Why "Libertarian" Defenses Of The Confederacy And "States' Rights" Are Incoherent by Jonathan Blanks: I am wary of libertarian influence in conservative circles. Talk of the rightness of the Confederate cause by conservatives makes me ill. So I was glad to stumble upon this article on a libertarian website. Blanks makes the case that the cause of the Confederacy, as well as the post-Civil War South, is at odds with the libertarian defense of individual liberty:
"The anti-libertarian results of the Civil War are evident. The federal government centralized a great deal of power in the post-war years and that sort of power is well-understood to be very dangerous to individual liberty. Yet, it is not as if the abuse of individual rights by the states ended at Appomattox. For the century following the end of Reconstruction, the southern states (and, to a lesser extent, some northern states) implemented laws and customs which systematically stripped the rights of blacks. From voting rights to freedom of contract and free association, the southern states oppressed their black citizens. This retarded the post-war southern economies—stultifying a portion of the population relegated to substandard educational accommodations and economic opportunities—despite protestations from some apologists that the market would work it all out eventually. Similarly, the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates and Slate’s Matt Yglesias show that the economics of and rhetoric supporting the antebellum slave system were thriving, despite claims that the ‘peculiar institution’ was dying for reasons wholly separate from the war. Indeed, most libertarians know that the laws and powers of a state can sustain bad economic policy—seemingly in perpetuity. The states’ abuses of their own people, from the Founding to the 1960s, time and time again replayed the folly of giving the states the power to oppress its own citizens. Laws, custom, and ‘good-enough’ economic growth trumped individual rights and opening the markets to all Americans. There was no guarantee that slavery would end on its own without direct intervention. "
On the question of the legality of the Southern secession, Blank's writes:
"But to support the Declaration of Independence is to support secession. Thus, from the outset, it is nearly impossible to defend the American idea—that the people may separate themselves from an oppressive government in order to govern themselves—without accepting secession as a legitimate political action under certain circumstances, at least. This, however, does not necessarily mean that all secession is justified. In the Declaration, Jefferson writes, “Prudence…will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes,” necessarily implying that some separations are indeed imprudent and any such separation should be judged on its individual merits. A predictable and stable adherence to the Rule of Law is the indispensable tenet of any form of just government, and so the dissolution of that government must be preceded by systemic injustice or other reason that appeals to higher or natural law. Without this ordered liberty and deference to individual rights, laws cease to mean anything other than the imposition of will by man upon man."
As I did in this blog post, Blanks demonstrates that the defense of slavery was the underlying motivation for the South. From The Cato Institute's Libertarianism.org website.
God, The Founders, And George Will by Conrad Black: This National Review article points out something about many conservatives which Christians fail to understand. Many conservatives extol the virtues of religion, and Christianity in particular, because they perceive the benefits religion, particularly Christianity, bestows on civil society. Yet these very conservatives don't believe in God at all.
There are conservatives who don't believe in God, and there are conservatives who use African American conservatives for their own purposes. And when African American conservatives are seen to be no longer useful, white conservatives throw them under the bus. This is what Kay Cole James says in an interview with Marvin Olasky. The interview, The Calvary Is Not Coming, appeared in World Magazine. James believes that white conservatives gave up on African Americans after the 2012 election. I'm sure she's right. (Unfortunately, the link I provided does not contain the entire interview; I cannot seem to find another link to the whole interview. The link provided access to the entire interview when I posted this.)
Roy Ingle didn't have an article on my Best of the Web, 2012. Why? Because he didn't post this great satirical post until after the Best of the Web, 2012 was already published. Divine Determinism And Facebook pokes fun at Calvinism. From Roy Ingle's Arminian Today blog.
Part 5 will feature only one article. This article deserves a post of its own.