Modern Historians Confront the American Revolution

3 01 2007

The historian must be more than a chronicler, a mere lister of events. For his real task is discovering and setting forth the causal connections between events in human history, the complex chain of human purposes, choices, and consequences over time that have shaped the fate of mankind. Investigating the causes of such a portentous event as the American Revolution is more, then, than a mere listing of preceding occurrences; for the historian must weigh the causal significance of these factors, and select those of overriding importance.

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The Anarcho-Statists of Spain

31 12 2006

The Spanish fascists used barbaric methods throughout the Spanish Civil War in order to establish a brutal dictatorship.[1] The Spanish Communists used similar wartime measures in their failed effort to give birth to an even more totalitarian regime.[2] But many discussions of the Spanish Civil War overlook, minimize, or apologize for the atrocious behavior and tyrannical aspirations of perhaps the most powerful faction of the Spanish Republicans: the Anarchist movement.

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Natural and Artificial Aristocracy

30 12 2006

The passage you quote from Theognis, I think has an Ethical, rather than a political object. The whole piece is a moral “exhortation”, {parainesis}, and this passage particularly seems to be a reproof to man, who, while with his domestic animals he is curious to improve the race by employing always the finest male, pays no attention to the improvement of his own race, but intermarries with the vicious, the ugly, or the old, for considerations of wealth or ambition. It is in conformity with the principle adopted afterwards by the Pythagoreans, and expressed by Ocellus in another form. {Peri de tes ek ton allelon anthropon geneseos} etc. — {oych edones eneka e} {mixis}. Which, as literally as intelligibility will admit, may be thus translated:

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Federalism

12 12 2006

Is France justified in invading New York City to force the latter to get rid its rent control legislation? Would it be compatible with libertarianism for California to forcibly prevent the US government from imposing a draft on California citizens? The federal government physically attacks Mississippi in 1950 for its Jim Crow legislation; Mississippi resists. Which side does the libertarian root for?

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A Libertarian Theory of Secession and Slavery

8 12 2006

Professor Tibor Machan, in his “Lincoln, Secession and Slavery” (6/1/02) has taken the position that while secession in and of itself is unobjectionable to the libertarian, it cannot properly be applied to political jurisdictions which practice slavery. For, if secession rights were allowed to slave owning countries, it would in effect be to justify kidnappers absconding with their victims. He applies this perspective to the United States, circa 1861, and concludes that Abraham Lincoln, for whatever his faults, and Machan concedes they were many and serious, is still “a good American.” Why? This is because he was justified in stopping the Confederate (slave) States from seceding, even though, Machan again stipulates, stopping slavery was no part of Lincoln’s motivation.

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