The Ignorant James Taranto, Lincoln, and Libertarianism
Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo at December 26, 2007
Neocon James Taranto thinks Ron Paul is a “phony libertarian” for suggesting that it would have been better for the U.S to have ended slavery the way the rest of the world did in the nineteenth century –peacefully — rather than using the slaves as political pawns in a war that was all about consolidating political power in Washington, D.C. (“saving the union,” as Lincoln deceptively described it).
Taranto is obviously dumbfounded by this, because he is ignorant of this aspect of 19th century American and world history. Not that that stops him from mouthing off in the WSJ and making an ass of himself.
Neocons like Taranto are never interested in history for the sake of understanding the past and its lessons for our time. Like the politically correct leftists in the history profession, they are only interested in distorting history as a tool to advance their political agenda. In this case, it is mercantilism, aggressive war, imperialism, and a fascistic attack on individual liberties (a.k.a., the Bush/GOP regime). For those who are alternatively interested in the truth about history, I recommend the book by Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman entitled Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, especially pages 33-34. There you will learn that 19th century slavery was ended peacefully by the British and Spanish empires, the French, Dutch, Danes, and others, in the following countries and regions: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, all of Central America, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, French and Danish colonies, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. There were no other “civil wars” to end slavery, as Ron Paul tried to explain to the dense and clueless Tim Russert.
As Ron Paul said to Russert, all of this proves that war was not necessary to end slavery. The rest of the world had already shown the way to peaceful emancipation. But war, and the killing of 620,000 Americans (around 6 million standardizing for today’s population) WAS necessary in order to destroy the principle of citizen control of the central government through the vehicle of states’ rights or federalism, and establish a consolidated, monopolistic goverment in Washington. All of Lincoln’s fancy rhetoric, and his hypocritical invocation of Scripture in his speeches (by a non-believer) was his way of covering up one of the greatest war crimes in all of human history — the mass murder of 300,000 fellow citizens, plus some 50,000 defenseless women and children who were victims of the U.S. Army’s bombing and destruction of Southern cities and towns (according to Lincoln cultist James McPherson).