring the US government to the bargaining table.

  • R. E. Lee

    Can someone suggest a good real estate agent in New Hampshire?

  • http://freestateproject.org/nhinfo/Housing.php Seth

    RELee: http://freestateproject.org/nhinfo/Housing.php
    has a number of them… best choice depends on where you are looking for something. For central NH, I can personally recommend the Blevens Agency, very very happy with them, and Ken is not only a Libertarian, but ran for office a few times, including getting 4.5% of the vote for Senate in 1996. Mention my name if you talk to him or Eric.

  • ianbernard

    Robin Smith from the Masiello Group for the Keene area.

  • paulie

    As Ruby Ridge, JustUs Township, and -especially- the Republic of Texas have demonstrated, the federal government definitely WILL fight a war to keep a few people, never mind an entire state, in the union. No secessionist movement that gives no consideration to neutralizing the federal government’s violent objection has a prayer of success.

    Very true. I suggest WMDs.

  • paulie

    Slavery ended only because the South seceded trying to protect it- leading to a war which was doomed to destroy it. Without the Civil War, it is unlikely slavery ever would have been abolished. Both North and South feared what would happen if millions of former slaves were suddenly freed- and feared social equality of black and white almost as much.

    Not true at all. Slavery ended in every nation of the Americas in the decades right before and after, with Brazil being the last in 1898. Haiti was the only other nation that fought a war about it. Slavery was doomed for economic reasons (industrialism). It would also have been doomed if the South had seceded peacefully, since there would no longer be any enforcement of fugitive slave acts. An independent CSA would probably have abolished slavery in 5-10 years, 20 at most. Had they done so before the emancipation proclamation, they could have won the war with the support of Europe.

  • paulie

    Susan: good step, although quite possibly too late. I also like the Boston Tea Party.

  • Helio

    It will occur naturally, as libertarians gather in the Free State. There will be a point in which the diverging principles between the State and the US will become so clear as to require a separation.

  • Mike R

    One argument they can use…

    The rights granted to the citizens of NH, as citizens of the United States, and so vigorously defended by federal government, cannot be defended if NH withdraws from the union. Therefore, NH can not leave the union without violating the constitutional rights of its citizens.

    I just came up with this, so it may have holes, but it is an argument that could be made. Remember, your rights cannot (or at least should not) be revokable by majority vote. It takes a presidential memo to do that.

  • Devious David

    Mike R, government grants you nothing. Your rights are inalienable. You have them regardless of government. It’s only a question of if government recognizes them or not. Looking at the Bill of Rights, even when some of those rights are enumerated in the governnments founding document and in the form of contract, the government does not recognize those rights.

  • http://www.renbook.com Gene Berkman

    As a native of Southern California, the idea of living in New Hampshire leaves me cold.

    I have no problem with the principle of secession, but talking about it makes one appear kooky. New Hampshire seceding from the union is even less likely than the LP electing people to office.

    There is also the problem of currency. When America and most countries were on a gold standard, a new country could use the gold and silver coins of other countries. The United States did for many years. But with fiat currency, secession is a problem for the region splitting off, which would include lots of people with bank accounts, debts & receivables in US dollars.

    Even if the US did not take military action against a secessionist region, they would probably freeze assets in US bank accounts.

  • Jody

    Let’s get a Canadian perspective on this. One of our major federal parties (Bloc Quebecois), has the seperation of Quebec from Canada as one of their main objectives. They have over 30 MP’s in the house of commons, imagine having 30 Congreesmen from one state who all want to secede. There are also parties that are registered federally and provincially that want Alberta to secede, BC to secede and Saskatchewan to secede. The only reason there are not a dozen or more countries in North America already is that we have a short history. If we had been living in North America as long as people have been living in Europe then there would be a dozen or more countries here. Once we gain a history bullets will fly. If you think no state in your union will never succeed in seceding then you are an idiot. 360 million people live in the US, less than that live in Europe and make up more than a dozen different nations. Then of course we have geography, it shows just how different we are.

  • Jody

    Georgia is totally different than Washington State. New Hampshire is totally different than New Mexico. The food, the accents, the attitude, the temperature, the tolerance for deviation from the norm. Look at the UK, I lived there for 5 years, if I left Manchester and drove less than 50 miles to Liverpool I find a totally different accent, different “traditional” food dishes etc. Scotland wants to secede, Wales would love to secede, all that on an island smaller than Texas and with 60 million people. In Canada the same differences occur between people on the West Coast vs the East Coast, Alberta vs Ontario, North vs South. As our land grows older and more densly populated people are going to want to start something of their own. I really do hope that Alberta leaves Canada, soon. I hope Quebec leaves as well. A country the size of Canada, the size of the US, the size of Russia, is not viable, to much money is spent just on keeping the infrastructure in tact.

  • Jody

    I don’t refer just to transportation infrasturcture but government infrasturcture as well. Add the challenges of geography and someone who makes a decision in Ottawa has no fucking clue what someone in the Yukon needs or wants. Even with technology, the ability of geography to kill smart decision making lives on. As an Albertan I don’t want gun control, I don’t want government funding of the arts, this ain’t just a personal preference, it is a societal preferance in Alberta. In Toronto they want gun control, they want government funding of the art, it is their societal preference. Saskatchewan wants big government, they want big time social programs and as a result people from Saskatchewan have been immigrating to Alberta for decades. Alberta has had a conservative government for 20+ years, Saskatchewan has had an NDP(socialist) government for 20+ years. I tell people from Saskatchewan to fuck off on a regular basis, give it 50 more years and I will be shooting them instead.

  • R. E. Lee

    Jody’s comment is that people thousands of miles away don’t know what other people want. Well, Alaskans sure do. They know New Jerseyans would just love to be taxed to build a
    gamillion dollar bridge to nowhere!

  • Jody

    If taxes are to be collected then the tax dollars need to stay and be spent in the area they were collected from. This so called social contract bullshit really gets on my tits.

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    paulie: The virulent racism and terror of black-led massacres in the South would have ensured the continuation of slavery as a means of controlling the potentially deadly black population.

    At least, that’s my view on it.

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    And what a bizarre view it is, Kris – but I would expect no less from you.

    Here in Richmond, former capital of the south, there were a large number of free blacks before and during the northern war of agression. In fact, some actually owned slaves themselves.

    Slavery was not the cause of the civil war, a fact Lincoln wrote about. Lincoln seemed to be more rascist than many southerners and used the slavery issue as a tool. Slavery was on the way out before the war and while many, if not most, whites believed blacks to be inferior, there was little violence between the races in this area – just separatism.

    Richmond is rich with black history. The Jackson Ward district was a black business mecca, ironically until Jim Crow laws were abolished and the black economy decentralized. The Ebenezer Baptist Church located in this area was originally purchased by black and white church trustees during the civil war.

    By the way, I just refuted your lies about the platform:
    http://hammeroftruth.com/2006/07/02/libertarian-party-convention-recap-sunday/

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    Tom B: In Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, during the war all free blacks in those states were forcibly re-enslaved by law. Many Confederate states before the war had passed laws forbidding emancipated blacks to remain in the state- in those states you could only be freed by your master’s last will and testament, and if he did, you had to go or else re-enslave yourself to someone else.

    Slavery was not on the way out. The Dred Scott decision said blacks, slave or free, could never be citizens, and thus were not protected by the Constitution. It also said that if a slaveowner took a slave into a free state, no matter how long he remained in that state, the slave remained a slave. Another case which would have come before the Supreme Court in 1861 had not war broken out, Lamont v. New York, would likely have overturned the right of a state to prohibit slavery. The result- NATIONWIDE slavery. (more)

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    I did not say that slavery caused the war. I said (in another thread on this blog) that slavery caused -secession-, and -secession- led to the war, and the war destroyed slavery. The Union war object was to stop secession- not to end slavery- but due to many factors slavery had essentially collapsed months before Amendment XIII was declared ratified.

    As for antebellum interracial violence, leaving aside whips, manacles, starvation, sundering of families, and other things inherent with slavery, I believe I will do some research. Even a black freedman risked beating or even hanging if he failed to bend or doff hat to even the lowliest white man- this much I know.

    Finally, as for Lincoln- he was about as racist as most whites of the period. However, by the end of the war he called not merely for emancipation but political equality- the vote- something he had opposed prior to the war, and which was opposed by most whites even after his death.

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    I would dispute the claim that secession was about slavery.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Secession wasn’t completely about slavery, but it was one of the dividing issues.

  • http://voteoverstreet.org Kris Overstreet

    Tom: Most of the seceding states’ legislatures or secession conventions issued resolutions explaining their reasons for seceding. They can be looked up online.

    I once went through these resolutions and counted up the causes listed. Slavery was referred to over seventy times. State’s rights were referred to six times, usually in reference to slavery. The import tariff was mentioned ONCE. No other causes were given.

    Of course, it’s been several years since I did the count- look it up for yourself.

    The secession of the first seven states was definitely about slavery. The states that seceded after Ft. Sumter did so in response to the call for troops to put down insurrection, but even they made it plain that slavery was a vital, and even THE vital issue, for which southern independence was sought.

  • Julian

    Remember the Confederacy.

    That is what will be said about New Hampshire if there are any survivors if secession is attempted. The new saying will be “remember the Nation of New Hampshire”.

    Even the land where NH once was will not be habitable for thousands of years if secession is attempted.

  • http://www.phillies2008.org George Phillies

    If you don’t believe secession was about slavery, you should try reading the secession ordnances. What was slavery about? It was about claiming that people can be owned. More important, it was about the privilege of slaveholders of fornicating their 12 year old girls whenever they wanted.

    Slaveholders were vile filth. Their defenders were vile filth, and still are vile filth, even farther from the Libertarian movement than are the Revolutionary Socialists, the Maoists, and the advocates of involuntary pedophilia.

    ‘Lincoln Freed No Slaves’ is a lie from the defenders of the slaveholders. He freed vast numbers of them, starting with all those fugitive slaves in the North at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    As some of you will recall, I have already said that DC needs one more war memorial: To all the slaves who rose in just, virtuous, violent revolution against their slaveholder masters and gave the slaveholders the fate they deserved: early death.

  • Julian

    George Phillies

    What do you mean by “involuntary pedophilia”? Is there justification for pedophilia as long as it is voluntary? Who is the volunteer? Is it the adult, the child or both? Is a child capable of making that decision? I am calling your hand on this one because it was no accident you inserted “involuntary” in the sentence.

    I have attended local libertarian discussion groups in Colorado and one of the most disturbing discussions is forwarded by those that I am convinced are pedophiles. They advance that it is OK as long as the child accepts the sex act as being OK and agrees to participate. I cannot agree and end up in a huge fight with those perverts.

    Even libertarians must have some standards on issues such as pedophilia. “Anything goes” is not acceptable in society.

    Please clarify your position, if you dare to be honest.

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    George says: If you don’t believe secession was about slavery, you should try reading the secession ordnances.

    Here they are for 13 states:

    http://americancivilwar.com/documents/ordinance_secession.html

    I would encourage everyone to read these and decide for themselves the role slavery played in secession.

    It is also instructive to read the Emancipation Proclamation to see which slaves were freed and which were not:

    http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/emanc.shtml

    Lincoln’s first inaugural address also is interesting in regards to the slavery issue:

    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trt039.html

    An interesting article about Lincoln:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo44.html

    I think going beyond the typical “Lincoln was born in a log cabin and freed the slaves” history that is typically taught, it is obvious that the civil war was about far more than slavery and that Lincoln’s motivations for his actions were not all together pure.

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    One does not have to be a defender of slavery to be critical of Lincoln’s war. Slavery was a horrible institution and southerners should not be tarred with being in favor of slavery becasue of a dislike of Lincoln. The vast majority of white southerners did not own slaves and many were not much better off than slaves.

    Even Lysander Spooner wrote about the hypocrisy of Lincoln over slavery.

    It is strange that during court ordered busing in the 70’s, there were no riots here in Richmond, yet in the enlightened city of liberal Boston, white racsists rioted.

    To ignore the fact that tariffs and the disagreements between federalists and anti-federalists had nothing to do with the civil war is to misread history. For those libertariasn that place Lincoln on a pedestal, I would suggest going back and reviewing his impact on the role of the federal government.

    For purposes of the current debate on secession, slavery is a moot issue.

  • Jody

    Jesus fucking H Christ. If this is what the Libertarian party is like in the US no wonder it never has any success. You all sound like a bunch of east coast wannabe intellectuals, get off you fucking asses and do something. Ian from FTL, I don’t know why you bother with some of these idiots, your topic was great but then these morons turn it into a discussion about slaves and recently, pervs. They are to busy arguing about something totally off topic, trying to make themselves look like the superior intellectual. Posting snot head messages on a website is one thing, getting off your pussy ass and moving to the Free State is something else entirely. If the bullets start to fly most of these fucktards are going to be arguing about the history of their guns instead of actually shooting back. I did not find liberty because of the Libertarian party or some snot fuck eurudite conversation, I found it because I found FTL and FTL skips all the bullshit and snot headeness, unlike you tossers.

  • Jody

    Also, respond to the question Ian posted, stay on topic or you will never find freedom and liberty.