At the post, For Those of You That Think Revolution is Always a Good Thing...., Veterans for Peace Indianapolis writes:
This just made me think further on Robert's Rules of secession. Knowing the Union didn't fight to end slavery but in the end that was the practical effect, the US crushing the Confederacy through force did move millions of slaves toward actual freedom and liberty. Robert, please analyze Confederate secession based on this.NY Cynic adds:
Personally, I believe slavery would have ended peacefully even in a CSA, as evidenced by it ending peacefully nearly everywhere else. But it certainly ended much sooner than otherwise.
I'd like to echo Veterans for Peace's request for an analysis for the CSA. I personally think that if the CSA was allowed to exist economics would've forced them to end slavery, alternatively abolitionists in both the CSA and US would start buying slaves in order to free them.The NAPster adds:
VPI, isn't that just some sort of amoral numbers game you're playing? X number of slaves freed vs. Y number of soldiers and civilians killed/maimed = secession justified or not. I don't see how starting a war that led to all of that death and injury can ever be justified for "the greater good." From the libertarian perspective of self-ownership and the NAP, the war was wrong and slavery was wrong. The act of peaceful secession was not, and can never be, wrong (although of course the rule of those in the Union and CSA without their individual consent always remains a wrong).
And finally from Veterans for Peace Indianapolis, again:
The NAPster, I agree with you. I'd like to see Robert's take.RW response:
First, I want to make clear that in all cases of revolution, secession etc., it is very possible that things will move for some in the direction of liberty, while for others, things move in the direction of a loss of liberty. That was certainly the case in the U.S. civil war.
I believe it is fair to say that the civil war did bring freedom to slaves sooner than it would have occurred otherwise, regardless of what Abraham Lincoln's political motives were for freeing the slaves---which do not appear to have been because he viewed blacks as equal to whites and deserving of freedom.
We know from the work of Thomas Dilorenzo that Lincoln had declared martial law, suspended habeas corpus, imprisoned thousands of Northern citizens who objected to the war, laid the groundwork for the establishment of conscription and income taxation. In short, he was a tyrant and we still suffer today from some of his actions.
Thus, I would not have supported his actions during the civil war, if I had lived in the North at that time.
However, I would not have supported the Confederate government either. There may have been some confederates that freed the slaves they controlled but for the most part the Confederate government was doing nothing to free the slaves. I am not talking here about the eventual economics of the slave trade if the South had won the war, but the facts as they were during the battle.
The attempt at secession by some Southerners does not impress me because they certainly weren't fighting to allow the slaves to "secede" from their white owners (other than legislation late in the war which allowed blacks to fight and gain their freedom--but this was done in desperation when the south was losing. Less than 50 slaves took the Confederates up on the offer).
It was a strategic error for the South to attempt to secede, when looking back at the outcome from a realpolitik perspective.
In retrospect, the Confederates gained nothing. They severely miscalculated. The few measures they attempted to introduce in the south that did increase some liberty for Southern whites was squashed by the North's victory. And that doesn't even consider the some 620,000 Confederate soldiers who lost their lives. For what?
In the end, it was a dumb secession attempted by the Confederates, from their own perspective. It was a plus for slaves who were freed but outside of freed slaves, it was immediate losses of lives and property, and a move in the direction of a more totalitarian federal government that continues to this day.
In terms of advancing liberty, neither government scores particularly high grades here.
During the battle, I would have not supported the Union nor the Confederates. I would have supported slaves in their effort to get free---and for that war was not needed, nor secession.