STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Simon Black Speaks of Freedoms Lost Post-Civil War
By Daily Bell Staff - October 27, 2015

Yes, the Civil War was about Slavery. Get over it. Stone Mountain can keep its memorial, but it needs a reboot … Yesterday I wrote a piece about how it's time for the Georgia legislature to stop honoring slavery, and it seems people have taken it way out of context. The first line of that post was "Is it time to put away the war between the states? Yes, it is. It's way past time." But some people can't put the Civil War away. I'm not sure if it just haunts their dreams, or if they've got a great-great-grandfather who fought at Antietam, but these people—typically Southerners—can't rest until they prove that the South was the victim. The Civil War was primarily, and at its root, about slavery. This should be obvious to anyone looking objectively at history. – Redstate

Dominant Social Theme: Lincoln was a hero and saved the union so that the Patriot Act could provide further luster to our freedoms.

Free-Market Analysis: We don't mean to pick on the author of this article because we chose it simply as a representative text. In the past months, Northern revisionism regarding the Civil War has been powerfully promoted by the mainstream media.

The idea is to make clear that the US federal government is a protector of "human rights" – and has been historically, starting with the Civil War. Additionally, the South is to be demonized.

The North's role is far from reality as Sovereign Man's Simon Black reminds us in an article posted yesterday and entitled "Celebrating 14 years since we kissed our freedoms goodbye."

On the anniversary of the USA Patriot Act, Black points out that we should take some time to remember how freedom was actually lost in the US. He writes:

The USA PATRIOT Act is one of the most sweeping, liberty-destroying pieces of legislation in American history. Remember the rule of thumb: the more high-sounding the name of a law, the more disastrous its effects.

Simon Black does a favor with his article. Reading it, we are reminded that the root causes of today's troubles go back a lot longer than the Patriot Act, all the way back to the Civil War.

That war is still being fought in many ways today. For instance, the article excerpt above clearly states the case for slavery as the single, overpowering reason for the war.

By emphasizing the cause of the Civil War was slavery, other parts of Southern tradition can be vilified. In many ways, the South, far more than the North, embodied Founding Father Thomas Jefferson's vision of a freedom-oriented agrarian republic. In fact, Jefferson and others like him believed that US freedoms were based in large part on agrarian self-sufficiency.

This vision of the US powerfully persists today. And it is one that modern, freedom-invasive facilities such as Homeland Security are increasingly attacking.

Homeland Security has made it clear that US citizens who believe in various forms of personal and local empowerment may be in some sense "terrorists." This is a grave development and one seemingly supported by the ongoing media campaign against Southern culture.

It was the destruction of the South that led, in part, to the modern United States with its top-heavy federal government and lack of the very representation that the US was supposedly founded to provide. Once Southern states were defeated, there was nothing to stop the mercantilist North from creating a version of democracy that included many of the worst of Europe's class-conscious and authoritarian system.

This was just what Jefferson feared: The end of the Civil War marked the beginning of this sort of system in the US. One writer who has done a good deal to counteract the simplification of the war and the demonization of the South is Thomas DiLorenzo. In an article posted just a few days ago and entitled "Ron Paul vs. The Lincoln Cult," DiLorenzo uses powerful scholarship to re-establish more sensible parameters.

In a television interview Ron Paul expressed disagreement with the new, politically-correct legend that slavery was the one and only cause of the Civil War. The long-simmering conflict over states' rights versus consolidation and nationalism was the main problem, he said.

So the History News Network highlighted an article by one Dale Schlundt, an adjunct professor at Northwest Vista College, on "Why People Like Ron Paul Falsely Believe Slavery Wasn't the Cause of the Civil War."

Schlundt is very upset that someone with such a large audience and who allegedly "did not study the Civil War in depth" would say such a thing. He says that he starts each semester of his history class with a video of Ron Paul's television interview on the subject, and then spends considerable class time belly-aching about it.

DiLorenzo spends a large part of the rest of the article showing fairly conclusively that the war had a great deal more to do with Northern consolidation of power than Southern insistence on slavery.

At various times, Lincoln had suggested that people of African heritage in the US ought to return to Africa. And when he emancipated slaves, the legislation applied only to the South.

Some might find it strange that the Civil War is being fought over and over again in the US. But as the country seemingly turns increasingly totalitarian, its history must be either expunged or recreated.

Of course, "totalitarian" may sound like an exaggeration. But reading Simon Black's article, it seems like an apt description.

Here's more:

And the USA PATRIOT Act … stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Interdict and Obstruct Terrorism. And this name is truly disingenuous when you think about it.

Seriously, how was America to become more 'united' by allowing warrantless searches, vastly expanding the powers of secret courts, and completely doing away with entire sections of the Constitution?? That's just absurd. The name itself is a cruel joke on liberty …

It was rushed through Congress before anyone had a chance to read or understand it, at a time when everyone was scared and willing to give the government any power it wanted. The end result was a de facto Police State in the Land of the Free. Faceless government agencies now spy on every form of communication, local police turned into federally funded paramilitary forces, and the Fourth Amendment became an endangered species.

Simon Black focuses on the modern day, when discussing how liberty is draining away in the US. But the trends that he cites began long ago – as we have been discussing – with the Civil War and the affirmation of a union that could not be sundered.

Once it was clear that states and their citizens could not walk away from the federal government no matter how they disapproved of it, those holding federal power were free to abuse it. And abuse it they have.

There is almost nothing left of the constitutional republic that the Founders bequeathed to the citizens of their young country. (In fact, there is an argument to be made that the Constitution itself was a mistake, but that is an article for another day.)

Simon Black's article is written for a readership that is likely quite aware of how many freedoms are slipping away. And those who appreciate this long term-trend are increasingly apt to try to find ways to negate it.

In fact, many may consider securing a second residence abroad and take other steps to secure their wealth and the safety of their families. This is called lifestyle insurance.

More than one home, several passports, physical access to precious metals, the ability to learn or speak another language or several other languages – these are among the components of lifestyle insurance.

Here at The Daily Bell, we strive to provide information about resources and services that preserve freedom at a time when there are powerful forces that seek to erode it.

On a regular basis we discover and pass on to you wealth-generating ideas that can enhance your prosperity and ability to provide for your family at home and abroad. Wealth does not define freedom, but it can certainly support it.

After Thoughts

These are perilous times, as Simon Black so eloquently points out. You need information that you can trust – as much of it as you can get. For that reason alone, we would strongly urge you to consider a subscription to our Newswire. It's free and deals with all the issues discussed in this article and more.

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