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  • in reply to: What’s the real reason for the Civil War? #15603

    Here is a quote from Dr. Gutzman I got either from here or Facebook:

    “….Dew’s APOSTLES OF DISUNION proves that Deep South secession was over slavery-related fears. Middle South secession, on the other hand, was due to Lincoln’s early unconstitutional acts.

    ….As Dew shows in his magisterial APOSTLES OF DISUNION, Deep-South secession commissioners’ appeal to the other southern states came down chiefly to ‘Secede with us, because Lincoln is a threat to slavery.’ Notice that no other state joined the Deep South in seceding in response to this call. Still, it was the Deep South’s call. It is incorrect to say that slavery wasn’t the underlying reason for secession of the Deep South states. Without Virginia, however, the CSA could not have put up a four-year fight in defense of southern independence.”

    in reply to: Slavery in the south #15596

    Forgot the link to the Hornberger article:

    in reply to: Slavery in the south #15595

    What about the following ideas from Jacob Hornberger and Tom Woods? Of all the articles I have read about the Civil War, these are my two favorites.

    Hornberger: “Moreover, there was another way to bring an end to slavery without all the massive death and destruction that Lincoln’s war entailed. The North could have acceded to the secession and then declared itself to be a sanctuary for runaway slaves.

    What about the Fugitive Slave Act, which required Northern states to return slaves to their owners? It would have been gone. Remember: with secession, there would now be two separate and independent countries — the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. There would be nothing the Confederacy could do to force the North to return runaway slaves.

    That would have undoubtedly broken the back of the slave system in the South. After all, slavery was a dying institution anyway, not only in a moral sense but also in an efficiency sense. Operations based on slavery could not compete against enterprises based on consensual, paid employees. It was just a matter of time before the entire system collapsed. A sanctuary system in the North would have accelerated its demise.”

    Woods: “It is not plausible to suggest that slavery could have lasted much longer, even in an independent South. With slavery being abolished everywhere, the Confederacy would have been an international pariah, and it is unreasonable to suppose that it could have long withstood the inevitable and overwhelming international moral pressure to which their isolated position would have exposed them. And according to Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, whose study of the war has been hailed by mainstream historians, ‘The fact that emancipation overwhelmed such entrenched plantation economies as Cuba and Brazil suggests that slavery was politically moribund anyway.’

    Slavery was doomed politically even if Lincoln had permitted the small Gulf Coast Confederacy to depart in peace. The Republican-controlled Congress would have been able to work toward emancipation within the border states, where slavery was already declining. In due course the Radicals could have repealed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. With chattels fleeing across the border and raising slavery’s enforcement costs, the peculiar institution’s destruction within an independent cotton South was inevitable.

    This latter point recalls the earlier suggestion of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison: a division of the Union would have hastened the end of slavery. It so happens that, as Hummel observes, this is precisely how slavery was destroyed in Brazil. The institution essentially collapsed there after being abolished in the Brazilian state of Ceará in 1884. A hastily passed fugitive slave law was largely ignored, the value of slaves fell dramatically, and within four years the Brazilian government had acknowledged the reality of the situation by enacting immediate and uncompensated emancipation.”

    The Real Significance of the ‘Civil War’


    Oops. I misspoke on that. Thanks for your reply. That’s all I needed.

    in reply to: Did gun control work in Australia? #19531

    The stats put out by Slate completely contradict this news video of Australia after its gun ban:

    Slate: “Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly.”

    News Video: “Since the gun ban, armed robberies have skyrocketed, up 69%. Assaults involving guns rose 28%”

    Slate: “homicides by firearm plunged 59 percent between 1995 and 2006”

    News Video: “Gun murders increased 19%.”

    Slate: “Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase”

    News Video: “And in a new phenomenon, home invasions jumped 21%, an increase politicians say they can’t explain because they are still trying to define what a home invasion is, and what the penalty should be.”

    Slate: “The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent.”

    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suicide by gun was simply replaced by hanging:

    “In 2003 the most common method of suicide was hanging, which was used in almost half (45%) of all suicide deaths. The next most used methods were poisoning by ‘other’ (including motor vehicle exhaust) (19%), Other (15%), poisoning by drugs (13%), and methods using firearms (9%). This distribution was consistent with that of the previous few years. However, over the decade strong trends were apparent such as the increase in the use of hanging, and a decrease in methods using firearms.”

    Here are the total suicide numbers (all methods) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website:

    1993: 2081
    1994: 2558
    1995: 2368
    1996: 2393
    1997: 2720
    1998: 2683
    1999: 2492
    2000: 2363
    2001: 2457
    2002: 2320
    2003: 2213
    2004: 2098
    2005: 2101
    2006: 2118
    2007: 2229
    2008: 2341
    2009: 2286
    2010: 2361

    1993-2003 #’s here:$File/3309055001_1993%20to%202003.pdf

    2001 to 2010 #’s here:

    in reply to: Anarcho Communism #19050

    I asked my friend Autolykos to help me in a debate I was having with another friend of mine who had gone from anarcho-capitalist to anarcho-communist. This was Auto’s final comment, which basically got the response of “I don’t want to debate anymore” (i.e. you just owned me and I want to save face). Here it is. Out of respect he calls the anarcho-communists “traditional anarchists.”:

    As an anarcho-capitalist, I see ownership as entailing three kinds of right: the right to use (jus utendi), the right to the fruit(s) of use (jus fruendi), and the right to abandon (jus abutendi). This is very similar to, if not the same as, the Roman-law treatment of ownership.

    In my experience with traditional anarchists so far, I have seen that much of it is the same as anarcho-capitalism, with one major difference. As far as what is similar, it seems clear to me that they believe a person possesses the right to use something once he comes into contact with it. Maybe a better way to put it is that they think it’s right for a person to continue using what he’s already started to use. As I see it, that’s the jus utendi component of what I call “ownership”.

    Likewise, it seems clear to me that they think it’s right for a person to start using what he’s created from other things that he’s already been using. As I see it, that’s the jus fruendi component of what I call “ownership”.

    It also seems clear to me that they think it’s right for a person to stop using something he’s been using, at which point they think it’s right for another person to start using it. As I see it, that’s the jus abutendi component of what I call “ownership”.

    Finally, it seems clear to me that they think it’s not right for a person to (try to) use something that someone else is already using. This is the exclusionary aspect of what I call “ownership”. In other words, an owner of something possesses the exclusive rights to use, enjoy the fruit(s) of use, and abandon the thing.

    So if anarcho-capitalists and traditional anarchists agree on these things – and it seems clear to me that they do – the dispute lies somewhere else and is more fundamental. It seems evident to me that the dispute is over the meaning of the verb “use”.

    Let’s say that I cut down some trees and mill them into lumber. Then I offer to pay a friend to take that lumber and build a house with it. I think there are two basic ways to evaluate the result. If I’m considered to retain ownership of the lumber, then I’d presumably own the result of my friend acting on/with that lumber, which is the house. Otherwise, if my friend is considered to acquire ownership of the lumber upon taking it and acting on/with it, then he’d presumably own the house.

    It seems clear to me that traditional anarchists thinks I’m no longer using the lumber once I give it to my friend to build a house with it. In other words, once I give him that lumber, they think I’ve abandoned my rights to use it and enjoy the fruit(s) of using it. On the other hand, I don’t think giving my friend that lumber to build a house with entails abandoning those rights at all.

    Therein lies the fundamental difference between anarcho-capitalism and traditional anarchism. Basically anarcho-capitalists ascribe a broader meaning to “use” than traditional anarchists, such that a person can still be said to be using something himself even if he’s hired or otherwise directed someone else to do something with it. Under traditional anarchism, only the person who’s (most) directly acting on or with something can be said to be using it.

    I think there are some interesting implications to taking the traditional anarchist view of things here. For one thing, it means exclusive individual ownership of something can only be said to exist when an individual labors for it entirely on his own. If anyone else labors for it with him, then the other person becomes part owner, either jointly or separably. Since there are multiple sub-traditions within the anarchist left – individualist anarchism, mutualism, and different forms of social anarchism – I wonder if there are different opinions within traditional anarchism about the kind of part-ownership the other person is said to acquire.

    Finally, another major complaint that I’ve heard some traditional anarchists say about anarcho-capitalism is that is has a “gun in the room” in that it is okay to (for example) shoot someone dead for simply setting foot on someone’s property without his permission.

    As I see it, a person on my property could be trespassing – that is, interfering with my use of my property. Whether he’s physically damaging my property or not is irrelevant to me. However, that doesn’t mean I think I have the right to kill him simply for standing within my property when I don’t want him to. I think killing him for that would be an extremely immoral (i.e. unjust) act on my part. In my opinion, it would only be legitimate to kill him if he was threatening my own life. Of course, in trying to coerce him off of my property, he may resist to the point where I reasonably perceive him to indeed be threatening my own life. I still see nothing wrong with killing him in that case. If that constitutes a “gun in the room”, so be it. I have no problem with that.

    However, I think one could just as easily say there’s a “gun in the room” with traditional anarchism – it’s just pointed in the opposite direction. What I mean is that traditional anarchists seem to think it would be right for (what I see as) the trespasser to kill me if I come to be threatening his life.


    Note that Jefferson was called a Republican back in his day, but historians today call his party Democratic-Republican to distinguish them from the Republican Party of Lincoln. Or they call it the Anti-Federalist Party, because most historians have a bias in favor of the Federalists.


    I am making a PowerPoint on the Civil War. Here is the slide on political parties over time. The left side shows the centralists, the right side the decentralists. They switched views in 1912:

    in reply to: How do you guys keep going? #19496

    @Pete: “Or when they say they disagree, they don’t say to what exactly or why?”

    One of my favorite things to say when someone makes an assertion without any reasons for it is, “How did you draw that conclusion?” Or “Based on what?” If they don’t answer that after prodding, you can tell them that you don’t believe they are debating in good faith. And if they are not debating in good faith, what is their point in debating?

    If anything they say pisses you off, write out your angry response immediately. Then delete it and write out your calm and reasoned response. That helps me get any anger out of my system and continue to talk rationally.

    Realize that the victory occurs when they go from telling you things, to asking you questions. They won’t concede that you won them over outright. When they are in the mode of telling me things, so that I don’t get mad I like to reframe their argument in my mind as them saying, “I agree with everything you are saying, but I need help. What if I take what you are saying into a debate and someone says (insert their argument here). How would you respond to that argument?”

    If they ever try to pull the “well that’s your opinion” card, explain to them what the difference is between an opinion and an argument. This is from “A Rulebook for Arguments” by Anthony Weston:

    “In this book, ‘to give an argument’ means to offer a set of reasons or evidence in support of a conclusion. Here an argument is not simply a statement of certain views, and it is not simply a dispute. Arguments are efforts to support certain views WITH REASONS. Arguments in this sense are not pointless; in fact, they are essential.

    Argument is essential, in the first place, because it is a way of finding out which views are better than others. Not all views are equal. Some conclusions can be supported by good reasons. Others have much weaker support. But often we don’t know which are which. We need to give arguments for different conclusions and then assess those arguments to see how strong they really are.

    A good argument doesn’t merely repeat conclusions. Instead it offers reasons and evidence so that other people can make up their minds for themselves. If you become convinced that we should indeed change the way we raise and use animals, for example, you must use arguments to explain how you arrived at your conclusion. That is how you will convince others: by offering the reasons and evidence that convinced you. It is not a mistake to have strong views. The mistake is to have nothing else.

    Typically we learn to ‘argue’ by assertion. That is, we tend to start with our conclusions—our desires or opinions—without a whole lot to back them up. And it works, sometimes, at least when we’re very young. What could be better?

    Real argument, by contrast, takes time and practice. Marshaling our reasons, proportioning our conclusions to the actual evidence, considering objections, and all the rest—these are acquired skills. We have to grow up a little. We have to put aside our desires and our opinions for a while and actually THINK.”

    in reply to: Cantillon Effects #16969

    “All right, some may say, prices may indeed rise, but so do wages and salaries, and therefore inflation causes no real problems on net. This misconception overlooks one of the most insidious and immoral effects of inflation: its redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the politically well connected.

    The price increases that take place as a result of inflation do not occur all at once and to the same degree. Those who receive the new money first receive it before prices have yet risen. They enjoy a windfall. Meanwhile, as they spend the new money, and the next wave of recipients spend it, and so on, prices begin to rise throughout the economy—well before the new money has trickled down to most people. The average person is now paying higher prices while still earning his old income, which has not yet been adjusted to account for the higher money supply. By the time the new money has made its way throughout the economy, average people have all this time been paying higher prices, and only now can begin to break even.

    The enrichment of the politically well connected—in other words, those who get the newly created money first: government contractors, big banks, and the like—comes at the direct expense of everyone else. These are known as the distribution effects, or Cantillon effects, of inflation, after economist Richard Cantillon. The average person is silently robbed through this invisible means and usually doesn’t understand what exactly is happening to him. And almost no one in the political establishment has an incentive to tell him.”

    Ron Paul, The Revolution: A Manifesto (p. 143).


    Looking back over this, I see that I posted the wrong link (though the one I posted is worth reading). The Walter Block article I meant to post is here:

    Dr. Woods, that article by Dr. Block appears to contradict what you recall him saying in that debate. Block states that the North invading the South to rid it of slavery would violate the non-invasion (except in self-defense) provision of limited government libertarianism:

    “If secession is always and everywhere justified, what, then, is the proper libertarian response to the existence of suttee, slavery, clitorectomy, etc., in other countries (e.g., in seceding territories)?

    Under limited government libertarianism, the government of the north would take no steps to rid the sovereign Confederacy of its slavery (or India of its suttee). The purpose of the state in this philosophy is to protect its own citizens. Period. And, on the (historically accurate) assumption that the Confederacy showed no indication of invading the north, but merely wanted to be left alone to its own devices, that would be the end of the matter as far as the northern government was concerned.

    However, even under these assumptions individual abolitionists would be perfectly free, and, indeed, justified, in going in to the Confederacy, guns in hand, with the intention of ridding the south of this evil institution of slavery. But if things went poorly for them, they could not then scurry back to the north, tails between their legs, hiding behind their mama’s skirts, because that would necessarily bring in the northern government into the fray. It would violate the non-invasion (except in self-defense) provision of limited government libertarianism, or minarchism.”


    Check this article out by Walter Block:

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