My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Addendum to the History Lesson 

I have attempted to sketch the course of the Battle of Gettysburg over the last three nights, because I believe it is an incredibly important historical event from 145 years ago.

There are those, however, who saw the entire Civil War as the greatest encroachment on American liberties in history, and the beginning of the end of the Constitutional Republic. I differ, however. But rather than trying to make the case on my own, I will turn that task over to the much more qualified and scholarly Ben.

It is frequently asserted that “slavery was not the main issue” in the Civil War. Nothing could be further from the truth. The primary instigators of the war were agitators within a slave-owning class from the Cotton South who were possessed with preserving their “Peculiar Institution” of slavery. Secession wasn’t pursued in defense of some abstract principle, but primarily was adopted as a matter of convenience in service of political power and the institution of slavery. . . .

It is important to note that, whether you accept the Henry Clay/Daniel Webster view of the union or the even more reliable James Madison view (who after all wrote most of the Federalist), secession was and is not Constitutionally permissible. The South’s actions also failed the test of a just revolution.

It's a good post, if lengthy--do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

I would add just one thought: the Libertarian impulse to resist all government action not explicitly ordered by the Constitution fails on several counts, and the Civil War is just one great example of why. The inability to either recognize Evil (slavery) or to muster the will to act against it is, in itself, an Evil. There is a reason Dante created a special level of Hell for those who refuse to recognize Evil.

And the inability/refusal to act against Evil is, I think, one reason the Libertarian movement has completely failed to catch fire, politically speaking. There is logic and reason in the Lisbertarian philosophy--it just fails on some fairly important central points.

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