The good of society is the argument espoused, often quite loudly and forcibly, by statists and despots, dictators and tyrants throughout the history of mankind. Whichever definition suits you; socialism, statism, communism, fascism, or collectivism, do not for a moment believe societies founded upon or operating under such “isms” are nothing less than a fundamental form of slavery. Each of these doctrinal systems involves slavery. In its simplest and most easily understood form, slavery is present whenever one person labors under coercion to satisfy another’s desire.
Slavery in all forms is abhorrent. Slavery perpetrated through any doctrinal system premised upon the greater good, the good of society, or collective society requires someone or some entity to possess unconstrained power over all society. These doctrinal systems contend individuals possess no inherent or unalienable rights. Instead, whatever rights an individual possesses comes from the benevolent hand of the ruling class. What all these doctrinal systems have in common is the concept of groups or classes of people which the ruling class assigns certain rights, liberties and privileges.
Chattel slavery is what most people think of when the word slavery is used. Chattel slavery means people are treated as property by their owner. The legal definition is a civil relationship in which one person has absolute power and control over the life, fortune, and liberty of another. As a result of the War Between the States slavery ended with the ratification of the 13th amendment. Historical revisionists attribute slavery as the purpose of the War. Likewise, President Lincoln is venerated as a saint-like figure because historical revisionists assert it was a War to free the slaves. This is a historical lie.
What Lincoln and the radical Republicans wanted was a mercantilist system of government just as his mentor Henry Clay wanted and notorious nationalist Alexander Hamilton wanted. What Lincoln and his cronies fought for was not to abolish the institution of slavery as it was known, but to supplant it with a nationwide system of slavery under the guise of preserving the Union. Lysander Spooner, a political theorist and well known abolitionist wrote these words in “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority”:
The pretense that the “abolition of slavery” was either a motive or justification for the war is a fraud of the same character with that of “maintaining the national honor.” Who but such usurpers, robbers, and murderers as they, ever established slavery? Or what government, except one resting upon the sword, like the one we have now, was ever capable of maintaining slavery? And why did these men abolish slavery? Not from any love of liberty in general—not as an act of justice to the black man himself, but as a “war measure,” and because they wanted his assistance, and that of his friends, in carrying on the war they had undertaken for maintaining and intensifying that political, commercial, and industrial slavery, to which they have subjected the great body of the people, both black and white. And yet these imposters now cry out that they have abolished the chattel slavery the black man—although that was not the motive of the war—as if they thought they could thereby conceal, atone for, or justify that other slavery which they were fighting to perpetuate, and to render more rigorous and inexorable than it was ever before. There was no difference of principle—but only of degree—between the slavery they boast they have abolished, and the slavery they were fighting to preserve; for all restraints upon men’s natural liberty, not necessary for the simple maintenance of justice, are the nature of slavery, and differ from each other only in degree.
If their object had really been to abolish slavery, or maintain liberty or justice generally, they had only to say: All, whether white or black, who want the protection of this government, shall have it; and all who do not want it, will be left in peace, so long as they leave us in peace. Had they said this, slavery would necessarily have been abolished at once; the war would have been saved; and a thousand times nobler union than we have ever had would have been the result. It would have been a voluntary union of free men; such a union as will one day exist among all men, the world over, if the several nations, so called, shall ever get rid of the usurpers, robbers, and murderers, called government, that now plunder, enslave, and destroy them.
The Union Lincoln proclaimed he was preserving was not the Union of our forefathers. Lincoln’s Union consisted of government subsidies for railroads and other internal improvements, protectionist tariffs for Northern industries, corporate welfare, central banking, centralized power, and free land under the Homestead Act as a form of political patronage. The Union of our forefathers consisted of federalism, decentralized power, consent of the governed, and a government limited to the enumerated powers stipulated in the Constitution.
Of utmost importance to Lincoln’s position was he had the constitutional authority to preserve the Union. Leaving aside the fact that power is not delegated under the Constitution, Lincoln’s position is the antithesis of the founding principles all our political societies are formed upon; the right of self-determination which means consent of the governed. The Union was formed by the voluntary and non-coerced acts of the people of the thirteen free and independent States. Each state was free to accede to the Constitution without any outside influence or obligation placed upon them by the people of any other state of the majority of the people across all the states.
In other words, the federative Union established by the Constitution was founded upon the right of self-determination. As Jefferson and the founding generation understood, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. The people of the southern states acted freely and voluntarily in withdrawing their consent by seceding from the Union. The people of the southern states did precisely what the thirteen colonies did in 1776 when the colonies dissolved the political bands which connected them to Great Britain and absolved themselves of all allegiance to the British Crown.
Lincoln’s Union birthed an imperialistic nation by waging a war that denied the right of self-determination to further his nationalist, mercantilist ideology. The right to secede, just as the right to accede, is the ultimate expression of self-determination. More importantly, is it an absolute right reserved to the people of each State. Lincoln, nearly unilaterally, initiated an unconstitutional war that undermined the entire moral, philosophical, and absolute basis on which the States, and subsequently, the Union was formed.
Like a stake through the heart of a vampire, Lincoln’s war was the stake through the American system of federalism. Progressively over the following decades and certainly throughout the 20th century Lincoln’s Union has grown; swallowing up individual rights and liberty and consuming the Constitution with an insatiable appetite for power.
The slavery Lysander Spooner wrote about is what we live under today. All people, not just blacks, but all people black or white, young or old, male or female are enslaved under an all-powerful, centralized government operating for the benefit of the ruling class and those from which they court favors. The very idea of the people exercising their right of self-determination is scoffed at by the nationalists. Lincoln’s reference to “of the people, by the people, and for the people” is merely rhetoric from the master politician. What Lincoln meant was “of the special interests, by the special interests, and for the special interests”.
Slavery is indeed present whenever one person labors under coercion to satisfy another’s desire. Our labor is confiscated by the very government Lincoln sought to establish. Our property is owned and regulated by the government. Our money, which is what we produce as a result of our labor, is not only confiscated through taxation but debased through inflationary monetary policy resulting from profligate spending policy which is a result of unconstitutional government based upon the nationalistic ideals promulgated by Lincoln.
The very idea that millions upon millions of people defend a government that enslaves its people to support their extravagance, ambition, and greed is appalling. The very idea that multiple generations of people, some yet to be born into this world, are enslaved by trillions of dollars of debt and hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities for government created Ponzi schemes like social security, Medicare, and ObamaCare is beyond description. The very idea that people labor to produce and have their property confiscated to give to others that have absolutely no rightful claim to it is immoral.
The arguments, it is for the good of society or there is a national security interest, is the mantra of those intent to keep us enslaved on government’s plantation. While the people are not chattel in the sense that we’ve come to understand slavery, we are under the absolute dominion and power of the ruling class over our lives, fortunes, and liberty. Some may still credit Lincoln with freeing the slaves, but we should all acknowledge the monolithic national government Lincoln established to ensure the spread of slavery over all people through the size, scope, and power of government.
Next week when you celebrate the 4th of July, perhaps you should consider what, precisely, you are celebrating? Are you celebrating the founding principles and the right of self-determination as the colonies seceded from Britain? Or, are you celebrating Lincoln and your enslavement on the government plantation?